Friday, October 16, 2009
Making Herbal Infused Oils
I use my herbal infused oils for soap making more than anything else. We do use them some in cooking but tend to prefer the fresh herbs for that purpose. A week prior to your planned soap making day, you can make your own herb infused oil.
Right now I want to make oil infused with oregano and thyme for their antibiotic and antiseptic properties. Many people have raved about this herbal soap and how it has cured their acne and other skin problems. I think it is the natural antibiotic properties of the thyme and oregano.
First a trip to the herb garden. Needless to say, if you plan to make soap in the middle of winter and want to use herbal oil you had best make the oil now and freeze it for winter use. You can also grow your own herbs in a pot on the windowsill through the winter.
I am clipping some oregano and some thyme, a mason jar full.
I will rinse the leaves then crush them in the jar. You could probably speed this process by blending them in a food processor before putting them in a jar. Mine are crushed then covered with oil. Because my house is cold at night and this has made the oil cold, I will warm the jar, without the lid, in the microwave for about 30 seconds, just until the oil is slightly warm. The lid is put on and I will shake the jar several times a day whenever I pass by for about a week or until I am ready to make soap.
I let the herbal oils intended for soap use sit out at room temperature. If I were going to take them internally or use in cooking, I would keep them in the refrigerator and discard after a few days. It is not safe to use herbal infused oils kept at room temperture for any internal use without heating them to pasteurize them or sealing them in a pressure canner.
This herb infused oil has more uses than just soapmaking. If you keep it in the fridge you can add it to your cooking. You can do this with garlic cloves too, not the soap part, just the cooking, but don't keep it indefinitely in the fridge, as there can be the possibility of bacteria growing in there. Hmmmm, garlic is good for you. I wonder how garlic soap would be if made with garlic infused oil. It may be something to try in the future. I hear it is suppose to help restore circulation. I do remember a very elderly gentleman asking me if I made garlic soap, as he was diabetic and wanted to try it. This was many years ago and I had not heard of it before. An interesting idea...
Posted by Sheryl at Providence Acres at 6:41 PM