Herbal Oil Infusion
An infused herbal oil is a tincture that is used externally. The use of herbal oils differ depending on the herb you use. They can be used for so many wonderful things! My personal favorite is for skin care products. You can make salves, lotions, bath oils, and more. A vegetable oil is used to make a smooth and supple preparation that is nourishing to the skin. Your kit is supplied with a fractionated coconut oil as it is a thicker oil that spreads and adheres nicely to the skin. Other oils to consider would be sweet almond, sunflower, and grapeseed for a thinner outcome, and jojoba and olive for a thicker one. Since this is often the first step in making herbal salves, a thicker oil would be a good choice. You are provided with one herb in your kit to make an infused oil with. There are two different ways to make this preparation; you will use the tincture method for this recipe. The other method, the quick method, will be used for salve making.
An herbal salve, or an ointment, is a medicinal rub that is made by a process using an infused oil that is further prepared with a thicker substance. To begin the process you will start by making the infused oil. Your kit is supplied with a fractionated coconut oil as it is a thicker oil that spreads and adheres nicely to the skin. Other oils to consider would be sweet almond, sunflower, and grapeseed for a thinner outcome, and jojoba and olive for a thicker. Since this is often the first step in making herbal salves, a thicker oil would be a good choice. You are provided with one herb in your kit to make the infused oil with. There are two different ways to make this preparation—you will get instructions for the quick method in this recipe since it will be used for salve making. You are provided with beeswax in this kit, but there are a few different mediums you can make the salve with. Once you get a feel for the process, you can practice using different menstruums (a.k.a. mediums) and herbs for different combinations and purposeful outcomes. This is a perfect addition to your first aid kit for all types of skin abrasions.
A liniment is a liquid herbal extract that is used externally. It is made much in the same way as a tincture but is never ingested. Liniments are applied to the skin on mainly muscle and joint areas. Herbs that are typically used in liniments are those with anti-inflammatory properties. Liniments are not intended for broken skin. They are made with either witch hazel or rubbing alcohol. This kit provides you with witch hazel because it is a very gentle base for sensitive individuals. This is a great addition to your medicine cabinet in place of muscle and joint rub.
A tincture is a concentrated liquid extract that is meant to be taken internally. You can use any part of a plant depending on where that particular plants chemical properties are found. Tinctures can be made from a number of different menstruums. I prefer grain alcohol because more of the medicinal properties are pulled from the herb, and the shelf life is longer. Besides alcohol, you can use vegetable glycerin, apple cider vinegar, or distilled water. Your kit is supplied with vegetable glycerin, but I encourage you to explore other mediums as your experience grows. You are provided with one herb to tincture to begin and to get a feel for the process. As your knowledge expands and you are more comfortable with handling herbs, you can begin working with different plant parts and combining more herbs for more specific outcomes.
A syrup can be wonderful for bitter tasting herbs, and for helping make herbal preparations more enjoyable for children. It is a thickened infusion that has been sweetened with honey. It is best to use a local honey for maximum benefits, so your kits do not include the honey. Although, children under 2 should have their syrups sweetened with maple instead of honey. Syrups are also great for replacing sweetener for coffee and tea, on pancakes and waffles, and on fruit and deserts. Delicious and good for you! Once prepared the syrup is kept in the refrigerator and lasts about 3-4 months. I usually double the recipe and keep plenty of my favorite herbals in stock for my family to take regularly. Just make sure you don’t go overboard on the syrup, which is easily done because of how delicious they are. One tablespoon is typically good for daily maintenance, and more for acute matters. You can make syrup out of any herb you choose, although it is usually reserved for those that are bitter or taste a little rough.
If you have ever made a tea using a tea bag, you have made an herbal infusion. This simply means that the herb is infused in water to release the medicinal and aromatic properties. An herbal infusion is typically made from the lighter parts of the plant- the flowers, leaves and sometimes fruit.
Herbal bath bag
Imagine submerging your body in a warm delicious mug of tea. This is essentially what you are doing with these bath bag preparations. Reap the benefits of the relaxation, inhalation, and warmth given off by bathing in herbs. The warm bath water will draw out the vitamins and aromatic volatile oils and turn your bath into a sensory delicious and calming way to use herbs as a whole body experience.