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How To Infuse Oils Details

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  • Category: Oil Recipes
  • Contributor: Staria
  • Date Added: 02/01/2007
  • Comments: 0 (0 pending)
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  • Printed: 692 times.
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How To Infuse Oils

Infused oils are produced by soaking the plant material in a carrier oil over a period of time and is probably the oldest method of extraction and was used thousands of years before distillation and other methods were devised.

Oil infusions can be prepared by hot or cold methods.

These oils are very effective because they extract the herbal constituents and volatile oils from the herbs. They contain many properties that essential oils do not, and are not as strong as essential oils so they can usually be used without further dilution. Another avantage of using infused oils is that is possible to use many plants that yield either very little or no essential oil but which are immensely useful. Infused oils can be added to recipes, used for cooking, used in balms, salves and creams or massaged into sore body parts.

Tips For Making Herb Infused Oils

Well dried or thoroughly wilted herbs are the best to use to make infused oils as the water content in fresh herbs could cause bacteria to grow and spoil the oil. I personally prefer to use dried herbs.

The carrier oil you use will make a huge difference in the shelf life of your infused oil.

Refrigeration of the oils will ensure a much longer life as oxidation and rancidity will be retarded.

Remember! When using the heat method if the oil overheats you will lose some of the important volatile properties of the herbs.

Hot Method tends to lose a lot of the natural perfume of the plant material while the cold method retains more of the scent.

When using the cold method of infusion remember that unless the herbs are completely submerged they will mold. Also be sure to leave as little air space as possible in the top of the jar for the same reason.

Hot Method #1

To begin, tightly fill a large sealable jar with selected herb flowers or leaves. Place the jar up to the neck in a saucepan of water and bring to a medium temperature. Simmer for up to three hours. Strain through filter paper or cloth into a brown glass bottle.

Hot Method #2

Place herbs in a crock pot on the lowest setting and cover completely with oil. Allow to remain, incovered on the lowest setting for 12 hours or longer being careful not to scorch the oil and plant materials.

Cold Method

Put either lightly bruised herbs or dried herbs in a jar and cover to about 1 to 2 inches above the plant material with a slightly warmed, light weight and scentless oil such as grapeseed or almond. Cover closely with a well fitting lid. Put in a sunny spot for one week. Bring the jar in at night if you prefer or allow the moon's energy to infuse into the oil as well. A sunny window makes a great substitute in cold weather.

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