Saturday, 13 April 2013

Making Flower and Herb Infused Oils for Baths

Capture the scent of flowers and herbs in infused oils. These infused oils can be used as massage oils, bath oils or can be used in making lotions, soaps or perfumes. 

There are several plant-based oils that you can use in making infused scent oils. These are referred to as carrier oils: sweet almond oil, evening primrose oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, apricot kernel oil, borage seed oil, olive oil, grape seed oil nut oil (such as hazelnut, pecan or walnut) and seed oil (hemp, sesame or sunflower).

These oils are great moisturizers and do not have a strong odor. They can be bought at health food and natural food stores or specialty aromatherapy stores. You can even find some at grocery stores. Whatever type of carrier oil you choose, try to get cold pressed oil.

The type of flowers or herbs that you can use is limited only by your imagination, what you happen to have growing in your garden, or what catches your fancy in the store. Here are some suggestions: lavender, rose, violet, carnation, chamomile, comfrey, jasmine, geranium, lily, sweet pea, clove, hyacinth, citrus peels, cinnamon bark, lemon grass, pine, calendula and mint.

Using fresh flowers or herbs rather than dried is best. If you are getting them from your garden, cut the flowers or herbs in the morning and start making the infused oil right away if you can. Mix different flowers and herbs together, if you like, to create a variety of different scent combinations.

The instructions for making scent infused oils are basically the same as culinary oils, though I wouldn't recommend using the heating method since flowers are more delicate than culinary herbs.

• Sterilize (run through the dishwasher) the jars, bottles, stoppers and lids you'll be using. Make sure they are thoroughly dry before proceeding.
• Wash and dry the herbs completely.
• Gently bruise, crush or chop the flower petals, herbs, spices or peels
• Place them into clean dry glass jars.
• Cover them in the carrier oil.
• Place a lid on the jars and close.
• Place the jars in a sunny spot. Swirl or shake the jars every day or so.
• Αfter a week, drain off the oil into clean jars using a sieve lined with cheesecloth or coffee filters.
• Smell the oil to see if the scent is strong enough
• If you want it stronger add more flowers or herbs to the oil (strain out the old flowers and oils first), close the lid and place it back in the sunny spot for another week.
• Repeat as needed.
• If you are happy with the scent pour the oil in to pretty glass bottles and label and date them.
• Store the bottles in a cool, dark place.
• You can add pretty ribbons and give some as a gift.