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The essential oils of most aromatic herbs contain the active ingredients that are beneficial in medicines.  Steam distillation is done commercially to extract the oils, and these oils are much stronger than concoctions made at home, so adjust accordingly if you are using a prepared herbal oil. 

To make your own herbal oils and ointments, combine about 4 ounces of the fresh (or 2 ounces of dried) herb with 1 pint of olive, safflower, or other pure vegetable oil.  Heat gently, uncovered, for about one hour.  For oil, strain, bottle, and cap tightly when cooled.  For a thicker ointment, add 1 to 1-1/2 ounces of beeswax to the mixture as it heats.  Let cool and bottle appropriately. 

Occasionally, lard is used instead of vegetable oils.  If you have a  recipe that calls for this, use 2 ounces of fresh herb (or 1 ounce of dried) in 3/4 pound of fat.  Heat slowly, and when the herbs have broken down,  strain and let the mixture set.  Again, beeswax can be added while the mixture is still warm for a firmer ointment.

Essential oils have many uses both medicinally and in aromatherapy.  Try a few drops in hot water or in a facial steamer to freshen the face, or several drops in a warm bath for relaxation.  Put a few drops  in a spray bottle for an immediate pick-me-up on a hot day, or spray around a room for your own brand of air freshener.  After a shower, put a few drops of your favorite herbal scent on a wet washcloth, rub all over, and air dry.  For wonderful smelling laundry, drop 5-6 drops into the wash load. 

Medicinally, many herbs make great topical remedies for various ailments.  Please see the Herbal Remedy Chart for ideas on what types of herbs to use for these purposes.

These are just a few of the many things you can do with your own homemade essential oils, so use imagination and find ways to enhance yourself and your home with your own unique aroma!  And for more specifics, read the article below by Marilyn Reid and do visit her website, which is specifically about Herbal Essential Oils and Aromatherapy.

Essential Oils - Article by Marilyn Reid,

You Can Create Your Own Essential Oils From Your Very Own Herb Garden

If you are someone who enjoys gardening and has a love for herbs, it is only natural that you would want to take this passion to another level. What you may not know is that you can create some of your very own essential oils simply by using the herbs that you are already growing in your garden. Herbs are wonderful for giving off an aromatic smell that you can enjoy well past the time of the fresh herb growing season. Here, you will find information on herbal essential oils and how you can easily create your own to be used throughout the year or to give as gifts.

Harvest Your Herbs

It is important that you are careful about harvesting your herbs, which means doing so when the volatile essences within are at the highest point. This is the time between flowering and the flowers are just half open. You also want to wait until just after the time dew has dried and before the sun is all the way up. Once you cut your herbs, spread all of them out on a flat surface and make sure that they do not get bruised or compressed as it can cut down on the quality of the essence. Wash off dirt using cool water, just never let them soak. Then, simply lay the herbs flat so that they can dry.

Extraction Of The Essential Oils

For this process, you want to have a high quality oil that is mild in flavor, such as sunflower oil. After all, you never want the oil itself to compete with the smell of your herbs. During the infusion process, you need to make sure that you cover the herbs completely with the oil. Any of pieces that are left sticking out can oxidize and ruin the flavor or aroma of the oil. Prior to storing your oil, you also need to make sure that all plant material has been fully removed as it can cloud the water.

Time To Make Your Essential Oils

1. Select the type of oil that you would like to make and choose either a singular herb or a combination. Some of the best to use for making your own oils at home include lavender, sage, basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary. Simply take a handful of the flower heads or herbs of your choosing, place them in your clean glass jar and then crush them to help release the essential oils of the herb.

2. Pour your oil over the leaves until they are completely covered and then put the lid into place and let the jar or container stand in a warm place, just be sure that it is not sunny.

3. After about a week, strain your herbs using a clean cloth or linen and then repeat infusion with the same oil and another fresh handful of herbs. You can repeat this process as many times as you would like until you have the infusion level that you are looking for.

4. Once your oil is complete, you need to store it in a bottle that is made from amber, cobalt or green glass as it will help to keep the oil as fresh as possible and safe from a lot of light penetration. You can also tie a small strip of cloth made from cotton or linen around the top of your bottle to add an extra barrier to keep air from getting inside.

Depending on the types of herbs that you use to create your essential oils, you can use the finished product for healing purposes, diffused around your home for a nice aroma or even in some of your favorite dishes to add some wonderful flavors.

Marilyn Reid is a successful business owner and natural health enthusiast. She owns a site, , which is dedicated to providing tips, ideas, and recipes for use with essential oils and aromatherapy.



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