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
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
Essential Oils - Article by
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
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
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, TarunaOils.org
, which is dedicated to providing tips, ideas, and recipes for use with
essential oils and aromatherapy.