Herb-infused oils can be applied to the skin as a moisturizer, used in first-aid salves, or used in body scrubs for extra skin-loving benefits. Suggested herbs for skincare: Lemon balm is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and useful as part of a first-aid salve. Lavender is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and soothing to skin and burns. Calendula is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and can help relieve dry, rough or chapped skin. I make all three of these oils each year and then turn them into a first-aid salve. Tip: I dry the herbs first so I don't have to worry about moisture from fresh herbs spoiling the oil.
If you want to make an oil to cook with, be sure to follow proper food handling procedures and storage of finished oil. Suggested herbs: oregano, rosemary, garlic, or thyme, though there are lots of other choices!
- Pint or quart glass jar, depending on how much herb you have
- Enough dried and chopped herb to fill the jar 2/3 of the way (use one herb per jar)
- Olive oil, enough to cover herbs and fill jar
- 1 capsule Vitamin E
- Fill glass jar 2/3 of the way with chosen herb and fill with olive oil. Stir well and make sure that all the herb is covered. Top off with more oil if needed.
- Sit jar in a warm, sunny window for 2 weeks, shaking jar daily. Make sure herbs remain covered with oil-use a spoon to tamp down if needed. Herbs that are not covered by the oil will attract moisture and cause the oil to go rancid and grow mold.
- After 2 weeks, strain the oil through cheesecloth to remove the herbs and pour strained oil into a clean, DRY glass jar. You can add 1 capsule of vitamin E oil as a preservative.
- LABEL with date and ingredients. Good for 6 months – 1 year. Refrigerate for longer shelf life, especially for food use. (Throw away if you see mold or it smells rancid).
Herbal First Aid Salve
- 1 cup of olive oil or herb-infused oil from above recipe (may mix different herb oils to equal one cup, like ½ cup lavender & ½ c. calendula)
- 1/4 cup beeswax (beeswax pastilles melt faster)
- If not using herb-infused oils, add essential oils such as 30 drops of lavender essential oil and 15 drops of tea tree essential oil
- 1 vitamin E capsule
- Small glass jar or containers for storing
- Heat oil and beeswax together in a double boiler, stirring occasionally until the beeswax has melted.
- Add essential oils if using, then add vitamin E.
- Pour carefully into small glass jars or tins. Let cool and put on lid.
- LABEL with date and ingredients.
- Store in a cool, dark place. Shelf life is about 6 months-1 year. If it becomes rancid-smelling, discard immediately.