Herbal Healing

This blog is dedicated to herbal healing and other natural health remedies. In an attempt to deepen my own knowledge, I will share information on a variety of herbs, focusing largely on easy to find Western plants, as well as methods for preparing herbal medicines and natural beauty treatments. I am not a certified herbalist, licensed cosmetologist, or physician, so please use the information on this blog at your own risk! I've been an aspiring herbalist for several years, and I hope to finally get my certification sometime this year.

A few people have asked me about making infused oils, so I thought I would repost this! 

herbalhealing:

Making herbal-infused oils is SO EASY and one of the first things any herbalist concocts! They can be used on their own or as a base for salves and ointments, and by using different combinations of herbs and oils, you can make either strong medicinal oils or sweet-scented massage oils. Though any…

hey, i was just curious as to whether or not it's cool to mix herbs in an oil infusion? for example if i want a calenula an comfrey salve?

Oh absolutely!  The list of herbs for infusions I posted are just the basics, so feel free to mix and match to your heart’s desire!  For example, I have an infused oil that I use for wounds/rashes/cuts that includes calendula, comfrey and St. John’s Wort.  Often, oils and salves work better when there is synergy among different herbs.  :) 

Is there any way to heal bruises naturally?
Anonymous

Arnica is probably your best bet!  Make an infusion of arnica and olive oil (how-to found here), adding just a few drops of rosemary and lavender essential oils.  Make sure to massage only the surrounding area of the bruise and drink lots of water, which will help remove the blood clot.  Arnica oils/creams/gels are available for purchase if you don’t feel like making your own!

Infused oils

Making herbal-infused oils is SO EASY and one of the first things any herbalist concocts!  They can be used on their own or as a base for salves and ointments, and by using different combinations of herbs and oils, you can make either strong medicinal oils or sweet-scented massage oils.  Though any good-quality vegetable oil will do, the oil of choice for medicine is olive!  Stored in a cool, dark place, herbal oils will last for several months, if not years.  I usually use dried herbs for making oils because high water content from certain plants could cause molding.  And I cannot stress enough how important it is to LABEL everything!  I can’t tell you how many times I have made an oil and figured I’d just remember what it was, then completely forgot about it.  Make a label with the name of the plant, Latin name and date.  In this case, also put the type of oil you used.

Solar-infused oils: Place desired amount of herb in a glass jar and completely cover with oil.  (I usually fill the jar about halfway with the herb, then fill the rest with the oil.)  Make sure every bit of herb is submerged!  Place the jar in a sunny spot for 3-4 weeks, making sure to shake it a bit every day.  Strain the oil through cheesecloth or muslin.  When the oil has been poured off, put the herbs in the cheesecloth or muslin and wring thoroughly, squeezing every last drop of the precious oil from the plant!  If you’d like, add a fresh bath of herbs to the oil and let it infuse for another 2 weeks - this will give you a very potent medicinal oil!

Double boiler method: Although it doesn’t provide the magick of sunlight, this is a quick and simple method that makes beautiful oil.  Place the herbs and oil in a double boiler and bring to a low simmer.  Slowly heat for 30-60 minutes, checking frequently to be sure the oil isn’t overheating.  The lower the heat and the longer the infusion, the better the oil!  Strain and squeeze like you would with solar-infused oils.

(This is a picture of the very first herbal infused oil I made over 3 years ago!  Calendula flowers in olive oil.)

lotus