|Comfrey, Marshmallow, Mullein, Plantain, Calendula & Echinacea|
Foraging or gathering fresh flowers, leaves, roots and barks to make a healing oil is such a primal connection to Mother Nature. The colors, scents and textures of the herbs are invigorating compared to herbs that have been dried. The hue of the sky, the wind or lack of it, your mood, the temperature, the rain or thunder and lightning all become part of the salve within your focus. Fresh ingredients add living energy and natural magic to your intention to make a healing potion.
If you generally use dried herbs to make medicinal salves, I understand. Fresh infused oils can be tricky, and prone to easy spoilage. Using a Crock Pot to gently evaporate the moisture out of the herbs works really well if you can maintain a temperature of 100-110 degrees for about 12-18 hours. Richard Cech shares this method in his book, "Making Plant Medicine". I have used it with many different herb combos, and in simples.
Spread the fresh herbs out on a basket or screen to wilt for about 2-4 hours, so at least some of the moisture within the plants evaporates. Fill a blender 1/2 full of the herbs you have chosen. Cover the herbs with the best olive oil you can find, and blend on the chop cycle. Repeat with any remaining herbs.
Pour the mixture into a crock pot. Add a little more olive oil, if necessary, to make sure the herbs are submerged.
The only problem with Crock Pots is I have yet to find one that holds a low enough temperature. There is a solution. Plug the crock pot into a homemade Rheostat (the plug-in thingy) to ensure the heat does not exceed the 100-110 degree range. A light dimmer switch is used for a dial. Your honey will know how to make one for you! Best of all, the parts are available at Lowe's for under $18.00.
Set the crock pot to "low" and stir occasionally, adjusting the Rheostat dial until it keeps the contents at a steady 100-109 for about 12 hours.
That's all there is to it! This method will work really well as long as the heat stays low and steady.
Allow the infused oil to cool, then strain and squeeze it through cheesecloth or an old dish towel. Pour into a sterilized jar with a tightly fitting lid. Store it in a cool, dark place until you are ready to turn it into a salve.
|Fresh, strained Herb Infusion in Olive Oil|