I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE INFUSED OILS. CAN YOU SUGGEST WHAT PLANTS(AND WHAT PARTS OF THE PLANTS)TO USE AND IF THEY SHOULD BE DRIED OR FRESH. I WOULD LIKE TO USE EVENING PRIMROSE AND ST JOHNS WORT. ALSO WHAT IS THE BEST VEG.OIL TO USE?Infused herbal oils are a more peripheral tool in the aromatherapy tool box, but useful nonetheless and valued for their own healing properties. An infused oil is NOT the same as an essential oil. Essential oils are usually distilled from plant matter, and require a very large amount of plant matter to produce tiny amounts of essential oils, which are very concentrated substances. Infused oils are made by placing a small amount of plant matter in a carrier oil and allowing molecules of the plant to infuse into the carrier oil.
Infused oils are quite easy to make, and can be used as carrier oils for essential oils. Herbs that can be used to make infused oils include:
- St. John's wort
- olive oil
- jojoba oil
- coconut oil
- or some combination of these, perhaps with small quantities of other oils
Use 1/2 (dried) or 1 cup (fresh) herbs, in 2 cups of carrier oil. You can heat the mixture very gently (not more than 100 degrees F) for a few hours in a crock pot. Or, you can allow the infusion to take place over several days (allow up to a month) at room temperature. After the infusion is done, strain out the plant matter by pouring the mixture through a funnel with cheesecloth or a piece of muslin lining it. Collect the infused oil in a clean jar, and be sure to store it with the lid tight.
Though you mentioned evening primrose, this botanical is usually more valued as evening primrose oil, which comes from the seeds of the plant. Of course, you can certainly try making an infusion using the foliage.