Infusing Oils

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So many purposes for infused oils: culinary, spiritual, body care and beauty.

The above image of oils infused with herbs for an alter—and the intention behind that particular alter. Last fall, I infused oils with hot peppers from the garden...which we use for cooking. I routinely pack a little vile jojoba oil—and add drops of my favorite essential oils (Vetiver, Rose and Bergamot are personal favorites...right now). I wear what serves me when I need it.

I was reading about Borage: and herb that I grow and truly honor for all of it's qualities (and the bees love it!). It is beautiful and softish with a blue flower. Delicate and bold. Strong and sweet. As an herbal, Borage brings courage. Supportive. Uplifting. Each year, I grow borage, use it in the summer season—the blue flowers as a decoration for soups and salads, open-faced sandwiches or surrounding cheeses. I dry it for winter use. Sometimes, I will leave the dried leaves in a dish or burn them...when I need a "hit of courage" and a reminder to stand tall and move onward—with good spirit.

Infusing Oil with Herbs
• Dried, chopped herbs
• Oil. Olive is best
• A glass jar. Canning jars are my favorite and the go-to
• Cheesecloth
• Amber storage jars.

1. Fill your jar to the top with the chopped herb(s)
2. Slowly pour the olive oil over. Stir and let settle. Fill more as necessary
3. Cover the jar, shake and store in a cool, dark area. Shake daily for one week. 

In 3-6 weeks:
• Using the cheesecloth, strain the oil into a clean bowl vessel. Squeeze so that all of the herbal goodness is captured. Compost or scatter the herbs left in the cheesecloth.
• Transfer the infused oil into your amber bottles and store at room temperature. Shelf life is about a year. 

"You can also turn herbal oils into soothing salves by warming 4-6 ounces of oil in a double boiler or a glass container set inside a pot of water on the stove. Gradually add about a cup of grated beeswax and stir until the mixture melts. Add a little vitamin E, then pour into clean, very dry tins or small jars. Depending on the herbs you used, these can be helpful for itching and rashes and can make an ultra-moisturizing lip balm." —Meagan Francis