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How To Make Herb Infused Oils

by Susan on July 24, 2014

Making infused oils is simple!  These oils can be used in a variety of ways including massage oils, beauty treatments, for use as ear infection treatments, even into healing salves with beeswax.  All you need are fresh herbs, mason jars, olive oil, and 6 weeks time.  :)

 

Wild Rugosa Rose petals infusing in Olive Oil.

Wild Rugosa Rose petals infusing in Olive Oil.

 

 

Gather your herbs during the warmest part of the day.  The dew will be all dried by then.  You DO NOT want any additional moisture on your plant material as this will encourage mold growth.  DO NOT wash the herb for the same reason.  Gather them from clean areas – where the dog or hens have NOT “visited” and you’ll be ok.  :)

 

 

Make sure to use ONLY organic olive oil, not seed based oils.  Seed oils go rancid FAST and you don’t want that.

 

Make sure your jars are clean and dry.  I place mine directly in the sun for an hour or so to be SURE they’re super dry.

 

Calendula & Borage flowers infusing in Olive oil.

Calendula & Borage flowers infusing in Olive oil.

 

 

Cut up your plant material into 2 inch (give or take – not an absolute measurement!) sized pieces, fill jar about 2/3 with plant material.  Pour in olive oil.  COMPLETELY cover the herbs.  Use a wooden spoon or butter knife to gently move the herbs around, thus allowing air to escape.  You don’t want air or added moisture in your jars as mold will result.  Fill the jar nearly to the rim with oil, thus covering the herbs.  Cover, label, and store in a cool, dark spot for 6 weeks.  Some herbalists say to leave these in the sun for 2 weeks….mold will result!!  blech.

 

When the 6 weeks is up, strain the herbs through a piece of cheesecloth…VOILA!  Herb infused oil, ready for use.  Make sure to LABEL it as to what type of herb oil it is, otherwise YOU WON’T REMEMBER whether that jar is Borage oil, Comfrey oil,…or was it Mullein Oil????  :)

 

Some great ideas for oils:

  • St. John’s Wort – pain relief, skin ailments – cold sores, burns, etc., joint pain.
  • Rose – beauty treatment, addition to baths.
  • Borage – fungicide.  Heals athlete’s foot, ringworm, etc.
  • Mullein – ear infections,
  • Plantain – for use as a “drawing salve”, draws out bee venom, infections.
  • Comfrey – also known as “knitbone”.  Encourages rapid cell regeneration.  Skin moisturizer, healing salve.
  • Lemon Balm – skin healing.

 

I make a healing salve with St. John’s Wort, Comfrey, Plantain, and Lavender - Just combine about a 1/2 cup of the infused oil(s) with 1 ounce of melted beeswax and a drop or two of Vitamin E oil (preservative).  Melt all together, pour into “tins”…it will cool quickly and then you’ll have a great healing salve for just about any skin ailment!  :)

 

What herbs have you infused or plan to infuse in oil?  Leave me a comment below or on my FB page – http://facebook.com/realsolutionsformoms.  :)

 

 

 

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How To Grow and Prepare Borage

by Susan on July 21, 2014

I bought my first and only package of Borage seeds about 10 years ago because I thought the flowers were pretty.  Little did I know at the time that not only were those pretty little blue & purple stars edible, but the entire plant is a nutritious food & powerful medicine!

Borage

 

That first packet of seeds has resulted in scores of plants, and I mean SCORES.  Actually there are so many I pull up some and compost them, otherwise they would take over!  So, word of caution, once you either get a plant or a packet of seeds…don’t be surprised by all the babies you have the following year!  Same goes for Calendula!  Self-seeders they are.  :) Borage can easily grow up to 3 feet tall.  Give it plenty of space to grow and reproduce!

 

Borage

 

Borage leaves and flowers nourish and strengthen the heart.  It is contains nutrients that are truly beneficial to the heart:  Calcium, potassium, and many of the B vitamins.  It is a blood builder, increases strength, stamina, and energy, and even relieves stress & relaxes nerves.  A true nourishing plant.

 

Borage is also a fungus killer!  Athlete’s foot, ringworm, yeast overgowth, even thrush don’t stand up to Borage’s powerful medicinal properties.  Use it as a wash in infused vinegar or oil made from the fresh leaves for these ailments.  Also a dried plant infusion (strong tea) can be  prepared and used as a mouthwash or gargle for thrush.

 

Because it is so nutrient-rich, Borage is also good for rebuilding energy & stamina after an illness and even childbirth.  It also helps nursing mothers make plenty of milk for their infants.

 

Borage is also strengthening for the kidneys due to its high levels of mineral salts.  It is even mildly diuretic (helps to eliminate extra fluid in the body).

 

Borage

Harvest the leaves while the plant is still green and flourishing in early to mid summer.  Gather the flowers as they bloom.  Tincture the entire flowering plant in either alcohol or vinegar, or infuse the plant in olive oil or honey.  The plant itself doesn’t dry well, but picked leaves dry completely and can then be infused in water for several hours like a strong tea.

 

Calendula & Borage flowers infusing in Olive oil.

Calendula & Borage flowers infusing in Olive oil.

 

The fresh flowers can be eaten on salads or you can also freeze them in ice cubes to make your summer drinks pretty & to add a little more nourishment!  :)

 

Get yourself a package of Borage seeds and just sit back and watch them grow.  The bees LOVE borage too…you’ll attract lots of bees & butterflies to your garden to help pollinate your squash family plants!  :)

 

Happy growing!  :)

 

 

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How To Grow and Prepare Chamomile

July 14, 2014

Tweet Chamomile is another favorite herb of mine. It is also growing happily in my garden and reseeds itself yearly, although not as abundantly as Borage and Calendula.       I do plant some seeds every spring.  They are tiny things – just scatter them & press into the soil – they don’t need […]

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“The House With Nobody In It”, a poem by Joyce Kilmer

July 10, 2014

Tweet Call me “Sentimental Sue” if you want to.   I love old houses.   I love imagining what they once were like.  What did these homes look like in their prime?  What families lived there, laughed within the walls,  toiled in the fields and gardens?   I can almost see them in my mind’s […]

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How To Grow and Prepare Calendula (or Pot Marigold)

July 8, 2014

Tweet Calendula is one of my favorite garden friends! They pop up everywhere in my gardens, and they happily reseed themselves year after year. The bright, sunny blossoms look so cheerful.  But they aren’t just a pretty face.  This is a very useful plant, as you will find out!          Calendula comes […]

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Detox Recipes!

May 29, 2014

Tweet Many of you enjoyed one of my previous articles on detoxing/cleansing and have asked for more specific how-to’s, including recipes.  Well, here you go fellow cleansers!          A few words of caution before we begin.  Don’t plan on a detox/cleanse while on vacation, or while under undue stress like preparing for […]

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How To Make Your Own Cold Cream

May 25, 2014

Tweet If you’ve been reading this blog very long, you know one thing about me.  I like to make my own stuff!  The benefits of DIY are vast.  Money is saved.  Packaging is saved.  You know what’s in what you made (NO CHEMS!).  And it just plain feels great to know you can make your […]

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Chia Seed Pudding! Oh My!

May 20, 2014

Tweet When I first heard of Chia Seeds, the first thing I thought of was the ad on tv when I was a kid…you know,  “ch ch ch CHIA!” – the Chia Pets!  Little did I know how good for you those little seeds are!!   The word Chia is actually an ancient Mayan word […]

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Consider The Fowls Of The Air

May 15, 2014

Tweet We had a rather interesting experience some time ago.  I believe it was a message from God to us to trust Him, that He WILL take care of us. “Be not dismayed whate’er betide, God will take care of you; beneath His wings of love abide, God will take care of you.”    Here’s […]

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Make Your Own Yogurt Right In Your Own Kitchen!

March 17, 2014

Tweet   Learning how to make your own yogurt is easy!  This is another one of those “home skills” that after you do it once, you’ll be wondering why you waited so long to do it!   Here’s what you need: Raw, local milk (you do want good bacteria and enzymes in your yogurt don’t […]

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