So far this season I have been harvesting many more medicinal plants then veg. It’s only July but my drying racks are full and my apothecary is busting at the seams.
Here is how I’ve been experimenting with herbal infused oils so far.
I have Calendula coming out my ears and I LOVE it! It’s one of my favourite and easiest flowers to grow and harvest.
I started by picking them at their prime in the mid morning, once they wake up. I don’t pick while they are still sleeping, haha, so make sure they are fully open for the day.
Then I dry them. This can be done in many ways however I just throw them on my drying racks and leave them for about 2 weeks. I don’t want to rush the process with a hydro sucking dehydrator or the oven. Keep in mind the green stem part will take a bit longer to dry.
After this step they can be used in many different ways. If it’s a rainy day and I’ve found a good documentary to watch then I’ll sit down and separate all the pedals from the stem for tea. But since this post is about herbal oils, I’ll expand on my methods.
Herbal infused oils can be done with fresh flowers or dried. You will want to make sure there is no water on the fresh flowers before adding the oil as to prevent mold. I fill the jar pretty much full of the dried or fresh flowers and then fill with oil. I use olive oil because it is edible and has a long shelf life. These oils can be used on salads so I make sure to keep it edible. Make sure to fully cover the flowers with the oil.
After this, just label and store in a window or pantry for a month. The window option is more for a heat infused oil however I prefer to store in my apothecary. Then strain the flowers out and store just the oil.
A side note* Like the above photo of my Mullein flowers, if you do not have enough flowers to fill a jar, you can pick and add them to the oil over the course of a week or two. As the Mullein flowers bloom, I pick them and add to the jar. I will let these specific flowers sit out for a day before adding them just to make sure they don’t have any standing water on them.
In this below photo I mixed dried chamomile with calendula for a powerhouse oil. Get creative and make some funky mixtures!
So that’s that! I currently have it stored before straining so I do not have photos of the straining process however I will be using a cheese cloth over a clean jar. Oh, and make sure to label and date your concoctions!
Thanks for reading and happy harvesting!