wild sensory oils
There are lots of freely available plants and weeds that you can use to make very pretty infused oils. But these oils don’t just look great, they also have lots of health benefits.
We have made Dandelion, Purple Nettle and Lavender too.
Dandelions are plentiful and easily recognisable. They can be found growing in the grass throughout the summer.
Purple headed nettles are also very common and can be found in gardens and hedgerows growing freely. They have a purple flower and don’t sting like some nettles.
Lavender grows commonly in gardens and has a strong scent. Again it is easily recognisable.
Oils can be used for many purposes, but in such stressful times their uses become more plentiful. They are a natural way to relax and make yourself or someone else feel better. Massaging oils into your skin can physically and mentally aid relaxation, reduce tension and stress. They can also help to boost your immune system, act as insect repellents and lower blood pressure and aid sleep. They can also be used to help you to feel energised and uplifted.
Infusing the oil with plants and herbs can help as follows:
purple headed nettle
It is an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. It is good for massaging away soreness in muscles and can ease stress and tension if massaged around the neck and shoulders in particular.
It is also great made into a salve ( recipe for this to follow)
This makes a pretty yellow oil and dandelion is good for its pain-relieving properties, and the oil can simply be rubbed into sore and tense muscles or joints. It is also known to be excellent for its calming effects and reducing any feelings of stress.
Lavender oil is believed to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to heal minor burns and bug bites. Research suggests that it may be useful for treating anxiety, insomnia, depression, and restlessness.
gathering your ingredients
Gather the plant when it’s dry with no rain or dew on it.
Turn each piece upside down and shake or tap against your hand, to dislodge the ants that are often found inside.
Bring indoors and spread the plants in a single layer over a clean dishtowel or paper towel.
Allow to air dry for several days until completely dry.
You could also use a dehydrator if you’d like, set to 95 to 115 degrees F, for 1 to 4 hours.
Once dehydrated, put the flowers into a clean disused jam jar ( these have loads of uses so we never throw them away) until the flowers come approx 1/3 of the way up and then fill the jar 2/3 full of oil.
You can use a number of different oils, for this, almond, jojoba, grape seed or in fact olive or sunflower oil. We used almond for these because it leaves skin soft and supple, but feel free to try different ones and mix different oils together too.
Once you have your oil and flowers in the jar then place the jar in a saucepan of water so that the water comes approx 1 inch up the side of the jar. Then simply bring the water to the boil and then simmer for around 3-4 hours.
Keep an eye on the water as it will need to be topped up a few times to ensure the saucepan doesn’t boil dry.
You could also infuse the flowers in cold oil, in which case you would fill the jar almost to the top, place it in a dark cupboard and keep shaking it every couple of days. This process will take 4-6 weeks. But I'm too impatient for that so use the hot infusion method!
Once made, allow the oil to cool and decant into smaller glass bottles.
The oils look pretty but, apart from the lavender, don’t smell that great, so now is a good time to add some essential oils if you want that extra bit of luxury!
Essential Oils are a BIG subject and can have LOADS of health benefits, so we would suggest that if they are something that interest you that you should do your own research into how to blend them or do one of the many online courses. (We like Udemy - Using Essential Oils for Natural Living) . However, there are a couple of safety points when blending oils. Particularly for children and Pregnant and Nursing Mums, so always check them out first.
If you would like to experiment then you will need approx 6-10 drops of essential oil for every 10ml of base oil.
Ideas for Immune Boosting
4 drops lemon
3 drops grapefruit
3 drops oregano
To aid sleep and relaxation
4 drops lavender
2 drops vetiver
2 drops roman chamomile
To reduce stress
4 drops bergamot
6 drops sweet orange
Energising and Uplifting
4 drops geranium
4 drops lavender
2 drops peppermint