The practice of extract is to soak a chemical (in this instance a flower) in a liquid (a vegetable oil) so as to infuse the oil with the vital oils in the flower or herb. This is a particularly beneficial process to acquire essential oils from plants which can’t be expressed (like citrus) or dried. Maceration is infusion with the addition of heat. Some plants can’t readily be distilled because the odor and healing properties of this oil won’t hold up to the heat of the distillation procedure. In cases like this, extract, or maceration is the perfect alternative.
How to create your own infusion?
- Vegetable oil. Many men and women use olive oil or sunflower seed oil for these infusions, but my favourite vegetable oils to use are sweet almond or apricot kernel. These oils have their own healing properties for skin care, and just increase the therapeutic benefit of this infusion. If I’m not going to use all the oil in a brief time period like within 3 weeks, or if I need it to have a very long shelf life, I will use Jojoba that has a much longer shelf life.
- Dried blossoms. Flowers particularly regarded as great for skin care are Calendula (Calendula officinalis), Arnica (Arnica montana), and Millepertuis (Hypericum perforatum).
- An extract jar. Almost any large jar with a tight lid will do. Spanking clean canning jars, a mayonnaise jar or a sun tea jar are great examples of what you may have on hand.
- A strainer. You can use a wire mesh strainer or cheesecloth. I use coffee filters that I find to be perfect fpr this objective.
Grow your own flowers
This is a excellent way to use them to get a start-to-finish, do-it-yourself job. Be careful here that you have the right flower. For example, there are lots of kinds of marigold flowers, but the curative marigold is Calundula officinalis, not the regular marigold you see in flower gardens. If you decide to use your own flowers, be sure moisture was removed. When you wash them, dry them in a cool dark area. If you buy the dried blossoms be certain that they’re organic, and that you buy them from a respectable company.
Next place the dried flowers loosely in the jar, then add the cold-pressed vegetable oil such as sweet almond or apricot kernel. Seal the jar so that it’s airtight and leave it for one or two months. Every day, you should pick up the jar a shake it vigorously. This will assist the oil cells discharge from the plant to the vegetable oil. An approximate ratio to use is 1 cup of dried flowers to 1 1/2 cups of vegetable oil. This will yield about 1 1/4 cups of flower oil. Some flowers absorb a whole lot of oil, so you might need to add somewhat more during the procedure.
As a simple alternative, what I like to do would be to use a crock-pot and employ low heat to hasten the procedure. I simply put the dried flowers in the crock-pot, cover with oilive oil, sweet almond or apricot kernel oil, then cook on low for around 24 hours. This would make it a macerated oil.
At the conclusion of the soaking time, strain the oil in the flower bulk. I first use a wire mesh strainer, and then use a coffee filter to strain the oil one more time. This terrific finished product is then sealed in a dark bottle. Be sure to tag your oil with ingredients and date. Store it in the refrigerator to extend its shelf life.
These terrific blossom oils are then used for their therapeutic properties or as a carrier for its therapeutic essential oils in aromatherapy. They add so much to the healing properties. You can buy your very own macerated oils, but it’s very satisfying to have the ability to create your own.