Among those big delights of growing your own herbs is being able to go through the aromatic aromas they exude as you brush by them sit alongside them in the backyard in the late night or early morning. You can enjoy this terrific experience away from the herb growing season by using your herbs to create essential oils. This report explains how it is possible to create essential oils in your home. It’s simple enough and all you want is a couple of items that you’re likely to have in your home.
They’re called essential oils because they contain the concentrated essences (aromatic compounds ) of your own herbs. They can be used in all sorts of ways:
- For cooking (e.g. basil oil for salad dressings and stir-fries)
- As healing ointments (e.g. garlic oil for a lineament)
- As bath lotions and aromatherapy treatments (e.g. rosemary oil).
The History of Aromatic Oils
Preserving herbs as aromatic oils has been practiced since ancient times. Hundreds of years ago they have been widely utilised in the Far and Middle East, Egypt and China. In India they formed the foundation of a system of conventional medicine dating back to 1000 BC.
But you don’t have to be a student of history or a chemist to preserve herbs as aromatic oils. In this article I will explain how, in four easy steps and with readily available and affordable ingredients and equipment you can turn your herbs into aromatic herbal oils.
Raccolta delle erbe
Among the most important things which you need to learn if you would like to use your herbs to produce aromatic oils is the way to harvest them correctly. Getting this right is almost a ritual for the enthusiastic herb gardener. The harvesting ought to be carried out if the volatile essences of these herbs are at their greatest, which is between the time just before flowering up till the time the flowers are half open (although there are exceptions to this).
Carry out the harvesting before the sun is fully up, and only after the dew has dried. If you’re harvesting annual herbs to create essential oils cut off the leaves of your herbs to within four inches of the floor. Don’t be worried about killing your herbs when you do so. Provided that you leave some leaves on your plants they’ll soon grow new leaves to replace those chosen. All of your leafy annuals can be cut in this manner many times during the summer months. However, don’t harvest perennial herbs before the end of September.
If you would like to preserve herbs as essential oils that your herbs have to be chosen very carefully immediately prior to the practice of preservation. As you cut the herbs spread them out on a level surface. Don’t let them get squashed, compressed or bruised in a bag or box, because this will diminish the quality of the herbal essences. Wash off any dirt with water that is cool, but do not let them soak in water. When you’ve washed them put them down flat to dry.
If you would like to use flowers to produce a fragrant oil (e.g. lavender oil), harvest the flowers when they’re totally open and do not wash them. To create aromatic oils from seeds like dill and fennel, collect the seeds when they turn brown and begin falling off the dead flowers when touched. To stop the seeds falling to the floor cut the flowers carefully close to the top of flower stem or put a small plastic bag over the flower head.
Three Essential Tips
The practice of preserving herbs as aromatic oils is called infusion because the herbs are treated so that their herbal essences “infuse” the oil in which they are immersed. Because of this essential oils are often known as herbal infusions.
Pay careful attention to the three essential tips below when you create your infused oils. If you do then maintaining your herbs in the way described you will get good quality herbal infusions:
- Use a top notch, mild-flavored oil like sunflower oil. You don’t need the flavor of the oil to contend with the taste and smell of your own herbs. That Is Why you should avoid using extra virgin olive oil
- Cover you herbs completely with oil throughout the infusing process. Any pieces sticking out will oxidize and spoil the taste of the oil
- Before storing the oil be sure to have removed all of the plant material. If you do not the oil will become sour and cloudy.
Making the Aromatic Oil
Now you’re ready to begin making the essential oil out of your own herbs. Follow these four steps carefully:
- Put a few of your herbs or flower heads into a clean glass jar. Choose either one herb like basil or a mixture like oregano, rosemary and thyme. Crush them to release the flavor of this essential oils
- Pour the mild vegetable oil (400 ml) to the jar before the leaves or flowers are completely covered. Put a well-fitting top on the jar and let it stand in a warm (but not shining ) place
- After a week, then strain off the herbs (use a cotton muslin fabric or an old open weave linen handkerchief) and then repeat the process of extract with a new handful of your herbs (but using the exact same oil). Do this as many times as necessary until you have a jar of flavored aromatic oil
- Store your aromatic oil in a little to medium-size sterilized bottle and label it. Tie a small strip of cotton cloth around the top to help lower the odds of air getting into the jar. Ensure you keep your saved oils from the sun
How to use it
Once you’ve prepared your essential they’ll last for six months until they are past their best. In this article I have just provided a few suggestions about the best way best to use your essential oils. I suggest that after you have a lot of bottles of different oils that you take out some more study to learn how, by preserving herbs in oil you can begin using them in a lot of exciting new ways in your cooking, in skin and bath creams and treatments, and for various aromatherapy preparations.