Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Infused Oil

Okay, this post came originally from one of my new age book, ‘Everyday magic’ by Dorothy Morrison. Before, I tried infusing oil under the scorching sun and in the cool cupboard but all to no avail. Then I remember this trusty book of mine which outlined a way to infuse oil, with a slow cooker.

However, one has to ensure this; have two different slow cookers at hand. One for food grade oils and the other for non-food grade oil. This is to ensure that the oils produced are fit for its purpose.

You can determine the intensity of the smell by adding a new batch of oil after straining. However, do not heat the oil too much and three helpings of herbs in twelve hour. Always remember to let cool, then bottle and always remember to store them in a dark bottle. Also, don’t forget to label and keep them in a dark cool place. These can stores up to three months or more, depending on the quality of the base oil used.

Suitable base oil such as grapeseed oil and jojoba oil, according to the author, does not turns rancid easily. For a list of base oils, refer to my post about Base Oils. It is a very handy guide for beginners, and even an aroma therapist deemed it as useful. However, I found that sunflower oil (cold-pressed) comes in handy for quick oil fix.

However, I will outline the steps on how to produce a fine batch of oil.

  1. Cut your herb of choice into smaller pieces, this is especially so if you are infusing oil with roots. I prefer to use dried herbs, to dry them, hung them upside down in a room where no sunlight can reach in and there is plenty of air circulating. Never hung them to dry out in the sun.
  2. Fill the cooker with the herb.
  3. Pour in enough Base Oil to cover the herbs.
  4. Use the lowest setting available on your slow cooker. This is to prevent the herbs from scorching.
  5. If you want to introduce a second or third helping to the oil, wait for two to three hours, strain the still hot oil, and introduce the herbs to the oil while discarding the old batch. Give the old batch a good squeeze to extract the remainder oil in them.
  6. Also, stir frequently. When you remove the lid, make sure you wipe the moisture away from the lid; this is to prevent water from dripping into the oils below.
  7. After twelve hours, strain the oil, let cool, and bottle. Store in a cool, dark place. This will keep for three months or more.

So there you have it, infused oil. Although it is not as strong as essential oils, I prefer to dilute it to an appropriate proportion.

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