How to make lip balms

I notice my lips feeling a bit drier lately; the weather is turning and becoming much cooler. I searched for an old balm, and couldnt find it. I didnt want to buy a new one,  you might have read in … Continue reading

Rosey Rosehips! Top 10 ways to use rosehips.

Foraging rosehips is pretty easy,  I often read it can be prickly and time consuming but no more so than blackberries in my humble opinion. Less staining. I think the point of foraging is to spend the time outdoors and … Continue reading

How to infuse oils for cooking

You can use dry or fresh ingredients for infusing oils and choose oils with varying properties too for your end use. For culinary use I used cold pressed olive oil. If you use dried herbs your oil will last longer, fresh oils tend be more vibrant and stronger, or may infuse more quickly.  You need to wash and carefully dry the herbs you want to use (it is better to avoid water in your oil!) -you will do this before drying herbs if you’re using dried ones.

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Rosepetals and calendula infusing almond oil

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Oregano infusing extra virgin cold pressed olive oil

1.Add an amount of the ingredient the bottom of a jar and add enough oil to cover and then double over.

2.Leave the jar in a sunny spot on a windowsill, giving it a swirl every now and then, check it every day or two to see when it is agreeable for you. The longer you leave it the stronger the flavour as well as the aroma. It can be anything from a couple of days to a week (for dry ingredients) An oil with fresh ingredients will need using within a couple of days.

3.Strain the oil into a ready bottle or jar for use. Or you may like to pour into ice cube trays for a longer shelf-life -looks very pretty if you add some oregano or basil flowers!

I used herbs and flowers straight fom my garden grown without chemicals, no pesticides or fertilisers

 

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Why infuse oils?

We have all seen those fancy bottles of olive oil with a sprig of rosemary or a dried chili in them, so it may already be obvious to you that they are useful for cooking and for salad dressings. You may not have realised that its pretty easy to make your own beauty products and even oils with medicinal properties using what you may already have in your garden.

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Almond oils infused with rose petals, calendula, viola, honeysuckle, lavender and chamomile. Olive oils infused with basil, oregano, roemary, and lavender.

This is interesting to me, and others, wishing to minimse the destructive impact we have on the environment when we purchase products loaded with chemicals. Often these products sold to us by the beauty/personal care industry use a lot of unnecessary packaging which may not be recyclable either. I have found as a mother, that baby products are often the worst offenders. I have also found my children and I have very sensitive skin and an ‘overload’ of chemicals/perfumes seems to act as an irritant if anything.

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honeysuckle is an extremely useful plant for us with medicinal preoperties and provides great nesting material for birds.

Everything we need we can find in nature. Nature provides well for us. I would like to avoid products that dont benefit me a great deal but casue a lot of detruction, products like palm oil (usually just labelled ‘vegetable oil’) The palm oil industry is linked to deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change, animal cruelty and indigenous rights abuses in the countries where it is produced, as the land and forests must be cleared for the development of the oil palm plantations. According to the World Wildlife Fund, an area the equivalent size of 300 football fields of rainforest is cleared each hour to make way for palm oil production. This large-scale deforestation is pushing many species to extinction, and findings show that if nothing changes species like the orangutan could become extinct in the wild within the next 5-10 years, and Sumatran tigers less than 3 years.

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I dont think any beauty/hair/luxury product is worth that! so I want to do what I can. Especially when its easy and the alternative benefits me so much more. I am a happier person if I focus on what I *can* do and I make efforts, than if I feel I have no choice but to be a part of something that makes me feel so terrible. Making my own gives me a bit of relience to a level of consumerism that feels more and more ‘forced upon’ us. Its fun, I like to create, experiment, explore and learn. Especially with my children. I like to create beautiful things for myself as a treat to enjoy and as gifts for family and friends. I know that what I make does not have those undetermined infinte effects. I know I have grown the flowers and herbs from open pollinated seeds that can be saved year on year from my plants. Without chemicals, no fertilisers, no pesticides. I have created an expensive luxury hand crafted organic product for virtually no cost at all. It feels good. It works too.

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Good quality almond oil infusing wiuth chamomile and viola for eczma and dry skin patches.

Uses for the infused oils I make: (Some of these stay as oils and some I am hoping to make into creams which I will be blogging about here. You can grow all of these things very easily if you dont have some already.)

viola infused oil -eczma

chamomile infused oil -soothing dry skin and eczma

rosepetal infused oil -reduces inflamation and eczma acts as an emollient for dry/blemished skin

calendula infused oil -regenerative properties, very soothing helps reduce dry and blemished skin

honeysuckle infused oil -sore throat, fever, skin & scalp issues, antibacterial & anti-inflammatory properties

lavender infused oil -conditions skin, soothes rashes.

Oregano is also great for skin I find it quite powerful for my face and prefer to use a water infused with oregano as a gentle toner/astringent

Culinary oils can be frozen in ice cube trays for when you need them, you can make them with fresh or dry herbs. Dry lasts longer than oil with fresh herbs if you want some ready on the counter for sald dressings etc. Fresh needs to be used fairly quckly.