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.
Rosepetals and calendula infusing almond oil
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
You can make tea with whatever you like and its fun to experiment with combinations. I added two small slices or one large slice, of dehydrated pear and a tablespoon of dried rosehips (mine are whole crushed ones) to the infuser in the centre of my teapot and it made about 2 cups. An ordinary teapot and a strainer works just as well 😉
You can experiment with many many flavours and even tea bags or tea pot potions as I call my larger ones. I recently made some little bags for using herbs and dried flowers in foot and bath soaks (also on this blog) so I used more of these for teas as well 🙂
A finished ‘tea pot potion’
some of my favourite and more unusual combinations:
They make great gifts and Ive recently put together some gift sets of retro or vintage tins (you can reuse any tin or moisture proof container) to house a variety of flavoured bags. Home made gifts that do not cost the earth! Chemical free, no carbon footprint in making these, all completely natural straight from my garden! I know people will delight in receiving these as a gift. I would.
I also drink many of these rather than purchasing ordinary tea bags.
Earlier on in the year I attended a permaculture course with Graham Burnett from Spiral seeds, one of our tasks on the course was to analyse the open ended effects of a cup of tea made with a supermarket brand compared to a home made lemon balm tea. Which offers more degree of control on shockingly limitless effects.
sorrel (from the garden) and ginger. A great combination!
What goes into your branded tea and what you get out!
Permaculture system with you at the centre puts you in control!
warm water to fill your bowl, 2 tablespoon of seasalt 1 tablespoon of epsom salts, 2 tablespoons of dried coconut milk powder, 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda few drops of lavender essential oil. Rosepetals and lavender from the garden -could add mint or lemon balm. I also used it in the bath with the addition of clary sage oil and some fresh rosepetals for extra relaxation Just mix it up and play around with it, the salt and oils soften and condition skin
I also made some little bags to blend dehydrated flowers and herbs in for use in the bath or with feet if the idea of loose doesnt look comfortable. I made these as gifts for family and friends! Great way to minimse your effect on the environment as opposed to purchasing something filled with chemicals! Also hand crafted with love which I myself would defitnitely prefer to receive as a gift!