Making an infused oil is probably the simplest form of medicine you can make for yourself. Infused oils can be wonderful culinary additions to your kitchen when using spices like chilli peppers, cayenne peppers, garlic, basil, lavender and zests, and can be a powerful contribution to your first aid kit. The most common use of oil as a medicine is as an ear oil for earaches, excess ear wax, and ear infections. Ear oils help to relieve pain and contain antibiotics and decongesting properties to fight infections. The two best herbs to infuse into an oil for ear afflictions are mullein and garlic. Caution: ear oils should never be used in an ear with a perforated ear drum. Other uses of medicinal oils are as bug repellents with citronella, pennyroyal, eucalyptus and lavender, or as muscle rubs with arnica flowers, peppermint or rosemary.
What you need
- Herbs (ex: mullein or garlic for ear oil, arnica for muscle rub)
- Large glass jar
- Rubber band
- Straining cloth
- Dropper bottles or small glass jars
Step 1: Prepare the herb.
For mullein oil, you can pick fresh mullein flowers or buy dried ones and pack them, unwashed, into a jar (the water may ruin the oil’s consistency if washed). For garlic oil, pull apart the individual cloves of garlic and peel away excess paper, cut into thin slices and place into a jar. For Arnica, chop the flowers finely and place inside a jar.
Step 2: Add the oil.
Pour olive oil (or almond oil) into the jar of you desired herb. Pour enough oil so that the herb is covered, but leave some space at the top to allow for expansion.
Step 3: Secure the jar.
Fasten the cheesecloth on top of the jar with a rubber band and let stand in a warm place for 14 days, you can even leave the oil in sunlight to warm it naturally. The cheesecloth allows for any moisture in the jar to escape to prevent spoilage.
Step 4: Final touches.
After 14 days, strain the bottle first with a strainer, then with a cheesecloth to remove any particles. You can pour the infused oil into smaller glass jars or dropper bottles and give them away as gifts or keep it in a large glass jar for your own first aid kit.
You can also combine the separate Mullein and Garlic oil preparations into a 50/50 combined ear oil for extra strength!
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