DIY Solar Infused Herbal Oils

It wasn’t long into my salve-making education that I started getting the question, “so how do you get the oils out of the plants?” If you’ve been to one of my Essential Oil Workshops you’ve heard me talk about the oil sacs on the various parts of many plants that are product pure “essential oils” which are extracted via heat and cold pressing methods. However, when I’m referring to herbal infused oils, this is a completely different concept.

Today is an herb-infusing day! I’m starting with dried Comfrey {leaf}, Plantain {leaf}, Lavender {buds}, Chamomile {flowers}, Calendula {flowers} and Arnica {flowers}. By adding various carrier oils {Coconut and Olive are my choice oils for today’s project} I’ll infuse these herbs into the oils and essentially preserve their properties in the liquid oils – which then become the base for my salves, body butters and skin care oils.

Soooooo here’s a quick tutorial on how to solar-infuse your own herbal oils!

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  1. Fill a clean glass jar {any size, I’m using quarts here} 1/2 – 2/3 full with dried herbs of your choice. If using fluffy light herbs {such as Arnica flowers – far left, or Calendula flowers – middle, yellow} fill 2/3. For heavier herbs that fill in easily, 1/2 is sufficient.
  2. Choose your carrier oil(s). I’m using Coconut and Olive oils but you can use Jojoba, Almond, Sunflower, or a variety of other oils. Feel free to mix several! Fill the jar to the brim with your oils so that the herbs are covered and the jar is full.
  3. Place the lids on tightly and be sure to label with the type of herb and today’s date!
  4. Place the jars in a well lit area where they are exposed to the warmth of the sun. Allow to set for 2-4 weeks, shaking them periodically as the herbs tend to settle. I typically infuse mine for 4 weeks in order to get a nice potent oil.
  5. Using cheesecloth or a fine strainer, strain off your herbs and discard. Pour the infused oils into a clean jar and label. For prolonged shelf life, store in a cool dark place. Best if used within 1 year {although mine are never around for very long 😉 !}

Slow Cooker Method

A quicker way to infuse herbs into oil is accomplished using the slower cooker method. How about 3 days vs. 2-4 weeks?! I typically solar infuse now that I’m dealing with larger quantities of oil, but if I’m in a hurry and suddenly need an oil I ran low on the slow-cooker method is my best friend. 🙂

  1. Follow steps 1-3 of the solar-infused method.
  2. Place your jars in a crock pot and fill with warm water until the level is just below the jar rims. Cover with lid and set on WARM.
  3. WARM for 3 days. Check daily to see if the water level has gone down at all. You may need to add a little WARM water towards the end.
  4. Remove the jars from the crock pot and strain off the herbs using a cheesecloth or fine strainer.
  5. Pour the infused oils into a clean jar and label.

Check out my video tutorial on making your own slow-cooker-infused herbal oils.

An even quicker method involves a double boiler and 3-4 hours of time. I find that the quicker the method the easier it is to “cook out” your beneficial plant healing properties. Slow Cooker Method is great as long as you’re not cooking – just warming. Solar infusing is much more practical for larger jars or quantities that don’t fit into your slow cooker. And I avoid the double boiler method altogether.

08.10.17

Truth be told, I think so often in life we don’t realize how precious a moment is until it has become yesterday’s memory. We laugh and sing and play in the dirt … taste the salt water on our faces while we squeal and jump over the ocean waves. And a year goes by and 2 and 3. There’s no going back. Did I make the most of that day? Do I regret words and attitudes and actions … or do I smile and giggle and feel joy in my heart when I remember how you and I and it were all so wonderfully happy together?

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When little ones become men and women with busy schedules and jobs, it can be such a challenge to keep connected. And yet how precious the moments when family members can grab coffee or sit down over food or take a walk through the park. And talk ❤ to ❤ .

I love this guy so much! How I miss those days of playing with little cars and trucks on the rug in our old house.

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This sweet friend is always giving and sharing. She invited us both out to dinner one Friday, and treated us to fabulous burgers at one of our favorite places. Such unique flavors. 😉

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Spartan Super in Asheville! Part of our team volunteered for the day – here’s to running the Super and the Beast this Fall! Together we can do it! 🙂

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It was so inspiring to watch some of the special teams come through at the end. This team was made up of a group of people who had all suffered trauma and are working together to grow and heal. Here we were cheering for the lady in the wheel chair. Her team helped her through some incredible obstacles!

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Vacation Bible School at our church! So enjoyed working with the 5th graders and our amazing team! Shout out to our amazing leaders, all our fabulous volunteers, and the crowd of kids that kept us laughing and loving. ❤IMG_8366

Grand reveal at Shabby Chic Boutique! As a vendor at the boutique I sampled out Country Muffin teas, and had the opportunity to meet and talk with some of the people who came through! Surprise surprise, several friends and a sister come down to support me. 🙂

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National Sister Day! Love these girls so much. Besties forever. ❤

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Grocery shopping for a family of 9 calls for teamwork and adventure. We gotta make the most of this time together … which means we’re gonna laugh and ❤ to ❤ , and be our crazy little selves! 🙂

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Yesterday we took the day away to visit with our grandparents at their beautiful mountain home. So grateful for this time of fellowship and growing closer together. We also visited historic Moses Cone Park and drove a little of the Blue Ridge Parkway.IMG_8615IMG_8639IMG_8640IMG_8658

Someone even picked this adorable little flower bouquet for me. ❤ #ifeelloved

These people – my family – how precious they are. And yet I am reminded of how fleeting the moments are. The days pass by quickly and little ones grow up. The squeals of happy children climbing trees in the front yard are yesterday’s memories and now I look into the faces of little men who are growing and maturing so quickly. I hold on to this moment today because tomorrow will be a beautiful new season of life.

With each passing day I find myself looking back on such beautiful memories … and so very thankful for all that God has given me. This has been such an incredible year for me. Yes it has also been filled with many challenges and tears, but I can truly say that I have so many reasons to smile. My heart overflows with gratitude. ❤

07.24.17

I’ve got some amazing people in my life right now … and this blog post is dedicated to all those special ones that fill my heart with gratitude. Relationships are something that you build and grow and strengthen. They don’t just happen – but they can be so beautiful when you invest time, love and selflessness into the equation. Keep Jesus at the center and let His love flow through each of you to bless each other. ❤

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I’ve only known this girl for 1 year and a little … but we spend a lot of time together. Talking on the phone, texting, visiting at the park, walking, having coffee or lunch … and I so appreciate the work God has done in our friendship. There is something about letting someone see the real, scary vulnerable side of you with all your flaws and mistakes – knowing that you will still be there for each other to talk it through and press on.

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She’s so generous and gives of her time and resources to bless others. She even has a list in her phone of all my preferences. She knows that pumping gas is not at the top of my list of favorite things {though i will do it without whining 😉 } and that while I’m perfectly capable of walking into the store by myself I’d take a partner with me any day just so I don’t feel lonely. And she remembers all these tiny things about myself that I hardly remember sometimes … just so that she can say “I got this Sarah,” or “I know this is something you love and I want it to be my treat.” ❤ Love this girl!

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Then there are these people. I sure love our Graceway young adults group. we don’t get out much but when we do I’m remembering every detail for a very long time. Such happy fun times!

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This little girl? Oh hello, I have another little sis! I adore time spent with her and recently she came over to hang out with me for 2 whole days! Oh wow did we pack in everything we could think of for 2 crazy girls {and siblings in tow} to have a blast with! And here’s to many more adventures together. ❤

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We have this incredible snoball shop in town that we might enjoy a little too much. 😉 But then again, one can never have too many snoballs. ❤

 

Impromptu TCBY outing with some girls after church. Hey let’s just laugh about everything and nothing! 😛

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And then there’s this sister of mine … a representative of my big beautiful family team. She is one of my very best friends and always there to sit and talk with me. I have a crazy lot of things on my plate right now and if you know anything about me I like some space and quiet with Jesus … but I definitely want a safe person to share my heart with. Someone who will care and listen and maybe share some encouragement or wisdom. That’s this little sister of mine, and lots of others in my family.

I cherish time out with her. Coffee, lunch, a walk, even grocery shopping for the family on a Monday morning – when we are driving in the car and talking about anything and everything {to our favorite songs}. 😀

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Love being with these guys … we make it a habit every week to hang out on the docks and attempt to catch fish. 😉

Aaaaaand this sister of mine braved Cow Day at Chick-Fil-A with me for the very first time ever. Where on earth have we been all this time?!

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My life is so blessed. And even though there are always trials and difficulties {if not now, surely right around the corner}, I have so much to be grateful for. And I have a whole lot to smile about.

So thankful for family and friends. ❤