Infused oils allow the fat-soluble constituents of the herbs to be extracted and are best made by cold infusion and natural sunlight. Natural sunlight allows the plant to release its active constituents into the oil. The best oil to use is olive oil, as this does not turn rancid as most other oils do. You can use fresh or dried herb in this process but if using fresh herb you must ensure that there is no excess moisture, as this will turn the infusion mouldy.
Infusions can be used on their own as massage oils, or as the base for ointments. Marigold or Calendula officinallis is a good example of a herb used to make a herbal oil infusion.
To make your infused oil you will need:
Fresh or dried herb
Large wide-necked glass jar
If you are using fresh herb it is best to wilt your herb for at least 12 hours before beginning your infusion, to allow excess moisture to evaporate. Place your prepared herb into your glass jar and cover completely with olive oil. Close the jar securely. If using fresh herb, cover the jar with muslin rather than a lid, as this prevents the herbs going mouldy. To prevent further spoilage, keep the herb submerged in the oil at all times.
Place the jar in a sunny spot on the windowsill, or if the weather is good outside. Leave for 2 to 6 weeks shaking daily. When the time is up strain the infused oil through a jelly bag, and allow to filter through naturally for a few hours. Once the infusion has been fully strained pour into glass bottles and label with the herb, oil and date: your herbal infusion is now ready to use.