Infusing herbs is one of the foundations of herbal medicine and homemade natural body care.
The process of infusion is so simple, beginners find it easy, yet it remains a staple for the advanced herbalist as well.
Infusions are truly exciting to me. Yes, that probably sounds silly, but, they are!
The best thing about infusions is that anyone can make them.
The second best thing is that they can be used in so many ways.
There are many forms of infusions, but generally, an infusion is made by steeping an herb is some form of liquid for a set amount of time. While the herb steeps, it's properties are being extracted by the liquid.
Once a sufficient amount of time has passed (this depends on the herb being used and where the infusion is cold or hot), the herbs are strained out and the liquid is saved.
The liquid is now infused with the beneficial properties of the herb.
Some of the most common infusions are oil infusions, vinegar infusions, and water infusions. They can be made with hot or cold liquid. Hot infusions are quick to prepare, while cold infusions tend to take weeks or months.
The most basic infusion is an herbal tea. A simple hot water infusion.
See, you've probably already made one!
Infusions can be used to create all manner of herbal remedies, natural skin care products, and also have a variety of culinary uses.
Here are a few simple infusion ideas to get you started:
- infuse oil with garlic and herbs to make a delicious cooking oil or use it in a homemade salad dressing
- infuse vinegar with tarragon to make a delightful salad dressing
- infuse oil with herbs, such as calendula, to make a skin soothing moisturizer. Add beeswax to the strained oil and make a calendula salve (Calendula oil is the base of many recipes in the Calendula Guidebook)
- infuse vinegar with orange peels to make an all-natural cleaner
- infuse vodka with Echinacea to create a cold-busting herbal tincture
- infuse vodka with vanilla beans to create your own vanilla extract (you can also use vanilla beans to make other infusions, such as vanilla-infused sugar)
- infuse vinegar with rosemary to make an herbal hair rinse
- infuse olive oil with lavender to create a nourishing hand salve
- infuse honey with various herbs to make natural skin care products
The list could go on!
I especially love herbal oils for natural beauty products. An infused oil can be used in place of a basic/plain oil in most body scrub recipes. It's a sure-fire way to take them up a notch!
Since I've already written about infusions in various forms, I'll link to those posts below:
- How to Make Herb-Infused Oil
- How to Make Herb-Infused Honey for Natural Skincare
- How to Make and Use Calendula Oil
- How to Make Calendula Salve
- How to Make Plantain Salve
- How to Make Lavender Vinegar
- Simple Lavender Salve
- Rosemary Hair Rinse
- Nourishing Rosemary Hair Oil
- All-Natural Cleaner with Citrus Peels
- Homemade Vanilla Extract
- 3 Ways to Use Vanilla Beans
- Herb-Infused Mint Chocolate Truffles
- How to Make the Perfect Cup of Tea
- Meadow Tea
- 52 Herbal Tea Recipes
- Beginner's Guide to Herbal Tea
- Chamomile Bay Leaf Bath Vinegar
- How to Make Rose Water
- Hazelnut-Tarragon Vinaigrette