F A Q – Frequently Asked Questions
About Herbal Oils
- What are Herbal Infused Oils?
- How are Herbal Infused Oils Made?
- What is the difference between Infused Oils and Essential Oils?
- How do you use Herbal Oils?
Infusion is the process of extracting chemical compounds or flavors from plant material in a solvent such as water, oil or alcohol. This is accomplished by allowing the plant material to remain suspended in the solvent over time.
Herbal-infused oils, also known as herbal-medicated oils are oil based medicinal preparations made by extracting the medicinal qualities of specific herbs into vegetable oils, like Olive or Sesame oil. They are applied externally and impact the human system on very deep levels. The skin is the largest organ of the body and is semi-permeable. So when you apply herbal oils to the skin, it is absorbed into the blood stream and routed through the body, completely bypassing the digestive system. Herbal oils are generally applied warm because this relaxes the nervous system and opens the pores, allowing the process to happen more efficiently. The smell of the oils can also impact the psyche very quickly as the olfactory senses stimulate the pineal gland almost instantaneously.
Herbal Infused Oils
• Can be used directly on the skin, and not usually diluted.
• Are especially soothing to the nervous system.
• Relieve dryness to the skin and whole physiology.
• Help remove excess toxins from the system by lifting them to the surface.
• Encourage blood flow and proper energy movement throughout the body.
• Are for external use only.
To make infused herbal oils you need good quality vegetable oil (such as organic Olive Oil) and freshly dried herbs. The herbs are ground or cut and sifted then completely covered with warm oil leaving 1 or 2 inches of headspace above the herb. The mixture is then set in a sunny window for a minimum of 2 weeks and shaken every day. You can also place the mixture in a crock pot on warm for a day or two, stirring several times per day. The mixture is then strained to remove the spent herbs. This process can then be repeated for a stronger product.
Essential oils are steam distilled under high heat. A large amount of plant material is placed into a steam distiller and subjected to very high temperatures. As the steam cools, drops of essential oil are collected. For example it takes about 10 pounds of fresh Lavender flowers to make 1 ounce of essential oil and around 65 pounds of fresh rose petals to produce 1 ounce of pure Rose essential oil
- Essential oils are strong medicine and are rarely used neat or straight. They are almost always diluted with vegetable oil before used on the skin
- Can be irritating if used daily.
- Often used in Aromatherapy blends in small amounts diluted in vegetable oil, water or alcohol.
- Both Infused oils and Essential oils are for external use with exception only for very experienced practitioners.
Apply comfortably warmed oil in outward and downward strokes to either a specific area (the part of your body that’s causing you problems) or to your entire body. Use even, gentle pressure keeping in mind the direction the hair is growing and working away from the heart. After applying the oil rest for at least 10 to 15 minutes before washing it away. The longer the oil is on, the deeper it penetrates. You can apply the oil at night, before bed and sleep with it on for wonderful results. Apply it again in the morning for stubborn conditions. If you find excess oil uncomfortable simply dab off the excess with a soft cloth or paper towel. Follow up with a comfortably warm or hot bath or shower.
When applying oil to a specific area
- Apply in outward and downward strokes
- Use gentle pressure
- Work with the curves, circles and planes of the body to apply the oil more than massage it in.
- Cover more area on the body than what’s affected, for example; if your knee hurts apply the oil from the hip to below the knee as far down as the ankle. Doing both legs will help balance the energy.
Daily full body oil self-massage is called Abhyanga in Ayurveda. Abhyanga is usually performed in the morning before your bath or shower.
- Apply the comfortably warm oil lightly to your entire body.
- Massage the entire body using even gentle pressure with the whole hand, including the palm and fingers.
- Spend extra time on sensitive areas, soles of the feet and hands.
- Use circular motions on rounded areas like the head, shoulders and abdomen.
- Use straight strokes on straight areas like the legs and arms.
- Leave the oil on and relax for 10-15 min.
- Take a comfortable warm or hot bath or shower.
Other ways to use Herbal Infused Oil
- Put 1 or 2 capfuls in your bath.
- Use as a massage oil.
- Can be used as a base for salve or cream.
- What are the benefits of using herbal oils?
Some of the benefits of using oil application on a regular basis include;
- Increased circulation, especially to nerve tissue
- Longer lasting effects, sometimes complete resolution of the of the presenting problem
- Helps to tone and sooth all body tissues
- Calming to the nerves
- Lubricates the Joints
- Decreases inflammation and pain
- Softer smoother skin
- Improves the body’s ability to eliminate impurities
- Improves the quality of sleep
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Annie & Daryl