I want to share about Herbal Body Oils, why to use them and how to make them in honor of this Taurus New Moon. Taurus as an astrological sign is all about connecting to the earth, grounding in nature, reveling in a slow and steady flow while divinely seeking rest and relaxation. There is nothing more that embodies this than massaging oneself with a herbal infused body oil.
First off why, why slather our skins with fat? Through supporting and protecting our largest organ, our skin, we're able to support our nervous, lymphatic and immune systems. By lathering fat on our bodies, we're able to absorb all the nutrients and minerals this nourishment has to offer. If you have anxiety, trouble sleeping or a sluggish digestion, try incorporating herbal oiling into your daily routine!
I personally love to massage my body with herbal oils before bed, after showering or even better taking an herbal bath. I don't think any practice has helped more than this in getting to know my body and loving ever inch of it. Our bodies work so hard each and every day, why not show them the love they deserve.
I highly recommend listening to Amber Magnolia Hill's Mythic Medicine Podcast Episode 53 with Kami McBride for a real in depth talk about herbal body oils. Read more about the beautiful ritual of this practice from one of my inspirations and sweet friends Adrienne or Meraki Nomad.
Rosemary Gladstar is known for saying 'Don't put anything on your skin that you wouldn't eat.' By learning how to make herbal infused body oils we also learn how to make herbal infused cooking oils, because they are one and the same! A herbal oil is different than an essential oil, a herbal oil is made from taking a whole plant and infusing it in a whole plant oil like olive oil or grapeseed oil.
You can use any plant you like, I am personally drawn to infusing the plants whose smell I love like Rose Geranium, Lavender, Juniper, Pine. Use your imagination and senses, this practice is so sensual, a delight for touch and smell.
Now depending on the plant you chose, you can infuse it fresh or dried. Oil as a menstrum is more likely to turn rancid, when plants high in moisture are added. So I like to think of it this way, if a plant is really moist when I harvest it, plants like Rose Geranium or Cuban Oregano, I know I should dry them before infusing it in oil. If plants are drier when I harvest them, like Lavender or Pine, I know I can infuse them fresh. All plants when fresh have more moisture in them, through drying them we're evaporating the water.
Either way, if you choose to work with fresh or dried plant matter, I always let plants sit for 12-24 hours to let critters escape and to dry out a little bit before infusing in oil.
Okay, so now that we have our harvest or plant matter ready. We want to start with a sanitized glass jar, of whatever size you choose! We want to make sure our glass jar is free of moisture. Once we know the jar is dry, we fill it around halfway with dried plant matter or 3/4ths of the way full with fresh plant matter. This is because dried plants are more potent, more concentrated, therefore we don't need as much.
Then we pour our chosen oil over the plant matter. You can use whatever oil you are drawn too. I personally love olive oil and sweet almond oil. I have also used apricot oil and grapeseed oil. Just make sure it's a whole plant oil, not a canola or vegetable oil. I usually give it a stir with a chopstick or spoon and then cover the jar with a wax paper and lid.
Always label the jar after making. I like to include the name of the plant, where I harvested it or got it from, the type of oil I'm using, the date I started the infusion and the date when it will be ready to strain. You can let infuse anywhere from 2 - 6 weeks. I personally like to let sit at least 4 weeks or a moon cycle. If you did include a fresh plant I would watch closely while infusing and strain after 4 weeks. I like to let dried plant infusions sit for 6 weeks.
You don't want to vigorously shake your oil infusions, which would incorporate oxygen into the jar, which could lead to rancidity. I personally like to say hello and check on the oils each day while infusing, singing songs and gently turning over in my hands.
Once the time has passed, you can strain out the plant matter and bottle your oil. I like to bottle into stained glass bottles to keep sunlight from directly hitting my oil. I also always store my oils away from heat and sunlight in a cool dark place. I like to keep my oils next to my bed or in my bathroom cabinet that way there near so I remember to use them daily.
I hope this helps and inspires you to try this magical substance! If you have any questions, please reach out to me and if you want to try a herbal body oil before making one go on over to the shop where I have a Rose Geranium, Eucalptus, & Margiold Body Oil and a Lavender Body Oil up for sale.