Updated: Mar 27, 2022
Once you have PROPERLY identified your plant ...now what?
There are a few ways that you can prepare plants for use, but each plant has different useful parts. Some are ALL parts, some are ariel parts (leaf, stem and or flower) and some you would use the root. You will need to research some to find out what to use and how depending on what you want to make.
The most common ways to use herbs and plants are by making a decoction, a tea, an infused oil, a tincture, salve or an herbal infusion.
Making these are super easy and most can be done with little cost. As you gain more knowledge you can mix and make combinations according to what you are trying to achieve.
Making medicine- infusing oils
So let's talk about infusing oil's. Many times we think tasks like these are daunting and too involved, but let me tell you that it is super easy. Would you believe me if I told you it was nothing more then taking the broken up or chopped herb and pouring oil over it to about an inch over the top?
You can use whatever oil you choose, depending on what you want it for. You want to use a high-quality herb, one that has been dried.
There's a couple methods to do it. you can put it in a double boiler and let it steep for a couple hours called the heat infusion. Or You could put it in a jar in a warm place or a window, but not direct sun light, and let it steep for a few weeks called the cold or solar/lunar method. Its always good to tip the jar side to side a few times during the cold method to make sure the herb is completely loose and saturated inside.
After, this time, strain and press and they are ready to use.
Sky's the limit on infusing oils. They can be for medicinal, body care or edible. I infuse oils for my salves, lotions, soaps or even salad dressing or infused cooking oil.
So far my infusions have included comfrey, ginger, arnica, cayenne pepper - used in my pain and sprain. The face "beautiful you" lotion which includes infused oil with rosehips, calendula and comfrey.
You can also make different salad oils by infusing such things as hot peppers, rosemary, Italian seasoning what ever you like.
Oh!! Another MUST have if you have kids is an olive oil infused with a clove of garlic. Why? It works great for an earache! Add some mullein flowers and BAM power punch earache oil. A combination of st johns wart, arnica and a mint would make a great muscle rub.
Keep any infused oil in a dark bottle, in a dark place to keep the medicinal value. The oil will last until the expiration date of the oil if it was made properly. The most important factor is to keep out as much moisture when making and bottling