Oil Infusions - Part 2

So we've worked through the very basics of oil infusions. Now what? Well, there's still some stuff we should know before we get to it. I've said already that there are various purposes for oil infusions, and now we're going to take a look at those.
As a natural plant extract, a herbal oil infusion has three principal uses, the same uses that all herbs have: medicinal, cosmetic and culinary. And, as with all herbalist preparations, these three areas overlap considerably.

Medicinal oil infusions

These are prepared with health benefits in mind. Generally, oil infusions are not in fact the best method to administrate medicines, as the concentration of desired compounds will often be very low for home-made infusions. This is why pharmacology uses all these solvents and catalysts and stuff: because often there's no other way to get that stuff where you want it.
Oil infusions for medical purposes will typically be used to assuage mild ailments and inconveniences and support therapy, rather than outright cure horrible illnesses. As such, they will have a strong overlap with culinary and cosmetic uses of oil infusions. In fact, it's probably better to add specific infusions to food than store them in the medicine cabinet and swallow daily.
Some oil infusions with beneficial medicinal properties are:
  • An infusion of garlic, as support in cases of hypertension and high cholesterol. Make with olive oil for cholesterol treatment. Hell, make in olive oil for deliciousness.
  • An infusion of blackseed, rich in anti-oxidants, can help prevent stomach ulcers and liver damage. Used externally, it has been shown to relieve rheumatic pains in some patients.
  • An infusion of chase-devil, used on wounds and burns.
Most of medically used oils can still be administrated in cooking (for internal use), though high temperature may damage their contents; so, ideally, you'd use them in salads and suchlike, though that's not a must. As long as you avoid ultra-high temperature frying, you should be fine, though of course, to be absolutely sure, you can pour out a spoonful and swallow like syrup.

 Cosmetic oil infusions

These are usually prepared with skin- and haircare in mind, for which purposes they can be very effective. Infused oils can be used as creams, lotions or hair conditioners, and in all these capacities they are a natural, adjustable product that you have total control over. You can make them to suit your needs exactly and you always know what's in there because you put all the ingredients in yourself.
Some cosmetically used oils would be:
  • An infusion of stinging nettle for damaged hair
  • An infusion of chamomile for easily irritated skin
  • An infusion of yarrow general skincare

Culinary oil infusions

These are probably the most popular, and the most versatile. And, since you will be eating them, they can also give you health and cosmetic benefits (depending on the ingredients of course). Used in appropriate recipes, they give the joint benefit of herb and oil at once.
The three I always have in my kitchen are:
  • Olive oil infusion of basil, which is heavenly, and which will make you eat way too much
  • Grapeseed oil infusion of cinnamon, great for baking, and doubles as a witch prosperity bottle
  • Olive oil infusion of chili peppers, brings just the right spicy tang to my salads
The possibilities are endless, but check PART 3 of this post for some specific recipes.

No comments:

Post a Comment