Oil Infusions - The Return of Infusion


Those of you who made it through my rambling posts on theoretical aspects of oil infusions and various types thereof are probably wondering how much more can I draw the topic out. Though most of you probably don't spend valuable mind time wondering about a blogger's posting habits. Good on you.

However, I really do believe it's important to know what you're getting yourself into before you actually do it. Especially in the case of things that are very easy to make, as oil infusions are. It's way too easy to just mash a few things together in a way that kinda feels right, and then feel awesome about it... until results come in. And on many herbalism, cooking or nature-related blogs you will read that "It's really very easy! Just do this one thing and then this second thing!" This fits with our 21st century expectation of getting things immediately and in three easy steps max, but it's a really bad idea when transplanted to the ancient disciplines that follow nature's laws and don't bow down to smartphones.
Like gardening, or herbalism or cooking.
That being said, making oil infusions really is, technically, a process in three easy steps. The overall technique can be summed up thusly:
  1. Choose your container and sterilise it.
  2. Choose your herbal matter and mince it.
  3. Choose your oil and add it.
And if you know what is it you want to make and which herbs are you working with, that's all. If you don't... well, that's when you try to chop blackseed with a knife or pour boiling water over a jar with fresh basil leaves already inside. I've seen these things happen. It's not pretty.
Below you will find some recipes for the basic, many-purposed oil infusions that are handy in any witchy kitchen. But before that,

A Few Last-Minute Tips

  1. Infusions with fresh herbs have a shorter shelf life than those made with dried material. Check both for mold from time to time anyway.
  2. You can use distilled vinegar to sterilise fresh herbs before infusing to reduce molding risk. Remember to dry the vinegar with a paper towel or napkin.
  3. Herbs with strong aromas and tastes will dominate your infusion. If you want the more subtle aromas to be perceptible, avoid pairing them with domineering partners. However, if you're making oils for medicinal or cosmetic purposes, this should take the back seat to actual properties.
  4. Never expose edible oils to direct sunlight. If you feel you absolutely must expose your infusion to the sun (for spiritual reasons, for example), use a solid container such as a tin or a stone jar. Spiritual satisfaction is all very well, but you only have one liver.

Basic Recipes

I like to ascribe these to the four classical elements, but this is mostly for spiritual reasons and follows my own perception of the herbs involved.
Earth Oil - evocative of the element of earth, this oil will have a strong, heavy aroma and significant anti-bacterial properties.
  • Garlic cloves
  • Rosemary sprigs
  • Olive oil
Fire Oil - evocative of the element of fire, this oil will be hot and spicy, and have strong antiseptic properties.
  • Cayenne powder
  • Blackseed seeds
  • Tricolor Peppercorns
  • Olive oil
Water Oil - evocative of the element of water, this oil will have a soothing aroma and strong calming properties.
  • Lemonbalm leaves
  • Lavender sprigs
  • Peppermint leaves
  • Coconut or rice oil
Air Oil - evocative of the element of air, this oil will have a fresh aroma and significant anti-bacterial properties
  • Sage leaves
  • Thyme sprigs
  • Rice oil

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