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Midday Fix: DIY aromatic herb infused oil, spray and sachet

Village of Homewood Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, May 24 – October 11
8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Homewood Village Hall parking lot

www.homesweethomewood.com

Homewood Kitchen Gardens
www.facebook.com/homewoodkitchengardens

DIY Aromatic Herb Infused Oils
Oil infusions are a simple DIY way to capture the scent and flavor of aromatic herbs and flowers. The oils can be used for beauty products or as culinary oils. Start with freshly picked, field grown herbs and flowers. Dried herbs and hothouse-grown flowers (which are bred for vase life, not fragrance) will not work.  Gently crush the plants to release the scent and then loosely pack them in a clear glass bottle. Cover with a high quality oil with a good shelf life. For culinary use, I like sunflower oil or olive oil. For beauty products, a lighter oil such as sweet almond oil is best. Stopper the bottle and leave in a sunny spot for 2 weeks, shaking daily. Decant the oil, straining out the herbs. A reusable metal coffee filter is ideal, but you can also use cheesecloth. Store your infused oils in a sealed glass or food-grade plastic container, at room temperature out of direct sunlight or refrigerated for longer life.

Fragrant Body Spray
For a 4 oz spray bottle, add 1-2 teaspoons of your infused oils to 2 oz distilled or mineral water and 2 oz witch hazel. Shake well before using. To blend oil and water better, use a natural emulsifier like powdered lecithin. For a natural deodorant spray, add 1/4 tsp baking soda and 1/4 tsp plant starch such as corn starch, arrowroot powder, or tapioca powder. For a natural bug spray, make your oils from plants that repel insects, like catnip, citronella, lemongrass, mint, scented geraniums, or cloves.

Fragrant Herbal Bath Sachets
Hang freshly-picked herbs and flowers upside-down to dry. The higher the humidity of the air, the longer the plants will take to dry. When completely dry, break herbs apart with your hands or a mortar or pestle. You want small pieces but not a powder. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of dried herbs to a heat-sealable large tea bag (each bag is about 4” x 5”). Don’t overfill, as the herbs will expand with water. Seal the edge of the bag with a hot, dry iron. Before adding to your bath, crush the bag gently to help release fragrance. Store sachets in clothes drawer before use. Not only will the sachets add fragrance to your clothes, they will help to repel insects

Tips:

Use freshly picked, field-grown herbs and flowers.

You can use the infusion technique to make scented beauty oils or flavored culinary oils.

Use high quality carrier oils, such as sunflower oil or olive oil, with a good shelf life. For beauty products, a lighter oil is best such as sweet almond oil.

Store your infused oils in a sealed glass or food-grade plastic container, at room temperature out of direct sunlight or refrigerated for longer life.

When mixing your infused oil with a water-based product you can use a natural emulsifier like powdered lecithin to blend the oil and water better.

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