DIY – Herbal Infusion

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with growing and using my own herbs. Herbs are so easy to grow – you don’t need a garden even – just a sunny spot and some pots. You can even often just use an indoor spot with a sunny window. They really don’t need much care – some herbs even have a better flavor with a little stress. 

I also want to use them, and not just for cooking. I have this romanticized notion of the herbal healer woman. And I have a desire to be that herbal healer woman. At least sort of. A modern day notion. The ability to be able to make my own tonics and creams and teas and all that appeals to me.

So, in any event, I’ve been researching and reading what to add to my herbal garden. I thought I would share some of my adventues with you.

One of the easiest  herbal preparations is probably something you are already familiar with – the infusion. Preparing an infusion is really just like making a cup of tea. You bring water to a boil (a good, roiling boil – you want the hot water to break the cell walls of your herb(s)) and then pour it over a herb or a combination of herbs. Allow it to steep. Then, you can use a a tea strainer, or a small bag, or a ceramic insert strainer, or a strainer, or whatever, to take the herb(s) out when done. That’s it. You are extracting the herb’s scent, flavor, and color into the water. An infusion works best for delicate herbs.

Now, how much of the herb to use in relation to how much water, and the steeping time, depends on what you are trying to do.

Generally, you use about a cup of herbs in a quart jar, and fill with boiling water; close the lid; and allow to steep for 4 to 10 hours. Strain. You can then keep it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 

You may use an infusion for a variety of reasons. I just made a herbal infusion for purposes of doing a facial steam. I used 1/3 cup of lavender blossomes and 2/3 cup dried chamomile (from last year) blossoms. After steeping and straining, I refrigerated the infusion. Then, 2 days later, I brought the infusion back to a boil, let sit and then draped a towel over my face and gave myself a facial steam. I then rinsed my face. Voila! Instant tension reliever, and chamomile is supposed to  soothe irritated skin.

Have you ever tried a herbal infusion?

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Comments

  1. I am all over this too! My kids refer to my herbal remedies as potions. Everytime someone gets hurt or is sick I reply with either “I have a salve for that”, or “I have a tea for that”. I carry around a copy of The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook everywhere I go. Just yesterday, I had heard that my neighbor had some tummy trouble. I immediately ran over with some Bilberry tea (which is amazing and works every time we use it), he was very grateful to the “White Witch” who lives next door.

  2. I’m so with you. Herbs are the first thing I started to plant because I hated throwing away so many because the quantity I was forced to buy was so much larger than what I needed in my recipe. Then, I started getting into the healing & food energy of them. I think you’re on your way to being a kitchen witch 🙂

  3. I have a romantic notion about herbs and healing too, but have not even made a start at this point. Maybe soon. The facial steam sounds lovely right about now!

  4. Hmmm, I can think of a few…

    Thyme- Acne Wash

    Mallow- Anti-inflammatory, soothes and calms irritated skin.

    Elder Flower- Facial Cleanser/Toner

    I love the idea of a lavender facial steam! Lavender is also a great anti-inflammatory and soothing cleanser, but can be drying to some skin types.

  5. Infusions are a easily made, if you have ever made a cup of tea, you have made an infusion

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