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When using an essential oil, plant sustainability must be at the forefront, so in this article, I’ll discuss how to make an herbal infusion with plant sustainability in mind. Plants are being over-harvest, underused and it is wasteful. To make one small bottle of essential oils takes a large number of plants. One bottle of lavender essential oil takes about 3 pounds of lavender. Even though lavender grows wildly at a fast pace, it doesn’t mean we don’t have to protect it from over-harvesting. To be sustainable, you can infuse the whole plant to get similar results. You can infuse plants in oil to get the best of the plant’s properties out. It will allow more sustainability compared to essential oils. Harvesting and usage should be a top question when purchasing and selling essential oils. We have a massive problem with multiple-level marketing companies taking over, give out false information to build their downline instead of having the interest of health and wellness at the forefront. This, in reality, is hurting our plants and creating an unsustainable lifestyle in the name of being more “healthy.” How can we be better, do better, and create a better lifestyle? Below, I’ve outlined a few ways and tips to help.
How to make an herbal infusion
The great thing about infusing plants is it doesn’t take a lot of equipment, just a jar of oil and some dried plants. The best about infusing plants is you can infuse the whole plant. There is no wastage. Compared to essential oil, it takes a lab or at-home glassware to make the essential oil. Essential oils are more potency, so a little oil does go along way. However, to get the oil in the first place takes a lot of plants. Infusing plants take longer some may take up to a couple of months. Both essential oil and infusing plants can are use topically for healing and aromatic. I will use plants for skincare, aromatherapy, and cleaning. . These are the main contributor to using essential oils.
Using plant infusion for skincare more beneficial to the plants and is less of a risk to your skin. When you are looking to make your skincare moisturizer, find the best oil for your skin. You can use any oil. Olive oil, sunflower, jojoba, sweet almond oil etc. Find the best oil for your skin. I would recommend testing out the carrier oil before infusing it. This will allow you to know if you like the feeling of the oil on your skin, know how it steep into your skin. Take in consideration your lifestyle. Do you work? Do you wear makeup? If you will use the oil in the morning make sure it’s an oil that will steep in quickly so you will not look like an oily mess when you are out.
How to make an herbal infusion
What you will need:
- Mason jar is best because it will seal tight with no air going in.
- Your choice of carrier oil
- Dried plants.
Fill the plants halfway into the jar. Add the carrier oil to cover the plant. Mix well, make sure all the plants are protected. Put the lid on and place it into a dark, dry place. I put mine in the closet, but a cupboard or anything will work. Make sure it stays at room temperature. Putting it in the garage may not be the best option, especially if you have extreme hot or cold weather. Please leave it in there for four weeks. Each week stir it or shake up the mason jar. The color will change. The longer you keep it in there, the more you will infuse it from the plant.
Use the heating method to speed up the process.
Suppose you need the oil sooner or can’t wait. You can do the same steps as above instead of putting it away for a few weeks. You can heat water to a boiling point. Once it gets there, turn off the stove. Add the jar with the plant and oil in it. Please leave it in there until the water cools. For a deeper infusing, do it a few times.
Infusion for cleaning products
A lot of people use essential oils for cleaning products. It works great, but a more sustainable and cost-effective way is to collect your peels from citrus items. By infusing orange, lime, citrus fruits, peels, etc. in vinegar, you can make cost-effective and chemical-free cleaning products. The biggest problem, I have with trying to collect enough citrus peel is that they will go bad before I can get to them. The solution is to put them into a jar and put it in the freezer. Keep adding to it until you have a fair amount. Once you are ready, allow the peels to defrost, then add vinegar. Infuse it for about a week in a dark cupboard or closet. Pour into a spray cleaner, and you are ready to clean. To add a boost of scent add some cloves or other herbs in the infusion.
When it comes to aromatherapy, fresh pick plants, herbs are the best way to go. The scent will fill the house and the beauty will be refreshing. It will be sustainable and once the plant has withered it can be used to infuse the oils.
Plant sustainability means you are responsible for taking an extra step using essential oils. The extra step is to figure out if there are other methods of using the plants that will give you similar outcomes. We must consider the plants that we are using and how much of them we are using. Now essential oils are great and have many benefits. Now don’t get me wrong using essential oil to improve health and wellness is productive. Being more mindful in our practice will make sure we are using oils in the best ways. The goal of using essential oil is to improve health. However, if there are other ways to improve our health, by using fewer resources, that will be the way to plant sustainability.