The Herbal Artist: Make Your Own Medicinal Oils

| 2/22/2012 3:48:14 PM

Poppy Swap HeadshotKiki Geary is the founder of Poppy Swap, an online marketplace that offers an amazing selection of handmade products from herbalists all over the country. If you love your local farmers' market, Poppy Swap is for you!  The following Sword Fern Hair Tonic recipe was made from a sword fern in Kiki’s own backyard.  

Medicinal oils are a great first project for anyone interested in creating their own herbal medicines. They require very simple tools and because they are simply applied on the skin, rather than taken internally, they are generally a very safe place to start. There are so many wonderful herbs that can be used to make a medicinal oil, you probably won’t have to go past your own back yard or garden. Calendula, lavender, mugwort and arnica are some that are commonly used. Organic beauty products, massage oils and nourishing skin remedies are sometimes just quick clip and a day away! They can also make a special handmade gift.

Sword Fern Crock 2-27-2012Tools: To make a medicinal oil, you will need three simple tools: garden clippers or a shovel, a crock-pot and a metal sieve. You will also need a container for storing your finished oil. A recycled kitchen jar works great!

Ingredients: Your favorite medicinal herb and enough organic olive oil to cover the herb material while it heats in the crock pot.

[Pictured: Sword fern roots]

The Simple Steps: To make an oil, all you do is place your herb material in the crock pot and cover it with oil. Leave the crock pot on the lowest setting and let it sit for one to three days. The amount of time you let it sit will depend on which part of the plant you are using. For lighter materials such as flowers and leaves, one day is often enough. For roots, stems and resins, leaving it in the heat process longer will make a stronger medicine.