Have I mentioned how sore and worn out we all are? Homestead restoration is hard work and comes with a price, a non-monetary price, we are finding we didn’t budget for.
A couple of weeks ago, while researching for a post on St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum L.) (SJW), I found SJW isn’t only used for alleviating anxiety and depression, oil infused with SJW may also relieve sore joints and muscles.
The first batch of SJW was dehydrated for use this winter: dried plant material can be used for tea, in tincture and to make infused oils.
After filling three trays with fresh plant material (aerial parts: flowers, leaves, and thin stems) it was disappointing to find it only provided one small bottle of finished product.
Knowing this wouldn’t be nearly enough for later use and wanting to try making and infused oil and tincture, we set out to wildcraft some additional SJW.
There are two types of oil infusions: hot and cold and fresh or dried herbs can be used.
Since I was dealing with fresh plant material, I chose to do a hot infusion. (See my page about “Herbal Healing Primer – Delivery Methods” for additional information.).
Pack the jar with the upper, the more tender aerial parts of the plant, leaving about 1-2 inches of head space. Next, fill the jar with oil; it’s important to stir to remove air pockets and topped it off with more oil. Place the jar in a crock pot with enough water to reach halfway up the jar, and turned the crock pot on low for 12 hours, stirring occasionally. When done, strain the oil through an old t-shirt into a clean jar, being sure to squeeze out as much oil as possible and discarded the used plant material. At this point, there may still be some fine plant material particles remaining; if you want a clearer, more refined product, strain an additional time through a coffee filter.
The tincture can be used internally and externally. SJW works well for both.
This is essentially an herbal extract made by steeping the herb in a consumable alcohol that is at least 100 proof. The alcohol acts as a menstruum (fancy word for solvent) which extracts the plant’s constituents (active medicinal properties). See my page about “Herbal Healing Primer – Delivery Methods” for additional information.
This batch is a 1:2 ratio (one part SJW to two parts Vodka). Shake twice daily for 4-6 weeks, strain through an old T-shirt and stored out of sunlight, preferably in an amber tincture bottle or a dark cabinet.
What are your favorite infused oils and tinctures? Please share below.
(Disclaimer: I am not a Physician nor am I Certified Herbalist. The information provided on this site has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent conditions, illnesses or diseases, it is purely anecdotal and stem from my own personal fascination with the natural world around me. I use the following for my research: Peterson Field Guides – Western Medicinal Plants and Herbs, The Complete Medicinal Herbal by Penelope Ody, books and videos by Rosemary Gladstar and Susun Weed, as well as various internet posts. I encourage you to do your own research. Before trying any herbal remedy, consult a physician or certified medical professional to make sure it is safe for you to use.)
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