Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How-to Create Herbal Infusions: To blend or not to blend?

Using oils to create an herbal infusion is both an art and a science. But, how many herbs should you use? If you can make a tea blend from two or three herbs, should you use several herbs in your infusions, too? The answer is: it depends. If your goal is to make a great smelling aromatherapy body oil for personal use, then go for it - use the herbs you most enjoy in an aromatic blend.

But, if your goal is to make an infusion for medicinal purposes, you will want to consider each individual herb, including the solvent (i.e., oil or water) that best extracts the active constituents from the herb(s) you are using. For example, flavonoids and condensed tannins are poorly soluble in cold water; ethanol and ethanol water are much better. In addition, saponins dissolve well in an ethanol/water combination (80% ethanol, 20% water), while terpenoids dissolve well in ethanol or olive oil.

Check out this article “How To Make Your Own Herbal Body Care and Culinary Oils” by ACHS President Dorene Petersen for more information:

What are your favorite infused oil blends for personal use? Leave a comment and feel free to include recipes for exchange.

Interested in learning more? Check out upcoming herbal medicine classes from ACHS here:

Image by American College of Healthcare Sciences. 2005. Making an infusion at ACHS Summer School in Greece.


Sarah said...

Great post, and as you say, it depends. I'm currently battling a cold right now, and I'm mixing Melissa (Lemon Balm) with other herbs such as Chamomile as a strong tea infusion. Valerian is also a good choice for colds, but a Valerian/Melissa blend is sure to knock you out ;)

I tend to blend herbs often, but it really boils down to what your purpose is...

Herbert Remington said...

It is so helpful for me thanks for share.