Since I’ve become a mother, I’ve been researching all the DIY natural baby products that I can in order to a) save money and b) know exactly what I am putting on baby’s skin/in baby’s body/exposing baby to. One ingredient that seemed indispensable to me was infused organic oil – meaning an oil (such as jojoba or almond or rose hip oil for example) that has the medicinal or healing properties of certain herbs (such as chamomile or lavendar) infused right into it. Almost every single recipe, be it a salve for baby’s butt or even a moisturizer for your face requires some sort of oil. And baby skin is so sensitive and prone to rashes that the most common herbs used are calendula, lavendar or chamomile.
Infusing your own oil is not as hard as it sounds – it’s just a bit time-consuming is all. But if you make a huge batch of it in one go, then you’ve got yourself the base for almost all of your DIY beauty and baby products to last you for quite a few months. So today, I’m going to show you how to make your own Infused Chamomile and Calendula Jojoba Oil.
Why I chose Chamomile and Calendula:
Chamomile (Matricaria Recutita) is soothing and anti-inflammatory. This herb is great for rashes and cuts, eczema and burns. You can also infuse the herbs into a tea (which I am sure we are all familiar with) for it’s soothing and relaxing properties. In addition, when taken internally, chamomile can aid colic, cramps, indigestion, fever and insomnia. It is extremely gentle, which makes it a great ingredient when using it on baby’s skin (or adult skin!)
Calendula (Calendula Officinalis), also known as Marigold, is the King Herb for the skin. It is extremely effective in healing wounds and ulcers, blisters, burns, rashes and various external irritations to the skin. This is an herb that should be a staple in any witchy medicine cabinet!
WHAT YOU NEED
1 Glass Jar (Hermetically Sealed – I got mine from IKEA but you can get all fancy shmancy and get those Mason Jars if you wish)
Dried Calendula Flowers and Leaves (Baldwin’s or Woodland Herbs in the UK sell organic ones)
Dried Chamomile Flowers (Baldwin’s or Woodland Herbs)
1 Muslin Cloth for Filtering
1 Litre of Carrier Oil of Choice (I used organic Jojoba Oil as it’s more stable than most oils but Sweet Almond would be wonderful as well)
For the long method, which is what I did, as there’s no boiling involved and I’m lazy, just simply add handfuls of each of the dried herbs into the jar and then pour the oil over top. Because Calendula is fluffy with the flower heads, you can pretty much fill the jar to the top with this herb and then pour the oil in afterwards – it’s really up to you. Close the lid and shake it about or use a wooden spoon and stir the herbs, making sure to get all the air bubbles out and to the surface. You don’t want any of the air bubbles to remain in the oil as oxygen can turn the oil rancid, so stir away or shake away.
Place the thoroughly stirred and air bubble free oil mixture in the sun (if weather permits – I did this in the dead of winter about 2 weeks before the birth of my daughter so had to improvise…) OR you can place right by a heater/radiator for 6 weeks.
Yup – 6 weeks. I told you it was the long method.
Pour oil into a sauce pan along with the herbs.
Bring to a gentle simmer – do not allow the oil to get too hot as the herbs are fragile and this can de-stabilise the medicinal properties of the herbs. I would place the mixture in a glass bowl, then place the glass bowl over a boiling pot of water to gently heat the mixture.
Heat for about an hour, stirring ocassionally.
Cool, place in glass jar, hermetically sealed.
**This method can alter the strength of the Oil Infusion, which is why I prefer the long method – it’s much easier and guarantees you a much more potent oil infusion.
Now you have your Calendula and Chamomile Oil Infusion. Keep in a cool, dark place and use within one year. If it starts to smell rancid, do not use it. Now you have an effective, soothing and gentle oil to use for all your skin, first aid and beauty needs. More recipes to come using this amazing infusion.