A few weeks ago, I started experimenting with making my first flower infusion at home. First of all, I want to emphasize that this is not aromatherapy practice in its strictest sense (as in the use of essential oils). In addition, you will not learn how to make an essential oil in this post; flower and herb infusions are different to essential oils. However, you might learn a little bit about my successes (and failures) on such a project – and my advice about what I would change the next time I do it!
Flower and Herb Infusions at Home
Making flower and herb infusions at home is a simple aromatherapy project to start, although how you interpret the finer points may be the difference between success and failure .You may have different degrees of success, depending upon your methods, application and your choice of flower or herb.
As an aromatherapist, I am aware that several plants only emit a very small quantity of essential oil and sometimes it takes a vast amount of plant material to successfully extract just the smallest amount of essential oil. Consequently, some essential oils are higher priced than others which are easier to extract. Such essential oils include rose and jasmine, two plants which I chose to use in my flower infusion experiment.
How to Prepare to Make a Flower Infusion
You are going to need a few basic items to get started on your flower infusion project; these are as follows:
container/jar in which to place your fresh plant material – an ideal jar for diffusing plants is a mason jar, as discussed in last Friday’s post
vegetable carrier oil – you will need to choose a suitable vegetable carrier oil base in which to diffuse your plant material. Make sure you choose an oil that is suitable for aromatherapy purposes and not culinary purposes
strainer/sieve – at the end of the diffusion, you will need to separate your plant material from your oil using a strainer/sieve (a regular kitchen sieve will work)
sunshine! Depending upon where you live, this might be easier to come by in some places over others.
To get started on your flower/herb infusion, collect together fresh plant material or dried herbs and place it inside the container/jar. Next, fill up the container/jar with enough oil to cover the plant material. Finally, leave the container/jar in the sunshine for 1 -2 weeks; you can add in more plant material and shake up the jar intermittently.
After 1 – 2 weeks, separate the plant material from the oil by using a sieve/strainer. If your diffusion is successful, your oil should be fragrant ndd possess the therapeutic properties of the plant.
The Outcome of My Flower Infusion
I chose to diffuse jasmine flowers as my first flower infusion, simply because I had this particular plant material in my garden. However, jasmine as an essential oil is difficult to extract, so it should have come as no surprise that my final jasmine infusion was not particularly fragrant (Note that extracting an essential oil is not the same as a plant infusion, I am just comparing the plant’s ability to give up its aroma in general). To try and “spice it up” a bit I tried the same process with fragrant, rose petals, using the same oil; this is technically called a double-infusion.
If you are wanting to make your own flower or herb infusion, I would advise that you perhaps start out with a more reliable and aromatic herb or plant for your infusion. In addition, one mistake I made was not to let my plant material dry out for a day or so, before adding in the oil; apparently dried plant material is preferable as it holds less water than fresh plant material.
Overall, this was a fun experiment to try – and if you are into making your own herb-infused oils for you personal use, it is perhaps a fun place to start. However, I won’t be using any of my own homemade infusions in place of essential oils just yet! Have fun! 🙂