Updated June 26, 2019.
In this week’s article, I’ll discuss how to infuse peppermint leaves into a vegetable oil, and next week I will discuss what I actually did with the infused oil. Enjoy!
What You Will Need for a Plant Infusion
In my book, Authentic Aromatherapy, I describe how to make an infused oil. Basically, you will need the following items to make a plant infusion:
a container for the infusion (such as a Mason jar)
vegetable carrier oil
sunshine – lots of it!
Preparing Peppermint Leaves for an Infusion
I decided to infuse peppermint leaves for this particular infusion in apricot kernel (Prunus armeniaca) oil. I dried the peppermint leaves out for a day or so first to avoid any water moisture “contaminating” the infusion. Personally, I found this worked better for me than previous infusions where I had not let the material dry out first. The process is different to making an essential oil or hydrosol.
I dried out the peppermint leaves by lying them on a sheet of clean tissue paper and leaving them for forty-eight hours. As I live in a dry climate, I found that this worked well; if you live in a damp or humid climate, you might need to take a different approach.
The Process of Infusing Peppermint Leaves in Carrier Oil
After the peppermint leaves were dry, I separated them from the stalk and placed them in a Mason jar. I filled the Mason jar with apricot kernel oil and placed the jar in the sun. For the next two weeks, I put the jar outside in the sun during daylight hours. Sunshine is easy to come by in Arizona, so this process worked very easily for me!
From time to time, I checked on the infusion to see how it was doing. It began to take on a peppermint aroma after a few days. After two weeks, I separated the peppermint leaves from the oil using a kitchen sieve. The oil changed to a slightly green color with a very slight peppermint aroma. I bottled the oil that I was not going to use to make the aromatherapy melts, in order to store it for a future project.
Next week I will discuss how I used the peppermint-infused apricot oil in a recipe for aromatherapy melts.
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About the Author:
The author of this article has a combined 24-year history in the health care and aromatherapy industry. She is UK-certified aromatherapist and a NAHA Certified Professional Aromatherapist®. She is both a published author and editor in aromatherapy, a consultant, custom blend formulator and herbal studies student. She is the author of Authentic Aromatherapy and the current chief editor of the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal. She has taken the online Master Gardener short course series with the University of Oregon. Sharon works from her garden studio in Sedona, Arizona, where she gardens and distills plants from her own aromatic gardens, surrounded by natural fauna and flora on an original pioneer homestead property.