There are nearly four hundred kinds of plants that are distilled for essential oils. But sometimes it would be nice to be able to use common herbs in your aromatherapy formula or recipes, as long as they are safe to use on your skin. Comfrey is a good example, it is not distilled but it would be good to use in a wound ointment. Also some essential oils are so costly that it is just not practical to use them, rose oil, for example. However, the dried rose petals are not expensive at all, so it would make sense to use rose infused oil. There are two fairly easy ways to use herbs in aromatherapy, by creating an infusion or by creating a hydrosol, both of which can be done in your kitchen.
There are two ways to make herb infusions, one takes weeks to make and the other takes one day.
For both herb infusion methods:
Fill a jar, I use canning jars, with your dried herb. Press it down a little bit. Then fill the jar with olive oil, making sure there is enough oil to cover the herbs. Using a stainless steel table knife work out the bubbles by probing down the side of the jar. Then screw on the lid tightly.
For the slow method some people say to put the jar in the window sill, others say to put it in the dark. It makes sense to me to put it in the dark because sunlight will cause oxidation. Anyway, give it a good shake once a day and leave it sit for 4 to 6 weeks. If you don’t shake it often any herb that happened to be sticking out of the oil will get moldy.
For the quick method, fill a crock pot with water and put a flat canning jar lid (without the ring) in the bottom so that the jar is not sitting directly on the bottom. Put the heat setting on low and the jar in the water. Let it sit for 6 to 8 hours. Shake it a couple times.
Next step is to strain out the dried herb. I use a little coffee press, you can use a cheese cloth or any kind of kitchen gadget that allows for very fine straining.
Then you will have an herb infused oil that you can use in aromatherapy recipes and formulas or use it as a carrier oil when applying essential oils, as long as the plant used is safe for your skin.