Essential oils from the Garden.

If you want to know which essential oils you can use from your garden by infusing the leaves or flowers in oil, just go out there and notice which ones have a distinctive scent. Rose petals, lavender, Bay, the other culinary herbs, Southern Wood and many others can be used. I fill a glass jar with whichever oil I am going to use and then pour oil into the jar and leave it on a sunny windowsill  for about four weeks. You will find that some oils are quicker than others and the size of the jar you use will depend on how much you are likely to use the particular infused oil as well as how much of the plant is available. – I could easily fill a gallon jar with bay leaves, a good sized Kilner jar with Lavender and slightly smaller jars with lemon balm and smaller still for some others.

The advantage of this is that the oil does not have to be heated as in the distillation process. The disadvantage is that the shelf life will be much shorter and with  a few exceptions such as Laurel (bay leaves) and Rosemary most are not available all year round.

So why not enjoy the therapeutic benefits of essential oils fresh from your garden where you don’t have to rely on certification by the soil association or other body to guarantee that chemicals have not been used in producing your oil?

Don’t forget to also use your herbs in cooking.  You get many of the therapeutic benefits that way as well, especially the benefits to the digestive system.