Infused herbal oils can be made in several ways and are almost always for external use only. Most people prefer olive oil as a base although others like mineral or almond oil. Dried herbs are used because the fresh herbs still contain too much moisture.

The first method is very easy but takes a long time. Put one cup of dried herbs in a glass (not metal) container. Pour two cups of oil over the herbs. Cover this with a tight fitting lid and then place the container in a paper bag and set somewhere with good sunlight. Let sit of 1 or 2 weeks. Strain the herbs and add about one cup more of the dried herbs and to the oil. If you need to, add some more oil to cover the herbs. Replace the container in a sunny space for another 1 or 2 weeks.

Another method is to combine two cups of oil and one cup of dried herbs in a crock pot or slow cooker. Place this at it lowest setting and cover it. Let the mixture simmer for 4 to 6 hours. The oil should start to change color to that of the herb. In most cases you should also start to smell the herb.

The last way that I know to make an infused oil is to combine two cups of oil with one cup of dried herbs in a stainless steel, well enameled, or glass pot. Put on the stove at a low heat and watch it so that the oil does not burn. Heat this for thirty minutes to an hour and watch for it to change color like in the other method.

After you have completed any of the above methods, strain the herbs out of the oil and place in a storage container. Dark glass bottles are best. Several sources recommend taking the liquid from a vitamin E gel cap and adding it to better preserve the infusion.

Be sure that you label and date your infusion - they all start to look alike before long.

It might also be noted that you can soak the herbs in isopropyl alcohol for a few hours (I left it overnight). Then drain off the alcohol and let much of the rest evaporate - once you have a thick sludge in the bowl, mix in the carrier oil of your choice (I use Jojoba).

I used this method to extract the scent of this rich pipe tobacco called 'Black Bear' which has a rich, pungent, currant-y smell to it. It makes a great perfume on it's own, or as the bottom note of a blend.

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