Among the most common forms of preserving herbs is as an oil.
Oils are made from many different plants. The oil absorbs the qualities of the plant from which it is made. It will then impart these qualities to any person or object to which it is applied.
Once made, an oil can be used in many different ways. The oil can be applied to the skin as a cologne, or dabbed on a handkerchief and carried, to bring its metaphysical qualities around a person. Or it can be used to anoint a doorway, a piece of furniture, or added to a floorwash, to bring the oil’s qualities to a home or place of business. The oil can be applied to a wallet, a letter, a sign, or other object, to impart the oil’s qualities to them, increasing their effectiveness or output. In ritual oil is used to dress candles and ritual objects, to anoint participants, and sometimes dropped on hot charcoal as incense.
HOW TO MAKE AN OIL
Good oils are readily available from most metaphysical stores, and from some stores that sell bath products or health foods as well. Commercially available oils are inexpensive, of high quality, and come in almost any variety you could ask for. For these reasons you are best advised to purchase, rather than make oils.
Commercial oils are available both as pure ESSENTIAL OILS -often to strong to use directly on the skin- or as blends -in which the pure essential oil has been diluted with a secondary oil, called a base oil.
If you buy pure essential oils, you will want to dilute them yourself. To do this, fill a small sterilized glass jar with a base oil such as Virgin Olive Oil, Sunflower or Coconut oil, or Jojoba oil. Now add your pure essential oil one drop at a time with an eyedropper or similar instrument, until it reaches the desired strength. Do not stir the oils to mix, but rather swirl the jar in a deosil motion until the oils gently blend. Obviously if the oil is already diluted, this is not necessary.
If however you wish to make your oil by hand, this is the easiest way to do it. Select a base oil just as you would to dilute an oil, Jojoba is recommended because of its staying qualities. Put the base oil in a pan, and add a quantity of the desired herb or herbs to it. Slowly heat the oil and herbs until they are warm, stirring gently. Do not get the oil hot -warm is what you’re going for here. After it is good and warm, remove the mixture from the heat, and let it cool. Repeat this process several times during the course of a day, reducing the plant material farther and farther. When the mixture has cooled for the final time, strain it into a sterilized glass jar and seal.