(My jars of steeped lavender flowers just itching to be made into massage oil.)
I FINALLY got around to pressing out my herbs to make my massage oil (just in time for christmas presents)! I used to do this on a regular basis, but since I became a mom it has not been on the top of the list of things to do.
I have made oils from a number of plants, but the ones I go back to frequently are Lavender, St. John's Wort (wonderful for strained muscles and depression) and Calendula (great for any skin conditions as it's filled with vitamin E).
In brief, here's a quick outline of my oil making process, . . .
When you clip your flowers, be nice to them, don't butcher the plant, take what you need and that's it. Dampen flowers in a bit of pure grain alcohol or (90 proof vodka if you don't have the other) and place in a large jar. Poor in organic olive oil just so oil covers the top of the flowers. Clean a river rock and place it in the jar over the flowers so that the flowers stay pressed into the jar. Leave jars for a few months in a dark place.
When the jars are ready strain oil into a ceramic (heatable) pot being sure to keep plant material out of oil. Heat oil on low heat to burn off alcohol, you know your finished when the smell of alcohol disappears. Slowly pour oil into an appropriate jar. Sometimes you will notice a fluid collecting underneath the oil after it has been heated, try to avoid adding this to the jar. Let jars cool and add a few drops of benzoin to preserve. When you're ready to give some away, find a nice container to pour it in and jazz it up with some pretty ribbon!
(Now, . . . go get yourself a massage you deserve it!)