Back in 2010 when I lived in Tokyo I had an interesting session with a psychic reader in the streets of Chinatown. The takeaway from this session, was the advice to burn essential oils, and for me her recommendation was both rosemary and sage. Now several years on, as a Naturopath in Australia, an abundance of these herbs grow in my garden.
I must say, if you are a newbie wanting to start your own herbal patch, rosemary is the one to start with. Especially if you live in a temperate climate, as rosemary will thrive. The needle-like leaves and woody stems hold up in high heats not only in the garden but also in your kitchen. Whether it be slow-cooked lamb or accompanying vegetables ( I LOVE rosemary sweet potato & sea salt baked chips).
Sage is a little more difficult to harvest. Make sure it finds a sunny spot in the garden and ensure the soil is dry and drains well. Fresh sage makes an amazing medicinal tea to help menopausal women through hot flashes, night sweats.
As these herbs were growing in excess, I thought it was time to put my manufacturing skills to use and whip up some infused oils. In general, the following instructions would apply for most herbs. I infused rosemary and sage separately, however it would be perfectly fine to combine them.
- Empty glass jar (any size is fine, depending on how much herb you have)
- Fresh herb (in my case rosemary and sage)
- Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil (other oils are fine, I find olive stable at higher temps with lovely nourishing properties)
- Muslin cloth (try Lincraft)
- Brown paperbag (like those ones you would write your lunch order on)
- Bowl (after infusing)
- Remove leaves from the twigs
- Wash and dry the leaves
- Tightly pack leaves into a glass jar until it is completely full
- Pour olive oil into jar and fill to top. Ensure it covers the herb
- Screw lid on tightly
- Place in a brown paperbag and write the date on it
- Place on a windowsill for 3-4 weeks, shaking every 2-3 days
- After 4 weeks, the oil will have a greenish tinge
- Place muslin cloth over bowl, and pour oil over, straining the herb
- Squeeze muslin cloth with herb to gain excess oil
- Pour strained oil back into jar and discard herb remnants
- Leave oil to sit for a couple of days and watch to see if water rises to the top. If so, carefully decant
- The oil is done!
What can they be used for?
Rosemary Infused Oil
Rosemary (Romarinus officinalis) contains compounds known to relax smooth muscle in digestive tract and increase concentration. Topically the infused oil may be useful to:
- Improve circulatory weakness and relieve muscle weakness (massage the oil into sore muscles)
- Prevent hair from thinning (massage into scalp)
- Stimulate the mind and memory (just smell and your senses will be stimulated)
- Relieve headaches and migraines (rub onto the temples)
Sage Infused Oil
Sage (Salvia officinalis) has been used in remedies for thousands of years. It is best known for treating colds and coughs by loosening the mucous in the upper respiratory tract. The topical infused oil may be useful in:
- Preventing grey hair (interesting…massage into roots)