When making an infusion it is done by steeping dried plant parts (such as dried leaves, flowers, or powders) in oil or water. Simmering to boiling water is usually used, but cold water may also be used. Making a cups of herbal tea, regular tea or coffee are examples of an infusion. When making an oil infusion we place the dried leaves, flowers, or powders into the oils and let sit until desired extraction is completed. Often the oil may be heated to a more gentle temperature than water might be heated. For oils I suggest heating to 140°F. You may have reasons for heating to higher temperatures or heating to lower temperatures. Infusions are made done to extract properties of the plant material so that we can use them in making toners, soaps, lotions, bath bombs, etc.
When working with your dried materials you may notice that those beautiful dried flowers that you steeped in water came out a fabulous crimson color, yet when you put the same dried flowers into oil the color may be minimal. Why? Solubility is the reason! The color may be water soluble and not fat soluble. The odor is also either water soluble or oil soluble. So, there are reasons to make BOTH water and oil infusions. You get to decide.
When doing a water extraction please remember that you will want to use your infusions within a day or two if kept refrigerated. Any leftover infusions you want to save for a later day can be placed into a zipper bag, or other container, and kept in the freezer. Be sure to write the date and contents of the bag.
I’m going gather all my stuff and meet with you tomorrow for a more detailed how-to and supplies list. Don’t forget your EASY buttons! This is an easy project and once you see all the neat stuff I am making with my infusions, decoctions and tinctures you will wish you had been making your own along the way!