What is an Infused Oil?

What is an Infused Oil?

Oct 30th 2017

We were so excited about our Infused Oil Collection I just wanted to spend a few minutes discussing the differences between an infused oil and essential oil.

Image result for steam distillation apparatus for essential oilsEssential oils are extracted, making these oils more potent, concentrated, and expensive. "During distillation the plant material is placed upon a grid inside a still. Once inside, the still is sealed, and, depending upon the above methods, steam or water/steam slowly breaks through the plant material to remove its volatile constituents. These volatile constituents rise upward through a connecting pipe that leads them into a condenser. The condenser cools the rising vapor back into liquid form. The liquid is then collected in a vehicle below the condenser. Since water and essential oil do not mix, the essential oil will be found on the surface of the water where it is siphoned off."*

Essential oils are highly aromatic, volatile plant oils that are  used in aromatherapy. They tend to evaporate or volatilize fairly easily at moderate temperatures. It is this volatility that allows the scent to reach your olfactory system and be perceived as fragrant.  Essential oils are inhaled, used in room diffusers, applied topically when properly diuted and in some instances under the proper care of a naturopath who is trained to do so, taken internally. 

Infused oils are created when plant matter is soaked (or infused) within an oil base. Fresh or dried herbs are added to a carrier oil and then gently and slowly heated for an extended period of time to extract the scents, flavors and medicinal properties of the plants.  Common carrier oils used are jojoba, olive oil and sweet almond oil.  All have wonderful, nourishing properties of their own and when infused with the herbs, beautifully soothing.  

Herbs like Arnica, Calendula and St. John's Wort are very common herbs that are infused for their pain relief, bruising, injury to muscles and assistance with inflammation.  Lavender for sunburns, burns, headaches and simply worn as a light perfume for relaxation.  Dandelion for it's analgesic properties.  Mountain Rose Herbs shares a list of herbs that can be used for infusion as well as their theraputic properties.  

Infused oils are at the heart of many healing salves, ointments, shampoos and essential oil blends. Or used simply as a soft perfume or a beautiful massage oil.  Two of the favorites in our Infused Oil Collection are Frankincense Resin Infused Oil, a beautiful synergy of Royal Hojari Frankincense Resin ground and gently heat infused in Sweet Almond Oil. The scent is intoxicating and wonderful for stress and anxiety and especially during prayer and meditation.  

Or our Vanilla Infused Oil, a blending of Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans in Sweet Almond Oil. This incredibly scented oil is soft, relaxing and sensual. As one of the most accessible scents available, vanilla is a wondrous assist for chronic stress and anxiety. It helps relax the body and uplifts the mood. The Mayan, Aztec Indians and Spaniards used it as an aphrodisiac.

I'm looking forward to sharing our entire Infused Oil Collection with you.  These soft and beautiful oils deserve a special place in your home apothecary!

As Always, Be Well!