Students spent Monday and Tuesday of this week learning about, and making medicinals out of a wide variety of wild plant species. We spent Monday working with oils, and infusing them with the medicinal properties of the herbs we used.
From left to right, (above) students infused Thyme, Lavender, St. John’s Wort, and Lemon. Both Thyme and Lavender are “hot” infusions, with the herbs being cooked over a double boiler for 3 hours, before being strained and jarred. The two on the right (St. John’s Wort and Lemon) are “cold” infusions, necessitating the herb remaining in the oil for upwards of two weeks.
Infused oils can be used medicinally as additives to massage oils, an aromatherapeutic addition to a bath, a topical remedy for headaches and other sprains, strains and wounds.
Tuesday was spent on creams and ointments, topical remedies for a wide range of skin maladies. Students used Cayenne Pepper, Lemon Balm, Comfrey, Orange, and Sage. Using techniques similar to infusing oils, students added herbs to a base (Glycerine and an emulsifier for creams, and petroleum jelly or parrafin wax for ointments), simmered over a double boiler, strained the mixture through cheesecloth and bottled the result.