Infusing Oils for Physical and Emotional Pain Pain is a difficult subject to understand and even more difficult to gauge on others as we each have out own individual tolerance to it. What may be described as a level 5 pain for one might be a 7 or 8 for another. There is no way for us to truly relate to the pain of another so I advise you to try out different remedies and see what works best for you. Pain can be debilitating, it can keep us from doing our normal day to day activities, it can keep us locked to our chairs or our beds and for some of us it can even make us angry and not so enjoyable to be around. We have all experienced physical pain at one time or another, but less often we talk about the heaviness of trauma and feelings of pain emotionally. These are just as real as those physical effects and sometimes can be the root and primary cause of those annoying ailments. In the following, I mention various ways you can infuse oils with herbs for ailments-- whether it be muscle tension, nerve pain or a heaviness on the heart. Once you have infused an oil into herbal medicine there is so much more you can do with it, I encourage you to play around and see what vibes with you best! How to Make an Infused Oil- The oil is your base. There are many kinds of oils you can use and each will have its own benefits to offer. When I am making skin care products I tend to lean towards apricot and grapeseed oil, but when infusing oils for topical use or to add into a salve: olive oil for the win! It's accessible and inexpensive, just make sure you use extra virgin and organic! Oven Method- My favorite method is in the oven. To do this you will need a glass dish (that is oven safe) your herbs or plant material and an oven- thats it! Add your herbs to your glass dish and cover with oil. You want to make sure all of your plant matter is completely submersed into the oil and there is a bit of excess oil over top as well. Turn your oven to the lowest temperature and cook for a minimum of 4 hours. I peek at mine every so often and give it a bit of a stir with a chopstick or any kind of non metal stirring device. Your oil may take on a color or smell of the plan, but not always so don't worry if this doesn't happen. When working with fresh plant material versus dry you will see a bit of a difference. Once you feel your oil is ready remove from the oven. You can either let it cool and strain out plant material or let the oil sit overnight and drain in the morning for a little extra infusing. Crock Pot- Crock pot is the same method as above, but requires a more frequent stir. This method is good when making a lot of oil at once. If you find that even on the lowest setting your oil is getting rather hot (bubbling or boiling) turn off heat and allow oil to just sit in crock pot. *You don't want to overheat your plant friends! Solar Infusion- If you have more time this is a beautiful method! Add your herbs to a mason jar or any type of jar as long as it has a tight fitting lid. Cover with oil and place jar in a window sill that gets plenty of sunlight for 3 weeks or so. After that time, strain and enjoy. I like to shake mine from time to time and whisper sweet things to it as well! :) Now you have oil! Hooray!! How to use- For quick relief from muscle tension and physical pain I love to just use oil directly on my skin, you can even cover the area in oil and apply a heating pad on top for extra stimulation. Poplar Oil is my favorite used in this way. You can also add your oil to a bath which is a great way to allow your body to soften and receive the nourishment of the plants. If you have used olive oil for your base go ahead and you this in your salad dressing or atop any dish of you liking. I like to use the plants both internally, externally and energetically (which we will talk about in other articles) so try many forms of inviting these into your regimen and see what works for you. Salves! Now you have this amazing infused oil there is so much more you can do with it. Making it into a salve is an easy way to transport it so you can take it with you to work or while traveling. Which plants to use- We all have specific plants that relate to us and work with us better than others. Below are a few of my favorites and ones I’ve seen great results for myself and others as well, but again these are just a few!!! Explore, create and play. Its amazing the way certain flowers, trees and shrubs speak to us in unique ways. Arnica- great for bruising, sprains, and healing of the skin! We also offer our own version of Arnica Infused Oil. *It’s important to note you will want to use fresh Arnica for infusing and I would stick to externally use for this oil. Internal Arnica products come in many forms, but your oil I would keep for external use only! Poplar- one of my all time favorites! Poplar oil takes much longer to infuse and I’ve even taken a few days using the oven method to get out all the resin from those buds. Poplar has a sweet and earthy smell that alone gives comfort to the mind and body, especially if you have spent any time in the Pacific Northwest! Poplar is great for muscle tension, torn ligaments, joint pain, arthritis and inflammation. Check out our in-house made Poplar Infused Oil for quick fix while you wait for your batch to finish! St. Johns Wort- Spectacular for burns and cuts. Also excellence for nerve pain specifically related to shingles! Combine with Lemon Balm for a nerve pain remedy that is out of this world. With our physical body we often tend to see results pretty quickly, our heart however requires patience and tender loving care. A comforting and supportive blend I recommend for emotional support is: Rose, Lavender, and Hawthorne. Try using any of these individually or all together, they are good friends and allies for those long lonely winters or those days where just getting out of bed seems a challenge. Toss them in the bath and enjoy a nice escape from reality. To all my lovelies out there suffering from pain-- physical or emotional, remember help can be found! There are many plants that want to stay by your side and help you overcome this discomfort. Oils are just one way to make your medicine and use it as you will, but feel free to email, call, or our favorite-- visit us at the Shoppe for more suggestions and remedies, we'd love to visit with you! Thank you for reading and may relief be on its way to those in need!