Wendy studied psychology in Scotland and worked at the Stirling Rape Crisis Center before moving to France in 2005.
Making Macerated Oils
Macerated Oils to Heal the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit.
There has been a lot said about macerated oils which are vegetable oils to which other ingredients such as herbs, spices and flowers, have been added. In here, I am going to concentrate on how to make macerated oils with the purpose of healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit.
I have been using macerated oils for years. I remember using them when I was first pregnant more than 20 years ago ! But at the time it didn't really interested me how they were made or how they could have supported my entire pregnancy. I simply used them to avoid stretch marks and to massage my baby when she was born.
My interest in macerated oils came back to light a couple of years ago when I started studying aromatherapy. Litle by little I discovered the richness of using essential oils for all sorts of conditions. Then it came the floral waters and the vegetable oils with its macerated varieties. With time I became more and more curious about this new world opening in front of me and a simple curiosity became a passion for using natural sources to heal the body, mind and spirit.
This spring my passion took me to my garden where I started studying the plants and flowers that I could find there and very timidly I started preparing my own macerated oils, herbal teas and floral elixirs using Dr. Bach's method. The results have been very encouraging.
Preparing a Floral Elixir
What is a Macerated Oil ?
First of all lets make sure that we are clear about this, a macerated oil is a base oil with herbs, flowers or spices steeped into it for a few weeks in order to extract the molecules and the qualities of that plant into the oil. I would go further and say that we extract the soul of the plant as we take not only the active molecules, but also its intrinsic vibration.
I used macerated oils as an essential part of the Women's circles I hold in my farm in France. Here women learn among other things, how to make their own preparations to support them in their healing journey. Thus, making a macerated oil becomes more than just creating a massage oil, or an ingredient for other preparations, it becomes learning about the qualities of the plants used, their imagery and their connection to me medicine of Mother Earth.
How to Make a Macerated Oil
There are several ways to prepare a macerated oil. I am going to show you the easiest way, the one we use at the farm to prepare small batches.
First of all you will need to choose your oil. Different oils have different qualities. If your choice is limited you can choose from vegetable oils such as oilve oil, sunflower oil, or sweet almond oil.
Choosing Your Base Oil
If your budget allows you, you can choose something more specific such us :
- Jojoba Oil : used for for acne, psoriasis, sunburn, and chapped skin. It is a good choice as it is easy to work with.
- Almond Oil : Increases skin’s moisture level by limiting evaporation as it is rich in Vitamin E and other nutrient rich lipids.
- Rosehip Oil : promotes healthy vibrant skin. It's enriched with omega-3, omega-6, and other fatty acids. These vitamins help nourish your skin and slow down the aging process.Helps clearing up scars, lightening freckles, prevents acne, reduce puffiness, removes dark circles under your eyes, and so much more!
- Sesame oil : has anti-inflammatory properties and has always been used as an alternative medicine in many parts of Asia.
- Apricot Kernel Oil : great for use as a massage oil as it is very light and makes the skin soft. It is readily absorbed without leaving a greasy residue. To use If you tend to experience dry, itchy skin
- Avocado Oil: In addition to vitamin E, avocado oil contains potassium, lecithin, and many other nutrients that can nourish and moisturize the skin which easily absorbs these nutrients
The above are just some examples, the most important thing is to always try to use 100% organic oils. Go for cold pressed oils, unrefined and without additives.
What herbs to Macerate ?
You can macerate almost any herb you want. You can choose between dry or fresh herbs and flowers.
Dry flowers are easier to work with as they have not humidity. Generally the use of the dry plant or flower is preferable because it avoids the risks of rancidity or bacterial growth due to the presence of water.
However I prefer to use fresh flowers and herbs as they still have the « soul » of the plant. Normally, I would go to the garden or the forest near the farm and pick the herbs and flowers that I need. It is best to collect them late in the morning when they are dry but before the strong sun of midday. Once at home I leave them on a garden table for a couple of hours so the wild life in them can safely find another home before I use the herbs. After that, I separate the good from the bad and leave them to dry for the rest of the day to try to eliminate as much humidity as possible from them. You can leave them to dry over a cloth or paper towel for 4-5 hours or until it has lost half its weight.
Preparing your Macerated Oil
When your herbs are ready to be worked with, start feeling previously cleaned and dried glass jars with the flowers and herbs, either one herb per jar or a mixture of herbs and flowers.
Once the jars are filled, you just need to pour the oil over your plants, make sure that all of the plant material is covered by the oil. and hermetically close your jars.
Some oils are more vulnerable to rancidity than others – so it is a good idea to include 0.5 – 1.0% of Vitamin E oil in your maceration before you start. Vitamin E, is a powerful antioxidant and can help stop your oils from going rancid too quickly. You will know when your oil goes rancid, because it will start to smell strange and look cloudy.
I like to consagrate my macerated oils to the Moon energy, which means that I ask the Moon -la Abuela Luna- to "energize" my preparation just leaving the jars closed bathing on the moonlight during the full Moon.
The next morning bring your jars in and keep them in a cupboard, away from direct sunlight, for at least one month. Remember to gently stir or shake the mixture every day. If you stir the mixture regularly, then you will encourage the transfer of the oil-soluble chemicals in the plant into the maceration – and create a more potent therapeutic blend.
After a month you can filter and bottle your macerate oil.
Do not forget to label the contents and date of preparation.
Organic Rosehip Seed Oil, 100% Pure to Macerate Herbs
Preparing a Macerated Oil
You can use your macerated oils for cooking, massaging, making ointments and many other preparations.
If you are strict about quantities you can use :
- 250 grams of dry plant or
- 750 grams of fresh plant for
- 500 ml of organic vegetable oil or in any case enough oil to completely cover the plant material.
Personally I like to experiment and play with the different herbs.
Best Herbs to Use in Maceration
What Herbs to Macerate
Consider using any of the following plants:
- Calendula (marigold) petals, known for its soothing, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and cicatrizing properties. It can later be used to prepare healing balms. It can be used on bedsores, bruises, ulcers, wounds and varicose veins, It is also effective on eczema, dermatitis, rashes and cracked skin.
- St. John’s Wort, used historically for the topical treatment of bruises and mild burns – and to speed wound healing.
- Arnica (Arnica Montana): It is beneficial to the circulatory system and can be used for tired hearts and coronary artery disease. It is best known for its ability to help bruising and pain.
- Hypericum flowers (Hypericum perforatum) an anti-inflammatory, it can be useful for treating sciatica and fibrositis. It is also useful on wounds with nerve tissue damage and is effective on sprains, burns and bruises.
- Lavender flowers (Lavendula angustifolia) is calming. Its fresh scent with anti-microbial effects, soothes and calms skin.
- Rosemary leaves and stalks, are invigorating, great for muscles aches and pains.
Chamomile flowers – calming soothing, helpful for eczema and sensitive skin.
This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2022 Wendy Iturrizaga