Thursday, March 3, 2011

Challenge #7: Oil Infusions

Well it took me a little longer to get on with this challenge. You see I ran into a little problem in the fact I was not quite sure how I was going to wing it. I did not have any spare jars that I could use outside for weeks, or a double boiler OR a small crock pot.

I finally got out to the shops and saw this little mini (sort of crock pot) fondue pot and after deliberating with the shop assistant over whether it would work or not, brought it! It only has one setting so she assured me it would work fine.

My next obstacle was arguing with my youngest child over WHO got to use it first. He came running armed with a bag of cooking chocolate ready to go! LOL It is after all a chocholate fondue set and came along with all the trimmings and chocolate molds as well. He was just a little bit excited! As you can see, I won this time and he got to make a cake with chocolate icing instead.

I opted to just chop the leaves as I  did not want to make it too strong. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I would use the actual oil for and ended up leaving it in the pot for around 16 hours turned on. It was warm but not hot so I began to wonder if it actually worked or not. Does it need to get really hot or boil using this method? This is the very first oil I have ever made so I was not too sure. I opted to leave it there for longer but turned it off.

The smell was more like the virgin olive oil I used than Tansy, although the kids said they could smell it. Maybe I am too used to the smell now that it does not seem as strong?

Anyway, when my husband came in from surfing this morning, he had injured his leg. Thinking it was a pulled muscle he tried some tiger balm but an hour later it felt worse. I happened to think about my oil sitting there waiting to be strained, wondering if it was ready, and him whinging for a massage when I remember reading that Tansy was good for Rheumatism, well what the heck I thought, lets give it a go. So I scooped some out, did not tell him anything and went ahead and massaged his leg with the oil.

He felt better and went out again in the afternoon only to have it get worse. Once again I massaged it with the oil and he got up and said it felt much better. Not sure if it was the oil or the massage but he is asking for just one more before he goes to sleep tonight in hopes it will be better by morning. So this batch of Tansy oil will be set aside just for sore muscles etc.

I am thinking I will not make much in the way of Tansy oil, with all the vinegars, tinctures and such I don't want to have an overload that won't get used. I will however try to make some oils outdoors with other herbs.

I have started one lot of seeds this week and plan to start some more tomorrow. I plan to give some away if I end up with too many plants. Our small yard currently has Tansy in every stage of growth here. I am planning on starting the second lot with a different soil to see if it bears any difference.

Herby hugs all round xoxoxoxxo


  1. haha, i love it! fighting over the fondue pot. :)

    that's a perfect pot! there's no need to boil, in fact, boiling is bad when it comes to oil infusions. you just need to gently heat the oil so the plant material will release its medicine. you could have left it in longer, jim mcdonald says he leaves his in the crockpot for 1 week. sun infusions are generally left out for 2 weeks but that usually alternates between warm and cool which is not always a good thing.

    watch for any water to settle to the bottom since you used fresh tansy. tansy's not a hugely moist herb so you probably won't have a problem with it but just in case!

    it's fun to play with herbs and test them out to see if they work...keep us updated on anything else you try it out on!


  2. Very nice share, Karisma xx I am laughing here, about your youngest:) Any day with cake and oil infused tansy just has to have been an awesome day:) Please keep us informed on any further thoughts on it, as you work with it this year:) big hugs and much love xx Oh and super excited for you that this is your very first oil! That is so cool:)

  3. Thanks, I was pretty excited too and it has come in handy as a lovely massage oil. :-)

    My boy has finally had his turn with the chocolate melting and had a ball dipping marshmallows and fresh fruit in it. So sickly thought. I ended up removing the rest as he made a full pot and turning it into a chocolate brownie for later.

  4. It is a lovely oil. I like to make small batches to begin with to see how often I use them as well.

    I have experimented with many ways to make them. I don't like my crockpot, I think it gets too hot, even on warm. I have to say that putting them in a sunny window is nice as long as you cover them at night to keep the heat in. I have also tried keeping mine on my hot water heater and it seems to make a very nice oil. Have fun with the chocolate dipping, my children would be jealous.

  5. Stephany, the fondue pot does not even really get hot, it was just got really warm. My big crock pot boils even on low setting too! I guess because they are more for cooking not melting. I am planning to try the outdoors oils but the weather is so unpredictable and I don't want to waste the oil. We are having some really hot days followed by cold ones! Crazy!