Summer has always been my favorite season. I just love the warmth of the sun, the gardens that come alive, the meadows that fill with wild flowers, birds, and butterflies, and the farmers markets that offer the best of the summer growing season.
I enjoy tending my herb gardens as well as the perennial and cut flower gardens. My favorite garden is the one in the front of my house where I have lots of lavender and other beautiful plants.
I spend ten minutes sitting near this garden each morning admiring the lavender and the other plants before heading off to anywhere. Their sweet, heavenly smells and beautiful colors bring a pleasant greeting to my day. There’s usually always a hummingbird that whisks by for a quick hello and to enjoy a breakfast of sweet nectar.
Making Plant Infused Oils
During the summer months, I find myself busy picking flowers and herbs to make tinctures and infused plant oils. I try to mix things up each year and pick different plants for my oils and tinctures. This gives me an opportunity to experiment with different plant infused oils and to keep a good sampling of tinctures in my herbal medicine cabinet.
There is one exception to this however, and that is my favorite infused oil that I make year after year, which is a lavender infused oil I call “Heaven in a Bottle” because the smell is so, well, heavenly. It smells just like the plant itself and surprisingly much like the essential oil.
Once the infused oil is ready I use it by itself after a refreshing summer shower when I come home from the beach or I use it as a base for other beautiful skin care products such as body scrubs, salves, and lip balms. Lavender infused oil is also great to use on bug bites, sunburnt skin, and other skin rashes, so I love having it around the house in summertime.
Since lavender is a sociable plant, it lends itself to blending nicely with essential oils, such as lemon essential oil for a nice uplifting après sun and beach oil for your skin. Rose essential oil is another good choice for a beautiful and relaxing treat. The sweet and delicate essence of rose makes it a nice choice for moisturizing the skin and for its relaxing, mood enhancing qualities. If you have trouble sleeping, try adding rose essential oil to the lavender infused oil before you head off to bed.
There’s nothing like creating a beautiful, “Heaven in a Bottle” plant infused oil for pampering yourself! If it isn’t the right time of year for fresh lavender, try it with dried lavender flowers.
Heaven in a Bottle
Fresh lavender flowers just about to open
- Pick lavender flowers just before they’re about to open and place them in a sterile, dry, clean jar.
- Cover the flowers entirely with the base oil of your choice.
- Make sure no flowers or stems are sticking out of the oil as this may lead to mold.
- Cover and leave in a sunny window for up to two weeks (use a dark colored bottle or place in a paper bag).
- Decant by placing some cheesecloth into a funnel and pouring the infused oil into either a glass measuring cup or directly into a glass bottle, either amber, blue, or clear. I usually use a dropper as the cover because there’s less spilling as you use it.
Heavenly Body Sugar Scrub
- Mix together ingredients in a bowl then transfer to a nice jar.
- Add a bit more oil if needed.
- For a scoop, I use a nice scallop shell or other pretty shell from the beach.
- When you’re ready to use your scrub, scoop some onto the scallop shell and bring this into the shower with you. This prevents extra water from getting into your scrub jar and extra oil spilling onto the shower floor.
What will your “Heaven in a Bottle” be? Have a look in your yard and allow yourself to be drawn to a flower and enjoy the experience!
This article was written by Donna Onacki, who has been working with herbs for most of her life and is a Clinical Herbal Apprentice and Certified in Aromatherapy. She has taught many workshops on aromatherapy and enjoys sharing what she knows and has learned with others. Donna is the treasurer for the Herbal Community of Central Massachusetts and is a Financial Recovery Counselor and Coach at Pot of Gold.