Green Houses for That Healing Touch

As near as I can tell, there are two main reasons why people choose the plants for their garden. Asthetic value and practicality. Of course, the third reason is the one that I usually end up going with. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

If you happen to be a “good idea at the time” gardener like me, then there is a good chance at some point you’ve ended up with a plant in your garden that’s doing incredibly well that you don’t seem to have any purpose for. A lot of herbs usually end up in this category. After all, Sage is a very interesting herb and relatively easy to grow, but how often do you use it in your cooking? Lavender is kind of pretty, but are you getting the full potential from your lavender?

In the spirit of rationalizing choices and events that didn’t have a rational explanation when they happened, I’ve learned how to do some pretty interesting things and I thought that I would share them with you.

Today’s blog post is about making Massage Oil. Now, some of the most common scents for massage oil are the more relaxing and soothing ones. Lavender and mint both work perfectly for this. However, did you know that cinammon massage oil will actually increase temperature during a massage? This is particularly useful for inflamation of the joints and muscle strains. Imagine getting a foot massage with warming massage oil. I’ll bet your toes are almost tingling with anticipation.

Before making your massage oil, it’s a good idea to research which types of herbs you want to use and why. Aside from having beautiful or relaxing scents, some herbs have medicinal properties and some, like the cinnamon, will have added perks. Choice of your base oil is also important. I usually use grapeseed oil, because it’s easily accessible and good for your skin. I used to use baby oil, but I find the grapeseed oil just works better. It generally lasts longer and seems to me to absorb the essential oils of the herbs better.

There are two ways to make massage oil. Sun infusion and heat infusion. I’ll briefly explain the process of each below;

  • Sun infusion involves slowly releasing the essential oils from your herbs by placing them in direct sunlight in a clear glass jar or bottle of oil. You would keep them in the sun for about a week, slowly mixing the ingredients once a day. At the end of the week, strain your oil through a cheesecloth to remove the herbs and see how it smells. If it’s too strong, place it back in the jar with more oil and no herbs, then mix until it smells right. If it’s too weak, place it back in the jar with fresh herbs and leave in the sun for another week.
  • Heat infusion involves quickly releasing the essential oils from your herbs by placing them in a pot of oil and heating it. A double boiler is recommended for this, because the oil will burn easily. Place the herbs and oil into the top of the double boiler and fill the bottom with water. Boil the water on the stove and remove from heat when it is at a rapid boil. Place the oil over top and stir as the oil heats up. When the double boiler cools to room temperature you can strain your oil through a cheesecloth and see how it smells. If it’s too strong add more oil and mix it until it smells right. If it’s too weak reheat the water, remove from heat, and “cook” the oil and herbs again, stirring until it becomes cool again.

Now, these are very simplified instructions, but that’s really all you would need to know. Mostly knowledge comes from first hand experience, so try it out every now and then. Practise makes perfect.

Try to keep in mind that you won’t end up with the perfect massage oil every time. In fact, I’ve made some pretty awful ones while I was still trying things out. In fact, I still make some pretty awful ones when a crazy idea gets into my head to try plants I’ve never used before. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of horsetail before, but it has a very strong scent in massage oil. Just try to keep in mind, as people we discover through touch.

If you want to get to know me better, check out my livejournal. Or check out my website for loads of information and reviews on hardscaping products to meet your every need.

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