This method allows the herb to steep in the sunlight over a period of time in a traditional manner.
Pros: enables all the constituents of the plant to thoroughly infuse the oil in the most traditional, heat-free and gentle method without the hassle of having to sweat over a pan for hours.
Cons: Though quick to start off, this takes time (1-2 months), and the lack of British sunshine can be inhibitory(though bright days are sufficient)
You will need:
- Good quality oil, such as vegetable or olive oil
- Quantity of fresh herbs, e.g. marigolds, rose petals, thyme, St. Johns Wort etc
- Clear glass Jar or wide mouthed bottle
Fill container half way with herbs and cover with oil, shaking slightly to rid of air bubbles and ensure all plant material is covered. - material sticking out of oil may go mouldy.
Leave in a sunny place and shake slightly every day for at least 2 weeks until the essence of the plant has transferred to the oil. E.g. you will find calendula oil will take on a golden hue, St. Johns Wort will turn a ruby red and rose oil will infuse a deliciously scented pink.
Old herbs can be strained out at this point and replaced with fresh to obtain a stronger oil. This would be the case especially for rose petals. In the British climate numerous changes may be necessary before the oil takes on enough colour and scent.
Strain into a sterilised glass container.
Label and date!