Naturopathic Oil Blends for Winter Wellness Gifts

Sunday, 30 June 2019 9:42:00 am Pacific/Auckland

Our Naturopath Kate lets us in on a few of her favourite DIY gifting oil infusion formulas to try at home!

During winter months it is common to experience drying out of the skin on our lips, face and larger body areas. But why is this when there is often more moisture and dampness during cooler months? When humidity drops, the moisture in our skin tends to evaporate quicker than it does in warmer seasons. Additionally, as our sweat and oil glands are less active during winter the skin barrier can become compromised. Continual fluctuations between cool outside temperatures and warmer indoors can also contribute to changes in skin hydration and texture.

Body oils are a wonderfully simple solution to winter skin woes that you can make at home, requiring a few commonly sourced ingredients and time. Infusing oils with medicinal herbs is a sure way to fire up the overall therapeutic benefit as many help repair, protect and nourish the skin. 

Below are guidelines to making your own infused herbal body oils that will act as a nourishing cocoon during the winter months, encouraging soft, supple and hydrated skin. 

Begin by identifying which herbs will best suit your skin's needs. Dried herbs are best for oil infusions as the moisture from fresh herbs can damage the quality of the base oil and can readily cause the growth of mould. If using fresh herbs from your home garden, ensure they are wilted overnight or dried in a hot water cupboard. A number of herbs are heroes for the skin and include:

  • Calendula: anti-inflammatory, encourages tissue regeneration, anti-microbial, strengthening and protective against the elements, gentle and nurturing for babies' delicate skin. 
  • Chamomile: anti-inflammatory, soothing for irritation and itchy-ness, gentle and nurturing for babies' delicate skin. Calming to the mind and encourages relaxation.  
  • Rose (flower):  high in antioxidants, combat signs of aging and wrinkles, supports healthy circulation. A floral scent for harmonizing body and mind, soothing. 
  • Rosemary: strong antioxidant action, tonifying, excellent circulatory stimulant, eases pain from stiff, tired muscles, strengthening and regenerating. Enlivens the mind encouraging focus and clarity.
  • Lavender: soothing and comforting to body and mind, encourages relaxation. A calming aroma to ease mental tension, anxiety, irritability, anger, and sensitivity.

Choosing a suitable carrier oil is next. Where possible choose a high quality, cold pressed oil as they retain most of the skin supportive benefits. There are many carrier oils to consider, a few of the most common are below: 

  • Sweet almond oil: a popular all-purpose oil which is excellent for soothing dry and irritated skin. Rich in linoleic and oleic essential fatty acids (EFAs), minerals and vitamins for optimal skin nourishment. 
  • Olive oil: an oil which boasts nourishing and restoring effects to the skin (and hair). Olive oils are high in oleic acid making it a stable oil and is less affected by heat and light. 
  • Sesame oil: is a deeply penetrating, non-greasy oil which has been used since the time of ancient Egyptians. It is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine where it is prized for its ability to cleanse wounds and bring softness and moisturization to the skin. Sesame oil contains omega 3 EFAs as well as being a rich source of vitamins and minerals. 
  • Hemp seed oil: a vitamin and mineral-rich oil which is anti-inflammatory and ultra-nourishing to the skin. Being a great source of EFAs, Hemp seed oil is a useful support to many types of skin conditions such as dermatitis.  

Other oils great for infusing and lathering include coconut oil (fractionated/MCT is easiest to work with as remains liquid), apricot kernel oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, and macadamia oil. 

Once you have decided on which herbs and oils you will use, follow this step by step process to infuse everything together. 

  1. Fill a clean and dry jar with chosen dried and chopped plant material. 
  2. Completely cover plant material with chosen oil/s. 

*adding contents of one vitamin E oil capsule at this step will help naturally preserve the oil.

  1. Remove all air bubbles by gently tapping the jar and tighten on the lid. If needed add more oil to fill to the top of the jar. 
  2. Leave the jar in a dark and warm place for 4-6 weeks. 
  3. Strain contents through muslin into another clean and dry jar. 
  4. Leave for a further week to allow sediment to settle.
  5. Strain again through muslin. 
  6. Label and store in a dark amber bottle. 
  7. Apply generously and welcome wonderfully soft skin!

Here are a few favorite formulas:

Chamomile & Calendula 
Sensitive, cracked, irritated, baby skin types.

Herbal Ingredients: 
Dried organic Calendula flower and dried organic Chamomile flower

Carrier oils:
Organic Sweet Almond and sesame oil (approx 80:20 ratio).

Antioxidant:
Vitamin E oil (contents of 1 capsule or approx 1% of total formula).

Rose & Hemp
Sensitive, dry, mature skin types

Herbal ingredients:
Dried rose petals

Carrier oils:
Cold pressed Hemp seed oil and Sweet Almond oil (equal parts).

Antioxidant:
Vitamin E oil (contents of 1 capsule or approx 1% of total formula).

Rosemary & Lavender
Tired or stiff muscles, morning invigoration. 

Herbal ingredients:
Dried organic Rosemary leaves and dried organic Lavender flowers.

Carrier oils:
Organic Sweet Almond oil and Organic cold-pressed Olive oil (approx 70:30 ratio).

Antioxidant:
Vitamin E oil (contents of 1 capsule or approx 1% of total formula).


----------

References:

Braun, L. (2010). Herbs and Natural Supplements. Elsevier Health Sciences APAC.
Painter, G., & Robertson, K. (2009). A herbalist's medicine-making workbook. [Auckland, N.Z.]: G. Painter.
White, J. (1999). Aromatherapy blends for life. Collingwood: Blends for life PTY.

 

Posted in Naturopath Advice By

Marianne

Post Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.

click here to log in