*Oil Organic olive oil is a good basic oil, particularly for salves. Apricot seed oil is particularly nice for skin care preparations such as lotions.
*Wide-mouth glass jar with a well-fitting lid. Make sure both lid and jar are bone dry to decrease risk of mold growth.
*Fresh herbs Make sure you have enough plant material to fill the jar and be 100% certain of the identification of any wildcrafted herbs.
*Label Masking tape makes an easy-to-remove label.
*Chopstick or spoon
Gather your herbs on a dry day. Late morning is a good time. If you live in a moist climate or if you are infusing herbs which have a higher water content such as chickweed, comfrey or dandelion flowers you may want to lay the herbs out to dry in a basket for a few hours. This can help prevent mold growth in your oil. Snip the plant material in generous pieces and fill the jar with plant material to within 1/2 to 1 inch of the top of the jar. As you fill the jar you may gently push down the plant material to make room for more but leave plenty of air space for the oil to fill. Carefully pour oil in the jar, filling it to about an inch below the brim. Use a chopstick or the end of a spoon to poke down to the bottom of the jar to release any trapped air. Finish filling the jar to the brim with oil. Cover the jar and place it on an old cloth or paper towel to absorb the small amount of oil which will leak at as it infuses. Some herbalists infuse their oil in a cool, dark place. I prefer to place the oil in a window where it will receive sun each day. Shake the jar once or twice a day. Allow it to infuse for two weeks and then strain out the plant material. Re-bottle the oil in a smaller jar. (Air space will cause it to go rancid more quickly.) Infused oils may be stored in a cabinet for short term use or in the refrigerator for longer term storage. If stored in the refrigerator they will need to be taken out to soften into liquid form before use. Plantain (Plantago lanceolata), lavender bee balm (Monarda fistulosa), Saint John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) and lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) are some of my favorite herbs to infuse in oil. These herbs are all suitable for making salves. Rose geranium leaves and flowers (Pelargonium spp.) are particularly nice for facial care preparations. Chickweed (Stellaria media) makes an infused oil which may be used in salve or in facial care preparations. *Note: It is best to start with fresh plant material when making infused oils. If you want to make an oil with dried herbs only fill the jar about 1/3 full with the herbs before adding the oil. There is also a quick method for making infused oils. You place the oil and herb in a pan, preferably over a double boiler and gently simmer it for about 5 minutes and then strain it. I don't think this method is quite as effective but it can be useful when you need a medicinal oil quickly.