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Making Mint oil.

In high summer mint was taking over my garden, so I chopped down this marauding plant and made mint oil. Heres how:

With some help we roughly chopped up the leaves & stems,

Make Your Own Cosmetics | Making Mint Oil..............Make Your Own Cosmetics | Making Mint Oil

Put them in a large pan and cover with sunflower oil. 

Put this on a gentle heat – no bubbles - and leave to warm for 2 hours. Take off the heat, and if you can, leave to ‘stew’ over night.

The idea is to let all the therapeutic properties of the plant seep into the oil.  You can add any other herbs that you like – I’ve used lavender, rosemary and sage in the past, though sage can be overpowering.

Strain the mixture through a sieve, lined with muslin, into a bowl and press out as much oil as you can from the leaves, leaving a plate on top with a weight helps.
Once you’ve drained this you have your ‘macerated mint oil.’  

A ‘macerated oil’ –  is different from an essential oil. Essential oils are much stronger, as they are the oil contained within the plant itself and obtained by a different method. Though in your homemade mint oil you’ll have some of the mint’s natural essential oil as well as mint’s other therapeutic properties.

Now you have your oil you can use it in several ways. Mint oil makes a great lip balm base, all you need to do is add it to melted beeswax and cocoa butter.

I also love using this oil combined with sea salt as a refreshing body scrub, simply mix the oil with the salt until you get a consistency you’re happy with, put it in a jar and it keeps for ages. This mixture can be used as a bath salt too.

When I use this in the winter months the fresh smell of mint takes me back to balmy summer evenings.

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Conker Tincture

After collecting pocketfuls of conkers on an early morning walk in mid October I decided to make Horse Chestnut tincture and oil. 

Wash the conkers as they've been on the ground and liquidise them - my magi-mix blade was not strong enough for this.

Make Your Own Cosmetics | Making Conker Tincture

Put them in a jar and pour vodka over them, or if you don't like alcohol then use vinegar, both of these will make a tincture, leave it in the dark for a couple of weeks.

Or to make an oil - just fill the jar with sunflower oil and leave on a sunny window sill for a couple of weeks. A little heat is needed to encourage the conkers to 'give up' their goodness to the oil.

Make Your Own Cosmetics | Making Conker Tincture

After 2 weeks, drain the conkers and throw away and the oil or tincture is ready to use.

 

 

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