I love basil. It is an herb that I use quite often in seasoning blends as well as for remedies and magic. It is also a very common, easy to obtain, herb that you can find in any grocery store.
Basil oil can be used in herbal remedies, such as for making an oil for achy muscles and joints. It can also be used as a natural antibacterial remedy for cuts and scraps. In magic, basil is used for protection, money spells, and spells that aid you in job seeking or improvement in your current job.
I use the variety known as Sweet Basil the most often. It is easy to grow and will reseed itself in your garden.
To make my own basil oil, I start out with dried basil leaves. I fill a jar about half full of the leaves, then add enough grapeseed oil to nearly fill the jar. You want to leave enough free space in the jar to allow you to thoroughly shake the contents periodically. Next, I steep the oil in one of 2 ways. You can place it in a sunny window, shaking the jar a couple of times per day, and let it steep for 2-3 weeks. The quicker method is that I place the jar near the woodstove or other heat source, shaking the jar several times a day, and let it steep for a full day. If using a heat source for fast steeping, be sure that it doesn’t get too hot. The jar should be very warm, but can be handled without a potholder. Once your oil has steeped long enough, strain out the plant material from the oil and store in a labeled jar in a cool dark place.
When making an infused oil, always use dried herbs. The moisture in fresh herbs can cause the oil to go rancid and smell bad. In making the infused oil, you can use your favorite carrier oil, but I choose grapeseed oil as it is very light and absorbs well into the skin without making your skin feel oily.
For my achy muscles, I add a few drops of tea tree essential oil and lavender essential oil to the infused basil. If my muscles are particularly achy, I sometimes add some oil infused with ginger to it. The ginger oil is simply made in a double boiler with a bit of grapeseed oil and small pieces of fresh ginger root. I let it steep for about 1-2 hours on the stove before letting it cool.
In winter months, it is not uncommon to see a shelf near my woodstove lined with jars of oils being infused with various herbs. Sometimes, I will take a mixture of herbs from a remedy recipe and steep them all together.
Making the infused oils has an advantage over using essential oils in that, unlike essential oils, you do not have to dilute them. You can add any additional essential oils to your infused oil to make any remedy you need, but no other carrier oil is needed.
In magic, I often will make infused oils in very small jars for spell work. Often, a small jar is all that is needed. A recycled jelly jar is often more than enough oil for most purposes. Especially when making an oil that you do not use often. It takes very little oil to use on candles or other tools.
When I make a money candle, I melt the candle wax and stir in some dried basil or other money drawing herbs. I then pour the melted wax mixture into the candle jar or form and center the wick. Using a skewer, I gently stir the wax to be sure there are no air pockets before the wax cools and hardens. If the wax forms a “bowl” around the wick, you simply add a bit more melted wax to fill it in.
There is so much that you can do with infused oils. Making them yourself can be far less pricey than buying them. It is also a great way to use up dried herbs that are left over from last growing season. I often use up my supply this way just as my new harvest is ready to dry for winter storage.