Making Our First Herbal Oils of the Year

 This time of the year as things swing back into action with the growing season we always turn our attention to herbal medicine making for clinical practice using the plants from our garden, and this year our woodland too, to produce oils, glycerites, vinegars, tinctures and more!  We make our herbal oils fresh every year using numerous wild and cultivated plants. This year we have begun with Comfrey leaf, Daisy flower, Dandilion flower, Herb Robert aerial parts, Birch leaf, Spruce tips and Primula flowers. We use different oil making methods depending on the plant material and the final purpose of the oil being created. For the above plants we have made their oils with fresh plant material using the hot infused oil method. We find it best to do this in small batches using a croc pot.

This year we are excited to make some oils we never had the opportunity to make before. Living on 40 acres of mature woodland has opened us up to creating more tree medicines and other wild plant medicines which are here in abundance. For many years we grew various plants on our herb farm for oils but there were still some wild plants we didn’t have naturally growing there in enough quantity to make into remedies.

Here at Ivywood some of those wild plants are thriving in areas of the woodlands. Herb Robert (Geranium robertanium) and Primrose (Primula vulgaris) are two examples. Saying that, I am missing the Silverweed, Plantain and Chickweed that aren’t here. But delighted to have an abundance of Herb Robert and Primrose - two wild medicinal beauties which we can be sure are clean and free of environmental toxins. If you are harvesting wild plants from fields, forests and roadsides you need to be sure they are ‘clean’! Your local herbalist or forager may be able to direct you to clean sites and guide you in wild harvesting practices… or even better they may have an abundance of wild plants growing on their own land and are happy for you to harvest some.

One job we don’t relish every year is the bottle washing and sterilising - you need to be on top of that when the harvesting begins!! Despite the washathon, making medicines from your own and wild plants is a joy and extremely nourishing. We’re already looking forward to the continued herbal oil making from the garden and woodland from now until October... Rue, Plantain, Yarrow, Echinacea, Fireweed, Figwort, Calendula and Chamomile are next on the list!

About Ivywood

Herbalists Ross Hennessy and Marina Kesso have moved their businesses and family to a new piece of land in Co Clare. They are busy creating new spaces on the land to reestablish their clinical practice and medicinal herb nursery. Formerly Bareroot Botanicals and Iona Herbal they have now renamed the woodland and business Ivywood.

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