the wonder sessions

damiana oil

Damiana body oil

 
 

This damiana infused body oil glides on smoothly ad is heavily infused with damiana, so that you can feel the effects of it when it absorbs through your skin: do you find it different to taking it in a tincture, or tea, or liqueur? 

You'll need: 

1 quart of any combination of oils for external use. Some options: 

Sweet almond oil

Sunflower oil

Avocado oil

Olive oil

Fractionated coconut oil

Jojoba oil

Apricot kernel oil

Blackcurrant seed oil

Sesame oil

(for what its worth, my favourite combination is jojoba, avocado, sunflower and blackcurrant seed: I use one part of each)

1 cup dried damiana

Before making the oil, I'd like to talk a little bit about heat devices. The best way I've found to make infused oils is with a crock pot of some kind (you can find super cheap ones on Amazon). Now, I know that not everybody has a crock pot, so I'll give multiple instructions, for different methods. But if you're planning on making a lot of infused oils, it's worth investing in a crock pot, with a variable temperature range, and one that has a good LOW range, because you don't want to boil your body oils. Anyway, here are the different ways to make an infused oil: 

 

In a crock pot:

To make an infused oil with a crock pot, combine the herbs and oil in the crock pot, and set to a low temperature setting (150-200) and leave, warming, for 4-5 days. (then skip to straining instructions below)


In a warm (due to pilot-issues) stove or yogurt maker: 

If you have a stove that, like mine, stays warm year-round due to an over-excited pilot light, you can use that. If you have a yogurt maker, you can use that. For both of these, you'd combine the herbs and oil in a mason jar (or any kind of jar-- it doesn't have to be airtight), and put it in the warm place (stove or yogurt maker) for 4-5 days. (then skip to straining instructions)

 

On a stovetop: 

If you have neither crock pot nor yogurt maker, do not fret, you are not bereft and don't have to deal with the gadget clutter that the rest of us do. You can use a double boiler: Get a pot of water simmering, and then on top of that pot place a metal bowl. In that bowl, place the herbs and oils, and keep the pan simmering for 4-5 hours, re-filling the water when necessary. If you have the patience, you can keep this going for longer, but after 4-5 hours you'll have a pretty good oil already. (scroll down to straining instructions)

 

The renegade, outlaw oil-maker method: 

To be clear, I only recommend this if you are lazy or very good at paying attention to the stove top, and also have a lot of time to be wandering in and out of the kitchen. I have done it like this a million times and while it's more inconvenient in terms of not being able to just leave it unattended for days, it makes a great oil. The benefit of doing it this way is that you don't need fancy equipment. In a large and heavy-bottomed pot, place the oil and herbs, and turn on a low heat. Heat steadily, until the oil gets close to boiling (you'll see a bubble, but also you can just tell by the way the oil shimmers and gets REALLY HOT). Turn off the heat before it boils. Stir. Leave to sit for a few hours. Every time you come through the kitchen, turn it on, stir, bring to a high (BUT NOT BOILING) heat, and then turn off, stir, and leave. Do this for 4-5 days. You'll have a super strong oil by the end of this time. 

 

To strain: 

Set a sieve over a big bowl, and pour the oil/ herb mixture into the sieve. Let it drain for a few hours, then discard the plant matter and save the oil. 

At this point you can scent it with any essential oils you like (I love damiana with vanilla and angelica oils), and bottle it, in something pretty. 
 


To use: 

You can use damiana oil on yourself, as a post bath or shower self-massage oil. Notice how it affects your mental state. 

You can put a few drops in a bath. 

You can use it to massage someone you like. Actually, make it someone you *really* like :).