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St. John's wort oil

Botanical name: 

Things that make you go hmmm: that oil is still cloudy.

A couple weeks ago I picked lots of fresh flowering SJW (St. John's wort: Hypericum perforatum and similar species), before heading off somewhere or other for a week, and 1) was out of oil, and 2) had no time to make my fresh infused SJW oil.

So I popped the lot into the freezer. And made my usual infused oil a week or three later, after I'd bought some more cold-pressed safflower oil and when I had time to process the herb.

I make infused oils from fresh herb using my standard waterbath setup, but after that, once the oil has been strained, it has to sit untouched someplace for 4-7 days so it can clear up. During that time it forms a bottom muck which contains almost all the water that was in the herb you started with along with some other impurities. Once the oil has cleared you remove it, carefully, off that muck. I like to let my SJW oils sit in the sun for the duration, as that gives them a deeper red color. I store the clear infused oils in a dark cupboard; no SJW oil has gone rancid on me yet.

So the oil from the frozen flowers turned a nice dark orange on the waterbath, but it's been standing on a windowsill for more than a week now. There's a good amount of bottom muck, but the oil is not clearing up.

After waiting for almost a week I made a batch of oil from flowering tops straight off a sunny meadow, for comparison. That oil is now nice and clear -- and it has been standing for less than a week.


Photo: Hypericum perforatum 21. Pic: St. John's wort: frozen fresh flower -infused oil and fresh flower -infused oil.

I'll have to do this again next year, just to see if I can repeat the feat.

Update: The cloudy oil has cleared up over the last two days. Yay!

Related entry: SJW oil - Yellow flowers: St. John's wort