It’s mid-July, and no one is thinking about illness. Summer is the season of skinned knees and bug bites in our family, but I can feel winter approaching even now.
I don’t know if this deep-rooted anticipation of cold is just a hang-over from last winter or a portent of blizzards to come, but it’s definitely motivating me this year. I’ve been canning and stockpiling, infusing, drying, and insulating for weeks.
Today I strained out my oregano oil and mixed some of it up into a balm. I’ve got a beautiful, lush oregano plant in the yard, and I’ve been taking cuttings of it to root new plants as well. I would love to have a house full of healthy, healing herbs all potted up this winter! But, since my house tends to get pretty chilly in January, I’m also stocking up on infused oils and tinctures.
Oregano is one of the best. It’s an anti-everything-bad-herb. Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral. Oregano is amazing. It boosts the immune system and even fights of food poisoning.
So it’s definitely an herb that good to keep around when illness is in the air. Oregano oil is a great, external option too. I just rub it onto my chest or feet and let it absorb. We also use the oil in salad dressings and on focaccia – it’s just oregano leaves and olive oil!
There really isn’t a recipe for this process. Just fill a jar with oregano leaves and stems, then pour in the olive oil. Cap it and let the jar sit in a sunny spot for at least 3 weeks. Strain out the oregano and you have a deeply healing oil.
I put some of this oil in a little jar all it’s own, then I warmed the rest of the oil and added flakes of beeswax (about a 1:3 ratio of beeswax to oil for a firm balm). I’ll use the oregano balm on the kids if they’re feeling sick, and cuts and scraps that seem to need an antibiotic.
Tomorrow, I’ll be starting a new infusion of oregano oil that’s especially for the kitchen. It’s amazing on “everything bagel” focaccia. My hope is, that with a well stocked medicine shelf and a full-to-bursting pantry the up-coming winter will be restful, healthy, and fun!