In early 2012 I began a period of self-exploration which included my career and my personal needs. I was busy working my two jobs, balancing the career I loved with the steady paycheck that came with a stable retail job. I was comfortable with my skills, and I was building my reputation with the local community. Still, I was wondering when my chance would finally come to break away from the work I had to do to survive, and finally set about doing the work I love to do, full-time.
Up until that time the thought of becoming an herbalist had never crossed my mind. The suggestion took root in me one day as the mention of herbalism came up in a casual conversation. That day a voice somewhere inside me suddenly said something:
For years, I have used only the best quality grape seed oil or olive oil as my medium for massages. I’ve found that both provide wonderful glide without feeling greasy, absorb into and nourish the skin very nicely, and are easily found without having to special order. Plus, I’ve never had to worry about my clients experiencing allergic reactions to either oil. Since these oils are food-grade, I feel good about what I’m putting on my clients, because these are healthy, easily digestible oils, as safe to put on the body as into the body.
In my path to becoming an herbalist, I am now experimenting with infusing herbs into my oils, resulting in a new level of experience for the senses. The process involves introducing plant matter into the oil, letting it steep for a period of time, and then straining it out, the result of which is a new way of bringing herbs into the therapeutic process.
The process takes time and patience, but as I am bottling up my very first batch of oil –a beautiful spring lavender– I believe it’s completely worth the effort. I’ll be working on new oils as the summer progresses, in small batches so that I can not only closely monitor the quality of each jar of oil, but also harvest responsibly; all of my oil infusions will be made from home-cultivated herbs, or locally wild-crafted plants, ethically harvested. White pine is in the making; what will be next? The honeysuckle is certainly intoxicating right now…