By Aidan Alvezi, 8th grader
Woodside is home to several raised beds where the students grow various food and herbal crops. The Middle School focuses on growing herbs which we then infuse into oils for our products. After we harvest the herbs we dry them for several weeks until they are ready for the next step.
When you use herbs in topical products you have to extract the oils from the herb into something called a carrier oil. It carries the herb to your skin. The herbs are put into the oil through a process called infusion.
How long does the Infusion process take? The process takes about six to eight weeks. The dried herbs are covered in a carrier oil such as oil or rapeseed and left to sit in sunlight where it infuses the oil so that they herbs healing properties can then be put into the salvas and lip balm.
What carrier oil do we use? We use both olive oil and grapeseed oil. We used these because they are very stable and easy to work with when we heat them and combine them with the bee’s wax and scents/flavors. Also, they are very good to use because they don’t go bad as quickly as other oils. They can last for a very long time which is key because the process is very long.
A special thanks to MaryAnn Sullivan who helped our class: grow, harvest, dry our herbs; infuse the oils; and make our salves and lip balms. She shared her knowledge of herbal healing properties and the process of making the products.