Concentrated herb oils and butters are my jam. Lately I’ve been finding mincing and chopping fresh herbs slightly tedious and so I decided to do some herb-inspired meal prep which would get the job done all at once. This lead me to discovering the medicinal and flavour enhancement of a perfectly matched pair — oil and herbs.
Herbs are incredibly high in antioxidants — compounds which fight free radicals and prevent oxidation. They contain anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-histamine, and anti-inflammatory constituents that will keep your gut microbes happy. According to ancient medicine herbs help with qi and blood circulation, aid in detoxification, resolve phlegm and dampness, and support the health of vital organ functioning. Extra virgin olive oil boosts the mix with antioxidants, anti-fungal and DAO support, and ghee (if using) with vitamins and butyric acid. Oil and ghee also help to keep the herbs from spoiling when kept in your freezer.
My ginger and turmeric recipes with sea salt are great to take before and/or after a meal to help stimulate gastric juices and enzymes. You can even take it in between meals to promote your motor migrating complex and intestinal cleansing waves. If you have had a bad reaction to enzyme or HCl supplements it may be a great option for you to take 1 tsp. or so of this recipe before meals.
My ghee recipe is perfect for the cilantro and turmeric butter variations below.
I’ve also experimented with using a 50/50 oil to berry concentrate with the herbs, which produces wonderful flavours and added antioxidant support. I’ve made cherry-sage, blackberry-turmeric, blueberry-basil, and raspberry-ginger. For the blackberry and raspberry I added a pitted medjool date to the mix while blending though honey will do the trick to sweeten it up too. To make berry-herb concentrate you can use approximately 2 cups berries for each batch. Bring them to a light simmer and reduce to low heat. Stir once in a while until they are reduced (allowing the water to evaporate and the mixture to thicken), approximately 30 minutes. Resume with directions below.
“The golden keys to health lie in getting in touch with your inner self and in seeing the process of healing as a useful means of learning about your own unique needs.” – Dr. Vasant Lad
Feel free to get creative with whatever herbs you have on hand. Combinations are nice too — I enjoy a mixture of rosemary, turmeric, ghee, and sea salt. Use the oil on steamed vegetables, for sautéing, roasting, as a butter, or on its own for enzyme support!
Yields: 1 – 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil, avocado oil, or ghee
- 1 – 2 cups packed leafy herbs (sage, cilantro, or basil), 1/4 cup rosemary, or 1/2 – 3/4 cup grated (medium blade) ginger root or turmeric
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. sea salt (1/2 – 3/4 tsp. for the pre-meal digestive enzyme support)
- Wash and dry the herbs. If they are from your own organic garden — skip the washing!
- Peel and grate the ginger or turmeric if you choose to use these. Fine mincing is okay too, however I find the texture is best when ginger and turmeric are grated before blended. Or, prep others as necessary (ie. pull rosemary needles off spine).
- Using a high speed blender, blend all ingredients until smooth.
- Transfer to a variety of glass mason jars. I use 1/2 and 1 cup portions. Freeze.
- The oils will harden however portions can still be scooped out with a spoon. If you wish to liquify them simply take a jar out and place in the fridge or on your cupboard. I keep the oils in the freezer to ensure that the herbs won’t spoil. I’ve tried freezing in large ice cube trays however they don’t keep as well.
- For medicinal enzyme support: take 1 – 3 tsp. of the ginger or turmeric oil before a meal.