An infusion is the outcome of steeping plants with a desired flavour in water, oil or even vinegar.
"The first recorded use of essential oils was in the
10th or 11th century by the Persian polymath
Avicenna, possibly in the Canon of Medicine."
"An infusion is very similar to a decoction but is used with herbs that are more volatile or dissolve readily in water, or release their active ingredients easily in oil. Boiling water (or water of the appropriate temperature) is poured over the herb and allow to steep for a time, usually 15 to 30 minutes or until the mix cools. The mix is then strained, bottled, and refrigerated for future use. Quantities of the herb/water or oil mix will vary according to the herb or how strong the infusion is required to be. A common proportion used is one ounce of herb to one pint of liquid."
"Herbs or other plants can be placed in boiling water for a few minutes, then discarded, and the water drunk as a beverage. A common example is tea. Many other drinks (herbal teas) are prepared in this way. Lemon, chamomile, senna, apple, ginger, rooibos, and a great many other plants are used individually or in combination. Infusions of this type are sometimes drunk for pleasure; others are claimed to be advantageous for health. A longer time before straining results in a bitter-tasting infusion. Herbal remedies and herb-infused oils are prepared with dried or fresh herbs, flowers or berries, infused in oil or water. The herb/botanical is then removed from the oil and the oil is used in herbalism in those preparations that require short-term infused oils. Plants with desirable flavours may be steeped in an edible oil or vinegar for an extended period; the infused oil or vinegar is often sold still containing the plant, and is then used as flavouring. Chillies, lemon, garlic, and many other plants may be used. There can be ambiguity: for example, what is described as sesame oil may be oil extracted from sesame seeds, or an inferior quality vegetable oil infused with sesame."
Infused oils are so easy to make. You can either use extra virgin olive oil for a stronger oil flavor or you can use canola oil if you only want to taste the herbs and not the oil. This is a personal preference. Visit flavored oil recipes for more information.
* Herbal tea
* Chinese herbology