By Vina Medenilla
Herbs are popular for their culinary and medicinal uses. Because of their high market demand, herbs may also provide profitable business opportunities.
Naomi D. Dimpas, a Learning Site for Agriculture (LSA) cooperator and owner of Dimpas Greentigrated Agri-Tourism Farm, demonstrated how to process herbs on the second episode of AgriTalk 2020 Davao with the theme “Usapang Pangkabuhayan at Dagdag na Kita.”
How to make herbal liniment oil
Dimpas shared that she uses about 13 herbs in producing liniment oil. Ingredients include leaves of buyo or betel pepper (Piper betle), guava tree, peppermint, insulin (Chamaecostus cuspidatus), balbas pusa (Orthosiphon stamineus Benth), eucalyptus, traya, guyabano, calabash tree (Crescentia cujete), serpentina (Rauvolfia serpentina), as well as ground black pepper, ginger, processed menthol crystals, processed peppermint, and a kilo of vegetable oil.
To begin, thoroughly wash the ingredients to ensure that they are clean and safe, and dry them afterwards. Finely chop the leaves into pieces to release their juice. In a pan, pour the vegetable oil, followed by the ginger. Slowly stir the oil and once the ginger begins to float, it means that their essence has been infused into the oil. Add all the chopped leaves and ground black pepper into your pan. Dimpas added that the amount of ground black pepper and ginger depends on how hot you want the liniment to be. But the larger the volume, the more effective.
Continuously stir the ingredients to prevent them from sticking to the pan. As per Dimpas, when the leaves stick to the pan, the smell usually changes so constantly mixing them is necessary.
Once the leaves become crispy, it means that the herbs are cooked and the oil is ready. The process can take about 15 to 20 minutes. Let the leaves dry by placing them in a strainer and letting the liquid drip overnight. Unlike when you squeeze the leaves, drying the herbs naturally will allow them not to smell even after a year.
The next day, you’ll be able to gather the herbal liniment oil. Adding crystal menthol and peppermint oil to the mix is optional. If you opt to add them, you can measure the level of its heat by smelling or applying them to your skin or mouth. Use a funnel to transfer the herbal liniment into a bottle.
For the final step, you can now put the herbal liniment into smaller bottles. You can either sell these value-added products or use them personally. Either way, you can save money from buying commercially available products.
The more herbs that you use, the more effective the liniment will be, Dimpas added. A kilo of vegetable oil and other ingredients can generate about 30 bottles (60 ml) of herbal liniment that costs around P50 each. Expenses for the ingredients are only P300 or so, and if you sell them, you can earn a total of P1500.
For mothers and growers like Dimpas, she suggests not only to plant flowers, but also to grow and process herbs that may offer a lucrative livelihood. By practicing value-adding, farmers, entrepreneurs, and gardeners can earn more from what they usually harvest.
With the proper marketing of value-added goods, they can attract more buyers for their products. But regardless of purpose, whether for personal or commercial use, one can certainly benefit from growing and processing herbs.
For more information about Dimpas’ farm, visit Dimpas Greentigrated Agri-Tourism Farm.