When it comes to crafting herbal preparations, the choice of a suitable menstruum — aka a solvent used to extract the therapeutic properties of herbs — is of utmost importance. Honey can be considered a moderate-to-strong menstruum, unique in its ability to extract water-soluble constituents as well as small amounts of oil-soluble compounds.
This post is the result of a burning question I had about squalane’s effectiveness as a menstruum. Try as I might, squalane herbal infusions rarely had anywhere near the vibrance of color I would get from my other infusions using oils like olive oil or tallow. Sometimes they stubbornly remained crystal clear, begging the question(s): Is the squalane actually extracting anything? Can it be infused with plant constituents for use in skincare formulations? Inquiring minds want to know!