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Plants for distillation/Aromatherapy

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  • terryoshea35
    I m afraid I m not a gardener but fascinated with the idea of making my own essential oils,albeit in a small way using volatile fragrant plants or herbs. I
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 27, 2005
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      I'm afraid I'm not a gardener but fascinated with the idea of making
      my own essential oils,albeit in a small way using volatile fragrant
      plants or herbs.
      I know and understand the process but have no idea what plants would
      be suitable or easier to utilize.For example:Are there dried herbs and
      flowers that could be used?
      Does anyone know of any reading material that would be helpful?
      Best regards,

      Terry
    • kristina patmore
      Dear Terry, I m afraid I m not particularly well versed in this area either, but as it happens, I m in the process of developing a small Aromatics bed using a
      Message 2 of 4 , Oct 29, 2005
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        Dear Terry,

        I'm afraid I'm not particularly well versed in this area either, but as it
        happens, I'm in the process of developing a small Aromatics bed using a
        plant list given to me by someone else. The idea of this bed is to display
        plants useful for producing essential oils and eventually to use these
        plants to do public demonstrations of oil distillation (if we ever get the
        equipment). If its any help, the selection of plants which will go in this
        bed are:

        Rosa gallica var. officinalis
        Rosa x damascena
        Aloysia triphylla
        Rosmarinus officinalis
        Lavandula angustifolia
        Lavandula x intermedia
        Pelargonium 'Graveolens'
        Melissa officinalis
        Mentha x piperita
        Mentha spicata
        Coriandrum sativa
        Chamaemelum nobile
        Viola tricolor
        Foeniculum vulgare
        Anethum graveolens
        Thymus vulgaris

        As far as I am aware, all of these are to be used fresh and the list was
        supposed to have been developed with ease and speed of use in mind.
        Interestingly, Viola tricolor doesn't produce an aromatic oil but does
        produce a substance which can be used to test pH, rather like litmus paper.

        I dont know if any of this is of use to you, but its all I know at the
        moment.
        Good Luck

        Kristina
        Horticulturist - Apothecaries Garden @ The National Botanic Garden of Wales.



        >Message: 1
        > Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2005 20:59:07 -0000
        > From: "terryoshea35" <terryoshea35@...>
        >Subject: Plants for distillation/Aromatherapy
        >
        >I'm afraid I'm not a gardener but fascinated with the idea of making
        >my own essential oils,albeit in a small way using volatile fragrant
        >plants or herbs.
        >I know and understand the process but have no idea what plants would
        >be suitable or easier to utilize.For example:Are there dried herbs and
        >flowers that could be used?
        >Does anyone know of any reading material that would be helpful?
        >Best regards,
        >
        >Terry
        >
        >

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      • icculus2000
        Hi Terry, my name is Steve I can recommend The Master Book of Herbalism by Paul Beyerl (Phoenix Pub, 1984); it covers herb properties (remedial, aromatic,
        Message 3 of 4 , Oct 29, 2005
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          Hi Terry, my name is Steve

          I can recommend "The Master Book of Herbalism" by Paul Beyerl
          (Phoenix Pub, 1984); it covers herb properties (remedial, aromatic,
          culinary) lore, preparation methods and history of magickal usage.
          Beyerl's book is by no means all-encompassing; nor should it be -
          even a novice herbalist should attempt to build his or her "herbal"
          from scratch.

          "A Modern Herbal" by Mrs. Maude Grieve (Dover, 1971) is a more
          comprehensive (over 800 species) and is appropriate for a serious
          investigation.

          Please feel free to email me, or respond on PFAF, as I am an herb
          enthusiast (as I'm sure many others here are).

          Peace,

          Steve.

          --- In pfaf@yahoogroups.com, "terryoshea35" <terryoshea35@y...>
          wrote:
          >
          > I'm afraid I'm not a gardener but fascinated with the idea of
          making
          > my own essential oils,albeit in a small way using volatile
          fragrant
          > plants or herbs.
          > I know and understand the process but have no idea what plants
          would
          > be suitable or easier to utilize.For example:Are there dried herbs
          and
          > flowers that could be used?
          > Does anyone know of any reading material that would be helpful?
          > Best regards,
          >
          > Terry
          >
        • astobart
          Hi Terry There seem be 2 main problems in home production of essential oils - one is the quantity of plant material needed for producing a realistic amount.
          Message 4 of 4 , Oct 30, 2005
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            Hi Terry
            There seem be 2 main problems in home production of essential oils - one is the quantity of plant material needed for producing a realistic amount. This is because most oils from steam distillation are produced in very small amounts - maybe 2 or 3% at most - even less for true essential oil of lavender where half a percent is likely. The other problem is the need for suitable equipment which includes a sealed pot in which to pass steam through the plant material and a condenser to cool down the steam - great if you have easy access to laboratory supplies, otherwise there are quite expensive copper or stainless steel stills on sale outside the UK (see www.homedistiller.org and related sites for sources). I have used a pressure cooker full of fresh lavender tops with several pints of water, fitted with a plastic tube that cooled in a sink of cold water - this produced a few drops of lavender essential oil and about a pint of rather nice aromatic lavender water. However the process nearly melted the plastic tubing and would not be very practical or safe to repeat!
             
            Perhaps worth looking at infused oils too as these are much easier to make. For example there are recipes for infused rose oil and also rosemary oil in:
            Christopher Hedley and Non Shaw, Herbal Remedies: A Practical Beginners Guide to Making Effective Remedies in the Kitchen, 1997, Parragon Books
             
            Best wishes
            Anne
            Anne Stobart, MNIMH
            Consultant Medical Herbalist
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Thursday, October 27, 2005 8:59 PM
            Subject: [pfaf] Plants for distillation/Aromatherapy

            I'm afraid I'm not a gardener but fascinated with the idea of making
            my own essential oils,albeit in a small way using volatile fragrant
            plants or herbs.
            I know and understand the process but have no idea what plants would
            be suitable or easier to utilize.For example:Are there dried herbs and
            flowers that could be used?
            Does anyone know of any reading material that would be helpful?
            Best regards,

            Terry 



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