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RE: Plants for distillation/Aromatherapy

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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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