Monday, November 25, 2019

Lavender Distillation Video

Last spring, we made this video as part of a teaching module on lavender for The Science and Art of Herbalism, Rosemary Gladstar's online course.  Hope you enjoy!


Sassss said...

Hi, Tina & Maryann! I noticed, at the very end, the question about the remaining infusion in the bottom flask, about putting it in the garden. This brings a cordwood other questions to mind, for me. (btw, I'm CarlašŸŒ¹, from the yahoo group!). The first question is how do you determine when the process is finished? The second is is the any reason it couldn't be (keeping in mind the safety issues for each batch of plant matter) used in soap making, adding to a bath, simmering pots, using in poultices and such, or even drinking as tea, or (when appropriate) adding to pet/livestock waters, for added health benefits, or even flavoring? I can't help wondering about using, for example, the resulting lavender 'refuse' tea, in making lemonade?

Tina Sams said...

Wow! You're good!
I don't think I'd want to drink it, but a lot of those other uses are worth considering. Soapmaking for sure! Bath, poultice, livestock... all good. Keep in mind that it's been boiling for at least an hour.

Figuring out when it's done...
Because this still is so small and the process is so visible, you can see when there is no more essential oil, and you can also see when the botanicals are getting worn out. We go with how things look and smell, and often we turn it off because the water in the bottom flask has gotten too low to continue. If we got a copper still, we'd have to do some research into being more precise about how to know it was finished.

Sassss said...

Ha! Thanks! Couple, not cordwood, lol. (One thing I'm distinctly NOT good at, is proofreading, after my 'auto-incorrect' gets it's mitts into my typing!)

I think before tasting it, I'd really on my nose, lol. So, with say, calendula; putting the 'waste' water into an ice cube tray, and freezing it, for later use, in a drawing poultice, or moisturizing dried plantain, for rashes, or to blend with other 'waste' waters, for a fomentation...

When I make my herbal infusion concentrates, I give the post-pressing herb matter to my chickens, and they love it. I could do the same with these, maybe adding the waste water to moisten it, a bit...

Thank you! You and Maryann are doing SOOOO much, to help me build my case to buy a still! Oh! And that reminds me! With the pot, and upside down lid - the more the lid is lifted, to check on it, the more of the previous essential oils and hydrosol evaporate into the air - yet, it's the only way, unless you have a clear pot - to check on progress, right? So, for someone who wanted to do it only on a very limited basis, the losses would probably be relatively acceptable, provided they were fairly capable of patiently leaving the lid down. But, doing very much of ones own distilling, the loss would likely be pretty prohibitive, unless you know something I don't...?
Thank you, again!

Tina Sams said...

The pan method would be for pretty small batches - maybe a couple ounces of hydrosol, because the water can only be as high as the brick.
Get a still. You're worth it ;-)


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