Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Bright New Chapter!

The box came!! The box came!!
I have wanted this and had the money set aside
for this since December.
I just couldn't make myself hit the button
to make the purchase.
But then I just closed my eyes and did it.
And then it came!

And this is what it all comes together to be. 
And herbal distillation set up.
So cool!!
With this wondorous doohickey I can
turn the glories of my herb bed into
liquid life.
Ok.. so that is a little over the top,
but I can make 'complete distillates'.
Some folks call the hydrosols, but
you can get some bad connotations from that.
An average hydrosol is what is left over
AFTER the essential oils have been lifted out.
Smells great, but is missing a part of the whole.
I am leaving the essential oils in, 'complete distillate'.
And some folks just add essentail oils into some water
and call it a hydrosol. No. Wrong. Fail.
I want all of the goodness all together the way it is supposed to be.
Later on I will wax exuberant over the joys and benefits of distilled herbs and blossoms, and twigs and leaves, and resins and fruit, but this one is just about my joy!
Joy! Joy! Joy!
Can you tell that I am pleased?
And the pic doesn't do it justice somehow.
It really is bigger in real life and much more impressive as it
looms over my workspce being all technical and important looking.
And so I took a lot of this...
And a bit of mint and bee balm and some lemon balm
and tossed them into the bowl of the wondorous toy.
(that really, really needs a name)
And all together with very pure water
they look like this.
Only it will begin to boil and steam will rise.
And go into the twirly tube that is inside
of the larger glass tube.
The larger glass has cool running water
that surrounds the twirly tube
cooling the steam inside
so that it drips out of the bottom
as a complete distillate of the plant.
(please refer to the upper pic to see the
magical twirly tube called a Graham condenser)
What comes out is not an infusion, or tea.
It is the steam that has been cooled once again into liquid.
The liquid carries the phytochemicals
and volatile oils from the plant materail
It has all of the medicinal properties, the fragrances
and the power the living plant carried.
Totally freaking awesome!

Here you can see the beautiful blue
essential oil from the yarrow
moving through the condenser.
Look at that!
Now.. I could put on a gadget that
would allow me to siphon off the
essentail oils, leaving behind
the liqiud (an incomplete distillate)
but I want all of the goodness to stay together.


And here is the first ever "Complete Distillate'
made by me!
And I chose the yarrow because of it's amazing
insect repellant properties.
I have read numerous times about a U.S. Army study
done at Fort Bragg (in a swamp, it is)
that showed that yarrow was more effective than DEET.
I can't find the actual study anywhere,
but I figured I would give her a go.
Ok.. so we have had so much rain.
Unbelievable amounts of rain here in the past 10 days or so.
A whole lot of rain.
Crazy rainfall.
And with that much rain and all of the standing water everywhere
and all of the leaves on the ground in the woods
holding water, we have had a mosquito
Mosquitos like to make love in the rain.
Walking through the garden today
(the first time I have been able to even think about
going into the garden in a week)
I could feel myself running into the mosquitos.
Clouds of mosquitos.
So I had the boy child be my guinea pig.
(like I am going to let myself get bitten by mosquitos.. pshaw)
I sprayed half of his body in my yarrow distillate
and left the other half open for lunch.
One leg and one arm got each treatment.

And though I was unable to take a seeable,
non-blurry pic of the mosquitos eating
his untreated leg I can stand up and shout..


It works really, really well.
I had to make him shift the treated leg away from the untreated one
so that they would land to feast.
And then I sprayed his neck and face.
And he promptly licked his lips
and declared it tasty.
So then I sprayed it into his open mouth and into mine.
Like really yummy.
Kind of green and minty.
You won't be seeing me spraying DEET
into my kid's mouth.
I was able to work in the garden without being bothered
by a single mosquito..
other than the clouds that I ran into.
But they fled in horror from
my very essence and the glory of my yarrow distillate!

And this is the pitiful boy child
as I have him sit and be bitten.
He is making a sad guine pig face.
He was totally disgusted with me.
That amuses me greatly.
But then I released him and sprayed him inside
and out and he was not bitten anymore
and the sad face turned into a smile!
I will be working on many more wonderful distillates soon
and will be working on a way to offer them up for others that may want them.
Hmmmm... I may sense a give-a-way coming on.


  1. Way Kewl! it looks all mad scientisty like

  2. Ha! Would take a braver man than I, sweetheart. That puppy gets HOT! And the essentials don't break down in water, so......