by Becky Merwin
When I was asked to do an article as an assignment, it was easy for me to decide what I would say. I am a very passionate Gardener, Herbalist, Aroma Therapist, Spiritual Counseler, Empath, and naturalist. I appreciate Mother Nature on a spiritual level, and am spiritually connected to plants. This life that I live, is my calling, and I truly believe I was put on this earth to “Heal”, as Jesus did. I have been told by my guides that I am here to do God’s Work on Earth. The reason that I bring up the spiritual topics is because they are what binds me to my passion. With all of that said, I wanted to talk a little bit today about my whole process of making my own essential oils. Believe it or not, every single thing I mentioned above has something to do with my processes. I start out my year and end my year (every year) by planting seeds and growing flowers, herbs, and vegetables.
I have a greenhouse, that I respect very much; but I start out inside in the wintertime with Mini Greenhouses that I put lights in and it is amazing to watch those itsy bitsy lil seedlings come up a day or so after I plant them. It is an absolute miracle actually. Most people do not realize what goes in to making an essential oil. In fact, most do not know what it takes to grow the plants. Plants start out as a tiny little seed; and inside those seeds are the miracle of life. Each seed, be it a flower, vegetable, herb, tree, or even weeds; is an embryo (just like humans…) that had to be polinated in order to develope. So when I collect seeds in the summer and fall, they must be polinated by the bees, or else they are not viable seeds. Anyway, so I plant the seeds, and they grow into beautiful little seedlings (God WIlling), which in turn will develope into the most beautiful plants. The plants are then planted into the ground into the springtime. All summer long, I guard and protect these beauties and give them love and nourishment. When they are mature and ready to be harvested, they are blessed and processed only in the morning (after the dew has dried, but before the sun gets to high). This is the place where things get awesome…….as if they are not awesome enough in all of their glory out in my gardens! I set up my tea pot distiller, which is a blessing in itself, and here is the process: 1) when setting up your distiller, make sure that all tubes are attached tightly and fight perfectly, so that no steam can escape during the process. 2) Fill your tea pot with plant material (but make sure there is nothing blocking the spout, or it will go up into the tubes and make a huge mess…. and ruin your batch) 3) Put a small amount of water on the bottom of the teapot (enough so that you will have enough water to create steam during the whole process…but not too much that your plants are watered down.) 4) Turn your burner on a low to medium setting (in my experience, slow and steady wins the race when distilling) 5) As soon as your condenser drips, set your timer for 2 hours. This has been the best process I have developed with time and experience of distilling. Some batches are done sooner and some take a little longer, depending on what you are distilling… but it is a good average to start with. (after some experience, you will be able to smell when it is done) 6) When your batch is done, you will have a beaker full of wonderul Hydrosol; with the essential oils dancing on the top. You will then pour the finished product through your seperator and place the essnetial oils into a dark amber essential oil bottle. 7) The hydrosol that you have left is a wonderful healing water. Some people throw this away.. NOT ME… I actually use these in a lot of my therapies with clients. Whether I make lotions from them, or use themin Herbal remedies… sometimes I even ingest these (for example, peppermint hydrosol, I drink when I have stomach upset and it helps so much) If you are interested in distilling your own essential oils, I highly recommend you do a lot of research first and find a process that works best for you and your needs and desires. remember that it takes a lot of plant material to even make a few drops of essential oils. The great thing about distilling your own, is that you know where they came from, you know they are pure and safe (nothing added). As far and the hydrosol…I highly recommend using these in your therapies with clients. You would be amazed at how wonderful these are as healers. I learned a whole lot, by reading the book “Hydrosols – The next Aromatherapy” by Suzanne Catty. This is a very easy to read and follow book, with lots of details for use of many different hydrosols. These are only a few of the ways I utilize God’s Medicines every day; the options are endless, and my clients are always happy.
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