Aromatic oils and rectified alcohol can be combined. The oils seep into the alcohol to produce
an essence. Oils may be captured by evaporation from flower petals. Vegetable, nut, or fruit
oils can be used as a medium for steeping aromatic plants to extract volatile oils. Aromatic oils
can also be steeped in alcohol to extract essence.
To make an oil, pick your own fresh herbs or purchase dried herbs form a reputable source.
Pack a large jar with the chosen herb and pour in any favorite mono unsaturated or
polyunsaturated oil. Use enough to cover the herb. Close tightly. Label the jar and place in
a sunny place for several weeks. Strain out the herb by pouring through cheesecloth into a fresh jar.
Hold the cheesecloth over the opening of the jar containing the herbs and secure with a rubber band.
Invert the jar and pour the infused oil through the cheesecloth.
Before discarding the herbs, squeeze all the oil out of them. Repeat the entire procedure.
Repack a clean jar with more of the same herb. Add the infused oil, plus enough additional
oil to cover the herbs. Store again in sunlight. Strain again through cheesecloth. Pour the oil
into a labeled jar and store until needed.
Here's what you'll need
1 cup pure beeswax
2/3 cup of jojoba oil mixed with 1/4 cup of wheat germ oil
9 drops of the pure essential oil of juniper berry
9 drops of the pure essential oil of bog myrtle
9 drops of the pure essential oil of sandalwood
9 drops of the pure essential oil of yarrow
9mL total of a combination of the pure essential oils of chamomile, rose otto, jasmine
3 grams of poppy petals *do not crush or they won't strain*
3 grams of hops *do not crush or they won't strain*
3 grams of wormwood *do not crush or they won't strain*
3 grams of dittany of Crete *do not crush or they won't strain*
3 grams of passionflower *do not crush or they won't strain*
3 grams of skullcap *do not crush or they won't strain*
3 grams of lavender *do not crush or they won't strain* In a glass
double boiler (a pot used in making candles to melt the beeswax
at a lower temperature and prevent wax fires) - do not use metal, melt the beeswax
gently using as low a heat as possible. Once the beeswax has melted, mix in half of
the jojoba/wheat germ oil combination until it is smooth.
Once the mix is smooth (you have just made the base) then add your herbs to this mixture.
Once added, keep at as low a temperature as possible, stirring constantly with a wooden
spoon putting your magical intention into the mixture so as to charge it (or a very clean stick
which you sanded and created just for this purpose. Doing this increases the magical intent
of the mixture and so helps give it a boost).
After 33 min, ensure that the beeswax is quite liquid and use a mesh strainer you don't intend
to use again to strain out the herbs from the mixture of beeswax and jojoba oil and place the
mix back into the glass double boiler. Don't worry if you still have some herb in it however the
herb will decay and so this shortens the life of your mix. By this time, if you have kept your
mixture at a constant low temperature, you should notice that it has a slightly different consistency
from cooling. Now combine the remaining jojoba oil and the wheat germ oil with the mixture the
flower based essential oils (jasmine, rose, etc) in a separate container. Before the beeswax and
jojoba oil mix begins to harden and without adding more heat, add first the pure essential oils
(bog myrtle, juniper berry, etc) then the essential oils and base oils mix .
This needs to be done when the mixture is as cool as possible but still fluid as essential oils
are volatile and lose potency when heated to too high a temperature.
Now that you have finished you can pour your mix into glass, heatproof jars (as it will still be warm)
and let it cool. Cap only after it has cooled and store in a cool, dark place. I suggest storing it in
the fridge with the jar tightly capped to avoid moisture getting in. Use within a month -this mixture
is not suitable for long term storage but can last under perfect conditions for 2 - 3 months.
This ointment is potent. Use it carefully and treat it with respect as you should all herbs and
essential oils. Just because they are herbs, doesn't mean they are safe. To use, apply first a
small amount to the inside of your elbow to check for reactions. Then if it is safe, apply a small
amount in a thin coating to the inside of your wrist and a small amount to your temples.
For faster absorption, spread a thin coating on the soles of your feet. While books which talk
about flying ointments suggest smearing it all over your body, I do not recommend this approach.
Keep this mix away from your eyes nose, mouth and other sensitive areas of your body.
Contrary to what you may have read on the web, this should *not* be placed in the genital
area of the body. Do *not* ingest this mixture. As this mixture contains oils with contraindications,
I suggest that you avoid using this mix if you: are pregnant, have high blood pressure, have a
history of mental illness, or if you are suffering from prolonged insomnia.
Alternate base combinations - these vary in room temperature state from quite solid to quite liquid.
You can vary the firmness of the mixture you need by altering the amount of beeswax or oil used -
more beeswax for a firmer mix, more oil or a softer mix.
Recipes for bases are guidelines only and after adding herbs or oils, you may feel the need to
adjust the firmness. I suggest placing a teaspoon of the mix in the freezer to checkfor firmness
before adding more wax or oil. There is no need for tincture of
benzoin as is so popular with some recipes as this tincture is used for mixtures containing a
shortening or fatty base where the fat is solid at room temperature.
The most important production method for Essential oils is distillation.
The basic principle of distillation is the same but it is carried out in different ways
depending on the botanical material and the condition of the material.
Three types of distillation are used:
2. Water and steam
3. Direct steam
Distillation is basically, producing steam. The steam is passed through the herbal material.
The steam carries the Essential oil from the plant in suspension which means the droplets of
essential oils are not dissolved in the steam but remain separate as droplets of oil.
When the steam is cooled it reverts to the liquid state which is water and in most cases the
oil floats on the surface of the water. The oil is then separated from the water by dripping or pouring.
1. Water distillation is used when the plant material has been dried and will not be damaged by boiling.
It is also used for powdered materials such as powdered almond, and flowers, such as orange
and rose, that need to float freely as they tend to lump together when just steam is passed
through them. The material comes into direct contact with the boiling water and much care
needs to be taken that the water does not boil away and cause the plant material to burn.
Another example of an oil prepared by this method is turpentine gum. Turpentine gum is
collected from a species of Pine (Pinus palustris) and the gum, wood chips and pine needles
are placed in the distilling chamber with rain water. This mixture is heated until the plant
and oil are condensed in the condensing chamber. Turpentine oil is not affected by very excessive heat.
2. The second method of distillation is water and steam.
This is used for either fresh or dried plant material that would be damaged by boiling.
The plant material is supported on a perforated grid.
The water level is below the grid and low pressure, wet steam passes through the plant material.
The most important aspect of this method is that the steam is never really hot and always at low
pressure. Cinnamon and clove oils are prepared by this method.
3. Direct steam distillation is similar to the second method but the steam is hotter and passed
through the plant material at a higher pressure. This method is used for fresh plant material
that has a high boiling point such as seeds, roots and wood. It is also used for fresh plant
material such as peppermint and spearmint.
The crop is cut and placed in a metal distilling tank on a truck.
Steam is forced through the fresh herbs and the oil droplets are carried by the steam
through a vapor pipe at the top of the tank onto a cool condensing chamber.
This method is mainly used to prepare citrus oils such as orange, lemon and tangerine.
One method involves puncturing the oil glands by rolling the fruit over sharp projections that
actually pierce the oil glands. The fruit is then pressed which removes the oil from the glands.
It is then washed off with a fine spray of water. The juice is extracted by another tube.
The oil is then separated from the water by rotating it at a very high speed.
Another method involves separating the peel from the fruits and then cold pressing them.
The Essential oil is collected along with small amounts of juice, which is separated.
This is an old method which was used in the production of perfumes and pomade extracts for perfumery.
Flower petals such as rose or jasmine are layered onto warm oils, cold fat or wax.
This process is repeated each day until the base is saturated with the Essential oil.
The resulting waxes or pastes contain up to 1 percent of Essential oil.
The Essential oil is then extracted from the wax with a volatile liquid such as ethyl alcohol.
In the final step the ethyl alcohol is evaporated at low temperatures and reduced
pressure so that the pure Essential oil remains as a fairly thick liquid. Cold enfleurage has
the advantage that even the most delicate components of the flower oils are preserved.
The disadvantages are that it is not very effective and it is very expensive.
Flower oils prepared with this method do not contain terpene-hydrocarbons, which indicates
that these compounds are not present as such in the flower, but form during distillation.
This is the most widely used modern method to prepare oils from flowers.
The petals are mixed into a volatile solvent such as petroleum, ether or benzene,
until the Essential oil is completely dissolved in the solvent. The solution is then filtered
and the solvent is evaporated at reduced pressure. The result of solvent extraction is a concrete.
The solvent is removed from the concrete by vacuum pressure without the use of heat to avoid
any harmful effect to the oil. The concentrated essence that results is called an absolute.
Absolutes are highly concentrated flower products without the natural waxes.
The main advantage of extraction over distillation is that uniform temperatures are maintained
throughout the process. High temperatures during the distillation process can produce altered
chemical composition of the oil which alters the natural odor. However, this method is expensive
compared to distillation, and chemicals or solvents used in the process may still be present after evaporation.
'Glycerin will extract the following - sugars, enzymes (dilute), glucosides, bitter compounds,
saponins (dilute), and tannins. Absolute alcohol will extract the following - alkaloids (some),
glycosides, volatile oils, waxes, resins, fats, some tannins, balsam, sugars, and vitamins.'
you would use the solvent that will give you the healing properties that you need out of
the plant. And for those that don't like the alcohol taste, or bite, the tincture can be mixed
in hot water and left for a few minutes to evaporate most of the alcohol off.
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