Clippings by bellowbelle

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distillation of herbs

posted by: bellowbelle on 05.06.2011 at 03:45 pm in Herbalism Forum

It took me a while of searching around on the web before I realized that this might be a good place to ask my question! I haven't posted on GW in quite a while.

I'm wondering about semantics -- the 'what to call it' -- of something, but also the basic properties.

I have a Megahome home distiller, which I've so far used for water, though the particular model I have may be used for essential oils or alcohol. I don't have any interest in making any moonshine, though I may get to the essential oils.

It's my understanding that if I steam fresh herbs in the distiller, the resulting distillation mix (that comes out into a glass pitcher) will be a hydrosol. I guess the actual, separated essential oil would be left in the container with the herbs.


If I don't use fresh herbs, but instead use DRIED herbs, would the results be called a hydrosol? Or would that still more correctly be a tea? And, are there any significant differences in the chemical properties/effects? ('Chemistry for Dummies,' please...)

I did try this today, with some dried chamomile (dried for tea, bought commercially). I added a teapot l of filtered, boiled water to the distiller (so, it wasn't completely full), then put a handful of the dried chamomile in the glass container from a small French (coffee) press, from which I'd removed the handle but not the metal supportive frame. I placed that container in the distiller. (Used a jar-lifter to pull it out, later when it was hot.) I added some water to the herbs, too.

I got what I expected, and it did taste like chamomile water, though not exactly like a cup of tea.

For the record.... there are mixed reviews when it comes to drinking distilled water. Many are for it, many are against it. I don't drink it exclusively, and sometimes I lay off it.

Anway, thanks to anyone who can enlighten me further! This does look like a great forum and I'm sure I'll be poking around here some more. Unless I make the wrong potion, that is.... (I won't!).

Here is a link that might be useful: Megahome Still


clipped on: 05.06.2011 at 06:00 pm    last updated on: 12.07.2013 at 11:55 am

RE: using alcohol to force paperwhites (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: greentiger87 on 11.13.2012 at 10:15 pm in Bulbs Forum

Glycerine (glycerol) works well too, and can be found at any supermarket with a pharmacy, or drugstore. No smell. Quicker to bloom too!


clipped on: 01.08.2013 at 05:39 am    last updated on: 01.08.2013 at 05:41 am


posted by: The_Passenger on 12.16.2003 at 01:11 pm in Herbalism Forum

I thought that this would be interesting to try....just thought I'd share it...

Lozenges are the ideal preparation for remedies to help the mouth, throat and upper respiratory tract, as taken in this way they can work where they are most needed. Lozenges containing the most used herbal remedies for the respiratory tract are easily available in herbal pharmacies, but it is very simple and economical to make your own. Stored in an airtight container, they will keep for months. The method of making lozenges is based on combining a powdered herb with sugar and a mucilage (thick, viscous jelly) to produce the charateristic texture.
The mucilage may be obtained from Marshmallow root, Slippery Elm Bark, Comfrey root(not the best herb to use for internal things) or from one of the edible gums such as Tragacanth or Acacia.
Prepare your dried herb first. A good selection for respiratory tract complaints includes anti-microbial herbs such as Red Sage for tonsillitis or mouth ulcers, demulcents such as Coltsfoot, licorice or Lungwort for sore throats, expectorants such as Angelica, aniseed and Thyme to clear mucus and specifics such as White Horehound for coughs.
Instead of using dry herbs, you can also use essential oils. A good example would be Peppermint oil. Mix 12 drops of pure Peppermint oil with 60g/2oz of sugar then combine this with enough of the mucilage of Tragacanth to make a paste. Then proceed to make the lozenges and store the product in an airtight container.
Lozenges are easy to make using edible gum such as Tragacanth or Acacia to make a basic mucilage. Tragacanth is available at herbal pharmacies and some specialist food stores, but you can also get it from artist's material suppliers.
1) Soak 30g/1oz Tragacanth in water for 24 hours, stirring as often as possible... Boil 500ml/1pt of water. Mix in the Tragacanth.
2) Using a wooden spoon, beat the mixture to a uniform consistency. Force it through a muslin strainer to make a mucilage.
3) Mix enough of your chosen herb (in dried, powdered form) into the mucilage to make a paste. Add unrefined brown sugar if you like (especially when using white horehound).
4) Dust a pastry board and rolling pin with icing sugar or cornflour to prevent sticking and roll out the paste to a layer about 1.25cm/inch thick.
5) When the paste has cooled slightly, cut the paste into lozenges, in any shape and size you like. Leave to dry. Store in an airtight container.

Excerpted from "The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal" by David Hoffman.


I found the book mentioned on Amazon, some used copies, but did not buy it as of yet.
clipped on: 04.14.2011 at 04:27 am    last updated on: 04.14.2011 at 04:29 am