distilling herbs

distilling herbs

Saturday, 27 October 2012

The lavenderproject 2012

This year I have harvested more lavender to distil than last year.
I had made an appointment with lavender farm lavender Plus Ulvenhout. In 2011 I had
 already cut some lavender from this farm.

Lavandula angustifolia var. little lady

In late June early July it was just about the time of picking. This pickingtime is depending on the weather.
This year I needed some
volunteers to help me with this amount of harvesting lavender.

In exchange for an afternoon helping with the harvest they got a free workshop lavender distilling in August With the help of a local newspaper I had enough volunteers
Because during the picking no more than 8 people where allowed on the ground, I had to disappoint a number of people.
Friday June 29 and monday 2 july we started we harvested about 100 Kg lavender in totally.

This should be enough lavender for distilling 1 liter of lavender oil.
Thursday July 5 I started distilling the lavender harvest.

I have distilled 4 folding crates of the Ulvenhoutse lavender, Lavandula angustifolia var. little lady.

Freshly picked 4 kg per folding crate, so a total of 16 kg of lavender.
 florentine vase
During the distillation, I used a Florentine vase to separate hydrosol and oil. The oil was initially almost colorless as the distillation progressed and later became more yellow in color.
After 30 minutes of distilling
 After 60 minutes of distilling
After 60 minutes I paused the distillation to put the contents of the Florentine vase into a separating funnel. Because the separation capacity of the Florentine vase was reached.

After 2 1/2 hours distilling I stopped. Results: Approximately 140 mL lavender oil and 7 litre lavender hydrosol. The 16 kg lavender corresponds to a yield of 0.88%After distilling all the 100 kg's of picked lavender I reached an amount of total of 800 mL essential oil. That's a yield of 0.8%.

This year I wanted to know more about the quality of the lavender oil. Especially since there is little(?) lavender oil is produced in the Netherlands
Michel Vanhove ( www.nature-helps.com ) helped me with finding a French company that isspecialized in the analysis of essential oils. www.pyrenessences.com

This company has analyzed the composition of the oil  and checked whether pesticides were present in the oil. The latter is important, because the distilled lavender was not been organically grown.
The analyzes showed that there were no pesticides were present in the oil.The analytical methodology that has been implemented, gas chromatography, is extremely sensitive to very small quantities. The quality of the oil is, therefore, actually referred to as biologically.


soort stof
1,8 - cineol
5,75 %
cis / trans ocimeen
oct-1-en-3-yl acetaat
lavendulyl acetaat
117 stoffen met een percentage lager dan 1,5%

The analysis of the composition of the oil yielded 128 detected substances.
What is striking is that the composition of Ulvenhoutse lavender oil compared to other oils
contains less linalool and linalyl acetate , but is relatively high terpinen-4-ol content.


What do these analyzes tell about the quality of the oil? Because the composition is different the oil smells differently compared to French lavender oil from L.angustifolia. This Dutch oil composition has a unique character. In addition to the statement of the fragrance the composition also says something about the therapeutic value of the oil

For this I have asked an expert aromatherapist, Madeleine Knapp Hayes Wellhuner (www.levensboom.com), about the qualities of the oil in this composition. She has observed  the complete composition, because substances, even in a low concentration, can be of therapeutic value.
Linalool and linalyl acetate is somewhat low but the greater amount of terpinen-4-ol has a significant fungicidal activity. There is also a strong purifying influence of ocimene in the oil. A good oil in soap indeed, but I think there is also a calming influence. There is also quite a lot of myrcene. I would use this for wounds and skin infections, acne, aches ..

soap bars

With this recommendation and the amount of oil and soap which I had made, I was ready for selling some of it.
ready for selling!
I chose for selling my products in a large market (100 booths) on October 14th in Tilburg.

It was a success much interest and also oil and soap sold!
This lavender project was to me more than successful. Next year I will come back to the lavender grower to harvest again.

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