distilling herbs

distilling herbs

Monday, 6 July 2015

Distillingday at De Levensboom 2: Melisse hydrosol

Madeleine asked for the afternoon session of the distillationday at DE LEVENSBOOM  whether it was possible to make lemon balm hydrosol. The levensboom has a nice medicinal botanical garden so no shortage of freshly picked lemon balm!
That seemed like a good idea to let the students also show how to make hydrosol from fresh plants. It was after all a distillingday. After lunch a number of participants went to picking lemon balm.  In the meanwhile I cleaned the copper distilling kettle and all necessary glassware, which was used in the morningsession for distilling bio lavandin.
Foto: Madeleine Kerkhof Knapp-Hayes
The two crates with lemon balm we have not weighed, but I think we had about approximately 1.5 - 2 kg fresh herb at our disposal to fill the boiler.
Foto: Madeleine Kerkhof Knapp-Haye
Foto: Madeleine Kerkhof Knapp-Hayes
After sealing  with aluminumtape the gas could again be lit under the boiler. After ten minutes a deliciously citrus-scented odeur was being noticed and hydrosol was dripping from the cool bucket.
The distillation should be carried out slowly when making hydrosols. So the hydrosolsol did not come in trickles but drips from the cooling bucket. To make the process continuous, without intervening draining hydrosol, expired we used the Florentine vase. The distillation of lemon balm was not new to me.
Uitleg over CO2 extracten door Madeleine
After distilling two hours we have collected more than 2.5 liters hydrosol. Enough for Madeleine to give a bottle to all participants of the distillingday. I wonder what their experiences and applications will be. As I mentioned in my blog last year, according to Jeanne Rose expert in the field of hydrosols lemon balm hydrosol is suitable for:
This wonderfull fresh, lemonscented water is used for sensitive or aging skin, or sprayed down the throat for many kinds of throat infections 
foto: Kees Kerkhof
Catherine and I found this day were we had performed two distillations more than successful. The participants' enthusiasm was contagious and inspiring. The evaluation found that we were not the only ones who thought so. The participants remain positive and appreciated Madeleine and me with a 8,5 - 9. 
To be repeated so!

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