Harvest and make  medicine from local and organically grown Calendula flowers at the Apothecary’s Garden this Sunday Calendula is likely one of the best  known, easiest to grow and use medicinal herbs in the Western world. With a strong affinity for healing the skin, Calendula is used fresh or dry, in an infusion, oil or salve. It quickly soothes […]

Frankincense oleo-resin extracted from Boswellia Neglecta.

Though we rely heavily on essential oils to deliver the therapeutic properties of plants in our medicine and cosmetics, many of Frankincense’s therapeutic properties reside in the resin portion of these oleo-resins and are not available to us through steam or hydro distilled essential oils. Here is how to to utilize their full healing potential.

Fresh co-op harvested Frankincense Frereana- from Somaliland-" Maydi or Yemenite Chewing Gum"

As promised, here is the recipe for my “Abyssinian Twirling Wax”, a Frankincense summer styling wax made with the oleoresin of Frankincense Frereana, co-op harvested in Somaliland. The Frankincense resins in the formula can be replaced with Spruce, Pine or Fir resins if desired. I chose Frankincense Frereana because of its wonderful fragrance and lack […]

Frankincense tree

The need for this sustainable approach to harvesting from the wild is not limited to Africa, Asia or developing countries, it is an approach that is needed and can work beneficially in developed countries as well. There are very few standards for wildcrafting anywhere in the world. Not even in North America where we see ever growing lists of plants that are threatened, protected, in decline and near extinction such as Goldenrod, Lady’s Slipper and many other medicinal and aromatic plants.

My apologies for the long delay posting here. My intent was to deliver part 2 of “How to distill essential oils from spruce and pine sap” a long time ago. But life doesn’t always unfold the way we plan it. Instead, I find myself in Israel with no pine sap and without my distilling equipment. […]

In the production of essential oils, I believe this is the only practical way to keep the integrity of the fresh plant, the nuances and depth, their healing potential, and the metaphorical “heartbeat” of the plant intact through the process. Something not achievable on an “Industrial scale”. Though each batch may differ slightly in complexities of fragrance, I believe these small distillations using planet friendly and non destructive practices, built on intimate personal relationships with nature, from the tapped or exposed saps of the trees, yield perfume and therapeutic ingredients of far higher quality, than commercial distilleries can ever offer.