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.
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.
Collecting the last of this seasons Spruce and Pine saps while the weather is cold, reminds me that there are some perennial questions that come through this blog from the search engines, inquiring how to use local saps for perfume and incense. Now is a perfect time to address these questions before the weather warms […]
This oil of Hamamelis is beautifully complemented by Violet absolute, (A Co2 extraction of the fragrance and healing properties of the Violet leaf ), and Vitamin E. The mutual support of these two herbs is obvious in their easy union with each other in fragrance, colour, rulerships, temperature and medicinal effects. Witch Hazel oil is a simple but powerful healer for those tender, painful hotspots, inflammations and flareups when they happen.
APOTHECARY’S APPRENTICE HAMILTON HERBAL WORKSHOPS Medieval Apothecary’s Garden- courtesy the Guttenberg Project. The Apothecary’s Apprentice is a hands-on “how-to” series of workshops in Hamilton that focuses on the practical and applied side of herbalism. In the style of old fashioned apprenticeships, participants are invited to work with the apothecary on each of the seasons herbal products as the year unfolds. The goal of […]
How to make a wonderful winter cough and chest rub from local pine, Spruce and Fir saps. A short while ago, I published a post on making a cough and chest rub from Frankincense Neglecta, a lovely type of Frankincense from Ethiopia. It’s fragrance reminded me of our own Fir sap, from which a great […]
Winter Wow, Spicing up the season with Wild Ginger, Asarum Canadense Wild Ginger, or, Asarum Canadense, is a wild growing forest herb native to eastern north America from Quebec and Nova Scotia, down to Georgia and Tennessee. As a culinary spice, Wild Ginger has a bold distinct character, both in its fragrance and flavour. Though it […]
There are many questions about Frankincense that show up regularly through the search engines. They make excellent material for posts, and since we are getting close to the “Holiday” season, with Frankincense and Myrrh such traditional symbols in holiday lore and practice, it`s a perfect time to address them. One important question often asked is, How […]
Distilling Wild Ginger Essential Oil Distillations, mistillations and musings No matter how much experience and knowledge we have, how much care and control we exercise, we will still, on occasion, make critical mistakes. We are quick to record and share our successes, but usually, slow to share our failures. However, if we adhere to a […]
That predictable seasonal shift from garden and woods, to study and laboratory progresses like clockwork. A lot has been going on in the study/lab the past few weeks. Planting, growing, harvesting and hunting lead to new materials for extractions, tinctures and distillations indoors. Frankincense extracts and Anti-aging creme, Reishi mushroom tincture and extract, a Stinkhorn Perfume […]
To Blewits and Beyond, the last Wild Mushroom Hunt What a pleasant surprise!! Last Saturday’s Wild mushroom hunt was a wonderful success with a great turn out, including visitors from Delhi, Selkirk, and Hamilton! Though this time around we didn’t find many edible mushrooms, we did find medicinals and some perfect specimens. Both the […]