Spruce sap ready for collection.

As we enter another winter here in the Northern hemisphere, questions about chest rubs, cough and cold syrups, salves and liniments for sore muscles and joints are increasing.
Literally dripping with an abundance of healing plant chemicals, our tree saps, across the globe, traditionally address these physical discomforts and many more.

Card Number 0,The Fool. Says it all.

Well. Looks like I’m moving and leaving Canada.
I say looks like I’m moving because at this point I don’t know exactly how I’m going to get there. I’m just putting one foot in front of the other, one packed box on top of the other, filling one garbage bag at a time, and tackling logistics one issue at a time. I figure if I keep going I will find myself at the other end, and it will be good.

Distillation of fresh Spruce sap with pressure cooker pot-still and Allihn condenser.

How to make a pot still  Likely the simplest and most versatile distillation apparatus that one can make at home, is a pot still. With a pot still one can Distill essential oils from aromatic herbs, flowers and seeds, oleo-resins like Frankincense, Myrrh, Pine and Spruce via hydro or steam distillation. Make grappa or moonshine from wine, mash or other […]

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 […]

Boswellia Frereana, Maydi Perhaps one of the least known Frankincense types in the western world, but one of the most prized  in Arabia and Africa, Boswellia Frereana is native to the Somali Puntland the Somaliland highlands, and is their pride and joy. In Somaliland and neighboring regions, Maydi is considered the King of Frankincenses. With a sweet and […]

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. […]

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 […]

Today I received my much-anticipated package from Addis Ababa Ethiopia. What a treat for the senses!!! This first shipment of two, contains unique essential oils distilled from fresh harvested local oleo-resins. Boswellia and Commiphora. Rare Ethiopian Frankincense and Myrrh essential oils, Palmarosa, Lemongrass, and fresh pressed Black Cumin, and Neem oils to stock the store […]

A Thought on the holistic tincturing of oleo-resins. Each type of Oleo-Gum-Resin such as Myrrh, Opoponax, Mastic, the many types of Frankincense etc., contain different proportions of water-soluble gum and alcohol soluble oleo-resins, (resins and volatile oils). I propose that when one of these Oleo-gum-resins is tinctured to extract its medicinal constituents and properties, that the 2 solvents […]