The Still Room
Still Rooms were a very important part of the ancient household, and hydrosols have historical uses dating as far back as 1527, where in grand households and castles there was a Still Room, where kitchen witching was alive and well, and country women were drying their freshly harvested plants, distilling spirituous waters, infusing teas, brewing decoctions and creating medicaments for healing. Hydrosols, also known as spiritous or aromatic waters, are lovingly referred to as the co-product of the distillation process. The other product is Essential oils, which will either sit on the surface of the aromatic water or they may settle on the bottom underneath the aromatic water. Citrus oils are lighter and will remain on the surface, whereas Vetiver and Patchouli are slightly sticky and a heavier density, and they tend to land below the water.
"Hydrosols are the inseparable qualities of oil and water" *
The separation of the oil and water can happen quite effectively with a separation funnel, (I would love one) or in a more rudimentary way with a pipette. The later is fiddly and in my experience, rather imperfect.
The plant material is placed in a pot with water, and sometimes in the column over the pot as well. Contained impeccably, so as not to let any steam escape, the water is heated slowly. As the plants open with the heat, their pockets of potent essential oil molecules are released, and they begin to rise up, liberated within the steam, to then cool and fall, condensing into an alchemized liquid state.
The Distillation process is an absolutely magical experience.
It is truly a blessing to watch, wait and see the moment when the aromatic water begins to present! Perhaps you will be blessed with a golden layer of essential oil on the surface, as seen below in the picture.
Yarrow Hydrosol with Essential Oil
Wild Rose Distillation
'The inseparable qualities of oil and water' *
Create products that Heal the Split and Unite Opposites.
Shining Light on Shadow, so Shadow may Shine.
Transformation + Integration = Wholeness + Wellness.
When we heal ourselves in this way, the Collective Unconscious heals as well.
* Danielle Hoogenboom - distiller and friend