I haven’t distilled as much as I’ve wanted to this summer. My newly planted herbs just haven’t grown big enough to have the amounts needed for distilling. This is disappointing because I have bought a new still. I have been able to combine some of my herbs with those of gracious friends and neighbors though to be able to have enough.
I have been able to distill comfrey, catnip, lemon balm, blue spruce, and chocolate mint. Catnip distillate I use as a base for making my bug repellent spray. Comfrey is a herb that heals epithelial cells so it is good for any skin care product. Comfrey distillate has worked well for me sprayed on a burn in the kitchen. I will also try using it for muscle aches and tendonitis that I seem to get alot of from l weed pulling. Blue spruce I spray on my face for a boost of energy. Lemon balm is great for many skin care applications including burns, rashes and irritations. Its aroma is light, lemony and uplifting. Cookbook author and culinary herbalist, Susan Belsinger, gave me this recipe for Goodnight milk:
To one cup of warm milk add 1 tsp of lemon balm distillate and 1 tsp of maple syrup. The soothing properties of this milk will surely bring about a good night’s sleep.
Distillates contain the parts of the plant that vaporize at a temperature at or below that of water. This includes microscopic droplets of essential oils that dissolve as well as organic plant acids. Distillates or hydrosols as they are often called are good for use directly on the skin, especially the face as a toner. Mix with a little glycerol and they become a great toner/moisturizer. If you want to keep a distillate around for awhile though it needs a preservative. Otherwise, keep it in the refrigerator and spray it on your face for a cooling refreshment during the hot days of summer. You can still get several types of distillates from Sagescript including comfrey, lemon balm, blue spruce and catnip.