Thursday, May 24, 2012

Amber Fox Apothecary's Newest Creations:


here is a re-print of her wonderful how to blog post:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My First Experience Making Hydrosols; A Surprisingly Easy How-To Blog

It was my birthday on Mother's Day, and I got to spend the day with my wonderful kiddo just lazing around the house and yard, laughing and playing with each other. When my partner Justin got home, we opened presents and went for a hike in one of my favorite wildcrafting places near the river. One of the presents he got me was a book by James Green called  The Herbal Medicine-Makers Handbook  (link opens in new tab/window), which is just a wealth of information about how to make nearly every herbal solution I'd ever wondered about, put into simple terms, with often several recipes in each section to choose from, in case one sounds a little too (or not enough) complicated for you. 
The first recipes I was eager to try out were the Hydrosols, as they've always had this air of complicated-ness about them, and they are often fairly pricey, which somehow lends to the mystery, but I was pleasantly relieved to find that they were quite simple and uncomplicated. Yet another reason I am so in love with herbal healing! It's so accessible!
It's pretty much as simple as this: Gather some Rose petals, or some other kind of fragrant flower or herb... (Wild Rose ((Rosa woodsii))is the most amazing smelling of the Roses IMHO, but you can try with any you like)
  Next get an enamel canning pot, add 3 quarts water and your loosely packed quart of herb...
Place a vegetable steamer with the center taken out in the bottom of the pot...

Then place a bowl on top of that (to catch your hydrosol in)...
Next, cover this, and slowly bring it to a boil, emphasis on the slowly. 
Once it's come to a boil, take the lid off and flip it upside down, replacing it back on the pot. This is going to help the gathered condensation drip into your bowl. You can place a bag of ice on top of the lid, which the book says adds a little something to the mix, and I did this, but it didn't even last half the time, and I didn't really have anymore ice to put on it again, as I'd used all the ice in the house and the newly filled trays took too long to re-freeze. So if it added that extra something, it added it in that first two hours only.
This is about 4 hours into the process... (steamy!)
 About 4 hours more and I was able to double this amount, or about a quart and half of Rose Hydrosol! And it smelled A-MAZ-ING!!! Put some in a spray bottle and use it to mist your face and body. Rose Hydrosol has been touted to help problem skin and reduce fine lines and signs of aging, as well as aromatherapy to help emotional and spiritual healing.
Good luck trying out your own hydrosols! Let me know how they go!

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