Recent distilling Notes for sage and Rue!

Here is a summary of yesterdays distilling session, that I carried out with my ‘Distilling friend” Lionel, our friendship is based on distilling, we meet at least 6 times per year to spend the day dsitilling plants together.

ImageStep one : off to the sacred spring to collect 10 litres of water for two distillations.

Step two: Off to the forest garden, which is now living up to its name as I have not had time to tend this summer, will be moving the medicinals down to my little garden in Autum. Decided to distill sage and rue, I had asked the planet to guide me in the choice as I really felt that today we needed to distill plants that would be healing for both of us.

Step three : Oh lunch time already!!!!

Step four : setting up, we had originally wanted to distill outside but unfortunately due to a bit of wind we were pushed in to the gararge with the door open.

Step five : we took the pH of the spring water before distilling – it was slightly acid at 6.42, which is good as it is preferable to use water with an acid pH.

Step six : The sage, I took the leaves off the woody stems as I didn’t want the the flower water to be too hard. Don’t forget that essential oil of Salva off. is not sold over the counter in Europe due to the high quantity of thujone (a Ketone) making it neuro-toxic and abortive in high doses.
We had about 800 gms of plant matter and added approx. 5 litres of water and off we went.

ImageWe put the gaz on full flame for the first ten to fifteen minutes to get things going and then we turn it right down to have a nice, slow distillation.

Step seven: we stopped the distillation after about one and a half hours, the decision to stop was done through tasting the hydrosol, at the point where it was beginning to come back to a watery taste we stopped. We obtained 1.25 litres of hydrosol with a pH of 5.76

Step eight : Mmmm lovely smell, so intense and aromatic!

Step nine : usual time spent tasting the hydrosol in lovely thin glassed wine glasses to get the most of its aromatic qualities and put the value back into hydrosols – they are high quality plant extracts that merit a certain quality of receptacle.

Here are my notes on the Sage Hydrosol tasting
Nose = extremely powerful, tonic effect.
Aromatic taste – warming, diffusing, toning, balancing
An earthiness to it too.
Although toning not overly stimulating, can feel its antispasmodic qualities.

“Barriers disappear
the essential is revealed
Core of the being’

very predominant in upper part of the body, head, neck, throat, eyes.

Strong medium vibrational notes with lower underlying undertone.

I noticed that my distilling friend, who has been having a difficult time recently, suddenly left alot of the worry and external layers and seemed to come right back into his true, strong self after taking the hydrosol.
Imagedefinitely a feeling of strength and inner force.

Then supper of course (we are in France you know and food is always an integral part of all activities), during which we did a purely water distillation to clean the still.

Then on to the Rue…I was very excited about distilling Rue as I love this plant and have already had some experience with it, I made a flower essence with it a few years back, which I use for ‘self coherence’.

600 grams of Rue, 4 liters of water.
The distillation was very slow and after an hour we had obtained 400mls of hydrosol with a pH of 6.12.

My notes on Rue Hydrosol tasting
OK so first be careful of Rue, as you all know Ruta graveolens is also a non available over the counter essential oil. It contains up to 70% alcaloids, which are Ketones and it also contains furocoumarines , which make it photo-toxic. Although the hydrosol will be relatively safe in comparison with the essential oil, I still suggest using only a few drops in water 3-10 drops, three times per day and not more.

So we did an olfactory tasting first
High, tingling vibrational tone.
The nose was citrusy, a bit mandarine like (it is a Rutaceae family like the citrus fruits), sweet and stimulating.
Finely tuned plant – not to be messed with (yes so this was coming through strongly) I feel this is a teacher plant.
Stimulates the head (all around the circumference)
Wakes one up – very much alive, so I felt the waking up as being on a more symbolic level.

Then put a small amount in a bit of water for the internal tasting
Goes straight downwards – still very stimulating on the peripheral, then came straight back up to my head.

Extremely powerful, its action seemed to be in a sideways, strong rocking movement as it made its way downwards.
I felt it was communicating a message of strength with a strong presence from the mouth down to the base chakra..

ImageA link to the plant world – guardian of knowledge, a gate keeper, to be used with respect.

One of our european plants that can help us with plant initiation.

Extra notes : We finished the work with the Rue at midnight and this morning, I still felt its presence. I ended up staying in bed working on shifting some deep, inner and genealogical wounds, funnily enough these wounds are buried deeply in my emtional stomach/uterus region, the place where rue is known to have a strong action. .

Hope all this has been of some use