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 A ME R ICAN COLLEGE of Healthcare S ciencesNationally Accredited and State Approved Distance Education 800.487.8839 achs @ 5940 SW Hood Ave, Portland Oregon 97239 DISTILLATION MANUAL

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of Healthcare Sciences™

N a t i o n a l l y A c c r e d i t e d a n d S t a t e A p p r o v e d D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n8 0 0 . 4 8 7 . 8 8 3 9 • a c h s @ a c h s . e d u • w w w . a c h s . e d u

5 9 4 0 S W H o o d A v e , P o r t l a n d O r e g o n 9 7 2 3 9


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The information in this workbook is not intended to take the place of diagnosisand treatment by a qualified licensed healthcare provider.

Any recommendations are for educational purposes only and are believed to beeffective. However, since use of any material by others is beyond the control of American College of Healthcare Sciences, no expressed or implied guarantee as tothe effectiveness of this information can be given nor liability taken.


Copyright (c) 1986-2012

All ACHS lesson materials, curriculum, manuals, handbooks, and all othermaterials, whether online or printed, and the online platform and content, aresubject to copyright and intellectual property protection. Unauthorized use isstrictly prohibited and subject to disciplinary proceedings and legal action.

This material must not be reproduced in any way without the written permissionof the President of American College of Healthcare Sciences, 5940 SW HoodAvenue, Portland, OR 97239 United States. Telephone (800) 48-STUDY or (503)244-0726; fax (503) 244-0727; email [email protected]; on the Web 

Pursuant to the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) Section 485(a) (20U.S.C. 1092(a)) (i), students are hereby notified that “unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subjectthe students to civil and criminal liabilities.”

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Table of Contents 


ESSENTIAL OIL..... 3PLEASE NOTE ....................... 1COPYRIGHT

NOTICE ................................. 1Table of Contents ................. 2WHAT IS AN


PRIOR TO DISTILLATION ................................. ........ 4TREATMENT OF PLANTMATERIAL ....................................................................... 4

COMMINUTION .................... 4HOW ESSENTIAL

OILS ARE MADE .................. 5DISTILLATION ...................................... ........................... 5TECHNICAL EVOLUTION IN THESTILLS................................................................................ 6

A. Simple still, open fire, mobile .......................................... 6B. Permanent still over the open fire................................. . 6C. Steam still ...................................... ...................................... . 7D. Mobile distillation tanks ...................................... .............. 7

DISTILLATION METHODS .......................................... 7Water Distillation ................................................................... 7Water and Steam Distillation ............................................... 8Direct Steam Distillation ....................................................... 8

REDISTILLATION ORCOHOBATION ............................................................. 8



MATERIAL ............................ 9DISTILLATIONTASK SHEET ...................... 10



OF LAVENDER ................... 11Family ................................. ....................................... ................ 11Common Names ...................................... ............................. 11Sources ..................................................................... ................ 12History .............................. ....................................... ................ 12Parts Used ............................................................... ................ 13Cultivation ............................................ ................................... 13Harvesting and Production .................................. ................ 14Characteristics .......... ...................................... ....................... 14Active Constituents ........................... ................................... 14Therapeutic Actions ................................. ............................. 15Medicinal Uses ..................................... ................................... 15Notable Therapeutic Actions andMedicinal Uses ..................................... ................................... 16Household Uses .................................. ................................... 17Perfumery ............................................. ................................... 17Recommended Daily Dosage (RDD) ................................ 18Cautions and Contraindications ...................................... ... 18Formulas ........................... ....................................... ................ 18Recipes ........................................... ....................................... ... 20


RESOURCES ....................... 28Books ................................................................. ....................... 28Online ................................................................ ....................... 28Email Discussion Lists .................................... ....................... 28

WHAT NEXT? ..................... 29 

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Figure 1: Sandalwood Santalum album. Photograph 

Dorene Petersen.

Before we begin to discuss how to distillessential oils let us look at what an essentialoil is. According to The AssociationFrancaise de Normalisation (A.F.N.O.R.)1 anessential oil is a volatile derivative obtainedfrom botanical raw material by either steamdistillation or mechanical processing of thepericarp of citrus fruits or by distillation. Theessential oil is then separated from theaqueous phase by physical means.

Essential oils are natural plant products that accumulate in specialized structuressuch as oil cells, glandular trichomes, and oil or resin ducts. The production site of oils differs in each plant. Lavender oil for example is found in the flowers, stemand leaves, but primarily in the flowers. Barks and roots also produce oils.Sandalwood is a bark oil and vetiver oil is distilled from roots. Each oil is a uniquechemical cocktail of organic constituents such as mono and sesquiterpenes andaromatic polypropanoids.

Essential oils are volatile and therefore lend themselves to various methods of extraction such as hydrodistillation, water and steam distillation, and direct steamdistillation. Solvents are used to extract other aromatic materials such as

absolutes. Technically, according to the A.F.N.O.R. definition, absolutes are notessential oils. Other aromatic volatile oils, which are thought of as essential oilsbut are technically not since they are not distilled are:

1.  Absolutes produced using a solvent such as hexane and ethanol

2.  CO2s, which are similar to absolutes but extracted using liquid carbon dioxide

3.  Florasols, formerly known as phytols, extracted with a fluoro-hydrocarbonsolvent

The specific extraction method depends upon the plant material and the desiredend product2.

Volatility is one factor essential oils have in common. The word volatile comesfrom the Latin word “to fly”. Essential oils evaporate when exposed to air, even at

1 A.F.N.O.R. Association Francaise de Normalisation–Tour Europe Cedex 7–92049 Paris–La Defense2 Simon, J E. Essential Oils and Culinary Herbs. Advances in New Crops, 1990.

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normal room temperatures, and become vapor. Rates of evaporation vary amongessential oils.

Some essential oils are cold pressed such as the citrus oils from the citrus peel.Do not confuse these with oils such as cold-pressed oils like olive, sunflower, or

safflower. These oils are also called fixed or base oils and are very different fromessential oils. They feel oily to the touch and when exposed to air they becomerancid and do not evaporate. By contrast, essential oils are not oily, don’t leave anoily residue, do not become rancid, and they evaporate readily.


Some plants are distilled fresh, wilted or partly air-dried, which is known as“clover dried.” The term clover dried refers to a plant in a partly dried statewhere the leaf or flower of a plant (such as lavender) is dry but the stalk is stillflexible. A clover-dried plant has lost most of its water content, which results in afaster, more economical distillation.

How the plant is treated while it is wilting or air drying is important. Some volatilematerial can be lost at this stage if the plant is left at high temperatures.Evaporation, oxidation and resinification can all occur. Low temperatures are best.

If the plant material needs to be stored prior to distillation it should be kept in amoisture-free environment, at a cool, preferably air conditioned temperature. Inoptimal conditions some seeds (such as caraway) can be kept for six months priorto distilling. Sandalwood can last for many years whereas flowers leaves and wholeherbs should not be kept for longer than a few months.

Note the aroma of some plants alters considerably with storage. Patchouli leavesare almost odorless when fresh but dried and cured the notable patchouli aromadevelops. Another example is the aroma of fresh grass and hay. Coumarin, the“hay aroma,” only develops during drying.


Each aromatic plant accumulates essential oils in different structures within the plantsuch as oil glands, veins, oil sacks, trichomes, and glandular hairs or ducts. Distillationcan be a slow process and in order to speed it up and ensure complete andeconomical distillation the plant material should be cut or crushed.


This process of cutting and processing the material is known as comminution. Itreduces the thickness of the plant material through which distillation occurs andresults in an increase in the speed of vaporization and the subsequent rate of distillation. Each plant is handled differently.

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Flowers leaves and thin, non-fibrous plants are generally left intact. Roots, stalks, andwoody material are cut into short lengths and seeds need to be crushed. Once thematerial is cut it should be distilled immediately as exposure to the air results in lossof the more volatile components of the essential oil.

HOW ESSENTIAL OILS ARE MADE  We now know that essential oils are found within different parts of variousplants, but how do we get them from the plant? In this manual we will focuson one of the method of extraction called distillation.


Figure 2: Stills in French distillery. Photograph Dorene


The most important production method foressential oils is distillation.

While the basic principle remains thesame, it is implemented in different waysdepending on the botanical material andits condition.

In the distillation process, steam ispassed through the plant material, which is packed tightly and uniformly intothe still. Steam will follow the path of least resistance so any holes or gaps inthe material, called ”rat holes,” will result in material that is not touched by

the steam. Ideally the steam evenly and thoroughly penetrates the planttissues and vaporizes the volatile substances. The steam carries the essentialoil from the plant in suspension, which means that the droplets of essential oilare not dissolved in the steam. They remain separate, as droplets of oil. Steamchanges back to the liquid state when cooled. This process occurs in thecondenser. The condenser is a series of coils cooled by water flowing freelythrough it. The condenser is best to have warm water running through it.Too rapid and excessive cooling results in the distillate running from thecondenser in an uneven or jerky fashion. The distillate can also turn milky if the condenser is kept too cold. If this happens, pour the distillate back intothe retort and continue distilling. The cooling water flowing out of the

condenser should be lukewarm when you pass your hand though it.

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A. Simple still, open fire, mobile 

Capacity: 100 to 500 liters

Distilling time: Approximately 3 hours

Fuel used: Pine or oak, gorse

In this still, the flowers were not separated from the water, and therefore couldnot then be used later as fuel for the fire.

B. Permanent still over the open fire 

Capacity: 200 to 800 liters

Distilling time: 2 to 3 hours

Fuel: Wood, lavender straw, coal

The tank, which had increased in size, is protected by a masonry wall, whichreduced heat loss. The development of the grid and the hoist were adapted ontothis type of still. The grid, or “panier” separated the flowers from the boilingwater, thus the distilled lavender could later be used as fuel.

3 Source: The “Lavender Roads” Association:

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C. Steam still

Capacity: Generally from 1,000 to 6,000 liters per tank (up to 20,000 liters)

Distilling time: 30 to 40 minutes

Fuel: Lavender straw

These double boiler and steam stills could also be used with fuel oil or gas boilers.Most of the distilleries use this type of still. Today, most of the different steps inthe distilling process are done by machine.

D. Mobile distillation tanks 

Capacity: 14 to 26 liters per tank 

Distilling time: 1 hour to 1½ hours

Fuel: Gas, electricity, or fuel oil

Use of this system has expanded in the recent years. 


The main methods of distillation are water, water and steam, and directsteam. Look at the structure of the plant to determine the distillation methodand time of distillation.

Water Distillation

This method is used when the plant material has been dried and will not bedamaged by boiling. It is also used for powdered materials and flowers, suchas orange and rose. Flowers need to float freely because they tend to clump

together when steam is passed through them. The material comes into directcontact with the boiling water, so much care needs to be taken to ensure thewater does not boil away, causing the plant material to burn.

An example of an oil prepared by this method is turpentine gum. Turpentinegum is collected from a species of pine, Pinus palustris. The gum, wood chips,and pine needles are placed in the distilling chamber along with water. Themixture is heated until the plant and oil are liquefied in the condensing

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chamber. The oil is not affected by excessive heat. Also note some partlywater-soluble constituents react with water: for example, ester (such as linalylacetate) will partly hydrolyze and the percentage of esters in the final oil willbe reduced. Eugenol and phenylethyl alcohol can also remain in the distillatewater, so this method is used less and less as modern retorts improve in


Water and Steam Distillation

This is the second method of distillation. It is used for either fresh or driedplant material that would be damaged by boiling. The plant material issupported on a perforated grid. The water level is below the grid and low-pressure steam is passed through the plant material. The most importantaspect of this method is that the steam remains at a low pressure, whichkeeps the process cooler than other methods of distillation. The temperaturewill be at or slightly below 100°C or 212°F. Cinnamon and clove oils areprepared by this method.

Direct Steam Distillation

This is similar to water and steam distillation, but the steam is passed through theplant material at a higher pressure. This method is used for fresh plant material thathas a high boiling point, such as seeds, roots, and wood. It is also used for fresh plantmaterial, such as peppermint and spearmint. The crop is cut and placed in a metaldistilling tank on a flatbed truck. The crop is transported directly to the distillery andthe distilling tank is connected to the boiler without the material being unloaded.Steam is forced through the fresh plant material. The oil droplets are carried by thesteam through a vapor pipe at the top of the tank into a condensing chamber.


The retort may be filled with a fresh charge of plant material and the distillatewater can be used again for the charge. This process is called cohobation and itwill solve the problem of milky distillate or increase the yield of oil in low-yieldplants, such as Melissa.


The condensed steam and the volatile oils then drip into a Florentine

collector or separator.

Steam distillation produces a mixture of water and oils, and the Florentinecollector or separator is an ingenious solution to how to separate the two.

4 Nixon, M. & McCaw, M. The Compleat Distiller . Amphora Society, 2nd edition: 2004.

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The Florentine separator has been used by the perfume industry forcenturies.

To use the separator, you first fill it with water to cover the overflow pipe atthe bottom, so that none of the essential oil is lost. When the distillate in the

separator reaches the height of the top of the overflow pipe, it begins tooverflow, keeping the level of water inside the separator constant. Thedensity of the essential oils at the top is lower than water, so the actual levelinside the separator tube may be slightly higher than the top of the outsidearm.

As the distillate collects, the water and oil separate passively. In most casesthe oil will float to the top, but there are some exceptions. Some essentialoils have a specific gravity higher than water, so they sink to the bottom.Examples include anise, birch, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, mace, andwintergreen. These oils are separated using a specially designed separator.

Once the essential oil is separated from the distillate, the remaining water isreferred to as a hydrosol, hydrolate, or distillate water. This may be used inperfumes, soaps, or cosmetics depending on the botanical.


In small quantities this is not an issue but in large-scale distilleries the disposal of spent plant material is a challenge. In France spent lavender has been used for fuelto heat direct fire stills. As other fuels, such as natural gas, are becoming morepopular this use has declined and it is not uncommon to see large mounds of 

partly decomposed distilled lavender taking up large areas of land arounddistilleries. Some other potential uses are being explored in France, includingpaper production and straw bale production for housing. Composting the spentmaterial has also been attempted but lavender has not been very successful.Guenther in The Essential Oils also says that certain plants make excellent cattlefeed when missed with molasses and grasses, such as lemongrass. Spent seeds area good source for cattle feed.

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Date Distillation Record Sheet

Common Name

Latin Name

Family Name

Environmental Factors

Geographical Location

Approx. Ambient Temperature


Watering/Rainfall History

Month of Harvest

Time of Harvest

Botanical Factors

Age of Plant

Part of Plant

Drying or Wilting Time

Weight of Plant

Distillation Factors

pH of Water

Water Level in Retort

Temperature of Condenser

Temperature Condensate Appears

Total Duration of Distillation

Volume of Oil

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Calculate Yield Weight of Plant Divided byWeight of Oil for Volume of Hydrosol

Use of Spent Material

ESSENTIAL OIL OF LAVENDER Figure 3 (left): Essential oil of lavender, Lavandula officinalis, L. vera. Figure 4 (right): These

rolling purple fields are in fact lavandin ( Lavandula intermedia), a hybrid cross between true

lavender ( Lavandula officinalis), and spike lavender ( Lavandula latifolia). Do not confuse the two

 plants, as lavandin has distinct constituents that make it useful for different conditions than true

lavender. Photograph © Dorene Petersen, Provence, France.

“ and still she slept an azure-lidded sleep, in blanched linen, smooth and lavendered.”  

— Keats


Lamiaceae (formerly Labiatae)

Common Names

Garden lavender and common lavender

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The lavender and lavender-type oils of commerce are derived fromtwo species and their hybrids.


This is a strong growing shrub giving a fairly large yield of oil with astrong aroma of camphor. It occurs naturally at lower altitudes aroundthe northern Mediterranean shore, particularly Spain and Italy. It isalso grown in England, the USA, Japan, and Tasmania. Spike lavenderoil is quite harsh and is used mainly for scenting soaps.


This is a dwarf shrub yielding a relatively small yield of oil distinguished

from other lavender oils by being entirely free of camphor. Its naturalhabitat is restricted to a small area above 3,281 feet (1,000 meters) of altitude in the southern French Alps. This is the true lavender thatgrows wild at altitudes of 2,296-3,609 feet (700-1,100 m), in southernFrance. It produces the finest essential oil. It has a smaller blossomcluster than L. angustifolia.


At medium altitudes in the south of France, the two basic speciesintermingle and give rise to a very wide range of hybrids. As

commonly occurs with this type of crop, the hybrid is sterile butstronger growing than either of the parents. It provides very largeyields of oil high in camphor. France produces more than 1,000 tons of this plant a year and cultivation and harvest is economical due to theentire process being done by machine.


The botanical name Lavandula comes from the Latin lavare meaning “towash.” The use of lavender as a strewing and bathing herb by theRomans is well documented. It was one of the ingredients of the Four

Thieves vinegar famous in the Middle Ages. During this time,Europeans used dried lavender flowers under their pillows to ward off evil spirits. It also was used extensively for medicinal purposes untilthe 18th century in Britain.

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Parts Used

The oil is distilled from the flower stalks and flowers. Higher quality oilis distilled from just the flowers, which are stripped from the stalks

prior to distillation.


Lavender can be grown from seed (population lavender) but is morereadily propagated by cuttings or divisions.

Growth can be slow and the plants do not produce any considerablequantity of flowers for about three years. Note, however, that somelavandins do produce a reasonable amount of flowers after only one year.

There are many varieties of lavender and its hybrids, allowing one to find a

variety to grow in diverse climates, from subtropical to ice and snow!

In general, true lavender prefers a cold climate and some will tolerate iceand snow. The highest quality essential oil comes from plants grown above700 ft, as elevation increases the content of the ester, linalyl acetate, in theessential oil.

Most lavenders grow best in a light soil (sand or gravel) in a dry, open,sunny position. They need good drainage, particularly in winter. The fastestway to kill a lavender plant is to let it sit with wet roots, or “wet feet”.Lavender will survive drought once it is established. Young plants or

seedlings may need to be irrigated during dry weather until they areestablished (which usually takes one year). Avoid overhead watering of lavender, as this can lead to molding. Instead, use drip irrigation or soakerhoses.

Lavender will grow in poor soil, where few plants can survive. It prefers aneutral to alkaline soil of pH 7-7.5. Most growers apply lime or dolomitefor this reason, although mulching with oyster shells or crushed concrete isalso used. Always have a soil test before adding lime.

For large-scale production, disc and till the area at least three times the

year before planting, then till in any soil amendments. Weed cloth isrecommended for organic production, but adds significantly to the cost of production.

One hectare, which is approximately 2.5 acres, contains 12,000 to 15,000lavender plants or 8,000 to 10,000 lavandin plants. A lavender field will lastabout 10 years, although some farmers in Provence successfully crop for

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up to 15 years when organic farming methods are used. Crop rotationincreases yields, and several years of grain or clover production willrejuvenate the land after a lavender field. Plants start producing after thesecond year and reach maximum yield between the 4th and 6th years. One

hectare of fine lavender produces, on the average, 15 to 20 kilos of essential oil. Lavandin yields vary between 60 and 150 kilos of essential oilper hectare depending on the variety.

Harvesting and Production

The flowering crops are harvested when in full bloom and during thehottest time of the day. For best results, the flowers are steamdistilled with no previous drying or fermentation. Freshly wiltedlavender gives a greater yield of oil with a higher ester content. Thealtitude of the distillery also influences the ester content. Distilleries

located at high altitudes produce oils of higher ester content, not onlybecause a high-altitude, wild-growing lavender has a higher estercontent, but also because high-altitude distillation means lower-temperature boiling. Consequently, the distilled oil is not exposed to212°F steam, but perhaps only 197°F. Dried lavender, particularly if dried in direct sunlight and not stored correctly, gives a decreasedyield of oil by as much as 2.4%. Distillation time is usually about 1 to 2hours. The coumarin, which is said to have a synergistic effect withlinalyl acetate acting as an anti-inflammatory, only comes over after thefirst hour and half.


Lavender oil is a colorless, pale-yellow or yellowish-green oil. It mustbe stored at cool temperatures in well-filled airtight containers,protected from light. It feels slick between the fingers and is quick toabsorb. It leaves no stain on the perfume blotter. The taste issomewhat camphoraceous and sharp.

Active Constituents

The constituents of different species differ in their content of the esterlinalyl acetate due to altitude. If lavender is grown above 2,000 feet,

the ester content is increased, producing more valuable oil. Someresearchers say the presence of esters impart the fragrant aroma tolavender, but W. A Poucher in Perfume, Cosmetics and Soaps says thebouquet has no relation to the percentage of esters and that mostperfumers base their selection on olfactory tests, not ester content.The esters do impart therapeutic qualities to the oil, making it aneffective soothing, balancing oil with an antimicrobial action. Other

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esters such as linalyl butyrate and geranyl acetate are also present.Lavender oil also contains linalol, ß-ocimene, camphor, cineole,limonene, -pinene, coumarin, -borneol, ethyl amyl ketone, and thesesquiterpene, carophyllene oxide. The French lavender contains only

traces of cineole. English lavender has a higher proportion of cineole.

Therapeutic Actions

Analgesic Antibacterial Antidepressant

Antimicrobial Antirheumatic Antiseptic

Antispasmodic Aromatic Bactericidal

Carminative Cholagogue Diuretic

Emmenagogue Hypotensive Insecticide

Nervine Sedative Stimulant

Stomachic Vulnerary

Medicinal Uses

At a strength of 4.5%, lavender oil destroys typhoid bacteria and at 5%it destroys diphtheria bacteria.

Acne AmenorrheaAnorexia

Asthma Burns Cellulite

Colic Conjunctivitis Cough

Cystitis Dandruff Dermatitis

Digestion (slow) Earache Eczema

Flatulence Halitosis Headache

Headache Hypertension Indigestion (nervous)

Infection Insect bites Insomnia

Leucorrhea Measles Migraine

Nausea Neuralgia Parasites (intestinal)

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Psoriasis Scalds Scars

Sinus congestion Sores Sprains

Stress Sunburn Teething (pain)

Tension (nervous) Thread veins Toothache

Ulcers Wounds

Notable Therapeutic Actions and Medicinal Uses


Lavandula officinalis demonstrated antibacterial activity against

microorganisms ( Micrococcus, Streptococcus, Lactobacillus, and Sarcina species) involved in dental decay5.

Lavender essential oil was one of the most effective oils tested for activityagainst bacteria such as Proteus species, Staphylococcus aureus, andStreptococcus pyogenes. Ninety percent of the microbes were killed withinthree hours after exposure to the oils6.


At a concentration of 0.1-0.2 mg/m2, lavender reduced the cholesterolcontent in the aorta and reduced the effect of atherosclerotic plaques on

the aorto upon inhalation in a study conducted with rabbits7.


Lavandula officinalis inhibited Pseudomonas aeruginosa by 75%. It significantlydelayed sporulation of filamentous fungi and it inhibited Trichophytonmentagraphytes8 by 100%.

5 Pellecuer J, Jacob M, de Buochberg M S, Dusart G, Attisso M, Barthez M, Gourgas L, PacalB. (1980). Trials of Using Essential Oils from Aromatic Plants of the Mediterranean inConservative Odontology. Plantes Med Phytother 14(2):83-98.6 Bardeau F. (1976). Use of Essential Aromatic Oils to Purify and Deoderise the Air. Chir Dent

Fr , 46 (319):53.7 Nikoaevskii V V, Kononova N S, Pertsovskii A I, Shinkarchuk I F. (1990). Effect of EssentialOils on the Course of Experimental Atherosclerosis. Patol Fiziol Eksp Ter 5:52-53.8 Larrondo J V, Agut M, Calvo-Torras M A. (1995). Antimicrobial activity of essences fromLabiates. Microbios 82:171-172.

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Lavender essential oil showed good activity against a strain of Cryptococcusneoformans fungus in vivo, though normally it has been found to beineffective in vitro9. 


Lavender, with a 49.62% effectiveness rating, was one of the 10 mosteffective essential oils against organisms that included Staphylococcus aureus,Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, Streptococcus faecalis, and Candida albicans.The essential oils were 1.48 times more effective than antibiotics in vitro10. 

Lavender essential oil showed antimicrobial activity in a study conductedagainst 25 species of bacteria (including Staph. aureus, Strep. faecalis, Yersinia

enterocolitica, Salmonella pullorum, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonasaeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and Proteus vulgaris) and nine fungi (including

 Aspergillus flavus, Asp. niger, Asp. ochraceus, and Asp. parasiticus)11

Household Uses

Lavender oil is used extensively to fragrance soaps and air freshenersand it can be used around the home as a very effective deodorizer andair freshener. Lavender pillows and sachets are wonderful in linencupboards and chests of drawers and will keep away moths and otherinsects while imparting a fresh scent. Lavender oil in a room, eithersprayed from an atomizer or left in a saucer, will help to keep awayants and insects and to disinfect the air. As noted under medicinaluses, lavender at a strength of 4.5% kills typhoid bacteria and at 5%

destroys diphtheria bacteria. No information on the suggested uselevel is available.


Lavender has a sweet, floral-herbaceous, refreshing aroma with apleasant, balsamic-woody undertone. The fruity, sweet top note isshort lived and the base note is not long lasting. It blends well withmost oils, particularly bergamot, citrus oils, clary sage, geranium,patchouli, pine, and rosemary. The presence of esters imparts a

9 Viollon C, Chaumont J-P. (1994). Antifungal Properties of Essential Oils and TheirCompounds upon of Cryptococcus neoformans. Mycopatholgia 128 (3):151-153.10 Valnet J, Duraffourd C, Duraffourd P, Lapraz J. (1978). New Results and Interpretations of 268 Clinical Tests Using an Aromatogram. Plantes Med Phytother 12 (1):43-52.11 Svoboda K P, Deans S G. (1995). Biological Activities of Essential Oils from SelectedAromatic Plants. Acta Hort 390:203-209.

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fragrant fruity aroma to most blends. No information on the minimumperceptible is available. 

Recommended Daily Dosage (RDD)

Three times daily unless stated otherwise:Adults 1-4 drops, 3-4 times a day

External 5-10 drops in a full bath

For burns, wounds, insect bites, and stings, apply directly to the skin or saturatesterile gauze and cover affected area.

Cautions and Contraindications

None known


lavender ointment

Lavender oil: 25 drops

Bergamot oil: 10 drops

Thyme oil: 5 drops

Beeswax: 0.26 oz

Sweet almond oil: 2 oz

Warm the almond oil over a double boiler and add the grated beeswax.Stir until the wax is dissolved, then add the essential oils. Cool beforeplacing in jars and leave it to completely cool before putting on the lid toavoid condensation.

travel—jet lag

Lavender oil: 10 drops

Grapefruit oil: 7 drops

Peppermint oil: 4 drops

Ginger oil: 4 drops

Blend the oils. When traveling by air, place on the air vent above your seat.Add 10 drops to a base oil and apply to ear lobes, base of neck, and insideof wrists while in the air. For internal use, take 1 drop in a little water

three times daily, three days prior to travel, during and for three daysfollowing travel. It is important to drink at least two 8 oz glasses of waterhourly while traveling.

rheumatism, aches, pains

Rosemary oil: 10 drops

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 Juniper oil: 6 drops

Lavender: 8 drops

Base oil: 1½ oz

Blend the essential oils into the base oil and apply externally as frequentlyas required.

lavender ointment

Lavender oil: 25 drops

Bergamot oil: 10 drops

Thyme oil: 5 drops

Beeswax: 0.26 oz

Sweet almond oil: 2 oz

Warm the almond oil over a double boiler and add the grated beeswax.

Stir until the wax is dissolved, then add the essential oils. Cool beforeplacing in jars and leave it to completely cool before putting on the lid toavoid condensation.

inhalation for influenza, sinusitis, bronchitis

Eucalyptus oil: 30 drops

Lavender oil: 15 drops

Pine oil: 12 drops

Marjoram oil: 6 drops

Thyme oil: 3 drops

Add six drops to a bowl of boiling water and inhale for 5-10 minutes.

burns and scalds

Tea tree Australian oil: 10 drops

Lavender oil: 10 drops

Run cold water over the area for at least 1 minute, and then apply the teatree/lavender oil blend with a sterile cotton ball or directly from thebottle. This formula is effective for blisters or suppurating burns.

pimples and boils

Tea tree Australian oil: 20 drops

Lavender oil: 20 drops

Blend the two oils and store in an amber bottle. Apply with a cotton ballor sterile gauze to the affected area 3-4 times daily.


Bergamot oil: 2 drops

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Lavender oil: 5 drops

Ylang ylang oil: 3 drops

Blend the oils and add 3 drops to a full bath or use a foot or hand bath at

least once daily. For those people who shower, adding this formula toliquid soap is an effective alternative.


Lavender Lemonade

5 cups water

1½ cups sugar

12 stems fresh lavender

2¼ cups lemon juice

Boil 2½ cups of water with the sugar. Add the lavender stems and removefrom heat. Place on the lid and let cool. When cool, add 2½ cups waterand the lemon juice. Strain out the lavender. Serve the lavender lemonadewith crushed ice and garnish with lavender blossoms. Serves 8. Refreshing!

Lavender Sugar Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup sugar

½ cup butter

½ cup milk 

1 egg

½ cup raisins or dried cranberries

¼ cup lavender sugar

Mix dry ingredients together. Cut in butter with a pastry blender untilcrumbly. Whisk egg and milk together. Pour liquid into dry ingredients.Add raisins or cranberries. Knead a few times and pat into a circle ½-¾-inch thick and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Brush with extramilk and sprinkle with lavender sugar. Score into 8 wedges. Bake at 350ºFfor 20 minutes until golden brown.

Lavender Sugar1/3 cup fresh lavender flowers

1 cup white granulated sugar

Mix well. Store in an airtight jar in a dark place. Will keep for a year. Use incooking and flavoring.

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Lavender Lemon Shortbread

1 cup butter (at room temperature)

½ cup icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)

1½ cups flour

¼ teaspoon salt½ teaspoon vanilla

Zest of one large lemon (grated)

1 tablespoon lavender, finely chopped (you can adjust this to your personaltaste)

2 tablespoons lavender sugar (recipe above)

Cream butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until well blended andlight-colored. Sift the flour and salt together in another bowl, and add tothe butter and sugar mixture. Add the vanilla, lemon zest, and lavender andblend thoroughly. Roll the dough into a ball and wrap in waxed paper,

refrigerate for 2-4 hours. Press the dough into an 8-inch square pan.Sprinkle with lavender sugar and chill in refrigerator a further 45 minutes.

Bake in 350º oven for 20 minutes until the shortbread turns a light golden.Cool in pan and cut into 16 portions.

Lavender Pizza Dough

2 teaspoons active dry yeast

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water (110°)

2 cups unbleached bread flour

2 tablespoons olive oil


teaspoon sea salt1-2 teaspoons dried lavender (be sure to experiment and find out if you like alot or a little of the dried lavender in your crust)

In a bowl, combine the yeast, ¼ cup warm water, and ¼ cup flour. Let itstand for 30 minutes. Add the remaining 1¾ cup flour, ½ cup plus 2tablespoons warm water, olive oil, salt, and lavender. Mix the doughthoroughly and turn out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth,elastic, and a bit tacky to the touch, 7-8 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl andturn to cover with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise inthe refrigerator overnight. (This is very important to get the true taste of lavender in the dough.) The next day, let it come to room temperature

and proceed with the recipe.

Lavender Biscotti

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

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½ cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts

2 large eggs

½ cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons dried lavender flowers

¼ cup melted butter2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon lemon rind

 Juice of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons milk 

½ teaspoon vanilla or lemon extract

Optional: melted chocolate for dipping

Preheat oven to 325°. In large bowl combine all dry ingredients, lavenderand nuts. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, butter, honey,lemon, lemon rind, milk, and vanilla (may use beater on slow instead of the

whisk). Add to flour mixture. Stir well. Dough will be soft and sticky.Spoon onto cookie sheet into 2 “log” shapes: approximately 2-inches wide.Bake 35 minutes until golden. Remove from oven. Cool 10 minutes. Placeon board, cut into 1-inch wide slices. Place on sides of cookie sheets.Return to oven and cook 20 minutes longer, turning once. Cool on rack.Optional to dip or decorate with melted chocolate. Yield: 2 dozen.

Pink Lavender Lemonade

2½ cups water

1½ cups sugar

½ cup frozen or fresh, hulled strawberries

¼ cup fresh lavender flowers chopped (experiment with the amount of lavender you prefer)

2¼ cups fresh lemon juice (Meyer lemons are sweeter and will reduce theamount of sugar you need)

2½ cups water

½ cups sugar (optional)

Fresh lavender flowers for garnish

In medium saucepan, combine 2½ cups water, sugar, and strawberries.Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat. Simmer 5 minutesto extract pink from strawberries. Remove from heat. Stir in lavender.Cover and cool. Strain cooled liquid into a large pitcher, gently pressing

 juice from berries. Add remaining 2½ cups water and lemon juice. Stirwell. Add ½ cup more sugar, if desired. Just before serving, add ice cubes.Pour into chilled glasses. Garnish with lavender flowers. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Lemon, Ginger and Lavender Iced Tea

A wonderful drink on a hot summer day.

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2½ cups water

1½ cups sugar

¼ cups fresh lavender flowers chopped (or 2 tablespoons dried lavender totaste)

6-8 servings ginger lemon tea1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (you may substitute frozen lemonade)


Fresh lavender stalks for garnish

In medium saucepan, combine 2½ cups water and sugar. Bring to a boil,stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove fromheat. Stir in lavender. Cover and cool. Strain cooled liquid into large jar.Brew Ginger Lemon Tea. Pour into large pitcher, add 1 cup lavendersyrup, and blend to taste with lemon juice and ice. Stir well. Just beforeserving, place fresh lavender stalks in pitcher (or add to the individual

glasses). Add ice cubes to each chilled glass. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Store remaining lavender syrup in your refrigerator for up to 5 days. Use itfor another batch of iced tea or make some Lavender Pink Lemonade.

Herbs de Provence

There are many varied recipes for Herbs de Provence but here is ourfavorite. This recipe makes about ¾ cup. Use to season vegetables,poultry, or meat.

3 tablespoons dried lavender flowers

3 tablespoons dried marjoram or oregano

3 tablespoons dried thyme3 tablespoons dried savory

1 teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon dried sage

This mixture will keep for years, but is best used within one year.

Blueberry Lavender Muffins

Makes 1 dozen.1¾ cup sifted flour


cup sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon crushed lavender2½ teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

1 well-beaten egg

¾ cup milk 

1/3 cup oil

1 cup blueberries

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Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. Combine egg, milk, and oil. Add all at onceto dry ingredients. Stir quickly. Add berries. Fill muffin pan two-thirds full.Bake at 400° for about 25 minutes.

Lavender-Amber Glazed Salmon¼ cup amber beer

4 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon lemon pepper

½ teaspoon lavender (crushed)

Splash of liquid smoke

2 pounds salmon or halibut

Combine all ingredients except the fish in a small saucepan over mediumheat. Reduce heat to low and allow the sauce to reduce slightly. Removefrom the heat and cool. You can make the sauce in advance and keep it inthe refrigerator until needed. Coat the fish with glaze and grill or boil,basting frequently. Watch closely to prevent burning. The cooking timedepends on the type of fish, the thickness, and your taste.

Herbed Chevre with Crostini

8 oz mild chevre (crumbled)

2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence8 cloves garlic (peeled and thinly sliced)

1 teaspoon pepper flakes

1 teaspoon cracked peppercorns

¾-1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Prepare in a glass bowl or serving dish to accent the colors and layering.

Begin layering one-third of crumbled chevre, then one-third each: Herbsde Provence, garlic slices, pepper flakes, and cracked peppercorns.Continue with three layers or until all ingredients are utilized. Pour oil to

 just below surface level.

Though delicious even made while guests wait, it is best prepared ahead of time so flavors can blend. Refrigerate. Bring to room temperature onehour before serving.

For Crostini: Slice French bread thinly and brush with olive oil. Toast in350º oven until light brown and crisp.

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Lavender Honey Bunches

3 cups quick oats

2 cups flaked coconut

1 cup unbleached flour

1 cup packed brown sugar1 cup butter

½ cup honey

1 teaspoon dried lavender

Preheat the oven to 350º. Combine oats, coconut, and flour in a largemixing bowl. In a heavy saucepan bring butter, honey, sugar, and lavenderto a boil. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well. Drop dough by thespoonful into muffin tins, making each one about 1-2-inches high. Bake for12-15 minutes until lightly golden, being careful NOT to over bake. Cool inthe tins for 15 minutes before removing. These cookies store well.

Lavender Ice Cream

¾ cup honey

1 teaspoon dried lavender placed in a tea ball or gauze

1 cup half and half 

2 cups heavy cream

7 egg yolks

Pour the half and half and cream into a heavy pan. Add the lavender andwarm for about 5 minutes. Remove the lavender flowers. Wisk the eggyolks in a bowl until they are frothy. Slowly pour about half of the warm

cream into the mixture of egg yolks as you continue to whisk. Combinethe remainder of the yolk and cream mixture into the saucepan andcontinue to heat on low (stirring constantly) for about 5 minutes. Strainthe mixture into a bowl and whisk in the honey. Chill the mixture and thenfreeze according to the instructions on your ice cream maker.

Pear and Lavender Clafoutis

A batter-type cake from south central France that is served as a deliciousdessert or an elegant breakfast. It is often made with black cherries, butthis pear and lavender version is unusual and tasty.

6 eggs

1¼ cup whole milk (or half and half)

6 tablespoons sugar

2 cups Bartlett or Comice pears (peeled and sliced)

¾ cup unbleached white flour plus 1 tablespoon for dusting fruit

1 teaspoon culinary lavender

1 tablespoon brandy

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½ teaspoon salt

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 400º. Butter a 9-inch round baking dish. Combine eggs,

milk, sugar, lavender, brandy and salt in a food processor. Add flour andblend until combined. Toss fruit in a separate bowl with 1 tablespoon flour.Distribute fruit into baking dish. Pour the egg mixture over and bake 30minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Cool slightly and then dust withconfectioners’ sugar. Serve warm. Serves 4.

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

6 plum tomatoes, halved or quartered

1½ teaspoons herbs de Provence

1 tablespoon olive oil

Pinch of sugar (optional)

This slow roasting process produces tomatoes that are oven-candied andsplendid as antipasto, tossed with pasta or added to a Mediterraneansandwich.

Preheat oven to 275º. In a bowl, toss tomatoes lightly with herbs, oil, pinchof sugar and salt and pepper. Line a sheet pan with parchment and placetomatoes cut side up. Roast for 1½-3 hours. (Timing depends on use andripeness of tomatoes.) Serve at room temperature or store airtight in therefrigerator.

Lavender Margaritas

¾-1 cup tequila

1/3-½ cup blue Curacao or other orange flavor liqueur

¾-1 cup canned coconut milk 

¼-1/3 cup lime juice

1½-2 cups frozen unsweetened raspberries

1½-2 cups frozen unsweetened blueberries

3-4 ice cubes

1 teaspoon lavender

In a blender, combine the tequila, Curacao, coconut milk and lime juice.Cover and turn to high speed, then gradually add berries and ice. Whirl

until smooth and slushy. Pour into glasses. You can rub glass rims with limeand dip the rim in lavender sugar or salt. Add a lavender sprig for garnish!

Figs Baked with Honey and Lavender

12 soft, ripe figs

1 teaspoon minced fresh lavender blossoms

4 tablespoon honey

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12 tablespoons heavy, unsweetened cream

2/3 cup water

Preheat over to 300º. Prick figs all over with a fork. Place in a

shallow baking dish just large enough to hold them packed snugly. Drizzlewith honey and sprinkle with lavender blossoms. Pour the water into thebottom of the baking dish, place into oven. Bake 25-35 minutes, dependingupon the figs’ size and ripeness. Set aside to cool for about 10 minutes,then serve warm in their juices and a tablespoon of heavy cream spoonedover.

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Denny, EFK. Field Distillation for Herbaceous Oils. PO Box 42, Lilydale 7268.

Sturdivant, L. & Blakley, T. Medicinal Herbs in the Garden, Field, and  Marketplace. San Juan Naturals, 1999.


The Essential Oil Company manufactures copper and stainless steel stills ina range of sizes, from small home units to large commercial stills: 

The Lavender Road tourism organization offers helpful information online: 

Tony Ackland Kiwi Distiller: A useful website for those interested in homedistilling: 

Aaron Smith’s Millennium Moonshine: 

Vik’s Brewing Real Schnapps Without a Still: 

Email Discussion Lists

There are both a New Distillers and a Distillers email list hosted at Yahoogroups.

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Figure 5: Salvia officinalis drying

in preparation for distillation.

Photograph Dorene Petersen.

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This material must not be reproduced in any way without the writtenpermission of the President of the American College of Healthcare


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