Is there any easy way to sterilise bottles (and droppers) after using
them? I have quite a few amber bottles that I will boil after they
have been emptied of their various "concoctions" but I always have to reclean
Also, benzoin really seems to leave a residue in bottles also....any way to clean this?
... Vegetable oil, Carolyn - start by drizzling vegetable oil
all over (and inside) everything that the
benzoin goo is afflicting. Rub it in as much as you can. Then clean off the vegetable oil - which takes some doing, but not as much as plain old benzoin goo without the vegetable oil!
After cleaning bottles with soap and water first, then rinsing in alcohol
(grain / aka EverClear) I will sterilize them by placing in an oven for
1/2 hour at 300 degrees. I do this only with GLASS though ... not
rubber or plastic.
Plastic gets soaked in alcohol and air dried / covered or placed in
a dehydrator. I have found no good way that works 100% of the time
regarding the rubber droppers. I usually end up throwing those out
afterwards. I now use a lot of disposable plastic pipettes.
I just got Valerie Worwood's book "Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy" and in it she talks about using the bain-marie method for certain things such as lip balm,etc.
This may sound silly but I have no idea what that means! Can anyone help me with this? It sounds like its a piece of equipment and if so..where would I get it?
Also, in her section on base carrier oils..there are certain oils that she says "use at a 10% dilution" ( for instance, evening primrose oil)..can anyone explain this?
Thanks for the help!
>This may sound silly but I have no idea what that means! Can anyone help >me with this? It sounds like its a piece of equipment and if so..where would I get it?
that's the european terminology for what your mom probably called a
double boiler. If you don't already have one, you can improvise by
putting together two cooking pots, one smaller than the other.
Water in the larger one, up to the bottom of the smaller one (which sits
on the water)...put the pan(s) on the heat, and, as the water in the large
pan heats to a boil, it gradually and safely melts the beeswax, or chocolate,or
whatever doesn't do well over direct heat.
>Also, in her section on base carrier oils..there are certain oils that she says "use at a 10% dilution" ( for instance, evening primrose oil)..can anyone explain this?
a lot of times those are very expensive oils, (compared to the more 'standard' carrier oils) so they are added for the special qualities they bring...for enrichment. Also, they may have a more definite odor or their own, or not have the texture you would want for massage or for a body oil.
hope this helps...
> A "Bain Marie" is where you have a container of hot/boiling water in
> which you place another container which has the materials you wish to
> cook/heat. Therefore the water heats the inner contents without
This is also called a hot water bath to those of us who are less sophisticated.
Dr. Robert S. Pappas
At 05:11 PM 09/02/97 -0500, LasPooh@aol.com wrote:
>I hope someone can guide me.......
>1. How many drops of eo to one tsp and/or tbsp of carrier oil?
actually, it varies...because the eo's are of different densities...*thicknesses* but the "standard" estimate is 600 drops per ounce which equals 300 per tablespoon which equals 100 per teaspoon
>2. How do I figure out how many ml in one tsp and/or tbsp?
5 ml per tsp
15 ml per TBLSP
30 ml per ounce.
I believe that ratio is in just about every aromatherapy book I've ever seen.
>I am more interested in making mixes to keep for my daughter.
>What is the best carrier oil to use for children?
>So far, the only carrier oil I have is Almond.
sweet almond is a good one for children...
I also got an unscented oil
>from Aveda for Christmas.
well, what carrier is it? it should say.
Keep in mind, too, that these are "measuring spoon" teaspoons, etc, and *not* dinnerware teaspoons.
What we had to do in Pharmacy Lab was to actually stand there and count drops from a dropper until we had a full 5 ml and then average it. (Lots of fun for the numerically impaired with short attention spans.) Since a lot of fluids used in pharmacy are about the same consistency as the Peppermint Oil we experimented with, this was okay. But I wonder if something like Vetivert would test the same?
7.4 Foot fungus:
My husband and son have this terrible foot fungus that is really gross and gets dry and cracks and bleeds. It also makes their feet have toenails that are really deformed. It gets worse in the winter and I want to try something on it. I tried Eucalyptus and that didn't work. Garlic stung. I just ordered tea tree oil, the kind that is supposed to be good and I'm going to try that. Is there anything else that works? Please tell me if you know or have heard of anything. Thanks.
Tea tree is the stuff....... can be applied neat.. just wash the
feed and dry them ... then rub a couple of drops of Tea Tree into and around
the toes and over the foot..
You can alternate with Marigold Tagetes if you want a change...
Good luck .. It will take a while but should work
Tea Tree and Tagetes are both recommended. Both of these have shown some possibility of acquired sensitivity in a few people, which suggests using the smallest dose which will work. Tagetes also causes some photosensitivity, which won't be a problem if they usually wear shoes outside! So, unless you live by the beach...... (If so, make sure they walk in the sand barefooted daily for an hour, this is a remedy of long standing for foot fungi. Also, desert sand is excellent.)
In one study with tea tree and foot fungi, an 8% solution was as effective as both 40% and 100% solutions. In other kinds of studies, I have heard a figure of 4% being most effective. 2% is about the highest I have seen for Tagetes use.
You could make a mixture as follows: 1 part Tagetes, 4 parts Tea Tree, 45 parts base. This would give you 2% Tagetes and 8% Tea Tree. A part can be any measure. For the metrically inclined, you could use 1 part = 1 ml; thus 1ml Tagetes, 4 ml Tea Tree, 45 ml base. For Americans, you could use 1 part = 1/4 tsp; thus 1/4 tsp Tagetes, 4 tsp Tea Tree, 11 1/4 tsp base. You can increase/decrease the size of a "part" to anything you wish.
Base: This can be a carrier oil of your choice (or mixture). It could also be a glycerin & water combination, EOs are reasonably soluble in glycerine usually but shaking before use is suggested (also refrigeration, unless you make up only a few days supply at a time). You could also use an unscented cream or lotion of your choice (or even a scented one, if you don't mind the resulting strange smell!) Sometimes for feet a thin lotion is better than a thick cream because it is easier to get it into all of the cracks and crannies.
I made up a similar lotion for my mother and it was doing quite well until she decided she didn't want to use it anymore! Tea tree is slow acting and foot fungi are notoriously stubborn, so it would be a good idea to plan on using this daily (maybe twice daily) for six months, and maybe longer. Do not quit at the first evidence that it has worked, the foot fungi are just waiting for a chance at a return engagement!
You may also try to disinfect their shoes. The best suggestion I have is to get some corn-cob hamster litter at a pet shop (here in the country, the farm supply carries it). You can also get something called "potpourri magic" or some similar name (try a craft store or an herby/crafty kind of place), which is the same thing (only a little more finely chopped) but costs 10 times as much as the pet litter at my local farm store. Take some of this and put into a glass jar, make it half full or less. Add some tea tree oil. Cover the jar and shake. Keep covered and shake each day for 4 or 5 days at least, two weeks is better. Then depending on your sewing and craftiness, make little "pillows" that would fit into shoes, or take some cheap socks and put 1/2 cup or so into each and tie the top into a knot. Use these in their shoes at all times when they are not wearing them. Make lots of these so that there will be enough to go around.
As the I Ching says, persistence furthers! -------Jo
This was posted this privately to a group member, but maybe we could all benefit....
FWIW, the quick and dirty way to do compounding, is to do the following:
In an Erlenmeyer flask (20 or 50ml is a good size, so you can swirl the mixture by hand as you need) add the oils with an eyedropper. Note how many drops of each item is added. Mix at will, and add in any order to suit your olfactory taste or desires. When you have completed your creation, go back over your notes.
This time, tare a 20 to 50 ml Erlenmeyer flask, and add the ingredients with the same eyedropper, noting on the scale the weight after each addition. This will result in a formula that can be scaled up as needed. Try to scale up you results to either 1000 or 100. This way all your experiments will have a common denominator.
These little blends can be kept, used as key bases, or heart mixtures in other creations.... and yes, try to use standardized USP calibrated droppers. This is in case you have to use a new dropper with the same oil at a later date . All your drops, for that particular oil should weigh the same since the orifice and tip diameter will be standardized. Remember that the size and weight of the drop is determined by the OUTSIDE diameter of the dropper, and the drop must fall by itself (gravity) NOT squirted in.
No fuss, and no mess.
EO blending is not a volumetric art. This is why professionals use grams, kilos or pounds.
-= Chris =-
Well, "mg", it was needles and branch. I used the tips and very small branches cut up very fine (1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces) and any needles already dried. I chopped some of it up in a grinder I use just for this. I also bagged lots of branches in garbage bags to dry for later use to collect the needles as they fall off.
I have two stills (so far!) for steam distillation. One I wrote about
earlier in the fall, I bought from Benzalco (Ben Alkire, from Purdue 317,449,1234).
The one I used this time I just bought from Dr. Pappas. (If you are interested, you can see pictures of it at Dr. P's Essential Oil Page at http://michiana.org/bizweb/Lebermuth/ or call (219) 234-1015.)
All you need is water for the condenser as it has its own heat source. I hook it up to the kitchen sink right now, but today I was "told" I have to build myself a in-house-lab, cause the smell runs my family out of the house.!!
Its loads of fun, educational, and you get the reward of oils and the waters if you like! I use it in my classes, but really enjoy it for myself. It's very addicting, though, and you need lots of plant materials. I've a eucalyptus tree in the front, lots of rose geranium (I use the water cause there's little oil), and other herbs. Now, my friends save all their aromatic plants for me. I've even done a mixture of things too. Interesting!!
I highly recommend distilling!!. It certainly makes you appreciate what
it takes to get our oils that we sometimes take for granted.
I am so excited that I just have to tell everyone about my latest development.
I have just finished building and testing my first stainless steel distillation
unit which is capable of true steam distillation. I call it the StoveStill
SS and it has a volume of 22 quarts (20.9L). It is amazingly efficient
and can get oil out of even the smallest yielding
botanicals. I recently did three distillations on Lemon Verbena.
The material I used was dried and very old but I still managed to get a
0.15% yield. Typically the distillation is done on the fresh botanical
with similar yield results. This new system is capable of doing true
steam distillation as I can separate the botanical from the water via a
mesh and the steam rises up through the botanical. This is different
from a hydrodistillation in which the botanical is in contact with the
The result is usually higher yields and better smelling oils. As many of you probably already know, Lemon Verbena is a notoriously low yielding oil and all my previous attempts to get this oil using the 5L glass StoveStill had failed. This oil is truly one the most beautiful that I have ever smelled and is one that I was never able to get an authentic sample of in the past. Soon I will post the results of its analysis on the Essential Oil of the Month portion of my website. This gives me new hope that perhaps I can distill my own Rose oil, which will be one of my upcoming projects. I am hopeful because the system makes use of the cohobation process and is of large enough volume to collect usable amounts of these hard to get oils. I will keep you all posted of my findings. If you would like to see a picture of this system you can just click on the following URL:
Dr. Robert S. Pappas
A reasonable substitute can be made from an ordinary tea pot and aquarium tubing. I have had great luck using mine for distilling cologne and perfume waters. First, find some tubing that is nearly the same diameter as the hole in the kettle, as you want the fit as tight as possible, and about 3 feet long. Stuff one end of the tubing into the spout and fill the kettle with the desired botanical and liquid (in this case, water) sufficient to cover it. Run the other end of the tubing around a plastic or metal tumbler full of ice water, starting at the top and spiraling downward (wrap the tubing gently, and do not pull it tight). Have the end of the tube in a container large enough to hold most of the liquid in the kettle. Now you are ready to begin. Place the kettle over low heat on the stove and have the tumbler and container for the distillate on a separate countertop or table, well away from the heat (the container which will collect the distillate, called a receiver, may need to be positioned lower than the level of the tumbler and kettle, to allow gravity to pull the distillate down through the tube). As the kettle comes to a boil, the steam passes through the tubing, and cools and condenses back into a liquid as it passes around the tumbler full of icewater. The process is slow, so try to be patient. Don't turn up the heat trying to get the liquid to drop any faster, as many botanicals, flowers in particular, are adversely affected by excessive heat. Don't let the kettle boil dry, (the odor of burning plants will permeate your distillate).
<<A reasonable substitute can be made from an ordinary tea pot and aquarium tubing. I have had great luck using mine for distilling cologne and perfume waters. >> snip
This may be fine for getting the waters but I seriously doubt that it would yield any oil. First of all, you can't get an appreciable amount of botanical in a teapot. Secondly, there is no cohobation going on here so the oil can't be concentrated enough to separate from the water. Lastly, the leakage would be very significant and condensing would be very inefficient. I am not trying to play the spoiler here but I think you are misleading people by saying this would be a "reasonable substitute" for an actual still. But I am all for people trying this. I have had several people build similar and even more elaborate devices, but when they get serious about distilling some actual oil they always end up calling me.
I'm sorry you just don't get significant amounts of oil (if any at all) from a tea kettle and some tubing. You definitely won't get any oil from things like lemon verbena or melissa.
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