Distilling essential oils…An inspiring journey…(Part 1)

Lemon Tea Tree

On Monday, 1 October, the partners of EHP were invited to visit a local farmer to see how essential oils come into being. We were allowed to take photos and we would like to share this inspiring story with you. It gave us a lot more respect for the plants which give up their lives for our well-being, and the farmers who put in the hours and the love to get the plants to produce the oils. So let us begin:-

Melaleuca alternifolia
Leptospermum petersonii

When we arrived at the farm, we were taken into the fields to see the plants and learn  more about how they are grown-organically and sustainably. At the moment the farmer is growing and distilling Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) and Leptospermum petersonii (Lemon Tea Tree) which is a close relative of the Manuka (Leptospermum Scoparium: another well sought after essential oil). All three of these plants are from the same myrtaceae family. This was most informative to us as we learnt that all of these plants are powerful fungicides, disinfectants and insect repellants.

Toast and the Tea Tree leaves

I brought some leaves of both Tea Tree and Lemon Tea Tree home to place in my lounge/diningroom area, and the cat has taken a big liking to it. He jumps up on the table and rubs against the leaves, then lies down next to it and promptly falls asleep. It would be interesting to find out what effect it has on him-a relaxing one or does it keep the fleas away? (If someone can tell me, I would love to pass the information on)

Part 2: The distilling process

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