Monthly Archives: July 2017

First distillations in Canada / Prep for market

We are distilling again!

Finally, with our newly replaced heating element, we have enough plant material to start this season’s distillations. The smells in the house are medicinal grade with no chance of stressing out even with the flurry of work to prepare the day before the Midsummer Herbfest market.


The kids helped pick all the Chamomile flowers; these plants have been producing an abundance of blooms.
The oil is the most beautiful blue and the aroma is so comforting.

Chamomile in the still

blue Chamomile essential oil

Tulsi and Clary Sage

We are so happy to be able to distill Tulsi and Clary Sage again! We forged a deep connection with these two aromatic plants in our gardens in Sweden, and it’s been a real gift to keep growing, harvesting, and distilling these amazing plants in a new season in a new country.

Clary Sage in the bubble

Tulsi / Holy Basil

Here is what I am making just now… and will bring to the Midsummer Herbfest in White Lake, Ontario

Midsummer Herb Fest, White Lake, Ontario

I’m excited to be joining on this market and to meet many people and share my aromas.  Hope to see you there!
Sunday July 30,  9-5  Rain or Shine.

I won’t have a lot of plants or fresh hydrosols because we just don’t have them ready yet, but I will share some of the best aromatherapy blends and salves I make.  I just received a very nice order from my supplier of Frankincense and Spruce resins, Dan Riegler from Apothecary’s Garden.  Based in Ontario, Dan travels personally to Africa and the Mediterranean to arrange equal exchange of the resins,  meeting with the harvesters personally.  He specializes in fairly traded and high quality products including his own hand harvested Canadian Spruce resin and extremely unique resins, perfumes, and more.  All of his products are the real deal and are available on his Etsy shop.  I’m glad I discovered Dan; I learn from him more than I can say and the Frankincense and other resins that I am working with are the true teachers, if you listen.

All the goodies from Apothecary’s Garden

Spruce sap dissolved into safflower oil.


Frankincense Salve

I recently (last 3 years) began working with Frankincense resins as incense for anxiety and depression. Now I prepare that resin into a salve by dissolving the oleo resin (water content removed) of Frankincense into safflower oil and then creating a salve.  In my most recent salve I used a new granule of Boswellia carterii with a little bit of added Boswellia papyrifera essential oil.  This smells heavenly and carries within it the true Boswellic acids that are so healing to the tissues of the muscular and skeletal body.  I will only have a few of these available at the market but will make more soon.

Spruce Resin Salve

Using spruce sap dissolved into safflower oil I made a few plain Spruce Resin (nothing plain about it really) Salves and then used the remainder of the oil and made many Winter Woods Salves.  The recipe is close to that of last year but always with its own uniqueness.  This respiratory blend is especially targeted for that lingering sinus issue, stuffiness and clogged sinuses with little mucus;  it is a cooling, opening blend to enliven the breath and mind, rejuvenating and boosting.  I use it often when I just want to refresh.

In the fall I will formulate a stronger expectorant type with the Eucalyptuses, Rosemary, and Niaouli.

Custom Aromatherapy

I will also bring two special blends that I make: Deep Sleep and Balance.

Deep Sleep: Jatamansi (an Ayurvedic herb), Frankincense, and Rose Geranium in safflower and jojoba oil.  Strong but effective, rub it into your feet or dab a little on your wrists.  This blend helps many people sleep more soundly through the night.

Balance: clary sage, vetiver, and ylang ylang in jojoba oil.  Grounding, harmonizing and relaxing to the nervous system.  This formula does not make you tired but gives a sense of security and smooth flow (of hormones and energy).

I will also have some of my sun-infused Arnica Body Oils, made using my own organically grown (in Sweden) Arnica montana flowers.

And St. Johns Wort infused oil made with fresh wild crafted Hypericum perforatum flowers harvested by me.

I’ll also have the Deep Nourishing Repair Oil that had become a favorite among my customers in Sweden.  Contains: Rosehip seed oil, Sea Buckthorn, Argan, and Jojoba seed oil, with Immortelle, Carrot seed, Cistus, and Frankincense essential oils.

I strive to keep all my costs and mark ups at a very minimum because I want to make things available to everyone, while using only the very best ingredients and putting the earth and its inhabitants first.  I believe in what I do and the plants that I work with.  I hope that you will feel the same.


Here’s what we have growing now

Clary Sage. Up close and inspirational.

It’s difficult starting again, but as always the plants show me the way.  Here’s what I have growing now.  Some began as seed and some from seedlings that I purchased.
Clary Sage- An incredible flower to distill.  The hydrosol is perfect for hot flashes and any preparation containing the essential oil goes right to the head, heart and soul.  It can be quite euphoric.

Clary sage, a different point of view

Rose Geraniums – 6 Lovely little plants which are growing and will make a nice distillation for hydrosol at the end of the summer.  I mix the oil into my Deep Sleep blend which has great balancing effect opposite Frankincense and Jatamansi.

Potted Tulsi or Holy Basil or Ocimum Sanctum (from my own seeds) and there will be more of this but It would really benefit from a hot greenhouse.  Hopefully soon!  An ultimate in adaptogenic stress relief.

Ocimum sanctum
Holy Basil, not your regular basil.

Lots of Mint –  growing well despite the torrential rains.  And Lemon Balm, and Lemon Verbena.

Lemon Verbena
Aloysia citrodora

Skullcap, Valerian, and Chamomile –  mainly for tea (and maybe tincture) but I wonder what a co-distillation for hydrosol might be like?  Maybe I’ll try it…



Two kinds of Arnica – Chamissonis and Montana (from my own seeds)

Arnica chamissonis, spreading.

Inula helenium or Elecampane – Awesome herb for coughs when used properly

Acmella Oleracea or Spilanthes (from my own seed) – Also known as the toothache plant.

A great place to get medicinal herb seeds from is Strictly Medicinals (formally Horizon Herbs)-  They also sell some plants but only within the U.S.   It was a hard blow to discover that I could not order plants from them to Canada.  I had made big plans but  I was fortunate that some one at Strictly Medicinals answered my email and suggested Richters Herbs here in Canada and that has been helpful getting started with some great plants.  I’ve just discovered a few other possibilities and will try to give all the helpful information as I get it.  Here’s one:, a site that sells Ontario native plants.

Here we are

In our new spot,  just outside of Ottawa, Ontario.  It’s been a long journey.  We moved in on April 10 and it was under snow.  Everything is new. Again.

But, some things always remain the same, kinda.  The same kinds of birds are eager to get at the new feeder, same kinds but they’re different,  the Jays are very different.  The Moon is there, as always, sometimes full and others new,  every night but different.  This is what I notice, what has led me here now.  The cycles, the signs, the connections, they are all saying everything about what is important.  If I listen.

April 13

This is what I do when my heart feels a little broken over what I left behind,  Every time I have moved.  Every time I begin again.  I listen.  When I listen I usually get clues to what to do next on a multitude of levels.  When I listen I am learning about myself.

I feel deeply.  That’s what triple water signs do.  There is no way to doubt the importance of it all,  the plants, the sun, the water,  working together every day for life.  I’m not saying I know what is best or right,  I’m saying that when I listen to wind and to the bird song and plants, that’s when I understand why I do what I do.  Growing, sharing, caring.

This is my heart. Healing. Eve and Amelia. Peaks Island

What followed our move to Ottawa was (is) two months of snow, torrential rains and flooding yet we still managed to put in a small garden.     And like we seem to do again and again, we carve out a little bit more every day, week, month, Another row or corner or mound and we plant something.  So we are building,  it’s a life form making gardens.  With each joy my heart breaks,  like when a baby is born and you can cry and cry through ear splitting smiles.

Deck, pots, and two garden spaces

So, What we have at this point is two medium planting spaces completely fenced off from the deer and as of this week a small dome greenhouse I put together for the pots of Tulsi, Spilanthes and Rose Geraniums until it warms up (it’s been as low as 10 c several nights this week) and stops raining and raining. I really hope we can have a greenhouse by the end of the summer.  When a place is new there is a lot you don’t know and two nights ago we had torrential downpours again on top of daily hail and rain all week.  We had to shovel trenches to drain the water as our beans were beginning to float.  I have no idea what we will do about this problem.  Unusual weather but we can’t have this.  One step at a time.  Ian says this is washing the earth clean so we can start new.  Building, growing, and learning,  As usual.

working together to dig trenches as the water rises