A Split-Top Column Alembic was used for this distillation. It is ideal for the distillation of hydrosols and essential oils as it employs both steam and hydrodistillation depending on the plant material in question.
This distillation was performed by Mr Thomas Grunfelder one of our esteemed clients and winner of our distillation contest. Mr Grunfelder runs a small organic farm and distillery, he is dedicated to promoting well being by the use of organics and essential medicines. The proximity to a natural wild source of Ledum Groenlandicum also known as Greenland Moss or Labrador Tea sparked his initial interest in the innumerable properties of this plant.
The plant material used by Mr Grunfelder for his top Quality Hydrosol is "wildcrafted" that is to say the leaves where gathered by himself in its natural habitat in the wild. Interest in this plant continues to grow and supply often fails to meet demand.
The plant itself is an evergreen shrub which may grow up to 1 m tall. Small five-petalled white flowers occur in clusters at the branch tips. The leaves are narrow 2 to 5cm long with furry undersides. It is found in colder northern climes of the North American Continent in moist acidic soils and cold bogs. It has a pleasant slightly spicy and floral fragrance and is said to be a powerful detoxifier.
It has traditionally been used for its properties such as anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antitumor, analgesic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, diuretic, depurative, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, digestive stimulant and stomachic.
It is said to ease and relieve nervous tension, panic and anxiety.
Other indications for its use include liver dysfunctions, hepatitis A, B & C, cirrhosis, fatty liver, obesity, laryngitis, lung infections, bronchitis, allergies, influenza, edema, thyroid regulation, jaundice, gallstones, sinus, coughs, colds, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, low blood sugar, excess mucus, flatulence, gas, fibromyalgia and cancers.
It helps to heal cuts and wounds on the skin and relieve inflamed muscles, muscle pain and spasms.
It helps with disorders of the genitourinary and reproductive system by inducing menstruation, increasing urine flow, toxemia, (edema- simple water retention); easing prostatitis, decongesting prostate.
Because of its powerful effects Ledum Groenlandicum is recommended in small doses and should be avoided during pregnancy and by small children.
To buy this Quality Hydrosol you are welcome to visit Mr Grunfelder's eBay Store.
Click on the image below to view The Distillation of Ledum Groenlandicum Hydrosol Slideshow.
The Organic "WildCrafted" plant material is in the background of the finished hydrolate.
This plants medicinal properties date back to the American Indians. It is known as a "cure all" tonic. It is a natural detoxifier of the human body. The plant material was collected in its flowering state in near perfect growing conditions.
The split-top column was filled with water using the same container that was used to collect the Hydrosol. This way we could keep track of the hydrosol collected vs. the water added. The plant material was loaded into the flip-top column and hood of the alembic.
A stainless steel gas turkey roaster was used as the heating element. Notice the stainless pail used for the hydrolate collector.
A paste was made of rye flour and water to be used on all seams and connections to prevent leaks in pressure. A cut off milk carton was used for this purpose which worked perfectly.
Fingers dipped in water to apply paste for smooth and easy application at seals.
The Alembic was heated to operating temperature at which time the hydrosol began to flow. A Flipping-Top Column is unique as continuous distillations can be achieved. The alembic was separated refilled with water & plant material and a new distillation was immediately started within 30 minutes.
The following picture outlines the equipment used in this distillation to determine the in sync cooling process:
1. A galvanized drum with plastic liner was used as the water cooling reservoir.
2. An electric adjustable submersible pond pump was used to bring the water to the condenser for cooling purposes.
3. The hot water from the condenser is returned to the cooling tank. Notice the condenser is located higher than the tank so that it operates by gravity and attached to a regulating valve.
4. Fresh water is constantly being replenished and also has a regulating shut off valve.
5. Piece of garden hose in tank charged with water pressure will create a vacuum. This will allow constant exit of tank water. By flow of gravity also regulated by control valve.
Once all valves are in sync, the system is self sustaining in constant even water flow. A complete distillation was completed in about six hours. We successfully distilled over 100 gallons of high grade Ledum Hydrosol. Since we did not have an essencier the oils were not removed from the precious healing waters, making a very high grade hydrosol.
This hydrosol is helping to reverse the effects of cancers and sickness due to its powerful detoxifying capabilities.Currently being used in the treatment of Lyme Disease and Fibromyalgia.
Our sincere thanks goes out to Iberian Coppers for your guidance, knowledge, information and support to complete this project. Special thanks to my family, friends and community for their continuing support of organics and essential medicines.
- Thomas Grunfelder.