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Noble Bay - Laurus nobilis
Jeanne Rose

I received Bay Laurel tree branching ends in flower with leaves attached, 2 large black plastic bags full and took the leaves and flowers and packed them into three 5-gallon size buckets and filled the buckets with about 3+ gallons each of cold water. I left the leaves/flowers to soak for three days to break down the thick leaf structure enough so that the distillation would proceed quickly and easily.

After the material had been soaking in water for over 72 hours, the still was set up and fired. 10 gallons of water and 10 lbs. of flowering ends and leaves was added to the still. This water was cold but very hot water was used for the condenser to ensure that this one-way system would be warm. At 40 minutes the distillate began to appear in the receiver.

The hydrosol was cool at this point with visible sheen of essential oil on the surface. .After the third gallon I had to cool the condenser water and cooled it continually to the end. The distillation was completed by 1 p.m.

It seems obvious to me that for a thick leaved plant such as Bay, it is best to soak the plant material for a period of time that this will ensure a smooth and speedy distillation.

All Rights Reserved 2003, 2004. No part of this article may be used
without prior permission from The Aromatic Plant Project.
Author's Copyright and Jeanne Rose, info@aromaticplantproject.com


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