by Jeanne Rose & George Sturtz
History and Name:
I (Jeanne Rose) have been distilling since 1990 and own several stills and have been teaching Aromatherapy classes since 1975. George Sturtz who taught me how to distill for the blue-colored essential oils is an expert on the blue oils and in particular the Artemisia genus and the areas where they live. This just about includes most of northern Nevada and Idaho as well as Washington and Oregon. The Artemisia's populate the Western part of the United States from Louisiana to Washington and Oregon as well as my ex-husband, Michael Moore's paintings. In particular when Michael painted the Owyhee desert he painted Artemisia ludoviciana. At the time the plant had no common name. When George Sturtz went into the Owyhee in 1986 he was intrigued with the plant and eventually distilled it. In 2000 he named it Owyhee because it is known throughout the area. So now it is common named Owyhee plant, Owyhee essential oil and Owyhee hydrosol.
One can find lots of information on the Owyhee area on the Internet. George was mightily impressed that I even knew the Owyhee Canyonlands and that I had driven through it on my honeymoon in 1972. The Owyhee is still the darkest corner of the United States with very little artificial light.
The Plant, the Hydrosol and the Essential Oil:
The plant, A. ludoviciana Nutt. (Silver wormwood) - is a perennial that grows 3 to 10 feet in diameter, from a rhizome. Stems are many, simple gray-to white-tomentose. Leaves are 1 to 11 cm, are linear to narrowly elliptic in shape, entirely to deeply lobed and are densely tomentose. Fruits are <0.5 mm. and glabrous. Common, generally found in dry, sandy to rocky soils <3500 meters. SW to WA, eastern Canada, Texas, northern Mexico. The common name for the essential oil and hydrosol is Owyhee and was named by George Sturtz and Jeanne Rose in 2000. Tomentose means densely covered with short matted woolly hairs. Glabrous means smooth or having no hairs.
The hydrosol is very floral and fruity in scent and can be substituted for the water in any skin care product where it will be very beneficial for skin care. and where you might want a soothing anti-inflammatory. You can find Owyhee at the sources named at the end of the article.
The essential oil is clear like water and almost colorless. It is full of esters, over 85% and has more esters than Roman Chamomile. The scent is strongly fruity, with herbal and spicy back-notes such as Roman Chamomile. Since it contains more esters than Roman Chamomile it makes a great substitute that is very fragrant and much more economical than that imported product.
GC of A. ludoviciana latiloba by A. Tucker
Artemisia triene =
The herb itself is used in
herbal therapy as an infusion gargle to help the healing of a sore
or inflamed throat. Herbal infusions and the hydrosol can be used in the
bath for soothing the skin. The herb smoke has been used for coughing or
clearing a room.
Your Source for Nature's Pure
Creations • Authentic APP Hydrosols, • Essential Oils & Custom Skin
"Owyhee" and "Hawaii" are two different spellings for the same word. When Captain James Cook discovered what he named the Sandwich Islands (known more recently as the Hawaiian Islands) in 1778, he found them inhabited by people called Owyhees. The spelling "Owyhee" is simplified a little from its original form: "Owyhee" is the spelling that British and American traders used during the early nineteenth century in referring to natives of the Sandwich Islands, and a number of Owyhees sailed on to the Columbia, where they joined trapping expeditions or worked at some of the fur trade posts.
Three of the Owyhees joined Donald MacKenzie's Snake expedition, which went out annually into the Snake country for the North West Company--a Montreal organization of Canadian fur traders. Unluckily, those three Owyhees left the main party during the winter of 1819-20; they set out to explore the then unknown terrain of what since has been called the Owyhee river and mountains, and have not been heard from since. Because of their disappearance, the British fur trappers started to call the region "Owyhee," and the name stuck.
Just at the time the Owyhees disappeared into the Owyhee country, American missionaries came to the Sandwich Islands and worked out an alphabet for the native language in order to print the Bible and other missionary literature. In the alphabet they adopted, the word "Owyhee" turns out to be "Hawaii."
However, in Idaho, the older form survived. Many of the fur traders' Idaho place names were lost in later years, but some--including "Owyhee" for a mountain range and river--were retained. That may result in part from the fact that Owyhees remained active in the Idaho fur trade right down to the last years of its decline: as late as 1850, Fort Boise (located on the Snake Riverjust below the mouth of the Owyhee) was staffed by James Craggie and fourteen Owyhees. When the Owyhee mines were discovered in 1863, the name still was in use. And the mines brought permanent settlement that preserved the name ever since that time.
Rights Reserved 2003, 2004. No part of this article may be used
Plant Project · 219 Carl Street · San Francisco, CA 94117