La Lune Journal

Southern California Winter Sage Harvest & Distillation

by Meghan Hazard | December 16, 2016 | 0 Comments

Harvest + History

                              
                              
                                
Along the sloping sea side cliffs of southern California, coastal sagebrush (Artemisia californica) flourishes in it's natural habitat of endless sunny days and ocean breezes.  My husband Oliver and I woke early to be greeted by a grey cloudy sky.  After we harvested the sage, I quickly set up the still and loaded the plant matter as not to lose any essential oils. After an hour passes my senses are excited by the sweet honey sage smells filling the air.  I know we are about to have breakthrough- the steam is condensing into liquid and the hydrosol and essential oil starts to pour out of the copper tube and into the essencier where the liquids will separate due to specific gravity.  
               

Chumash Indians + Sagebrush

Known as Khapshikh to the Chumash Indians, coastal sagebrush has played an important role in the 1300 years of Chumash healing.  Healers implemented aromatherapy, as they believed the sweet sunny aroma promoted pleasant thoughts.  Due to coastal sagebrush's anti-inflammatory properties, a pain relieving linament was made from the leaves and steams to treat arthritis, back pain, and bruises.  

 

 

Chemistry + Benefits of Sagebrush Hydrosol

Artemisia Californica is a complex plant that contains a variety of compounds with anti-inflammatory and anti-sceptic activity making this hydrosol a gentle yet effective toner for acne-prone enflamed skin.

  • Sesquiterpenes- Delivers oxygen to cells, like hemoglobin to blood
  • Monoterpenes- Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral and antibacterial therapeutic properties while some can be analgesic or stimulating with a tonic effect
  • Flavonoid- A diverse group of plant pigments with antioxidant properties. These substances are responsible for color in many fruits, vegetables and flowers. In addition to providing color that attracts insects or animals, these pigments protect plants from environmental stress. In addition to being potent antioxidants, some flavonoids have antiallergic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory activity.

                    

Scholarly Sources

http://www.academicjournals.org/app/webroot/article/article1379691438_Fontaine%20et%20al.pdf
http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8247/5/10/1045/htm
http://www.rnoel.50megs.com/pdf/theblood.htm
 

Tagged: distillation, harvest, hydrosol, sage

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