Hydrosol normally is what is left over after separating out the essential oil. There are still essential oil in the water, but not a very high concentration. Some people just skip the essential oil part and just produce hydrosol. This is more like an infusion, if you understand that extraction process.
leila hamaya wrote:one of my friends calls them "hydrosol" and not an "essential oil". what is the difference?
Mint (and catnip is a mint) like to be made with a cold infusion. Put the herb in a container with an appropriate amount of cool water and let it steep for several hours to a day. You will actually see the mint oil on the surface of the water! Lemon Balm is a REALLY good candidate for this.
Matu Collins wrote:I make a lot of mint, catnip Any advice on water extraction is welcome.
Dawn Phoenix wrote:Consider an microwave essential oil extractor from the Essential Oil Company. It's on my list of home-scale things to try. Less messy and costly than a chemistry set.
Steven Feil wrote:Although there are many ways to extract the medicinal goodness from our herbs, since essential oils has come up here are some pages I have come across in my research over the years.
Here is one system available:
http://www.crucible.org/distillation.htm (top unit in particular)
More information on using that particular unit:
Here is a larger system to consider
Those would be for steam distillation. You can also do wet distillation with a less complicated setup.
Once upon a time I used a 'soxhlet extractor':
Google shopping has them way cheaper now. Twenty years ago I think mine cost around $400.
Then there is the old way:
..and the DIY approach: