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Aroma & Soap Instructions

Make Your Own Kratom Aromatherapy (Essential Oils)

Alembic_StillThere are a number of ways to approach herbal aromatherapy but in our opinion, our favorite method is to extract the essence of the plant (kratom) into an essential oil. In order to do this, you must embark on a bit of alchemy and make use of a still. We have provided some basic info from our friends at www.Copper-Alembic.com below:

The Egyptians were the first to distill plants in an effort to extract essential oils. Since then methods of extraction have evolved and diversified. Essential oils may be obtained from various parts of the plant: petals, roots, shoots, plant sap, leaves or bark. Depending on the type of plant in question the essential oil molecules may be located in different parts of the plant and so the extraction methods would also vary.

alembic-stillsEssential oils are characteristically volatile, that is they evaporate rapidly when exposed to air and are insoluble in water. Extracting essential oils before they evaporate can be tricky. Various methods of extraction exist. The more industrial methods are rather elaborate but home made methods of extraction can allow you to extract your very own essential oils.

Distillation: is undoubtedly the easiest and least expensive method of extraction which continues to be used by the most prestigious perfume houses for the extraction essential oils. The essential oils are vaporized in alembic pots (see steam distillation) and then finally condensed back to liquid. There are various options for distillation besides the traditional alembic or alquitar with which you can create your very own heavenly aromas to infuse your mind and body with positive energy. Any of the following distillation units are suitable for essential oil extraction:

distillation Distilling Appliance Stills
 Traditional Alquitar Distiller Stills
 Split Top Rotating Column Copper Alembic Stills
(see our step by step instructions for Lavender essential oil)
 Soldered Copper Moonshine Alembic Stills
 Traditional Riveted Alembic Stills
 1982 Portuguese Arrastre de Vapor distilling system

Cold pressed: This is a widely used method for extracting essential oils from citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, bergamots, tangerines and limes. The advantage of this method is that plants are not subjected to high temperatures although some vital water-soluble components may be lost in the water. Essential oils, extracted using this method have a relatively short shelf life. To try this at home, peel the rind from your selected fruit, where the essential oils accumulate, and set aside. Cut up in small pieces and place on a linen or cotton cloth. Crush as much as possible, on a clean wooden cutting board, and allow to run off on the cloth into a small bottle which should be airtight to prevent vapors from escaping.

Solvent extraction: for this method solvents are used to extract essential oils from organics. Extraction with solvents may be by means of any one of these methods.

still-for-aromasMaceration: to extract essential oils using this method macerate your favorite flowers (jasmine, rose or honeysuckle) until they fully infused in the carrier oil. A simple way of doing this would be to place 1 part flower petals and 2 parts carrier oil (Almond oil or sunflower oil) in a copper recipient and heat this infusion at a low temperature for 3 hours. Finally, filter the flowers from the infusion, squeeze them to extract any remaining liquid and place the resultant solution in a cool place away from sunlight.

Enfleurage: a traditional method often used to extract essential oils from delicate flowers such as rose or jasmine which involves placing successive layers of petals on a glass plate covered with warm fatty oils (lard or wax was once used). These glass plates are subsequently placed one on top of another. After some weeks the spent flowers are removed and replaced with fresh ones. This fragrant fat is then soaked in alcohol so as to absorb the essential oils. The alcohol is separated from the fat and allowed to evaporate leaving behind the concentrated essential oils. This process is very costly and laborious though still used for the production of perfumes.

Carbon dioxide extraction: this is a very recent method of extraction using lower temperatures than that of distillation and is therefore less aggressive for the plants. The plant material is placed in a closed stainless steel tank and injected with carbon dioxide, increasing the pressure in the tank. When subjected to lower temperatures, carbon dioxide liquefies and can be used as a liquid solvent. The carbon dioxide reverts back to gas once the pressure decreases leaving behind the essential oil.

See more here…

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Make Your Own Kratom Soap (DIY Recipe)

kratom soap exfoliating mitragyna speciosa antibacterial body wash

Here’s a great recipe to make your own kratom soap from one of our favorite online herb stores: www.MountainRoseHerbs.com. We tweaked their recipe a bit to include our kratom but you can use many herbs and even your own uniquely interesting combinations. Soap alchemy…

Recipe: Kratom (aka Herbal) Soap

This is a simple and recipe enriched with nourishing herbs.  Kratom can provide a great exfoliating texture along with antibacterial properties to your soaps. Feel free to experiment with other herbs that you like to use for skin care! This recipe will yield a 2 pound batch of soap which will make approximately 10 bars, depending on how large they’re cut.  If you wish to incorporate other ingredients or increase the size of the batch, use a soap making calculator to determine the appropriate amounts of water and lye.  These calculators are available online for free.  If you wish to add a scent, incorporate ½ – 2 ounces of essential oil when the soap is at trace.  The herbs are optional and can be omitted for a pure bar of soap.

Equipment:

  • Safety glasses
  • Rubber gloves
  • Scale
  • 2 Thermometers
  • Rags and towels for cleaning spills
  • White Vinegar for neutralizing lye spills and splashes
  • Large Stainless steel pot
  • Glass Pyrex or Plastic Pitcher for mixing lye and water
  • Wooden, plastic, or stainless steel spoons, a plastic spatula, and other mixing utensils
  • Soap mold – use a wooden box, shoebox, milk carton, silicone mold, or a plastic container.
  • Freezer, parchment paper, or plastic bags to line your mold
  • Electric immersion stick blender – optional, but saves time
  • Newspaper and cardboard to cover your work area
  • Clear plastic food wrap

Notes: Reserve a special pot, mixing containers, and other tools especially for soap.  Never use aluminum pots or utensils as they will react with the lye.

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 7 oz Organic Coconut Oil
  • 3 oz Organic Palm Oil (sustainably harvested)
  • 3 oz Organic Palm Kernel Oil (sustainably harvested)
  • 2 oz Organic Avocado Oil
  • 1 oz Shea Butter
  • 12 oz Water (spring, purified, or rain water)
  • 4.6 oz Lye, Sodium Hydroxide. Available in some hardware stores, cleaning supply companies, or online. Make sure to purchase 100% lye.
  • 1/8 cup (plus extra for decoration) Organic Calendula flowers
  • 4 – 8 oz of kratom powder (depending on how exfoliating you prefer the soap to be)
  • Lavender or Jasmine flowers (optional, for scent)

Important: Weigh all ingredients on a scale.  Soap measurements are done by weight, not by volume.

  1. Gather all materials and clear your work area of any clutter.  Place cardboard and newspapers on the countertops and other work spaces to protect from spills and splashes, keeping the white vinegar nearby.  If possible, wear a long-sleeve shirt, pants, and shoes.
  2. Add kratom powder. Place a lid on the pot, and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  3. Line your soap mold with freezer or parchment paper.  You may look online for tips, as there are many tutorials and videos available. Plastic or odd shaped containers can be greased with a cooking spray instead of lined.
  4. Pick a well-ventilated area in which to mix the tea and lye in order to minimize your exposure to the fumes.  Wear goggles and gloves.   Weigh the lye, then slowly pour it into the container while mixing.  Stir until the lye has thoroughly dissolved, while taking care not to inhale the fumes.  If the fumes are too strong, leave the area, and return later to finish mixing.  It may not be apparent, but the lye and water mixture becomes very hot.

NOTE:  Always add lye to water, and not the other way around.  Adding water to lye may cause a bubbling “volcanic” reaction, increasing the risk of an accident or injury.  If you splash lye onto yourself, immediately flush the area under running water and neutralize with vinegar.  Seek medical attention if necessary.  Lye will burn skin, and can melt a hole on countertops and other surfaces.

  1. Weigh all solid oils and Shea Butter in a large stainless steel pot.  Melt on the stovetop over a low temperature.  Once melted, weigh all liquid oils and add them to the pot.
  2. Watch the temperatures of both preparations.  Ideally, they should cool down to the same temperature at the same time.  If they do not cool at the same rate, gently heat or cool the solutions using a hot or cold water bath.
  3. When both solutions reach 90-105 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s time to mix. Wearing goggles and gloves, slowly pour the lye solutions into the stainless steel pot of melted oils while stirring.  You’ll notice the mixture getting thicker, and it will begin to smell like soap.  Stir until soap reaches the “trace” stage.  This is when the soap leaves a faint mark for a few seconds on the surface of the soap before it sinks in.  This stage is often compared to being a similar consistency to pudding.  Use an electric stick blender to quicken the process, working in short bursts that last for a few seconds each.  Stirring by hand can take 15-60 minutes, while an electric stick blender can reduce this time to 3-10 minutes.
  4. Once the soap reaches the trace stage, add the powdered herbs and stir until incorporated.  If you’d like to add essential oils, this is the time to do it.
  5. Pour soap into mold.  Make sure that it is distributed evenly.  Tap the sides lightly or gently shake in order to remove any air bubbles.
  6. Sprinkle other herbs, flower petals and other leaves on top of the soap.  This is optional, but it looks nice, if you have a kratom flower(s), even better (good luck! hard to find).
  7. Cover mold with plastic food wrap to help prevent soda ash from appearing on the top of your bars.  Soda ash isn’t harmful, but appears as a light white dusting and isn’t desired for cosmetic reasons.  Place soap in a warm area, covered with towels or a blanket to help insulate it and retain heat. Leave it undisturbed for 24 hours.  Try not to peek! You want to retain heat in the mold.
  8. What to do with the mess in the kitchen?  One trick is to simply place all of the dirty utensils into the large stainless steel pot, and place it on a shelf in the garage, basement, or other out-of-the-way place for 2-3 weeks.  The raw soap will be safe within a few weeks, making cleanup a snap!  You can certainly clean everything immediately after making soap, but the mixture will still be caustic so proceed with caution. Make sure to clean out the sink, countertops, and anything else that the raw soap touches.  It’s good to wear gloves, wiping each surface with vinegar in case in case you missed any residual raw soap.
  9. Check soap after 24 hours. It has most likely gone through a gelling stage which results in the soap becoming hard and it accelerates the curing process.  The soap should be firm to the touch, yet will still be a little soft.  You can either remove from the mold now, or leave it for another 24 hours depending on how soft it is.  You’ll want to cut it when it’s firm to the touch, yet still soft enough to easily slice through.
  10. Remove soap from the mold, and cut into bars or other desired shapes.  Allow the bars to cure for at least 4-6 weeks before using.  Cure on metal racks or cardboard, turning the bars daily (or as often as you remember) so that all sides are exposed to air.  The curing process hardens the bars and makes them gentler for the skin.

kratom soap exfoliating mitragyna speciosa antibacterial washSoap can be made with a variety of vegetable or animal oils, essential oils, herbs and spices, and many liquids including goat milk, coconut milk, coffee, and even beer.  Soapmaking is an obsession waiting to happen, and with all of the options, you’ll never tire of dreaming up new creations. Handmade soap makes a wonderful gift for friends, co-workers, and loved ones.  They will be thrilled to receive your wonderful creations, so feel free to soap away to your heart’s content! Have questions?  You’re not alone.  There is a huge soapmaking community out there!  If you need guidance, simply look online and you’ll find a rich community of fellow soapmakers, entire websites and blogs devoted to soap, tutorials, forums, and videos.  There are also many wonderful books on soap making, including Soap Crafting.

(article originally posted here)

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