The Seilich workshop is a hive of activity all year round. It’s the place where we extract our precious botanical extracts from our meadow grown plants. After carefully tending to our plants in the meadow all summer, we are extremely picky when it comes to the methods we are willing to use in the process of extracting their botanical compounds! Only the gentlest of methods are used, ensuring that the compounds within aren’t degraded in the process, and the resultant oil/water/extracts are of the highest quality. Some of the methods we use are detailed below;
We extract hydrosols and essential oils from fresh plant matter through the method of distillation. In the summer months, the workshop is a hot and fragrant place as the still gently releases volatile compounds from leaves, stems and flowers. To find out more about distillation, head over to our Hydrosols page.
When the plants first come in from the meadow, unless that are being distilled they need to first undergo a drying process to remove any water from their cells. To do this, we lay the plants on linen frames within a polytunnel. Over 3-5 days, the gentle warmth from the sun releases the water, and the plants are re-gathered before going on to the next process.
Oil soluble plant compounds are dissolved into carrier oils through the process of infusion. Dried plant matter is submerged into a carrier oil and left in a sunny place for around 4 weeks, using energy from the sun to release compounds from the plants within.
By heating dried plant matter within a carrier oil, a higher proportion of oil soluble compounds are transferred to the oil. Due to the sensitive nature of many botanical compounds and carrier oils, maceration can only be used in a few cases where compounds are less susceptible to oxidation however. In the rare cases that we use maceration, a low heat (around 40 degrees Celsius) is applied for a short period, before being allowed to cool and the plant matter strained from the oil.
We carefully handpick plants from our meadow to use in our products. Although time consuming, hand picking ensures that only mature, healthy flowers and leaves are taken, guaranteeing that our ingredients are the best quality they can possibly be. In addition, it ensures that any plants that are being used by wildlife e.g. where butterflies have laid their eggs, are left undisturbed. To find out more about our wildlife friendly growing practices click here.
Powdering increases the surface volume of plant matter and allows greater plant-skin contact. Powdered plants are first gently dried before being hand-crushed and placed in a grinder.