Ginger Essential Oil Processing

Properties of Ginger

Most of us have had ginger in some kind of food and probably have some in the spice rack, but what else is it good for?

Ginger has been recognized as a highly medicinal plant in Asia as well as being used as an exotic ingredient in perfumes, it is also said to an aphrodisiac.

When it comes to the essential oil, and hydrosol, it has wonderful properties for treating sore joints and muscles.  This is why it is commonly found in Dit Da Jow formulations.

Ginger is also a common middle note ingredient in perfumes and colognes providing that warm and spicy note.

Distilling into Essential Oil and Hydrosol

The last time we ran ginger through our steam distiller we did not get a very good yield but we did learn a lot about what not to do.

This time we started with 3.5 pounds of fresh ginger root which we let dry for a couple of weeks.  Today we ran it through the food processor to get it chopped up into nice little bits which we will let dry for a few days prior to running through the still.

In researching the proper way to process ginger into essential oil, this is the preferred method and should provide the highest yield possible, besides CO2 extraction.

You can purchase our Ginger Hydrosol in our online store, and in our physical store.  We hope to have the essential oil for sale soon as well but we need to start making enough of it first.

If you are able to come into our physical store be sure to bring your containers as we will be happy to fill them and help keep the waste down to a bare minimum.

Still with Ginger

Update on the yield

One of the interesting parts about distillation is the yield of oil and hydrosol we get.  For this run we started with 448 grams of semi-dry ginger and we produced 3.25g of Essential Oil and 900ml of hydrosol.
That translates to a .7% yield of essential oil and 200% yield of hydrosol.  I think we may have gotten a better yield number if we had let it dry just a couple of more days as there was still a fair amount of moisture in the material which can throw these numbers off.

Essential Oils Healing Seminar

Have you wanted to learn more about healing with essential oils?

Essential oils are much easier to obtain these days but they don’t come with a handbook, that costs extra.  On Sunday, June 17th at 2:00 PM we will be hosting a seminar at the first Starshine Gathering in the Shoppes at Riverside community room.

We have posted a number of times on essential oils, and hydrosols, as well as our own journey with distilling these oils ourselves.  We are happy to be able to share the knowledge we have learned from our own journey.

Seminar features

This seminar will be a basic introduction to some specific essential oils that are easily obtained and extremely useful for treating everyday ailments.  We will be going over the following topics:

  • What are Essential Oils
    This is an explanation of where essential oils come from and how they are obtained
  • The Basic Essential Oil Kit
    We will go over a handful of essential oils that you should have around at all times
  • Practical Essential Oil usage
    In this section, we will go over what to do with the oils in the basic kit.

It’s Free!

That is right, this seminar is free.  As this is the first Starshine Gathering, and our first seminar, we are giving it away.  Seats are limited and are first come first serve, be sure to come early.

When you arrive be sure to mention that you saw this on our website or on Facebook.  This will enter you in our raffle for a very special item, there will be 5 drawings at the end of the seminar.

Essential Oil Portable Bundle

Prototype Essential Oil Portable Bundle

EO To Go BundleWe have been working on a carrying case to make it easy to carry a variety of essential oils, carrier oils, mixing vessels, and droppers and we have the first prototype finished.

Our goal was to make something that would be easy to stash in a bag, open and close easily, and have everything ready to go.  We are working on the closure to make something that is elegant and functional at the same time.

12 1/2 Dram vials

Bundle OpenRight off the bat you can see that there are 12 1/2 dram vials.  This allows you to have a good variety of essential oils, a few carrier oils, a tincture or two, and leave a couple empty for mixing.

Work areaThe cover flap doubles as a work area.  Since we will be making this out of cloth it is easy to wash, and sterilize if needed, giving you a clean surface to work on where ever you may be.

Handy Storage Pouch

Small PocketOn the other end is a handy little storage pouch for stowing things like the glass tube portion of the droppers or other small items.

On the final product the opening will most likely be on the opposite side and will have a zipper as currently it is a little wonky.  We may even sew some elastic on the inside so the dropper tubes would not be loose.

When It’s Ready

We are hoping to have the final design finished by mid-summer.  Once it is finished we will have versions with empty vials and some with pre-filled vials with a small insert on what the oils are and how to use them as well as some recipes.

Still Relocation Complete

Our Still Has a New Home

Still New LocationSince moving into our new store we have been, slowly, moving production here and today we got the still moved and started a distillation of Witch Hazel.  After that is finished we will start getting caught up with some co-op distillations of Sage and Rosemary that Joshua Francy brought us.

We are very excited to have the still moved as this will allow us to run it much more often and we won’t have to buy so much ice as it has it’s own cold water source now.  Previously we had a bucket of ice water that was pumped into the condenser which draws the steam from the column and cools it down.  This was rather cumbersome as we had to monitor the temperature of the water in the bucket and add more ice to keep it cool as well as remove water so it did not overflow.

Next time you are here be sure to stop in and ask if we are distilling anything, we would love to show you what we are up to.

Copaiba – The oil you may have been missing

For a long time, the benefits of CBD oil have been known yet even with the legalization of cannabis in many states this oil is still expensive and difficult to get.
In my research on CBD oil and how we might start using it in some of our products, I came across many articles about another oil that we happened to have in our arsenal already, Copaiba.
After getting through a lot of the hype articles that didn’t do a whole lot other than putting down CBD I found a few articles that got to the nitty-gritty of what is going on with these oils and what they are doing to be beneficial.
The primary component that is doing a lot of the work in both oils is beta-caryophyllene (BCP). In CBD the concentration of BCP is up to 35% and in Copaiba it is consistently 50%. It has also been theorized that the BCP is what is actually doing all the heavy work in CBD oil.
A major point that is brought up is that CBD does not appear to bind to CB1 or CB2 receptors where BCP will only bind to CB2 receptors.
Let’s back up a moment though because that probably made little sense to anyone who hasn’t been reading up on your endocannabinoid system. Throughout your body are receptors known as CB1 and CB2 which are involved in a variety of bodily functions including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. CB1 receptors are primarily found in the brain but some are also found in the lungs, liver, and kidneys. CB2 receptors are found primarily in the immune system and this is why binding to them does not produce any of the effects that you would encounter while under the influence of THC, which does bind to CB1 receptors.

Using Copaiba Essential Oil

Now that you know a little more about what Copaiba is and what it can do you are probably where I was and asking yourself how to go about using it.  The primary methods of use are topical, internal, and aromatic.

Topical application

In it’s simplest form you can dilute Copaiba in a carrier oil of your choice, I prefer Jojoba and Apricot Kernel Oil, and apply the oil directly to areas where you are experiencing pain or have other skin abnormalities.  We have added this oil to a number of our personal care products as well to enhance their healing properties.
By applying the oil to your aches and pains you will get it directly to the source and the oil will assist in alleviating it.  It is also very good at helping to heal other skin ailments, cuts, bruises, etc.

Internal use

This one is kind of yucky as this is an oil that is derived from sap, so as you could imagine it tastes like a sap.  Though many sources have claimed that you can use the oil straight and either consume it by adding a couple of drops to tea or putting it right under your tongue I prefer to use a dilution of 50% Copaiba to 50% Vodka.
Using any Essential Oil internally should be done with caution and in very small doses at first as these are concentrated oils.  That said using this oil internally is one of the suggested ways to get it to the CB2 receptors in your immune system and thus getting its benefits as directly as possible.


The actual scent of Copaiba is very light and almost unnoticeable.  Even so, you can put it in a diffuser or lava stone jewelry to promote a sense of calm and well being.  This is also one of the methods that this oil can help reduce stress.

Where to go from here

I hope you have enjoyed this article and look forward to any discussions it may induce.
I will be starting a series of blog posts to document my own experience with using Copaiba essential oil to hopefully get some real-world results for you and myself on the benefits of this oil.  I will be making these posts under the category My Copaiba Journey to make it easier for you to find.


Disclaimer: The information provided is general and should not be taken as medical advice. Neither North Pacific Utopian Wares or associated business entities guarantee the accuracy of the information. Please consult your doctor, especially if being used during pregnancy, before using this product. You are also encouraged to test the product to ensure that it meets your needs, before using for mass production

New Healing Salve in Testing

Healing SalveSince we started making products we have been formulating and refining a general use healing salve.  We made one version last year and had good results but we wanted to apply some of our more recent research to that recipe and test it some more.

One set back with a product like this is that we need to find injuries to test it on.  Luckily I am about to get another tattoo which presents a wonderful opportunity to test this on some pretty serious skin damage without having to wait until I do something dumb.

We are blending some oils you don’t always hear about like Chia seed, Pomegranate seed, and Cranberry seed which all have strong rejuvenation properties and help fight infections.  The essential oil blend we will be using will enhance the properties of the oils and provide even more protection and healing.

Getting ready for distillation

We have been super busy making new products that are targeted at helping you to get natural products in your house to make sure what you are putting on your body will actually help you.
We have also been looking to our future and the need to make sure that the products we are using are sustainably produced and sourced as locally as possible.  Above is our first steam distillation setup that I have laid out so I can create a base for it to sit upon while it distills our oils.
We are super excited to start distilling our own essential oils which will be used in our products and available for purchase.  We will also be using the resulting hydrosols for use in our lotions and other products.

Our first distillation will be Lavender which we got earlier this year from Dales Lavender Valley  and it has been dried and stored just for this purpose.
Once the still is setup we will be sure to post some pictures and videos of the process so you can be a part of our continuing journey.