Citronella oil is obtained by the steam distillation of green herbs known as Citronella Grass”. there are two types - Ceylon type and Java type. Ceylon type oil is obtained from the species- Cymbopogon nardus Rendle and Java type oil is obtained from –Cymbopogon winterianus Jowitt. The oil contains Citral and has a strong odour like that of lemon that is the reason the name given is Citronella. The oil of Java type is superior over Ceylon type as it contains about 75-85% of Citral compared to Ceylon type is 50-60%.Citronella Java cultivation is done on large scale in the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. Total Citronella Java production in India about 800-1000 tons yearly.
Citronella Java Caltivation
Proper selection of land, which supports the plant growth for a longer period, is essential for best growth & satisfactory recovery of oil. For Citronella cultivation, deep, well drained, fertile soil is suitable, the areas with fear of water stagnation should be avoided for cultivation. Soil of around pH 6.0 is considered optimum and attitude of 150-200m is ideal, the plant grows satisfactorily upto the height of 700 m. Humid Climate with regular rainfall is most favourable for plant growth & oil production as well. the highest yield of citronella oil is in part of north-east and south-east of India.
Citronella Oil Distillation
Freshly harvested leaves are taken for the purpose of distillation. During mild weather condition the harvested leaves can be spread in shade or left in field for 12 to 24 hours to make it semi-dry. This allows better packing of plant material in distillation stills and economises the consumption of fuel also. If the leaves are over-grown, then they may be chopped into pieces into distillation stills for better oil recovery. Distillation process is completed within 3 to 3.5 hours with boiler operated plant and it takes 4 to 5 hours with directly fire plant. Steam distillation or water distillation are done for recovery of citronella oil from the leaves.
Citronella cultivation is done on commercial basis, for obtaining aromatic oil from the leaves. Selection of proper soil, climatic conditions, method of plantation, type of Citronella species, proper application of fertilizers and manures, harvesting etc consideration is essential. The cultivation methods and the measures taken during cultivation of Citronella Java give good yield and better oil recovery from the leaves. The aromatic oil has odour like lemon because of presence of Citral in the oil, lemon has about 28% of Citral and about 80% in Citronella. The oil is used in perfumery, detergents and also for medicinal purpose. Thus the cultivation of Citronella Java is highly profitable for farmers in rainfed areas and areas with proper irrigation.
Product: Citronella Java Oil
Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils on the trade of essential oil and for good reason. It smells great and is an effective stress-relieving oil. The name stems from the Latin word lavera, meaning to wash. In addition to stress-relieving properties, Lavender is a healing aid against cold, flu, depression and headache.
Extraction and Application: Lavender is extracted from the lavender flowers of the plant and steam distilled. Lavender can be used several different ways. Given the origin of its name, its a wonderful essential oil to use in a bath & spa. Many massage therapists use it to help relax their clients. Add a few drops to a diffuser or even your pillow before bedtime to get a good nights sleep.
Aromatherapy Uses: Lavender is most commonly known for its relaxing effects on the body, therapeutic-grade lavender has been highly regarded for the skin. It may be used to cleanse cuts, bruises and skin irritations. The fragrance is calming, relaxing and balancing – physically and emotionally. Carrying a bottle of lavender around with you is like having your own personal first aid kit, perfume and pick-me-up.
Here are ways you can incorporate lavender in to your daily life:
1. Sleep Aid
2. Insect bite
4. Minor Burn
6. Dry Skin
8. Flavor booster
Caution: One of the more serious possible side effects of lavender oil is the possibility that it causes breast growth in boys. However, this side effect usually resolves a few months after the boys stop using lavender oil. Lavender oil can also sometimes irritate the skin, or cause an allergic reaction, nausea, headache, chills or vomiting.
Aromatherapy, the therapeutic use of essential oils, is one of the most popular techniques of natural medicine practiced today. It is widely available, pleasant, and easy to use. Everything in your kitchen and bathroom has an aroma that affects you in many ways. The smell of cinnamon can make your mouth water or bring back the memory of grandma's apple pie. Lavender bath salts calm your nervous system as you soak in the tub. Aromas are added to candles, soaps, lotions and massage oils, so oftentimes you are practicing aromatherapy even when you don't realize it.
The highly aromatic wood of the sandalwood tree is widely used in South Asia for religious and medicinal purposes and it is a prime source of incense and perfumes. The small tree is native to East Asia but has been known in the sub-continent for millennia.
In antiquity the Indian sub-continent was known to be the source and exporter of mainly luxury goods such as gold, gems, spices, fine textiles, perfumes, sandalwood and ivory. The coastal route to the Persian Gulf was ancient and rice, sandalwood and peacocks were traded by 700 BC.
Sandalwood's name is derived from the Sanskrit chandana. It has always been valued for its fragrance and its resistance to insects and grew to be a vital accessory in Hindu rituals. Besides providing an oil celebrated in commerce, the wood is used for carving fine items such as figures and caskets, as well as images of deities and temple doors. It is also made into a paste which has universal application in Hindu practice. Orthodox Hindus frequently smear the paste in symbolic marks on their faces and bodies. The paste is also believed to have a cooling effect on the body. The paste, oil and wood have medicinal applications and the powdered wood is even used in antidotes to snakebites.
The scent lies in the heartwood of old trees from which sandalwood oil is extracted by distillation. The sandalwood tree used to flourish in southern India, particularly in the forests of Karnataka. Mysore sandalwood oil was renowned and considered superior to all other varieties. Illegal felling and poaching has placed the tree under extreme threat, and it is a variety found in Australia which is replacing the traditional Indian sandalwood in supplying the world's needs.
The Rose, the Divine Flower of Love! India is a land redolent with aromatic plants. In each nook and corner of the country one finds various herbs, spices, woods, flowers, roots and grasses being grown for aromatic or medicinal purposes. Many of the plants that have a longer history in India also factor strongly into the cultural and religious lives of the country people. It is certain that this deep inner connection with the plants plays an important role in the emotional and spiritual well-being of the people and this in turn benefits their physical health. One of the flowers that has a relatively long history in the countries rich aromatic traditions is the Rose.
The rose or Gulab Attar of North India is mainly distilled from Rosa Damascena. Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan are the main areas where the Rosa Damascena is grown for distillation of both attar (bulk of the flowers) and Ruh. Now in the Kangra and Kullu Valleys there are a number of small distillation units set up for preparing the Ruh.
The process is fairly simple (at least in writing); the roses which are mainly harvested in the late April and May are placed in larger copper distilling vessels which are connected to the receiving vessel by a bamboo pipe that is wrapped with a special grass rope for insulation. The flowers sit in water which is heated and then the vapors pass over into the copper receiving vessel via the bamboo pipe. The receiving vessel contains sandalwood oil and the rose essence gets absorbed in the sandalwood over a period of 15-20 days with new flowers being distilled each day. The more in depth explanation of Gulab Attar production can be seen on the Fragrant Harvest Web Site.
Up until recently the majority of rose production has been for the production of attars (traditional Indian perfumes produced by the hydro-distillation of the flowers into sandalwood), garlands, and preparation of Gulkand (a special jam which is renowned for its cooling and digestive qualities) Small amounts of Ruh or Pure Essence of Rose have been prepared each year for many centuries but it has been a very rare item until quite recently.
Due to the fact that India uses a lot of rose essence in their indigenous fragrance industry there has been a concerted effort to produce it on a larger scale. It is being heavily promoted by government research institutions like Institute of Himalayan Bio-resource Technology which, I have visited a couple of times. They are engaged in both the cultivation of the plants and developing better and affordable distilling technology for production of the oil.
This beautiful Gulab Attar made with Rosa Damascena has graced our path with its simple and elegant flower, its beautifully, rich, fragrant and intoxicating aroma and often used as an aphrodisiac in ancient perfume aromatics and anointing oils.