Distilling Notes

Yarrow Hydrosol 6/8/20

First harvest of Yarrow Site: The Hill | Date: 9/ /2020 | Distillation size: 32 ounces hydrolat | Filter size: 300 micron| PH 3.8

Sometimes, even in the incredibly methodical practice of distillation, you have to gun it and run it. Especially when you don’t know what you are doing. 

When the Yarrow bloomed this past summer, I harvested an armful to distill, which I did when the flowers were fresh and mostly whole. 

Yarrow is a non native invasive plant here in the North Cascades and many of my neighbors would like it torn off the hill. The pollinators, however, love it and there may be some evidence that it repels pesty insects

Harvesting Yarrow is unpleasant. It irritates the skin. There are pissed off, confused pollinators hanging out in the flowers. The best time to harvest Yarrow is in the summer afternoon, when it is hot and the oil is rich and people are tired. 

This summer being this summer, time efficiency was about to win out over curiosity on this project. But I’d already disturbed too many insects to just sort of throw their homes away in the hopes of doing something more productive. 

The reward of harvesting a basketful of fresh yarrow, (after shaking an insect off of each flower) is a bright, oily distillate that smells like herbaceous boiled sticks. 

As a toner, I’ve not found anything that works for my skin better to reduce redness and inflammation. Low in PH, it seems to help me fight off the irritators that routinely dunch my skin.

Here’s a cool little article about birds and yarrow: