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Steam distilled Marrubium vulgare leaves.

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2 oz. brown glass bottle with dropper. (Marrubium vulgare). Horehound Hydrosol strengthens the voice and reduces hoarseness due to prolonged speaking or singing.

This perennial plant grows from a short, knobby root. The woolly stems are square and reach 1 ½ to 2 feet tall. The crinkled, fuzzy leaves grow opposite along the stem, each pair of leaves at right angles to the ones below. The tiny white flowers form balls below paired leaves. The seed heads mature into sticking burrs. The plant has a sharp, acrid scent when crushed. Horehound can be found growing wild throughout Europe, the United States and Canada. The herb prefers dry, sandy places, wastelands, vacant lots and abandoned fields.

Constituents: Marrubiin, a diterpene lactone, with premarrubiin; diterpene alcohols; marruciol, marrubenol, sclareol, peregrinin, dihydroperegrinin; volatile oil, containing [[alpha]]-pinene, sabinene, limonene, camphene, p-cymol, [[alpha]]-terpinolene; alkaloids; traces of betonicine and its isomer turicine; miscellaneous; choline, alkanes, phytosterols, tanins etc.

Hydrosols, used for medicinal, pharmacological, and cosmetic purposes, have been dated to use in Egypt over 6,000 years ago. Ancient Vedic Hindus vaporized floral and herbal oils to soften the skin, sooth the mind, and normalize various glandular activities. The Aztecs enjoyed saunas whose steam carried fragrant floral and herbal vapors from small pools of stone and hot water. Hippocrates described the curative effect of more than 300 plants.

'Flower water' isn't an accurate definition because hydrosols do not come just from flowers any more than essential oils come only from flowers. Roots, bark, branches, wood, needles and leaves, even fruit and seeds can produce both oils and hydrosols. Hydrosols are the condensate water co-produced during the steam- or hydro-distillation of plant material for aroma therapeutic purposes. Usually the distillation is undertaken is to obtain the essential oils contained in the plant material, but occasionally the distillation is undertaken specifically to produce the plant water that results.

Hydrosols contain all of the plant in every drop, just like a hologram. Here we have the water-soluble components, the essential-oil molecules, and the very fluid that was flowing through the plant cells when the plant was collected. It's all there in a matrix of water that is so much more than water, one of the most recognized holographic substances in healing.

Storing Hydrosols ~ The Hydrosols must be put directly into sterilized containers as soon as they are extracted by the still. The sterilized containers should be brown or dark blue glass bottles. Once bottled, the Hydrosols should be labeled with the distillation date. Most Hydrosols will keep for approximately one year if stored in a cool, dark place with very little temperature fluctuation. The refrigerator works fine, if you don't have a cool storage area otherwise

PHOTOS: Horehound Hydrosol; garbling Horehound for distilling; steam distiller for hydrosol and essential oil making.

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