At Starfish Honey, we make our own essential oils and Hydrosols with our own organic and homegrown herbs and flowers. We believe they are unbeatable in quality and their ability to heal and here is why.
It may surprise you to know, I am not a fan of essential oils. In fact, the only place you’ll find essential oils on my website is here, and these oils are married to the flower water they are extracted with. In other words, I do not separate the essential oils from the plant water (Hydrosol) after they are created. And there is method to my madness.
Countless hours spent pouring over my vast collection of vintage and antique herbalism books, I’ve yet to find a single recipe calling for use of concentrated essential oils. Part of the reason for this, is that oils in this form were not used and often unavailable until modern times.
Sure these oils were used by the ancient Egyptians (for embalming and covering up the scent of their dead). And sure, these oils were used by royalty through out the ages. (Again, mostly for covering up the various bad smells of ancient times.) But for purposes of healing, I’ve never seen a single recipe calling for pure essential oil without the aid of a computer or google.
Did you know?
It’s takes more than a pound of dried lavender to created a single drop of essential lavender oil.
Now imagine this: Check out the essential oil aisle at your local health food store. That’s a lot of drops of lavender oil, right? Now imagine this: Imagine combining ALL of the bottles of lavender oil from ALL of the aisles of ALL of the stores in JUST YOUR town. Now... imagine ALL of the lavender oil, in ALL of the stores across America. And now, take it one step further and imagine ALL of the lavender oil at ALL of the shops across the WHOLE world! That’s a lot of lavender oil my friends.
How do they do it? How do they make all of that oil?
Well, first of all, these oils on your store shelves are rarely pure. And when I say rarely, what I actually want to say is never. They are adulterated. They are watered down, blended versions of the cheapest, processed carrier oils of the moment. Usually a carrier oil that’s trendy (coconut) or sounds fancy like “Rapeseed” oil. That’s canola oil by the way. Processed oils are as good as poison. They aren’t good for your body or your spirit. They are a shadow of their former plant selves. And so are the essential oils you’ll find blended with them at your local ‘natural’ market.
It’s a fair assumption that the earth’s surface is not planted entirely with French Lavender that is harvested and used to make “pure” essential oil. Those oils are made in a laboratory, not in an apothecary. They are synthetic, made from plant molecules not plant essences. Often they aren’t even made from the same plant whose scent they mimic.
What is Hydrosol?
Hydrosol is the water that is produced during the distillation of herbs, flowers and plants. The plant matter is placed in the distiller and as steam passes through these herbs, the essence of the plant is collected by the steam, producing a water that carries the scent and virtues of the plant. The most concentrated essences of those plants comes out in oil form. This is called ‘essential oil’.
That oil is then separated from the water. The water product that remains is called ‘Hydrosol’, or just ‘Flower water’ in times before this fancy moniker.
You will find Hydrosols available through the most fancy cosmetic, bath & beauty and self care companies on earth. And at quite a premium too!
The realization that these fancy “all natural” companies were passing off the by-product of essential oil production to their customers at outrageous prices was a game changer for me.
They aren’t using any special process to collect their Hydrosols. They aren’t using herbs of any higher quality or water that’s any more pure than the next guy.
Their copper kettles are the same copper kettles that are used by everyone. Nothing fancy here folks. It’s a scam. Just some fancy packaging to convince you that the plant water in the bottle is something greater, something more pure or special than the same plant water that you can make at home with stainless pot, filtered water and a handful of flowers.
Commercial Hydrosol is egregiously overpriced.
One of the greatest scams ever perpetrated by the commercial bath and cosmetics industries.
So if it’s all a scam, what makes our Hydrosols any different?
For starters, we don’t use commercially farmed plants, herbs or flowers. Our plants aren’t laden with pesticides and fertilizers. They aren’t harvested in mass by poor farm hands that could never afford a single bottle of Hydrosol to use on their own skin. (See Evan Healy cheerfully posting videos of farm hands harvesting vicious thorny rose hips in South America to make their $60, 2 ounce bottles of Hydrosol) This haunting thought of farm workers harvesting chamomile (or Rose hips) by hand actually kept me up at night when I began to grow and harvest my own chamomile.
Watching videos of American cosmetics companies in South America trying to look like UNICEF gifting gloves to their farm workers to harvest wild rose hips from bushes with 4 inch spike thorns like bushes of barbed wire, actually turned my stomach.
How gracious of them, to gift these workers gloves. So that those workers can more efficiently harvest rose hips for oil that they will never have the privilege of using themselves.
Like field trips for the rich kids in private schools. They all fly down to Mexico and drink margaritas while farm hands harvest literal tons of plant matter which will be turned into their over priced Hydrosols. Don’t believe me? Have a look at the tools used to harvest rose hips.
This is an actual photo posted on IG by a really fancy (expensive) ‘natural’ cosmetics company to market their rose Hydrosols. The next photo they use is even better.
I promise you, this is NOT what it looks like when those farmers with those rakes and gloves are harvesting rose hips for their overpriced Hydrosols.
These images effected me and still haunt me to this day.
Natural cosmetics are a billion dollar industry. Once I had crafted my own Hydrosol, I felt like a complete fool for all of the money I’d given to support these margarita field trips.
I encourage you to make your own Hydrosols.
Did I mention that the essential oils are removed from commercial Hydrosols? I did mentioned that Hydrosols are by-product of essential oil production.
You’ve seen the prices of those tiny bottles of essential oils. Did you think they would leave those oils in their flower waters? Not a chance. That’s the most valuable part of the production process. Billions of dollars in value.
Whole Plants are the same as Whole foods.
Our Hydrosols are the equivalent of ‘Whole Foods’ not the expensive grocery store. But the concept of a whole, unaltered, unprocessed plant which is eaten. A WHOLE food.
Our Hydrosols are WHOLE plant waters. Complete and unadulterated, containing ALL of the compounds and natural components which make a plant medicinal. We do NOT separate the essential oils from the Hydrosols. They are complete, whole, as nature intended them to be.
Plants are here for us.
No matter what your beliefs are regarding why humans and plants have evolved together. No matter whether you believe that God gave humans plants to use as medicine. Or whether you believe humans evolved to use the plants available to them as medicines.
The fact remains: Plants are medicines for human beings.
There is a plant to heal every ailment that exists to human kind. Many have yet to be discovered. Many will never be discovered as we continue to focus on mass farming and such things as commercial essential oil products.
Many of you do not have the space or the experience to harvest your own plants for medicine. I am here to help you.
Whether it’s by offering heirloom seeds and tips to grow your own. Or by growing these botanicals and offering them to you in their purest form at a reasonable price. My goal is to spread the message of nature. Her flora and fungi WANT to be used. It takes only to understand, that harvesting a single flower head will cause the plant to produce two more blooms in it’s place, to believe that these plants want to be used. They want to be harvested. They are here for US.
The ability to use Whole Plant medicine should not expensive or difficult to obtain. This ability should be ‘the norm’. Every kitchen should have a stainless pot with a lid to make your own flower waters. You do NOT need a fancy distiller to make these products. You need seeds, herbs, water and the desire to make them.
Because many of us in the modern world do not (yet) have the ability to grow our own herbs and flowers for Hydrosols (and all plant medicines) I am here to help. Whether you’re purchasing my WHOLE plant Hydrosols or picking up some seeds to grow your own herbs for Hydrosols. If you’ve begun to question what your being sold at the market, you’re on the right road.
But Hydrosols and essential oils are SO expensive!
Not ours! Our Hydrosols are priced for what they are. For the raw materials and time it takes to make them. For the bottles they are packaged in and the cost to ship them.
Fortunately, I don’t base my prices on the rarity of these products. If that were the case, my Hydrosols would be thousands of dollars more than these fancy natural cosmetics companies. If availability dictated the price of these products, I could only sell them to Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates and perhaps a Kardashian or two. Rare doesn’t describe them. They simply don’t exist in the world of commercial cosmetics.
Unless you’re growing and making your own Hydrosols, you will not find them in this pure, whole, unadulterated form ANYWHERE else.
This is why I make my own. I guess I have trust issues. But if I’m not holding the herb in my own hands, I simply don’t believe that ONLY the herb has been used to create a product. No matter how expensive it is. No matter how boho and cheerful the Instagram photos of these ‘natural’ companies may be.
Once you harvested chamomile by hand, if your heart doesn’t break for the unfortunate farm workers who harvests it in mass, you may need to check and see if you have a heart at all.
This is NOT to say that anyone using commercial herb products has no heart!!
That’s ridiculous! It IS to say, that once you’ve had the experience of harvesting chamomile, by hand, each day, for an entire season and end up with a 16 ounce mason jar of chamomile. Your appreciation for chamomile tea is beyond words.
Once you’ve harvested a full pound of clary sage and distilled it into 3 tiny drops of essential oil, you will never look at those tiny bottles of essential oils on your store shelves the same, ever again.
Who’s got the time?
Growing an herb garden larger enough sustain making your own products takes time. Lots and lots of time. Time which most of us don’t have. But we want to use these natural products right away. We want to get away from mass harvested, adulterated herbal products. We want to use whole plant medicines now, not later.
I’m here to support you during this time of transition. While you’re starting your own garden you can purchase my products knowing that you’re receiving the WHOLE plant. The most natural version of the plant and it’s properties. Not diluted for profit. But celebrated for their power to heal.
You may never have the time or the space needed to provide yourself and your family with these whole plant products. And that’s perfectly OK! We have been conditioned by society and marketing since birth to consume their products freely and happily. You’re just learning the truth about mass marketed plant products. It’s NOT your fault. You are the unknowing victim in the scam of mass marketing.
Now that you know the truth about these products, you’re enlightened. It’s kind of bitter sweet right?
I’m here to say “Welcome!” I am SO happy that you’ve seen the light and I look forward to sharing the knowledge I’ve been gifted.
I look forward to OUR journey together as WHOLE PLANT consumers. Growers, makers, connoisseurs of all things natural.
It’s a blessed life! A wonderful and wondrous life! A simple life and an extremely REWARDING life. Welcome!