We enjoy plant aromas in our daily lives from lavender scented laundry soap to pine tree cleaner, mint flavored chewing gum, or a citrus room spray. But did you know these scents were made by plant to protect themselves? These scents are called botanical terpenes. Let's learn more!
Plant medicines like lavender, rosemary, peppermint and holy basil (tulsi) create aromas to both protect themselves and to attract pollinators. These compounds deter pests like mosquitos (think citronella) and at the same time, they attract beneficials like bees and hummingbirds.
Isn't nature incredible?!
That's why we infuse these same, highly potent, terpene rich herbs into our Sacred Leaf Tonic, not only to attract pollinators to our garden, but also to help defend plants from disease while also combatting pests.
How can we harness the terpene benefits?
Fragrances, aromas and scents can be extracted by steam distillation in the same way flavors are gathered for beverages like seltzers and sparkling water. This method involves boiling plant material in water until the steam carries the essential oils (including terpenes). This extracted steam is then trapped, condensed and cooled.
Another way to harness the befits of botanical terpenes is by slow extraction.
16 ounce amber spray bottle or repurpose a plastic spray bottle
3 handfuls pine needles, dry to the touch
1 1/4 cup water
1 1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
one large glass jar