About Snow Lotus Essential Oils
Fully Bioactive, Artisan-Quality Essential Oils Sourced Directly From Artisan Growers and Distillers
Snow Lotus is proud to offer an outstanding collection of over 70 pure, bioactive and certified organic essential oils of artisan quality, and over 80 essential oil blends formulated with these. What exactly does artisan oil quality imply? It simply means an oil produced by traditional steam distillation that aims to produce an oil of maximum beauty and healing potential combined.
We believe that traditional artisan methods of extracting essential oils are crucial at this time for two reasons. Firstly, they allow the plant to express itself fully with a beautiful, rich fragrance that is not found in most commercially-produced oils. Secondly, artisan distillation will produce an essential oil that is fully bioactive, i.e. one that performs therapeutically in the way that it is intended to, as well as in ways that we are left to explore and yet to discover!
All Snow Lotus essential oils are personally sourced and hand selected by Peter Holmes LAc, MH, directly from the producers and independent distillers worldwide who sustainably grow or ethically wild-harvest the plants they distill. The oils are selected specifically for optimal therapeutic potency and richness of fragrance, not for purity alone. Purity by itself is not a guarantee of either high bioactivity or excellence of aroma. In his essential oil selection, Peter follows the following three criteria, which together ensure maximum oil bioactivity and treatment potency, as well as an exquisite fragrance. To learn more in greater detail, see Peter's newly-released book, Aromatica available here.
1. Premium quality of the source plant material
This is dependent on accurate and ethical harvesting if the plant material is from wild growing sources, as in the case of Black spruce, Helichrysum, Blue tansy, Grand fir, Saro, Ravintsara and many others. This criterium of botanical specificity is usually overlooked when factoring in oil purity and quality; the fact is that there is little accountability when it comes to accurate botanical plant identification and harvesting. For instance, it is easy for poorly-trained, part-time collectors to confuse different species of fir trees when collecting. Likewise, wild harvests of valuable plants such as Helichrysum and Blue tansy often contain a certain percentage of weeds that are sometimes not removed just before the plant material is thrown into the steam distillation unit. In both cases the result is not a 100% pure and bioactive oil, but one that contains a small percentage of other unwanted plants that will dilute the oil, reduce the quality of its true fragrance and finally weaken its therapeutic effect.
In the case of plantation-grown plants, initial correct botanical identification is crucial, as well as cultivation practices without chemical fertilizers and pesticides, i.e. organic cultivation. The majority of Snow Lotus essential oils are extracted from plantation-grown plant materials that are certified organic; the majority of these extracted essential oils are in addition third-party tested and certified NOP by the USDA. These include the essential oils of Bergamot, Lavender, Geranium, Tea tree and many others.
2. Optimal distillation techniques
This is the second criterium that goes to ensure maximum bioactivity of an essential oil. Again, this is an aspect of oil quality that is difficult to substantiate or determine scientifically. Here we need to rely on our accurate sensory experience of an oil's liquor – its scent, color and viscosity - which in turn is dependent on the quality of our odor perception and our previous knowledge of its ideal sensory appearance.
Steam distillation in the traditional artisan manner goes a long way to ensure maximum bioactivity in an essential oil and therefore 100% therapeutic potency. Artisan distillation is a specialized skill that is typically handed down in families with small businesses or taught to others by master distillers. It is not the technique used by the majority of large extraction companies whose aim is generally to produce the largest volume of acceptable-quality oil in the shortest amount of time (which includes the technique of introducing chemical solvents to speed up the extraction process). While artisan distillations are ideally appropriate because of their therapeutic effectiveness, large-scale commercial oil distillations by large companies mainly serve the food flavoring and perfumery industries and are not optimal or ideal for practitioners seeking fully bioactive oils for use in a therapeutic setting.
Artisan distillation relies on the correct distillation time and vapor pressure and temperature specific to each oil. This often means distilling the plant material for a longer time and at a lower vapor pressure and temperature than is standard for a commercial distillation, which typically uses high-pressure, superheated steam for quick oil extraction. In this way, artisan distillation is able to produce essential oils of superior fragrance and bioactivity. Optimization of distillation technique ensures that the resultant oil retains as large a range of the plant's chemical components as possible, which then translates into a richer, fuller, more beautiful essential oil that is able to expresses the whole spectrum of fragrance found in the living plant itself. It also ensures the maximum potential bioactivity of the oil from a therapeutic perspective.
3. Lack of any kind of adulteration of the extracted oil
The thrid criterium that ensures essential oil bioactivity is clearly lack of adulteration or spoilage once an essential oil is produced.
These small, full-spectrum artisan distillations are in sharp contrast to the large-scale, 'quickie' commercial extractions that produce oils that are then standardized and highlighted with fragrance chemicals (being intended simply as fragrance materials for the perfume and food-flavoring industry). This is apart from the inherent vitality and therapeutic potential that becomes lost in the process of making commercial extractions.
Because of the high quality of the plant material used at the source, the artisan distillation techniques used in the distillation process and the lack of any subsequent adulteration, Snow Lotus artisan oils retain the full therapeutic potential within each oil, just a nature intended. This transparent bioavailability of the oils will then communicate itself effortlessly to our cells and our energy bodies. Snow Lotus essential oils are the embodiment of purity, high quality and vitality!
All of our essential oils, absolutes and blends are packaged in amber glass bottles with single-drop dispensing reducers. We fill each bottle by ml calibrated volume.