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Snow Lotus Aromatherapy
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About Essential Oils
About Snow Lotus Aromatherapy

Mediterranean Essential Oil Plants

Medicinal plants from the Mediterranean countries form the backbone of essential oils currently used in aromatherapy. The major producing countries for Mediterranean oils are France, Spain, Morocco, Tunisia, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Turkey and Egypt. Most of these sun-soaked plants belong to the lipflower or "mint" family (Labiatae/Lamiaceae) and exhibit an extraordinary range of medicinal effects that have been used in herbal medicine for several thousand years and in aromatherapy for over five-hundred years.

True lavender, Lavandula angustifolia, is cultivated and the essential oil extracted mainly in the South of France, Bulgaria, England and Tasmania. These two gentlemen are French growers and producers of organic Lavender, Lavendin and other medicinal lipflowers.

Graceful billows of purple appear over the hills and valleys in June and July all over Provence. They prefigure the subtle floral scent of the steam-distilled oil: a sublimely soft floral-green with a hint of camphor to invite us in and a subtle woodiness to settle us down.

A bee landing on lavender. Note the short flower spike, which distinguishes true lavender from the other lavenders, most of which are hybrids that have longer, more decorative flower spikes.

French distillation rigs resemble off-shore oil-rigs with their platforms, except that they are surrounded by waves of plants instead of ocean waves. This still can process over 500 kilos of lavender at a time, which take over an hour to properly distill at the low temperature required to make a high-quality full-spectrum oil.