When distilling essential oil, a bi-product of the process is a hydrosol, also known as “flower water,” and is distilled water with many of the fragrance and beneficial attributes of the more concentrated oil.  The reason that the hydrosol is perfect for spa treatments is that it can be used directly on the skin, whereas an essential oil should normally be mixed with lotions or creams before topical application. As many of you know, the
Many people who visit Monte-Bellaria say that they’ve had problems growing lavender for the long run.  We’ve heard folks say that they’ve had beautiful growth for several years with large blooms, and then the plant seems to simply die.  The usual problem they describe is that the plant starts getting “bald spots,” and that is—in fact—usually a pre-cursor to early death (the plant dies from the inside out). [caption id="attachment_718" align="alignleft" width="200"] Mid-center Death[/caption] However
People often ask us if Monte-Bellaria honey—which is sometimes dense and semi-crystalized—has “gone bad.”  The answer is definitely NO!  It is, in fact a sign that the honey that you’ve purchased is pure, raw honey. We’ve discussed before that raw honey is unprocessed.  In particularly this means that the honey: Contains many of the natural ingredients from the bee hive, e.g. beeswax, pollen, vitamins, nutrients and propolis (a reddish-brown tree sap that bees use to
Recently there was more evidence from a study at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, that Extra Virgin Olive Oil has demonstrable health benefits.  We’ve heard for years that the “Mediterranean Diet” is linked to longevity, lower heart disease, lower incidence of diabetes, and weight control.  But now we see that a specific component of this diet (i.e., really good olive oil) helps fend off dementia and Alzheimer’s.  Read a summary of
Our customers frequently ask about using lavender essential oils for perfumes and colognes.  It’s a very simple process and it’s easy to create your own distinctive fragrance that won’t be overpowering. So one of the first questions is what is the difference between perfume and cologne?  The simplest answer is that a perfume can contain up to 40% of essential oils.  In general, the more essential oil, the more expensive the fragrance.  A cologne, on
Dried lavender makes a beautiful, long lasting flower for off-season decorating.  The process of drying lavender is fairly straight forward and easy for everyone to accomplish. First off, it’s important to understand the lavender harvest cycle.  The first harvest occurs when the spike is approximately ½ open and the bottom half of the whorls have opened.  Let’s take a look at the parts of the lavender flower spike to understand the different features. When the
An interesting characteristic of the lavender fragrance is that it can quickly freshen the home environment without producing a long-lasting overpowering scent.  You’ve probably been in a room where someone is using some type of freshener (room spray, plug-ins, candles, incense, etc.) that never quits.  (Think of the ubiquitous bayberry or vanilla candles around the holidays!) You smell it the minute you walk in and can smell it the entire time you’re in the room.  This
When making organic, non-preservative laden soaps and balms, a key ingredient that helps with the beneficial qualities of moisturizing and healing is beeswax.  Beeswax is produced by worker bees which use it to build comb within their hives. The comb is used for rearing young, and for storing pollen and honey.  But after the honey is extracted, the comb itself contains the wonderful wax, which itself has many anti-allergen, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant benefits for the
[caption id="attachment_561" align="alignleft" width="300"] Edible Lavender Flowers[/caption] Most people think of lavender as a flower that is known for its beautiful fragrance.  But it also has some very nice qualities for culinary uses.  While people can usually describe the scent of lavender; not many can describe the taste. In short, lavender falls into the same type of herbal flavor profile as rosemary, oregano, thyme or marjoram.  In fact a combination of these herbs with lavender
[caption id="attachment_547" align="alignleft" width="300"] Raw Honey[/caption] The health benefits of honey have been discussed for thousands of years (and even makes an appearance in the Bible).  In our modern world, many of the health benefits (which have been well documented by numerous scientific research institutions) are related to eating honey. And when we are talking about healthy honey at Monte-Bellaria, we mean raw honey (that is pure, unfiltered—which means it includes pollen and other bee