Generally speaking, Dried Botanicals may be run in the EssenEx® reactor, but it is necessary to add water to afford the process. Please refer to the “Generic Botanical Extraction Techniques Link: Generic Botanical Extraction Techniques” write-up in this section for details on the process. The addition for dried botanicals is to add water to the botanical prior to running the extraction.
Botanicals that are dried range from almost 5% to as much as 15% water by mass even though they are “dried”. For this reason, the exact amount of water to add is a bit unknown. Sometimes, it is important to chop up the botanical as some materials contain the oil inside the material rather than near the surface. Consult the “Generic Botanical” information in the Scientific Research area on our web site (www.oilextech.com ).
Method 1: Experiments I have done with dried botanicals have been most effective when I add between 1-part water per 3- parts botanical by mass and 1 part water per 1 part botanical (1:3 to 1:1). These are by mass! So, for example, I might put in 100 grams of dried peppermint or lavender and then squirt in up to 25 ml (8-10 “squirts” from one of the 3ml pipettes we supply). I never add more than 50 ml of water as the capacity of the extractor is limited by the size of the ice core and that is explained in the “Steam Capacity study, Link: Calculation of the Steam Condensation Capacity ”.
Method 2: Another way that works well with dried botanicals is to first take the dried botanical, place it in a zip-lock® Freezer bag and freeze it for a day. Usually some moisture in the bag condenses into the botanical and often I’ll try running the material straight from the bag. If the material looks very dry (and if I measure little or no water in it), I then add water according to Method 1 above.
In both cases, it is often necessary on the first time a particular type of botanical is run to do an optimization on the amount of water added and the duration of the extraction in the microwave. Notes on processes to do so are in the Generic Botanical write up and a suggested data sheet is provided in the Scientific Research area Extraction Data Entry Form Link: Example with Instructions & Link: Excel form to download. This Extraction Date entry form helps one keep track of optimization results.
Author: Dr. David Hackleman