We at Veriditas have the deepest respect for our distillers because they produce the highest quality medicinal essential oils offered world-wide. These organic essential oils are produced with the intention of being used medicinally for their healing properties. Organic farming and distilling is not just a job, it’s a way of life. Encompassing a passion for plants and combining modern and historic techniques is a fine art that can take decades to develop. The following is a short biography of each of our highly acclaimed distillers including their methods and philosophies of distilling rare, and truly therapeutic grade essential oils.
S.A. Plantes Aromatics du Diois – Die Valley, Provence, France
Providing only 100% ECOCERT certified and some Biodynamic, DEMETER certified oils
Michel Menuvrier is the owner of a cooperative specializing in organic and biodynamic cultivation of medicinal plants and essential oils. Michel is a man of great integrity who has been practicing the art of biodynamic farming for nearly 15 years. His cooperative is located in Provence, France, at the heart of the exquisite Die valley. Everything produced by Michel is certified organic by ECOCERT, a highly respected International certification agency.
The Die valley provides ideal conditions for the cultivation of Lavender, various chemotypes of thyme and rosemary, marjoram, hyssop, oregano, sage… the list is truly endless for these native Mediterranean medicinal plants.
The Die valley is said to be the origin of Lavender angustifolia’s first blooming flowers.
The Story of Our Lavender Reserve
Simply put, Eric and Sylvie Bonnet grow the finest lavender we have ever seen.
Located in the remote area of Simiane du Rotande, tucked high up in the Alps of Provence, the Bonnet’s biodynamic farm harkens back to a time when “organic” just meant farming. Where GMO’s have not been alowed to tarnish the natural soil and air. Where pesticides and herbicides have been refused before they were known carcinogens. Indeed, the Bonnet’s farm fits perfectly among the nearby medieval castles and ancient cave paintings. Too isolated for even French tourists, the land’s most frequent visitor is the wind. When the region’s famous mistral blows its cool, dry air through the mountains, you can almost hear the lavender sing.
Eric and Sylvie have forged a deep connection with their land. They grow organic spelt to feed their donkeys from heirloom seeds that can be traced back 10,000 years. The donkey’s manure replenishes the land, which in turn, feeds the lavender. The crop’s sweet nectar feeds the bees, and the bees pollinate the lavender and the spelt. And so the circle of life goes, virtually unchanged since the region’s ancient ancestors worked the very same alpine meadows.
Ten years ago, Eric and Sylvie gave up their careers (Eric was a baker, Sylvie an accountant) with the goal to grow and distill the finest medicinal lavender in France. They do it all themselves and their hard work yields just 100 liters of oil per year. Even this concentrated yield is an astounding achievement considering that, since they began, Eric and Sylvie have had to contend with a devastating virus that has plagued lavender across Provence. They eventually had to replant their entire crop and wait three years for a usable product. The silver lining in this arduous setback, however, was that they could replant using one of the rarest, purist lavender seeds available.
Eric and Sylvie think their efforts have been worth it, and we at, Veriditas Botanicals, couldn’t agree more. We feel very fortunate to have established such a strong relationship with these amazing artisans, and we’re proud to be able to offer their lavender oil to you. We think you’ll agree with our bold statement that it’s finest in the world.
Now we offer you the best lavender we have ever found. Its Biodynamic qualities really come thru where you can taste and smell the holistic way of bringing seed to flower to bottle.
This lavender can be used exactly the same as our regular lavender (we say “regular” but this is also some of the best lavender found in the high mountains of Provence, France).
For medicinal uses of lavender – see How To Use Essential Oils Therapeutically.
Our Lavender RESERVE is much a like a fine wine. It is called a “reserve” because only so much of it is offered per year. Essential oils, especially lavender, can be compared to fine wines because of their complexity. Lavender chooses to express itself differently because of climate conditions, different varieties, soil condition, elevation, etc…. Lavender varieties can be soft and sweet or sharp and more medicinal. Our lavender reserve was chosen because of the scent and its highly effective (the most high I have found) medicinal qualities. I believe that if you care for the land as much as Eric does, the most authentic Lavender will show itself and that is what we have lost in this industrial food revolution. By buying and using this lavender, you support a revolutionary stand and help to support what once was abundant and is now rare.
Corsican Helichrysum. Organic. Biodynamic. Essences Naturelles Corses
Albrecht von Keyserlingk is the owner of Essences Naturelles Corses. He has been organically farming since 1983, after taking over the Farm from his Father who started himself in 1961. Today, he is working with two of his daughters who share his passion for essential oils and perfumery. Albrect developed a passion for medicinal and aromatic plants and started distilling his crops for essential oil in early 1990s.
Albrecht was the first Corsican to distill Helichrysum Italicum oil in 1991. Because 1 ton of Helichrysumflowers only produces 1.8 Liters, Albrect decided that wildcrafting was not sustainable, so he started farming helichrysum. He is the first organic and biodynamic farmer in Corsica. All products are produced respecting the ECOCERT guidelines for all wildcrafted products and the DEMETER guidelines for all cultivated products.
He likes to talk about Helichrysum as the “Gold of Sun” and how it saved his arm after a very bad accident burning his arms while he was distilling other plants. Helichrysum from Corsica has an important amount of neryl acetate compared to other origins.
Corsica is a mountainous French Island in the Mediterranean Sea and offers an incredible rich biodiversity with many medicinal plants. V Veriditas also buys our Rosemary Verbenone, inula, Pine and Eucalyptus Globulus from ENC (Essences Naturelles Corses). See more about helichrysum here.
For the helichrysum, the distillation takes 2 – 2.5 hours to distill 1 ton of Helichrysum flowers. As said above this distillation will only produce 1.8 liters of oil and 40 gallons of the hydrosol. This distillery has 2 distillation units , one that holds 2,000 kg and one that holds 5,000 kg. The harvest goes from Mid-June to Mid-July, depending on the harvest. One should know that the distillation occurs on the same day as the harvest. It is a very intense fresh distillation, just like lavender and Rose otto.
The Story of Our Organic Frankincense & Myrrh
Our source for Organic Frankincense & Myrrh Essential Oils (Boswellia carteri & Commiphora myrrha) was started in 2004 by a husband & wife with the goal of building a socially responsible business with sustainability at its core. As a native Somalilander, the husband learned community business practices through his Mom’s neighborhood store while growing up. After coming to North America as a refugee, he studied business at the University of Montreal and began looking for ways to help his people at home while simultaneously putting some of the key elements of his education to use. The premise was and continues to be leveraging direct sourcing from Somaliland, East Africa to ensure quality and consistency while in turn exercising the opportunity to develop positive, long-term relationships with the Harvesters directly. This led to encouraging development of a Harvesting Community Cooperative, which now sets pricing using fair trade standards to drive livable wages and implements improvements to harvest practices based on sustainability initiatives inclusive in the Organic Plan.
As wild-crafted resins with roots predating recorded human history and minimal success with domesticating the trees for cultivated production, our producers find it both humbling and remarkable to have this opportunity to build a virtual bridge between East Africa and North America. At the same time, 20% of the revenue generated is directed back to the Harvesting Community for initiatives including improving access to clean water, health services, and education.
All distillation takes place in Vermont, USA in stainless steel and is Certified Organic. Hydro distillation is used, which allows the resin to co-mingle with the water serving as its extraction medium and helps to ensure the therapeutic benefits of the essential oils are maintained intact.
We are excited to be working with a likeminded organization and delighted by the quality of products resulting from their diligence.
Ampertaler Naturole –
Organic essential oils offered from the Amper Valley in Bulgaria, Germany
Bernhard Nusstein and his father, Rudolf Nusstein, founded Ampertaler Naturöle in 1995. Ampertaler Naturöle is set in the Amper Valley, 20 Kilometers North of Munich, where plants such as Melissa, Yarrow, Clary sage, Hops, and Angelica grow abundantly and are expertly distilled.
When I asked Bernhard about his life’s work, his love for organic farming and distillation was apparent by his answer:
“It’s so nice to grow up and distill medicinal herbs, because every kind of herb is so different and has such a different character. If you look at the yarrow, the oil is so different than the flower! And distilling medicinal herbs is so dynamic. You can harvest the flowers like the yarrow, the roots like the angelica or the whole flowering plant like the Melissa, but all of them have a great expression. I hope you can imagine what I love by my profession: being a medicinal herb farmer.”
Rudolf Nusstein, Bernhard’s father, taught pharmacology at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. Rudolf uses his expertise in pharmacology to analyze the constituents of each GC tested essential oil. In a Gas Chromatography test of their Melissa officinalis essential oil (lemon balm oil), one finds a true and rare Melissa with an extremely high citral content, one of the principal constituents of Melissa.
All of the herbs grown and distilled at Ampertaler Naturöle are certified Organic by ECOCERT and The Bavarian Business Association for Medical and Aromatic Plant Growers and Processors*. In Bernhard’s words, the organic process is simple:
“During cultivation of our plants we don’t use neither pesticides nor herbicides. The fine art and workmanship applied in our distillery does not require chemical treatment of the herbs grown, nor do we rectify or redistill our essential oils.”
Ampertaler Naturöle (Naturöle meaning “nature’s oils”) produces Angelica root, Yarrow, Melissa, Hops, Clary sage, Thyme, Savory, Lovage and Valerian essential oils; all of cared for and distilled with pride and joy by theNusstein family.
*Erzeugerring fur Heil – und Gewurzpflanzen, Bayern
Veriditas sources our organic Vetiver from a sustainable Family –owned Farm & Distillery in El Salvador called Nobs Hydrofusion. Hydrofusion is a technical terms used to describe the distillation process. Instead of distilling the plant with steam on the bottom of the still, the steam is injected at the top of the still, and condensation occurs at the bottom, allowing gravity to do most of the work of extracting the oil. It is more gentle than traditional steam distillation, and produces heavier fractions of oil with a deeper aroma that smells more like the plant itself. Nobs is the only distillery in the world that takes the time to do this 24 hour long distillation process. All other vetiver in the world is produced by regular steam distillation which takes only 8 hours.
Vetiver is grown for 3 years before it can be harvested and distilled for its oil. As you see in the video from our Vetiver page, one must harvest the roots of the vetiver grass, pulling them out of the ground, shaking and cutting the roots off with a machete. This is hard labor done by hand with no tractors or machines for help.
Located in the mountain valley of Entrevaux, France. Margrit Müller, a respected plant enthusiast, sells local, organically grown and distilled essential oils. Having a deep respect for the plant and animal kingdom, Margrit is one of the purest of heart I know. Her work reflects her life and philosophy. She cares genuinely for plant life just as she does her own. La Tisane essential oils are to be collected and appreciated because of the delicate nature in which they were grown.
One of my favorite distillers’ name is Claude. He is a very hard worker and takes his work seriously! Claude does not use any machinery in his hand picking of plants and distills with the utmost care and love. Claude can be found in the Apt market on some days in the summer, with his beloved collaborator, his horse, Grisou.
WILD HERBS OF HAUTE PROVENCE
All these products, resulting from a complicit health, are the fruit of my work in 4 departments of Haute Provence. I am the only intermediate between these plants and you. The majority originates from the wild, the rest result from organic agriculture…..for 25 years.
* My essential oils are unrefined, full (uncut), without tampering nor dillution.
* I refuse to reduce the plants to powder, in order to conserve all of the virtues.
* You will not find here: any exotic products, any spices, any softening mixes, any artificial perfumes, any random soaps, any synthetic plants, any gadgetry.
* The essential part of my work is by hand or horse
* The point of this dialog is reduced to the essential(…) We have to lastly speak of the important things
* DIRECTLY FROM THE PRODUCER TO THE USER
Nicolas Revillon, Our Cooperatives Master Chemist, runs GC’s on every oil we produce. He also tests for pesticide residues. We practice GMP’s and Nicolas runs both Quality Control and our Good Manufacturing Processes. Nicolas holds a Masters Degree in Chemistry from University le Havre in Paris, France.