Interview with Jonathan from Pejuta Distillers
What are your favorite essential oils and why?
I like the native plant essential oils that live around me, mainly the various Sages of California. These are medicinal plants I have been around my whole life and these plants are used in religious ceremonies I participate in. They are sacred and holy and we pray with them in a good way. I also love my sore sandalwood from East India which is scarce, but I have an excellent source that is and has been producing the best sandalwood I have ever seen really like this. This sandalwood is above the Hawaiian and other species.
What essential oil business advice do you have to young distillers?
Go slow be patient and listen to the plant material your working with.
What do you want to do with your business 5 years from now?
I want to have various California native plants growing in nurseries and farming them on a large scale, for sustainable essential oil distillation. These plants I love the most are not available in mass quantities, so I cannot distill enough to sell to the public. only once we have sustainability in place we will be able to have the medicinal oils available to the public.
What attracted you to distilling?
I am a massage therapist and I use essential oils in my practice for aromatherapy and pain management. I would smell many oils from many different companies and kept wondering there has to be away to make my own and have better quality then what is sold by most of the best essential oil companies. I wanted to provide the best quality possible to my clients and help them as much as I can.
Tell me about your last distilling project?
I recently met with a California tribal native American man who showed me various new medicinal plants and their uses. Plants that cover California Los Padres National forest. We are distilling these plants and using them for healing in Native American religious ceremonies. These plants and their essential oils are among the strongest of all the healing properties I have ever seen.
What will be your next project you will be working on?
And how do people follow you?
My next project we will be working on is Blue Eucalyptus which is an excellent eucalyptus variety that is featured in many of my healing essential oil blends.
Can you talk about the challenges of distilling?
Distilling both wild crafted and farmed plant materials is a lot of much work and very time consuming for sometimes the really low oil yields. Not to mention the expenses of gas, and paying for a still and a hand to help run the still. I definitely presents many challenges- but yet it is well worth it in the end product that is produced.
You have a new website for your home business. http://pejutaessentials.com/pejuta-distillers/
Tell me about it?
I just recently launched my new website which is a 3 in 1 website that incorporates all 3 of my businesses into one and they seem to go hand in hand. http://www.pejutaessentials.com is an umbrella for pejuta distillers, pejuta massage, and pejuta jewelers.
What is a good book about essential oil distillation?
I have never seen a book on essential oils distilling, just books on safety usage like Robert Tisserands book called Essential Oil Safety which is a great book by the way.
Do you know a good film, documentary about essential oil distilling?
I love the movie called “Perfume”
What essential oils do you have for sale now? What are they good for?
We have Lavender, Lavendin, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, White Sage, Lemon, Orange, Sweet Orange, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Tangerine, Cocoa, Clove, Sandalwood, Mysore, Frankincense, Myrrh, Blood Cedar, Yellow Cedar, Cypress, fir, Helichrysium, Oregano, Patchouli, Owyhee, Peppermint, Spearmint, and Ylang Ylang And all these essential oils I carry are great for all purposes.
What advice do you give for people wanting to distill essential oils?
There is a certain level of quality and energy contained in the essential oils that you make yourself. You can’t find this type of quality in a store because most commercially sold oils are mass produced and you lose that level of quality.
When you harvest things by hand and make them with love they will always be better.
I try to source many oils from other fellow artisan distillers cause the oils they make blow most of these oils on the market out of the water. If you have any questions or need pointers along the way don’t be afraid to ask. Especially when purchasing your still make sure it’s the right fit for you and what your needs are. Best oils you will ever use will be the ones you distill yourself! There is nothing out there like it, It’s such a fulfilling experience and privilege.
How do you work? What is a typical day?
It starts usually a sun up to sun down all day affair of long hours and working in the hot temperature. Gathering, processing and distilling is an excellent way to exercise as well!
Is essential oil business good for local farmers?
I work with 3 farmers now and plan on working with various farmers in the near future and to tell you, it is very good for local farmers.
What are you doing when you are not creating oils?
Well, when I am not usually working my other business making fine jade jewelry or providing clinical and relaxation massage- I love to surf and scuba dive and spearfish in the ocean. I love the ocean. Mainly I love spending time with my lovely wife and two beautiful daughters Tessa, Jade and Willow.
by Anthony Zaca
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