Take a deep breath; we are entering the factory of smells. From raw plants, all the way to stacks of medicinal plants and jars of essential oils, it is a visit that fills your senses.
On a warm Sunday, Tirana Women International Group organized a visit to Albania’s first Medicinal plants and essential oils factory located in Maminas, which is pretty close to Durress. Xherdo started out as a small family business in 1991, and with hard work it grew bigger year after year. And now it boasts exporting herbs and essential oils all over the world, with an enviable global clientele and earned international recognition.
Once you enter the place, you are instantly enveloped with the sweet mixture of smells, Oregano, Lavender and many more. We took a tour of the place from bottom to top, and saw the huge stainless steel distillation machineries, touched the first drops of essential oil. And then, floor after floor, we got more closely acquainted with the industry and its different steps, and met the ladies dividing the herbs from the leaves, such tedious work, done with remarkable dedication. And finally saw the final product packaged and ready to be shipped.
The distillation of the essential oil by itself is an interesting process. Raw plant material, consisting of the flowers, leaves, wood, roots, seeds, is put into a distillation apparatus over water. As the water is heated, the steam passes through the plant material, vaporizing the volatile compounds. The vapors flow through a coil, where they condense back to liquid, which is then collected in the receiving vessel.
And here you go, here is the oil used for your aromatherapy massage at your local spa, and the herbs for your hot tea.