In terms of purity there is no substitute for distilled water. The process of steam distillation is beautifully simple and results in the purest form of water available.
100% of all contaminants are removed making it the perfect choice for preparing tinctures, as a base for cosmetics, cleaning sensitive medical equipment, watering delicate plants and even filling aquariums.
It is produced by heating water into a vapour and then cooling it. As the water turns to steam it leaves behind minerals and other dissolved solids. The water vapour is then passed into a coil which vents gaseous VOC's (volatile organic compounds) before cooling back into a liquid. The resulting water or distillate is finally passed through a series of carbon filters to remove any other trace elements.
Unlike most other types of purified water which are commonly just processed tap water, distilled water is deionised, demineralised and purified in one process. It has neutral pH and does not contain any minerals.
Drinking distilled water has a powerful detoxifying effect on the body and is safe for consumption on a temporary basis. For everyday drinking water, distilled water is not ideal due to its neutral pH and its ability to deplete nutritional minerals from the body.
Distillation is a process borrowed from nature which effects our planet on a global scale; The Hydrologic Cycle.
This process is powered by the immense power of the Sun and produces all of the clouds in our sky, all of the snow on our mountains and all of the fresh water in our rivers and lakes.
Not to be underestimated, the Hydrologic Cycle is extremely important for life on our planet as we know it. Without it, we would have no rainforests, mammals would have never come into existence and life on Earth would we excluded to the ocean.
The Hydrologic Cycle is a simple three step process which purifies and distributes life giving fresh water across our planet. Evaporation, condensation, precipitation.
The heat from the Sun causes water to evaporate and to rise up through our atmosphere. As the water turns to vapour it leaves behind any dissolved solids.
As the water vapour rises it cools and condensates forming into clouds.
Eventually the clouds burst and the water precipitates back to Earth as rain, snow or sleet.
Due to pollution most of the water that falls back to Earth is contaminated by manmade chemicals and in extreme cases, low pH (acid) rain can form. This makes rainwater and unreliable source of pure water and is one of the reasons we should not drink collected rain water. Fortunately nature can in some places help to solve this problem. When water falls upon high ground and flows down the landscape it bonds with minerals increasing the pH. It is thought that optimal water for human consumption is slightly alkaline. This is what makes mineral / spring water a healthy everyday choice of drinking water. Interestingly each source of mineral / spring water has its own unique fingerprint of minerals so always read the back of the label!
The shelf life of distilled water varies depending on the way it is stored. Unless it becomes contaminated, distilled water will never "go bad" or expire so it is important to take care to ensure it stays fresh and safe for use.
It is best to store in a cool dry place out of direct sunlight (refrigerate in warmer climates). You should always keep it in its original container and minimise exposure to air by keeping the lid tightly sealed when not in use. Pure distilled water will bond with any molecule it can and it readily absorbs gasses. If allowed open air, distilled water will become acidic by dissolving carbon dioxide gas. Gas absorption increases conductivity and reduces pH and should be kept to an absolute minimum.