Oily secretion from various ducts in the sheep's skin that keeps the wool clean, protected and dry by coating the fiber in a soft wax-like substance that has disinfection qualities. .
Man has sebaceous glands that produce oil to protect the skin, and this production of flesh oil is a common thread among the creatures moving about the earth. Obviously, because sheep are covered in a thick wool they produce this protective flesh oil on a much larger scale.
"Lanolin also has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that protect the sheep's skin from infection. Derived from the animal's oil glands, lanolin is a mixture of wool fat and 25-30% water."
Harvesting Lanolin from Sheep
Gently harvested from healthy sheep in the herd would be the purest form of lanolin, retaining all of it's natural life-preserving essence. see video
Boil a laundry bag containing greasy wool in water containing as few minerals as possible. Remove the wool bag leaving as much of the melted lanolin behind. Filter the hot water to get out as much of the dirt particles as possible and evaporate the water until you are left with a concentrate of waxy lanolin. This is impure lanolin. Put the crude lanolin and with a mixture of olive oil and water in a long jar or bottle and shake it until the impurities dissolve into the water and the oil. Let it settle out leaving you have solid layers of off-white, waxy 'purified' lanolin suspended between the oil and water. Since lanolin is a wax at cooler temperatures it becomes semi-solid.
Skies the limit when it comes to what you may want protected and waterproofed. Your boots, a hat, dry skin, a wound? Sheep reproduce this oil quickly and have enough to share with us. If the sheep sustains an injury in which the skin is torn, their own medicine cabinet is right there! What a wonderful Creator!
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