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How to Make Essential Oil ?

Essential oil is extracted from aromatic plants like rosemary & lavender. There are more than 700 types of plants from which essential oils are extracted. There are different types of methods by which these oils are extracted. Essential oils are costly but you can be distilled at home.

  1. Set up an essential oil still:
    • Purchase an essential oil still: You can buy stills online but these can be expensive. If you are going to make them in large quantity then it can be a good investment.
    • You can build your own still if can’t buy: You can buy them but if you don’t want to buy them then you can make them at home. You will need a heat source, a pressure cooker, a glass pipe, a tub of cold water & an essence that will separate it from the other materials.
    • Use glass part & stainless steel, if possible: You should not use plastic tubing as it can affect the quality of the oil. Many plants react with copper very badly that can be dangerous.
    • Bend the pipe so that it can pass through the cooling tub: When the plant matter is heated in the pressure cooker its steam passes through the pipe. This steam will be cooled down to liquid by immersing it in cold water. You have to mold the pipe into different shapes.
    • Connect the pipe to the pressure cooker valve: Use a flexible pipe that fits over both openings that should be the same size as the pipe.
    • Run the pipe through cooling tub: Choose the open basin so that the coil lies inside the tub. Basin should be filled with ice or cold water then only put the pipe. If you don’t choose the open basin, the bucket can be used. Drill a small hole in the bottom to make the pipe pass out of the ice bath. You have to seal hole using as silicone sealer or epoxy so that water doesn’t drip through it.
    • Position the open end of the pipe over the essence: Once the drips are into the essence the rest of the work will be done. It will separate the essential oil from the other matter which is extra.
    • All instruments should be in a stable position: You should keep in mind that all the instruments are put safely. Make sure that the pipe is kept at a comfortable angle so that it is not dangerous.
  2. Preparing plant material:
    • Know when to harvest the plant material: The amount of oil in a plant depends on its life cycle as it depends on the harvesting of the plant. You should do some research before planting.
    • Harvest your plants: Research is important before harvesting the plants as careless handling can lead to less quantity & quality of the essential oils.
    • Be choosy before purchasing the plants: If you buy harvested plants then less harvesting is needed. You should look for plants that appear to be undamaged & unhealthy also ask the seller where it was harvested.
    • Dry the plant material: If the plant material is dry then it reduces the oil in the plant but it can increase the oil per batch. It is because you can keep more material in the batch.
  3. Distilling the essential oil
    • Pour the water into the tank of the still: Your pressure cooker is your tank if you are making the still. Use the clean water i.e. filtered or distilled. You should follow the manufacturer’s still the follow its instructions. If not, you should enough water to complete the distillation. It should depend on the plant & on the quantity, distillation that can take a half-hour to six hours.
    • Add the plant matter to the water: Put the plant matter to the tank as much you can. Plants should be fine even if they are packed tight. Don’t block the steam outlet in the lid of the pressure.
    • Bring the boil: You need to seal the lid so that only steam escapes travel through the pipe that is attached to the steam valve. Every essential oil has a different boiling point of the water.
    • Keep an eye on the still: After sometime distillate will begin to come through the condenser into the separator. You should keep watching that water doesn’t run out.
    • Filter the collected oil: once the distillation is complete choose the oil through the cheesecloth or dry cotton fabric. It should be clean there should not be any dust or residue of the detergent as they can contaminate the oil.
    • Pour the oil into the container as quickly as possible: Many essential oils last for one to two years but some have a short shelf life. If you want to keep them for a long time then store them in a dark bottle or stainless steel container. Use a clean funnel to pour it in the container then store it in a cool dry place.