|Gather: A common stock pot, lid, steamer, and glass bowl can be used to produce quality essential oils at home.|
Essential oils are herbal oils of the highest purity and quality. Essential oils are created by steaming fresh plants to produce vapors. These vapors carry the oil from the fresh plant up into the air. A condenser catches the plant oil and cools it, releasing it from the vapor. The plant oil then drips back into a receptacle or collector. Specialized equipment for making essential oil is available, but can be very expensive. A common stock pot, lid, steamer, and glass bowl can be used to produce quality essential oils from fresh herbs at home.
How to Make Essential Oil at HomeDirections:
- Begin by placing five ounces of plant material and one quart of water into a stock pot.
- Place a steamer insert over the water and plant material. The steamer insert should rest just above the top of the water.
- Place a glass bowl for collecting the essential oil on top of the steamer. The glass bowl should not be submersed in the water, or be jostled around from the water.
- Place the stock pot on the stove and begin heating the water and plant at a very low setting. The lowest setting possible, while still producing steam, should be used. Using a low temperature setting prevents the plant from scorching.
- When the steam begins to rise, place the lid upside down on the stock pot. The handle of the lid should be directly over the top of the glass bowl. As the essential oil collects on the lid, it will drip down into the bowl from the handle of the lid, or collector. Place a plastic bag full of ice or very cold water on top of the lid. This will cool the essential oil and facilitate its separation from the steam as it collects on the lid.
- To check the progress of the essential oil distillation, carefully remove the lid using a pot holder. Ensure that the essential oil is dripping into the glass bowl, or collector.
- When enough essential oil has been produced, it should be stored in the refrigerator in a dark glass bottle between uses. Cover the essential oil with a tight fitting lid and label it with the contents and date of preparation.
Plants for Making Essential Oil at Home
Freshly harvested plant material works best for making essential oils. Some wonderful plants to use at home for making essential oils are peppermint, lavender, lemon balm, sage and rosemary.
Essential oils can be incorporated into literally any part of life, from bathing to medicinal uses. For those new to using essential oils, the methods can be confusing. Below are 5 common uses for essential oils.
Massage Oils and LotionsMassage oils are created by selecting an essential oil that is best for a specific ailment, mood, or other desired effect. Please see, " 11 Common Essential Oils " for more information on selecting an essential oil. For massage, essential oils are mixed with base or carrier oils, at the following ratio: 20 drops (¼ tsp.) essential oil for 3.5 ounces (approximately 5 Tablespoons) of carrier oil.
There are many varieties of carrier oils including almond, apricot kernel, coconut, jojoba, grapeseed, sesame, sunflower, and olive oil. You can use standard oils such as olive and sunflower oil purchased from a grocery store as they are usually more economical. However, oils applied to the skin are absorbed into your body and blood stream, so it is best to use high quality oil.
- 6 oz water
- 1/2 oz Cocoa or Shea Butter)
- 1/2 oz Beeswax
- 1 oz Carrier Oil of Choice (from list above)
- 1/8 tsp Citric Acid
- 6 ml Essential Oil of Choice