Essential oils are quite useful in many situations, not only do these amazing naturally made oils have properties that are soothing and fragrant, but they can also be useful in medicine and other healing techniques. Essential oils can be quite expensive however. If you are someone who wants to use essential oils but do not want to buy them from shops that are overly expensive, then you can make your very own essential oil out of whatever plant you have available.
1. Necessary Equipment
To start making your own essential oils you first need to know the equipment needed for such a task. Most of the time or at least professionally speaking, to extract essential oils similar to commercially available options you need to buy an alcohol still to make the process go much faster and smoothly. One of the issues with buying a still is that you can rarely find it in shops, but you can buy it online. Another important issue is that buying a still is not cheap to say the least! It usually retails for a couple of hundred dollars online, which is not that affordable to most people. If you plan on making large amounts of essential oils or are planning to put this equipment to use constantly, then it would be a wise investment for you to get one.
2. Alternative equipment
If you do not have a couple hundred dollars to spare on buying an alcohol still, or you are planning on only extracting small amounts of oil for your personal use then you can build your very own DIY still out of a crock-pot, a couple of pipes and some containers for the oil and other residue to get distilled into. There are many different variations on how to build your own still at home. It may be a bit rustic and may not be as safe as getting an actual professional still but it gets the job done.
3. Choosing herbs
After making your own still or buying a readymade one, the next step in creating your essential oil blends at home is picking out what herbs or plants you will be using. Some very popular herbs to use for essential oil extraction are lavender, peppermint and rosemary. Whichever plant you choose to extract oil from, you should do your research thoroughly. Each plant has its own properties as well as an optimum harvesting time, which will yield as much oil as possible. If you want to mix oils together, you should extract each one separately before blending them.
4. Extraction process
Whether you are using your own still or one you bought, the extraction process is roughly the same. You are basically distilling the liquids out of the plants you have. To do so, you need a heat source running that will extract the liquids from the plant, then you will need a filtering process that will separate the essential oil ( the product we are looking for) and the plant water ( can either be used or thrown away). Filtering can be done using a cloth that will let the water pass through but not the oil. Before that whole process though, you have to dry the plant then roughly chop up the leaves and flower parts you are using from the plant to get a start on the oil extraction. Never use the stem of plants you are extracting oil from because you will not find any oil there. Stems will just take up space in your still and not give you anything of value.
After extracting your essential oil out of whatever plant you’ve chosen, you need to act very quickly because you do not want the essential oil to lose its potency. You can preserve the strength of the essential oil by storing it immediately in a dark bottle and stashing it in a place away from any sunlight. Storing your essential oils, this way will not only maintain its strength, but it will also optimize its shelf life to the fullest. Some essential oils have a shelf life of about a couple of weeks, so you will want to get the most time possible out of them.
6. Factors to consider during extraction
One very important factor to consider during extraction of essential oils is that the ratio of the amount of plant being used is much higher compared to the product you get out of the extraction process. This can be quite costly if you are going to be buying the plants you are extracting oil from. If you have your own plants and do not need to buy any, that would be a lot better and more cost efficient.
Another factor that will play a large role in your extraction process is avoiding contamination. When creating your own essential oils, you want to be very careful that you do not contaminate the oils with anything that will turn them from being useful into being harmful or ineffective. Make sure that your workspace is as clean as possible because even a bit of dust can ruin a whole batch of essential oils quite easily. If that happens then you will have wasted your time, effort and money, so better be safe than sorry.
7. Oil mixing
After creating your essential oils by extracting each one separately from its own plant, you can then start tinkering with mixing oils together to make your very own oil blend. When making oil blends you want to be fully in control over the ratios of oils added to each other to make a mixture that is perfectly balanced. This is why you should never extract oils from multiple plants at once. Sometimes if you are not careful trying to extract different plants at once will end up contaminating both oils and rendering them useless to you.
Make unique oil blends
Think of creating your own oil blends as a way of making your very own unique extract that will be just as good as something you buy but better because it has the added value of your effort and time poured into it. Making your own essential oils will give you the chance to play around with them and create your very own unique oil blends that you can either use yourself or give them to family and friends.