Often people suffer from pain in muscles, fungal infections, hair damage, digestion problems, feeling of tiredness, etc. To get rid of these problems, remedies like exercises, applying lotions etc., are tried.
One of the effective ways to treat these problems is also through essential oils.
Pure essential oils are concentrated liquids extracted from various parts of a tree like the leaves, bark, roots and stem by a process called distillation.
The flowers also are a source of obtaining such oils. An example of this would be cannabis flower essential oil. This oil is also known as the hemp essential oil. The rinds of a ripened citrus fruit, when cold-pressed, yield citrus oil.
Pure essential oils normally tend to be clear, but exceptions to this are the oils like lemongrass, patchouli, and orange that are yellow or amber in color.
Essential oils are to be used in small quantities, as these are highly concentrated, and therefore, a very small quantity can last for a longer time.
These oils and perfume oils are mostly perceived to be similar although they are different from each other. These oils are extracted from plants, whereas perfume oils are fragrances that are artificially created and composed of artificial substances.
How to Make Essential Oil by Distillation?
Essential oils are quite costly at product stores, thus, it is advisable to prepare them at home. We give you a detailed method (water-and-steam distillation) to make an essential oil of your choice:
- 1 Still (setup for distillation) - (A still consists of a furnace, a tank for holding the oil, a condenser, and a separator.) - Desired plant/herb twigs - Water as per need - Dark-colored glass bottle
Things you need:
#1. The first step involves choosing the desired plant which is to be used as a raw material in making the oil.
#2. Dry the plants to remove the vapor in them. Do not expose them to extreme sunlight as this will cause them to lose their flavor.
#3. In the beginning set up the apparatus properly as per the user manual. Fill the tank of the still with water. Add the desired herb/plant to this tank.
#4. Close the still with its lead and heat the mixture at the temperature of 100 ºC.
#5. When the water gets heated to its boiling point, it will get converted into steam. The steam will then begin to pass through the condenser and separator.
#6. On completion of this process, filter out the oil that is collected by using a cheesecloth. Avoid using any synthetic material for filtering as it may interfere with the flavor of the oil.
#7. Use a dark-colored bottle (clean and dry) to store the distilled oil. Use the oil as and when needed, however, make sure you keep the bottle tightly capped after use as leaving the bottle open can oxidize the oil.
Tip: The time of distillation can extend from 30 minutes to as long as 6 hours.
There are many types of essential oils available in the market such as basil oil, black pepper, camphor, eucalyptus, melissa, spearmint, sandalwood and many more.
If you wish to purchase this type of oil, you need to be aware that the quality and the price of the essential oils depend upon the plant that they are extracted from.
The amount of oil produced by the plant is also an important concern. Also, factors like, availability of the plant, the native region of the plant, the conditions in which it flourishes, the distillation machine used to extract the contents are also taken into consideration.
Other than distillation, pure essential oils can be obtained from a process called solvent extraction.
These oils prove to be important not only in curing skin problems or hair damage but also are useful in the preparation of cosmetics, flavoring food products, and in household cleaning products to enhance their fragrance.