Essential oils are extracted from plants that have a thick aroma. Their use can be traced back to the ancient times, finding its roots in their medicinal as well as therapeutic qualities. Essential oils can demand high prices when purchased from the market, but are relatively cheaper when distilled at home. These oils are highly concentrated and volatile in nature and hence, ample care should be observed while making them at home. The article lists some valuable tips on how to make your own essential oils.
Homemade Essential Oils Recipe
- Carrier Oil
- Fresh Flowers/ Herbs
- Plastic Storage Bags
- Wooden Mallet
- Glass Jars
- Dark Colored Storage Jars
- First of all, you need to select the plants from which you want to extract the fragrance. Pluck them only after the dew has dried from the blooms. In case of roses, go for the partially open flowers.
- Get the plastic storage bag and put 1/4 cup of tightly packed flowers or herbs in it. Seal the bag and using a wooden mallet, tap them gently, to bruise the flowers/ herbs and release their oils and fragrance.
- Place the bruised flowers/ herbs in a glass jar and pour 1/2 cup warm carrier oil, grape seed oil, almond oil, or wheat germ oil, over them. Shake the jar well and set aside for 5 to 6 hours.
- Now, use a clean piece of cheesecloth to strain the oil and then discard the flowers.
- Over the next three days, repeat the whole procedure, adding /4 cup of fresh flowers or herbs to the oil created on the first day, each time.
- Finally, store your finished essential oils in dark glass containers, away from sunlight.
- The distiller for essential oils can be either purchased from the market or made at home. For a homemade distiller, you will need things like a furnace, condenser, holding tank and separator (to separate essential oil from water vapor). It will be a good strategy to make a distiller at home, as it’s costly when bought from the market.
- For making essential oils, the specific plants should be harvested at the right time. It will go a long way in determining the quantity of the essential oil that you will make from it. So, it is better to do the required research before harvesting your plants. Careless handling, harvesting the wrong parts and at the wrong time of day can reduce the quantity and quality of the essential oils. Harvesting material can also be purchased from the market. If you are buying your raw material from the market, research on the plant you want to use for essential oils, before you buy anything.
- Dry your plant slowly. Don’t expose it to direct sunlight for the purpose of drying. Rather, drying in shade or in a dark room to avoid oil loss is recommended. In case of certain plants, you also have the option of not drying them. Even the ideal method of drying varies from plant to plant.
- Use clean water, filtered or distilled and as soft as possible for distillation. It can take anywhere between half an hour to six hours and more after the water boils, for the distillation process to be complete. Make sure you have enough water in the distiller to complete the distillation, if using a homemade distiller. Ensure that the water level is close to, but doesn’t touch, the false bottom that will hold the plant material.
- Don’t chop or cut the plant as you may loose some of the oils, while doing so. The plant material should rest on the false bottom or grate above the water and should touch the sides of the distiller as little as possible.
- After the distillation is complete, filter the oil through cheesecloth or similar dry cotton fabric. Make sure that the cloth is dry and clean.