Essential oil extraction at home
Using this method, you can extract essential oils from plants you might not normally find oils from. I love mint, chocolate mint being my favorite. But finding chocolate mint essential oil usually left me with flavored oils, not the real thing. I was able to make a small amount of chocolate mint essential oil that was amazing, although it took a lot of plant material for a small amount. Grapefruit mint will be my next experiment.
You can also make blends that aren’t found in nature. I made DIY essential oil from oakmoss, lavender, and patchouli. I was able to get a small patchouli plant from my local hydroponics store. The scent was amazing! But like the chocolate mint, the amount of oil yielded was small.
Ingredients & Supplies for DIY Essential Oils
• a crock pot with a lid
• distilled water
• enough fresh plant material to fill the crockpot about half full (at least • 3-4 cups, chopped)
While you can make your own, beware that most “essential oil” recipes on the internet are really infused oils. It helps to know the difference.
Essential Oil Extraction vs. Infused Oil Extraction
Infused oils are made by soaking herbs in a particular oil to extract the active compounds. Some botanicals, such as calendula, infuse very well and create a very healing oil. But some, like lavender, is never quite as good as the actual essential oil.
Many essential oils are steam distilled, which involves simmering the plant material to produce steam, which travels through a tube, which is then run through cold water. The liquid that forms from condensation will be in two parts, a water compound, and an oil compound. The water compound is where floral waters, such as lavender and rose water, come from. The oils that rise to the top are DIY essential oils.