Making essential oils DIY

Want to learn how to make your own essential oil for a mighty muti and perfume? Here’s what our experts from Amorentia Estate & Nursery had to say about the DIY process. Make sure to read this month’s Botanical Boss article on which plants to grow for essential oil making, as well as information about all the ways you can apply and enjoy them! Essential Oils For Begginers

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Q: Most gardeners are familiar with the essential oils available at stores, however, I am sure they would be delightfully surprised to learn that they could make their own! Please walk us through the process of making essential oils at home using plants from the garden?

Making essential oils at home can be a fun and rewarding process, but it does require some equipment and expertise. Be sure to do your research and follow proper safety precautions when working with essential oils.

You can use a variety of plants to make essential oils, including herbs, flowers, and citrus fruits. Some popular choices include lavender, thyme, mint, rosemary, lemon verbena, lemon, and orange. Choose plants that are healthy and free from pesticides or other chemicals and follow these easy steps:

Top tip: Harvest your plant material in the morning when the oils are most concentrated and be sure to use plant material that is fresh or newly flushed. Rinse and dry the plant material thoroughly.

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When choosing your extraction method, there are several to choose from, including;

  • Steam distillation is the most common method for home use. To steam distill your plant material, you'll need a still or distiller. Place the plant material in the still with water and heat it to release the steam. The steam will carry the essential oils out of the plant material and into a condenser, where it will cool and turn into a liquid. The liquid will separate into two layers, with the essential oil floating on top. Once the distillation process is complete, you can collect the essential oil by carefully pouring it off the top layer. Be sure to use a funnel and a glass container with a tight-fitting lid. If you don’t own a distiller, you can place the plant material in a large pot with a small amount of water. Cover the pot with a lid that has a small hole in the top. Place a heat-resistant glass bowl on top of the lid, directly over the hole. Heat the pot and bring the water to a simmer. The steam will carry the essential oils out of the plant material and into the glass bowl. Once the process is complete, collect the essential oil from the glass bowl using a dropper and store it in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid. Either way, when complete, store your essential oil in a cool, dark place in a tightly sealed glass, sterilized bottle. Label the bottle with the name of the plant and the date it was distilled.
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  • Cold pressing is suitable for citrus fruits like lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits. Cut the fruit into small pieces and squeeze the juice out. Use a strainer to remove any pulp or seeds. The essential oils will separate from the juice and rise to the top. Skim the essential oil off the top with a spoon and store it in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid.
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  • The infusion method is suitable for most herbs and flowers like lavender, rosemary, gardenia, and chamomile. Place the plant material in a glass jar and cover it with a carrier oil like baobab or jojoba oil. Let the mixture sit for 2 to 3 weeks, replacing the plant material with fresh flowers every third day. The oil will absorb the essential oils from the plant material. Strain the oil through a cheesecloth or coffee filter paper and store it in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid.
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Top tip: When using essential oils, it is important to dilute them with a carrier oil such as jojoba, rosehip, baobab, marula, almond, or coconut oil before applying to the skin. It is also recommended to do a patch test on a small area of skin before using a new essential oil to check for any allergic reactions. Essential oils are used in low doses because they are extremely potent, and safety should also be researched for medical conditions as well as pregnancy and breastfeeding. There are many other applications for essential oils like candle burners, room sprays, steaming, and bathing

 

Life is a Garden provides information about beneficial plants, not pharmaceutical advice. This content is shared for the love of our natural world and is not intended to be used as a medical prescription.

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