Essential Oil Making Equipments and Accessories
Homemade Essential Oil Making
Most people are turned off with the idea of creating their own essential oils at home. They readily assume that it cannot possibly be done at home due to the need for large equipments and can only be done in manufacturing laboratories.
Well, good news for those who are interested as it is certainly easy to get started with homemade essential oil making. Provided that you know the procedures and have the proper equipments or tools to use, it should be easy to get on with this process. As for the equipments you will be using, most of them require only household items so you need not make any new purchases.
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Tools for Harvesting
If you are harvesting plant materials from your garden, you will simply be needing basic cutting materials to reap the plant parts that you will use for the essential oil extraction. Hence, you can check your gardening tool kit for these materials. For shrubs or smaller trees, you can even use kitchen scissors since the stems are soft enough to cut through. Other equipments you can use include clippers or knives.
Using Distilling Apparatuses
The pressing method is common during the earlier times but the need to use more convenient methods of extracting essential oils from plant has resulted in the growth of distillation methods. Although you might need centralized equipments for massive or large scale production of essential oils, you can improvise with homemade essential oil making.
In fact, you can purchase materials and home distillation kits at nearby health stores. Or you can use anything that is available in your household such as cooking pots and a stove top.
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Choosing the Best Distillation Systems
There are several distillation apparatuses available in the market, depending on the specific distillation system you opt to use. However, you need to closely consider your choice as it can produce different types oil. Plus, there are certain risks involve as the plant material is exposed to different external factors that could deplete the quality of the oil produced.
The first and most popular method of extraction is Steam Distillation. For this method, the plant parts where the essential oils are to be extracted from is placed inside a vacuum. Then, pressure is exerted into the plant to produce heat and steam. During this process, the separation of the natural oil components from the plant takes place. When you are using a home steam distiller, always keep an eye on it and never leave the plant materials while being distilled. Or else, the amount of pressure and high temperature could result to the destruction of the plant's chemical constituents.
Next on the list is Water Distillation. It offers a slight variation from the Steam Distillation method wherein plant is combined with water before they are subjected to a heating process. The heat causes the water to turn into vapor and as soon as it cools down is transferred in another container. This also contains the essential oils from the plant material and the difference of concentration make it easy to separate the oil from the water.
The Dry Steam Distillation system is a safer alternative to the typical Steam Distillation method. However, it might not produce the same amount of oil as traditional steam distillation does.
Lastly, Solvent Distillation is where an intervention of other substances apart from the natural plant sources are involved. This could be due to several reasons. For instance, the plant part is not producing the desired amount of oil using the above methods. Hence, solvents like hexane or supercritical carbon dioxide is added into the solution. It then causes the plant material to release wax and essential oil.
Stainless Steel Cooking Materials
Although there are several home distillation kits available to purchase in the market, you can still opt to use what is available in your household to extract oils. Make sure to use only stainless steel cooking wares though. Since you will be heating the plant materials on top of a heat source, such as a stove top, you need to control the temperature that the plant parts are subject to. And even if you are using a stainless steel cooking chamber, never heat the plant parts on your microwave oven for your own safety.
Container or Bowl
This particular equipment or tool is useful when extracting or creating essential oils at home. The container or bowl will be used to mix ingredients together. Hence, a large sized bowl or container is very ideal to provide enough room to put all ingredients together without spilling or overcrowding. Again, you have the option to adjust the size of containers you will be using according to the amount of plant materials you use and you are free to use your own discretion on this. Therefore, decide according to what is most convenient for you so you can keep your kitchen tidy.
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This is a simple tool that will make your life more convenient as you are making essential oils at home. Because you will be handling liquid ingredients and will be moving them from one container to another, using an eye dropper help prevents possible spillage even with tiny amounts of liquid materials.
Also, it will allow you to control the amount of liquid that you will be adding into certain mixture. Any slight variation in the dosage of essential oil you use in a mixture can alter its effect when used in aromatherapy.
Dark Colored Glass Bottles
For storage of homemade essential oils, dark colored glass bottles or containers is the most ideal to use. This is basically done in an effort to preserve the quality of the oil. Some types of essential oils are naturally phototoxic, which means that the chemicals are turned into toxic levels when exposed to a certain amount of sunlight. When this happens, it is no longer safe to use.
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