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Basics of Homemade Essential Oils

Updated on December 24, 2015

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Do you have a garden full of flowers and herbs? You probably have invested a substantial amount of time caring for them to ensure that they stay healthy and flourishing. Aside from providing an aesthetic appeal to your garden, wouldn't you be pleased to learn that you now have more options on how you can use them to your benefit?

Indeed, homemade essential oils is an ongoing trend in the field of aromatherapy. The number of people realizing the benefits of essential oils continue growing and so more people are also looking at ways to prepare their own essential oils at home to cut down on their expenses. It is a practical and cost-saving choice that will also ensure the quality of the oil you are using. Some manufacturers have decided to duplicate these natural oils in laboratories in the hope of gaining some cash to cope with the demand for these natural oils.

However, since it is difficult to find naturally healthy plants or herbs that can produce these oils, some have turned to copy those scents using synthetic ingredients. Sadly though, these are not as effective as natural oils when it comes to treating diseases. Making them at home is then your safest bet at ensuring that authenticity of the oil you are using. It might be a difficult process but it is doable at home.

Harvesting Process

This is the most basic step you need to take care of in creating your own essential oils. The time and method of harvest produce a significant impact on the quality of the plant and herb, as well as its ability to produce quality oils that you can use.

There are a few factors you need to look into:

*Time of day – The most ideal time of day to harvest is in the morning when the plant or herb is not yet fully exposed to the sun.
*Growth stage of plant – Don't wait until the plant has fully bloomed before you harvest them to extract oils. At this time, they would have lost their potency. So, make sure to do this just prior to blooming.
*Quality of plant/herb – To produce quality oils, make sure that the plant material is also of high quality. Examine the appearance of the plant's leaves, stems, and other plant parts.

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Extraction Process

For your convenience, you can purchase home distillation kits that are available in various health shops and stores. They can be quite expensive though. So, choose to buy them only if you intend to extract essential oils often. If not, then there are several household tools or materials that you can use to fulfill this process.

Below are two extraction methods that you can use:

*Steam Distillation – This is the most common method undergone by most plant sources to extract essential oils. It will require the use of high temperature in order to separate the water-insoluble portions of the plant and its volatile oils. Aromatherapists prefer this method of extraction since it eliminates chemical solvent.

*Cold-Pressing – This method involve the use of pressure and expression in order to extract the oils from the plant sources.

Things You'll Need

You will need the assistance of a few basic materials and equipments to help you out with the process. Each one are listed below:

*Eye dropper
*Cloth or muslin
*Dark colored glass bottle
*Container or bowl
*Carrier Oil
*Plant or herb sources

Using Carrier Oils

Carrier oils play an important role in aromatherapy. Some essential oils can be highly concentrated that when they are used directly on your skin, it can cause skin irritation. Therefore, diluting them is necessary for you to experience its benefits without harming your skin. This is where carrier oils come in. They are also essential oils who are mild enough to be used directly on the skin, while also serving to dilute the intense level of concentration in some oils.

Two of the most common carrier oils are jojoba an grapeseed oils. However, there are also other oils used as base oils from nut ingredients like pecan oil, fractionated coconut oil, walnut oil, sweet almond oil, macadamia nut oil, among others. Other varieties of carrier oil come from vegetable sources like avocado oil, evening primrose oil, canola oil, emu oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, and many more.

Making Essential Oils

After you have gathered all ingredients and equipments to use, you are now ready to proceed to making your essential oils. Here's how you can prepare homemade essential oils:

  • Take a jar or container that you can use to add and stir your plant materials. After you have thoroughly combined your ingredients, cover it with a cloth and store for at least 48 hours. Keep checking every 12 hours and shake the mixture well.
  • After this period, use a muslin in covering the top of the bowl or container. Then, strain the oils using the cloth. With all the plant materials gathered into the cloth, squeeze it tightly to extract as much liquid as possible.
  • Pour the oil back into a container and add more fresh material if you like. Do the same procedure until you get the kind of aroma you desire.
  • Once you have strained the oil into the aroma and amount that you like, you can store it into a dark colored glass bottle. This should be enough to last you between 6 to 12 months.

Making Aromatherapy Products

Carrier Oils for Blending

Additional Tips for Homemade Essential Oils

Here are more guidelines to keep in mind:

  • When bottling the essential oils you prepare, make sure to label them with the specific dates when they were created. This will help avoid using essential oils that are overdue or spoil.
  • Avoid storing the essential oils in an area that offer direct exposure to sunlight. Aside from contributing to the quick spoiling of the oil, it can also trigger harmful chemicals in phototoxic oils to be activated and cause damage when used
  • Always go for quality plant sources, such as those grown using organic methods.

Precautionary Measures

  • If you are using heat or the steam distillation process to release the essential oils from the plant material, always do it in the stove top instead of using your microwave oven.
  • Never store your essential oils in areas with maximum light exposure. The use of dark colored glass bottles also help in preventing light from entering into the bottle and spoiling the oil.


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