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Essential oils today are highly desirable and can be a bit expensive as well. Sometimes, the exact essential oil that you require can be difficult to find. The best solution is to make them at home. Essential oils can be extracted from plants or even other sources. Steam distillation is the typical method commercial used.
Though it is quite obvious that when people want to make essential oils at home, they will be needing pure and high-quality ingredients, alongside the best possible equipment to assure the extraction of the essential oil in an easy and efficient manner.
In addition to that, the DIY extracted oils may not be too much purified because the DIY procedures may not allow residue-free extraction. So, there could be some difference but still when you extract essential oils its always a good way to obtain naturally occurring benefits in these oils without using any additives. We will show a DIY process below for extracting essential oils.
Video Credit: HowToWithKeila
- Crockpot with lid
- Fresh plant material (good enough for half filling the crockpot) – 3 to
- 4 chopped cups
- Distilled water
- Time and patience
Steps to prepare essential oil:
1. Choosing the Plant:
It is highly desirable to use fresh plant stuff over dried one. Dried herbs also produces oil but in lesser quantity as compared to the fresh ones. Harvest the plant from the field in the morning time, when the dew has dried up. Discard any diseased, dead or the bug-infested leaves or herbs. 3 to 4 cups of plant material acquired would produce just a few teaspoons of essential oil.
2. Adding Plant Stuff in Crock Pot:
Place the plant stuff that you have into a crockpot. Cover the material with distilled water. Make sure not to use tap water as it may contain bacteria. Make sure that the water accumulated in the crockpot should be more than ¾ of its total capacity.
The lid should be placed over the pot upside down. Such a placement of the lid is important to ensure. It is because the concave structure would let the steam to condense and stay back into the pot. If you are not having a lid for the crockpot, a plate can also be used to do the needful.
3. Heating the Water and Plant Material in the Crock-Pot with Variable Heat:
Turn on the crockpot to higher level so that the water gets heated up. Once the water gets hot, then turn the crockpot heat back to low. Allow 3 to 4 hours for the mixture to simmer on low heat.
4. Allow Time to Cool Down the Mixture:
After the water and plant mixture is cooked on low heat for mentioned amount of time, turn off the crockpot and allow it to cool. Once it gets cool down at room temperature, then place the crockpot with stuff inside it into the refrigerator.
If the crockpot is inflexible and not able to come off the base, then the entire unit is also safe to be put inside the refrigerator. If that isn’t feasible, then you could transfer the cooked stuff inside the unit into another suitable container. Leave the stuff inside the refrigerator overnight.
5. Get the First Look of Your Home Made Essential Oil:
The following day, you should pull out the crockpot out of the refrigerator. The first look of the stuff inside will show you a very thin film of oil over the top. This thin film gets further hard after cooling. This is your Do-It-Yourself essential oil made purely at home.
The oil should be carefully bifurcated from the base stuff. However, you also need to be fast, while separating the oil at top from the water at bottom. Urgency is required because otherwise, the oil would start to melt quickly.
6. Getting Rid of Additional Water at the Bottom:
The essential oil extracted from the mixture should then be placed into capped bottles. The bottle should be labeled with the content inside the bottle in order to perfectly identify it.
You might notice very little amount of watery liquid at the bottom. The oil could then be heated very gently, which would evaporate the unnecessary water at the bottom. Here, make sure that you don’t heat it for too long. Longer heating may cause the essential oil to lose all its essential potency.
7. Placing DIY Essential Oil into Bottles for Storage:
Finally, you have your DIY essential oil ready in its best possible form, which is free from all unwanted stuff and with maximum potency. This is the time to store your essential oil for future use. The best way is to store it on color containers of glass material. Once the containers are filled with the essential oil, then store them in a cool and dry place, which is away from heat and light.
Useful Tip for Using Home Made Essential Oil:
We have discussed at the start that the commercial-grade essential oils use a sophisticated steam distillation process in essential oil preparation. This makes them quite strong in potency, as compared to the ones prepared at home. Therefore, in order to maximize usage, you should apply a little more quantity of homemade essential oil as compared to the commercial grade.
The homemade or DIY essential oil can be prepared with utmost ease. The process is simple and doesn’t require any prior expertise. All you need is to have the plant material and a crockpot. Skimming the oil is required after the material gets cooled down after heating and refrigerating it overnight.
Most commonly the natural oils or essential oils extracted in this way have a considerable shelf life if stored properly but they may need controlled temperature and protection from the direct light to assure they will keep their properties constant while stored.
It is always better to keep following the desired process until you get the most valuable essential oils right in your container.
It is definitely an effort that worth trying because obtaining naturally pure essential oils for medicinal use, aromatherapy purposes and for fragrances is one of the best way to enjoy these natural essences.