If you love exploring DIY projects, like making bath bombs or lavender bags, then making essential oils of your own can be an excellent investment both for your health and finances. Many people have used these oils for centuries in homoeopathic treatments, and recently there has been an explosion of interest in their unique effects on well-being.
Mastering the art of making your own essential oils is a fantastic gift for yourself and your loved ones. In this article, you’ll discover the best tips to help you make your essential oils right in the convenience of your home using everyday household items.
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How to make essential oils
You can make essential oils with three methods which include extraction, expression, and distillation. The distillation process is more complicated because it requires specialised equipment and monitoring. But it is used for most essential oils like lavender, peppermint and tea tree oil.
Most oils are distilled in a single process. Ylang-ylang is an exception as it is purified through fractional distillation. The recondensed water from the process is referred to as hydrosol.
Products from the expression method are not usually classified as essential oils because they are mainly extracted from citrus fruits. This method involves grating or scraping the peel of citrus fruits such as lemon and orange to make citrus oils or volatile oils.
What you will need:
- Flowers or any materials of the plant
- Clear glass jar with a lid
- Small black bottle
- Vodka solvent
- Porcelain-coated strainer
- Small glass bowl
- Cloth napkin
- Spoon or ladle
Step 1: Prepare Your Plant
Aside from rose petals, you can use any herbs, fruits or scented flowers of your choice. However, it will be best to use a home-grown plant to be more reliable and produce oil in large volume.
You’ll need several grams of plant material to get sufficient oil. Also, you may chop them so that enough oil can come out during production. Finally, use a dehydrator to evaporate the plant’s natural water content and dew.
Step 2: Prepare the Jar
Ensure your choice of the jar is voluminous enough to contain the material. Fill it with your plants, and pour vodka into the jar until the petals are completely submerged. Then, gently place the jar in a dark corner at room temperature.
Take the jar out at least three times a day and shake it thoroughly for several minutes. Repeat the shaking every day until you begin to see the plants losing colour.
Step 3: Strain out
Carefully strain out the plants from the vodka by using a filter. Place them into the cloth napkin and squeeze out every last bit of the plant extract. You will perceive a distinct smell due to the vodka. Do not worry much as this means it is effective.
Step 4: Repeat the Soaking Process
This step is only necessary if you want more oil from your plant material. Soak new batches of petals with vodka. You can add more vodka as needed to ensure the petals are well covered. The more batches you make, the more essential oils you will extract.
Step 5: Store the Vodka Solution
Gently place the jar in a secure dark corner of the cupboard for a day or two without disturbance of any sort. After the two days, you should start seeing a tiny film of oil separating from the vodka.
Step 6: Freeze the Solution
Place the jar in the fridge to cool down and let it sit overnight. Only the oil and other plant materials will solidify as vodka does not freeze.
Step 7: Strain the Solution
Ensure you move fast when lifting the oil from the vodka before the essential oil melts. Place the cheesecloth inside a glass bowl, and pour the oil in it. You will also need another glass bowl, spoon, and a small dark bottle which will hold the essential oil.
Step 8: Get the Essential Oils
The following morning, gently remove the glass container from the fridge. Scoop the plant material from the vodka and place it on top of the cheesecloth laid in the bowl. Pour the vodka into the other glass bowl with the loose cheesecloth. Quickly pick out any frozen parts and place them inside the small dark bottle. The frozen bits are your essential oils.
What you should know when making essential oils
- It is advisable to use fresh plant material rather than dried ones. Although the dried ones will produce some oil, it may not be as much as the fresh ones.
- Essential oils are not fatty acids but concentrated plant/herb essence.
- Morning is the best time to harvest your plant material immediately after the dew has dried. Don’t forget to remove any dead or pest-infested foliage.
- The nutrients and benefits of a typical plant are found in its oil, so you are free to use it for healing, skincare, personal care, and disinfection.
- Essential oils such as roses and tea trees contain several antibacterial and antifungal properties.
- True essential oils are used as fragrance oils but offer no benefits except for scents.
- Essential oils are expensive and hard to find because they require a large volume to make a small oil bottle. Knowing how to make one will help you and save you some money.
- Ensure you don’t use ordinary water while making your oils because water may be contaminated. Distilled water is another alternative aside from vodka.
- Essential oils can be diluted with vegetable oils extracted from plants like coconut oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, and olive oil. These oils are known as carrier oils in this context.
Five Ways To Use Essential Oils
- Diffuser Blend: The most common way of using essential oils is to inhale them. Add some drops of your essential oils into your oil diffuser or humidifier and enjoy.
- Roller Blend: Combine two drops of essential oils with coconut or olive oil into a roller bottle, and use them on your arms, legs, chest.
- Massage Oil Blend: Add 3 drops of essential oils into a bottle, then fill the rest of the bottle with almond oil. Use it to massage your skin.
- Bath: Add about 3 – 5 drops of essential oils into your shampoo and body wash. You may also add your desired essential oils to soap and add it to your bathwater.
- Room Spray Blend: To improve the smell of your room or living room, add two drops of desired essential oil into a small spray bottle and fill the rest with distilled water.
Essential oils to try at home for aromatherapy
Here are some of the essential oils you can try at home for aromatherapy:
Peppermint plant has been used in many ways for:
- Digestion aid
- Ease nausea
- Alleviate pain
- Breath freshener
- Sore muscle soother
- Relieve itching
- Relieve headache
Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon oil is another natural ingredient used as a home remedy for beauty products and household cleaners. It can be diffused into an inhaler and added to your skincare product. Some of its uses include:
- Detoxifying agent
- Ease morning sickness
- Treatment for acne
- Improve skin
- Hair conditioner
- Treatment for infections
- Relieve pain
- Improve cold symptoms
Lavender essential oil is a popular oil used for aromatherapy. It is a perfect option for those who experience insomnia while lavender-infused oil has great uses for cleaning products and cooking. Lavender helps in the following areas:
- PMS-symptom reducer
- Insect bite remedy
- Eczema treatment
- Motion sickness treatment
- Anxiety disorder
- Fungal infections
- Acne and eczema
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary is primarily known for its soothing scent and herbal properties. It is a true oil as it does not contain fat. It can help in the following areas:
- Stress and anxiety
- Memory problems
- Hair Growth
- Pain relieve
- May ease Stress
- Blood circulation
- Reduce joint inflammation
- Cold relief
This essential oil contains healing properties that help treat health conditions like nasal congestion, asthma, cough drops, and mouth odour. You may also apply diluted eucalyptus oil on your skin to remedy issues such as arthritis and skin ulcers. Other uses of this plant are:
- Dental health
- Head lice
- Pain relief
- Mosquito repellant
There are many ways essential oils can change your life for the better. Whether you use them for health benefits or to help family and friends, you can benefit significantly from learning how to utilise the natural power of pure essential oils.