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DIY (Do It Yourself) distillation process of plants

Posted on August 26, 2009 at 10:14 PM Comments comments (5)


Just recently somebody asked if it is possible to make their own Essential Oils. While I don't want to burst anyone's bubble, making Essential Oils at home is very difficult unless you are able to distill the plant parts.


I found some instructions about distillation at home on wikiHow.


In brief, here are the steps (in simple terms) that are needed for the distillation process:

a) The dried plant parts go into the retort (or still).

b) A steamer on the bottom of the retort allows pressurized steam to flow through the retort that holds all plant parts (e.g. flower petals).

c) Vapor is being produced and the volatile oils of the plants are released.

d) The steam then passes through a condenser where the hot air is flowing out and cold air is being introduced.

e) This process allows the volatile oil mixture of the steam to separate into floral water and essential oil.

If you would like to see a picture accompanying the steps above, please go to my blog, as I have trouble uploading a small image onto this page. 


A really good or therapeutic grade essential oil is steam distilled with the exact right temperature and pressure to ensure high quality oils. Too much pressure or to little or high heat can damage the plant parts hence damage the volatile oils in the plant. The result will be disappointing.


If you would like to learn more about the distillation process of plants, please check this link from Young Living Essential Oils - Distillation Process.


The quality of a homemade essential oil cannot be compared to the standards of a Grade A or 100% essential oil from e.g. Young Living, Primavera or any other company.

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