Learn how to make essential oils at home and discover more amazing benefits you can get from these natural wonders. We will give you a thorough guide to making essential oils at home, plus the best tips and tricks in making essential oils from dried herbs and other plants. We will be extracting the essence of your favorite herbs and flowers right in the comfort of your kitchen!
Learn How to Make Essential Oils Like a True Homesteader
What You Need to Know When Making Essential Oils
- Essential oils are not oils which contain fatty acids. Instead, they are the concentrated plant essence.
- What is good in a plant reflects in its essential oil, so you can use it for personal care, disinfection, or healing.
- Essential oil examples are peppermint, tea tree, and roses. They are known for their antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.
- Essential oils are distinct from fragrance oils. They only mimic the scents of plants and do not have the essential oil benefits.
- Essential oils are hard to find in localities, that is why they are expensive. This is a good reason why it’s good to learn how to make essential oils from dried herbs yourself.
Methods To Make Essential Oils
There are three methods to get essential oils. These are extraction, distillation, and expression. The distillation process is the most complicated. It requires specialized equipment and careful monitoring. As for the expression method, the product is not usually classified as an essential oil. This leaves us with the extraction method. In this tutorial, we will try rose essential oil-making, so let’s get started!
What You Need to Make Homemade Essential Oils:
- Flowers or plant parts to extract (in this case rose petals)
- 120-proof vodka
- Clear quart glass jar with a lid
- Small dark-colored bottle
- Porcelain-coated strainer
- Small glass bowl
- Tight-weave cheesecloth
- A spoon and medicine dropper
Step 1. Prepare Your Choice of Plant
You can use any kind of plants, from herbs, scented flowers, to fruits. It all depends on the plant essence you want to be extracted. In this tutorial, we will be using roses. The more homegrown roses you have, the better. You’ll need pounds and pounds of plant material to make a small amount of essence.
Prepare the roses by using a dehydrator to evaporate its natural water content. The roses will be ready when they start to wilt.
Step 2. Prepare the Jar
Prepare jars and fill them with rose petals. Pour vodka into the jar until the petals are submerged. Place the jar in a dark corner of the kitchen cupboard where it can sit undisturbed at room temperature.
About three times a day, take the jar out and give it a good shake for several minutes. Repeat daily until you see the roses losing color, which could take up to a week.
Step 3. Straining Vodka Solution
Wearing protective gloves, take out the jar and prepare to strain. Strain out the plant material from the vodka by using a porcelain-coated strainer. Be careful not to spill any amount of liquid.
Shake the roses into the cheesecloth and squeeze it out by hand to get every last bit of vodka out. By this time, the vodka will smell terrible but don’t worry, that’s normal.
Step 4. Repeat Soaking Process
Using the same vodka, repeat the rose soaking method several more times with a new batch of rose petals. Make sure not to waste vodka when straining. If needed, you can add a little more vodka to make sure the rose petals are submerged. The more you do this, you will be able to extract more of the essential oils.
Step 5. Storing Vodka Solution
Once you’re done with the rose soaking, strain as usual. But this time, return the vodka into the quart glass and seal it. Put it in the dark corner of the cupboard again, leaving it undisturbed for a day or two. By this time, you will see some separation starting to occur. The vodka will separate from the essential oils and other plant matter.
Step 6. Freeze Solution
Place the jar in the freezer. This is the cool part–vodka does not freeze. So, only the essential oils and other plant materials will solidify.
Step 7. Strain Solution
Now, you will have to move fast with extra caution before the essential oil melts. You will need a piece of cheesecloth laid inside a glass bowl. Use another piece of cheesecloth secured around a clear canning jar so it dips inside the neck. You will also need another small glass bowl and a small dark bottle which will hold the essential oil. Have a spoon and dropper ready as well.
Step 8. Harvest Essential Oils
Remove the jar from the freezer. Skim the gunky plant material off the vodka and place it on top of the cheesecloth laid inside the bowl. Pour the vodka into the other glass jar with the loose cheesecloth. Move quickly to pick out any frozen bits using a dropper and place them inside the small dark bottle. The frozen bits are the essential oils.
Now you’ve got a pretty good idea about how to make essential oils on your own. You also now know how to make essential oils from herbs at home with all your greens from the garden. With time, you will be able to master your way into making essential oils. Who knows how you will be able to make more out of this new and amazing homesteading skill!
Did you find these ideas and tips on how to make essential oils helpful? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 16, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.