We nature lovers really love to use essential oils as ingredients in detergents to take care of ourselves and our houses.
Specialised laboratories use extraction methods such as steam distillation (water) and pressing (for citrus fruits, given the structure of the skin pressure must be used). These processes are complicated and difficult to do yourself.
Plants are exposed to steam, the plant tissues are broken down releasing the essential oil, the steam drags along the essential oil which are then cooled in a heat exchanger and then easily separated. It takes large amounts of flowers and herbs and appliances as stills.
However, we can show you how to make your own essential oils (to be precise the oleolites) using herbs and flowers from the garden and orchard, using a vegetable oil as a base (oil-bearing).
For your convenience we suggest you use olive oil as it is easily available in every kitchen and we serve as a measure of a cup 250 ml. For use on the skin it is more suitable to use almond oil. As for the herbs, they should be used according to the seasons, lavender, violet, mint, lemon balm, rosemary, oregano, sage, thyme, rose, etc., as long as they are biological and pesticide-free.
They can be used individually, or you may want to combine them, for example, rose and lavender. You should pick the herbs and flowers in the morning and before flowering. Remember to remove (do not kill!) any animals , then rinse and pat dry with paper towels.
Let’s start with the cold method. You will need:
- 250 ml of vegetable oil
- 1 cup of 250 ml of leaves, herbs or flowers
COLD METHOD – PREPARATION: put the leaves and flowers in a plastic bag, close it and squash it slightly, for example with a wooden pestle or a rolling pin. This is to allow the release of oil from the plants. Immediately after put them in a large glass jar that can be sealed with a cork, add the vegetable oil to which herbs will give away their aroma. Put it in a warm place but not in direct contact with the sun’s rays, for a period of time ranging from 24 to 48 hours. Then separate the herbs and oil using a cotton gauze.
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To enhance the fragrance and oil concentration take fresh flowers and herbs (they must fit in a 250 ml cup) put them in a closed plastic bag. Add them to the oil container after you have pounded them. Here, too, let them rest in the oil for 24-48 hours, then filter. Repeat the ritual for another time and possibly one more time, until the scent has the desired intensity.
At the end of the process filter with a cotton gauze and with the help of a funnel pour into a dark glass bottle with dropper or in a clear bottle, but should be stored in a dark place.
An alternative method to this is the hot method, that time you cook the oil and herbs. In this case you will need:
- 250 ml of vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup of 250 ml of leaves , herbs or flowers
HOT METHOD – PREPARATION: put the herbs intact ( without crushing them as in the first method ) in the oil and leave to simmer in a large thick-bottomed saucepan and water bath for 6 hours . Leave to cool, filtered through a cotton gauze and then transfer everything into a brown bottle for your use.
The essential oil obtained should be used within 6 months from the date you made it, after each use remember to rinse your hands and avoid touching your eyes. Never mix the oil with water.
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