If you’ve ever used essential oils you know they can be expensive. And sometimes it can be difficult to find the ones you want.
Did you know you can make your own?
Essential oils are the volatile oils extracted from plants (or other sources), typically through steam distillation. You can actually purchase or make your own still for this purpose. I found a nice copper 2 -quart still for around $400; still too much money for me. So I set out to find out how I can make my own oils without the expensive still.
While you can make your own, beware that most “essential oil” recipes on the internet are really infused oils. It helps to know the difference.
Infused oils are made by soaking herbs in a particular oil to extract the active compounds. Some botanicals, such as calendula, infuse very well and create a very healing oil. But some, like lavender, are never quite as good as the actual essential oil.
Many essential oils are steam distilled, which involves simmering the plant material to produce a steam, which travels through a tube, which is then run through cold water. The liquid that forms from condensation will be in two parts, a water compound and an oil compound. The water compound is where floral waters, such as lavender and rose water, come from. The oils that rise to the top are essential oils.
Using this method, you can extract essential oils from plants you might not normally find oils from. I love mint, chocolate mint being my favorite. But finding chocolate mint essential oil usually left me with flavored oils, not the real thing. I was able to make a small amount of chocolate mint essential oil that was amazing, although it took a lot of plant material for a small amount. Grapefruit mint will be my next experiment.
You can also make blends that aren’t found in nature. I made an oil from oakmoss, lavender, and patchouli. I was able to get a small patchouli plant from my local hydroponics store. The scent was amazing! But like the chocolate mint, the amount of oil yielded was small.
You can use these oils just like essential oils that you purchase, but they may not be quite as strong as what you are used to. Be prepared to use more than you normally would.
If you don’t think DIY essential oils are for you, don’t worry. DIY Natural uses and recommends the pure, therapeutic grade essential oils from this company. We love their selection, prices, and quality, and think you will too!