ANSWERS: 4
  • Production of most essential oils is a surprisingly uncomplicated process. To distill essential oils from most herbs, you need one relatively simple apparatus, a steam distiller, and an abundant - but not enormous - quantity of herbs. The ration of fresh plant matter to essential oil is usually 25 to 1.True Steam distillation uses an outside source of steam which pipes the steam into the distillation unit, sometimes at high pressure. The steam passes through the aromatic material, and exits into the condenser. Water & steam distillation A water and steam distillation arrangement can be compared to a kitchen steamer basket, with the botanicals supported in a "basket" over boiling water, thus exposing the plant material only to the rising steam vapors. This is the best method for distilling leafy materials, but doesn't work well for woods, roots, seeds, etc The process is known as extracting essential oils if you want to do more research.
  • Merry Walker had this to say on another related question. I personally tried it and it works very well. The question was: Is there an easy process to extract oils from flowers (like roses)? How? (100%, 1 rating) submitted by Merry Walker (A, 96%, 177 ratings), Sep 21, 04 While there are several ways to extract oil from flowers, distillation is by far the easiest. Distillation is basically creating steam, which picks up the essential oil of the flower. When the steam is cooled, you can catch the oil. "You can make rose water and extracts (or any other herb) at home. Take a large pot, insert a clean brick or rock, fill with rose petals or herbs or whatever around the brick. Cover with water and place a small glass dish on top of the brick. On top of the pot put a stainless bowl and fill with ice. Simmer about three hours depending how many petals or herbs you have, replacing the ice as needed. The bowl with the ice will condense the steam and drip down into the glass bowl. The water in the glass bowl is your rose water or whatever herb, on top will be a layer of oil. This is the essential oil. You can separate these and use the water in cooking and the essential oil in potpourri, lotions, soaps or whatever." [http://homecooking.about.com/library/archive/blherb1.htm] There's a longer article with excellent information here: http://www.ibiblio.org/herbmed/faqs/medi-4-1-distilling.html
  • It's surprisingly easy! Instructions for extracting the essential oil from lavender can be found here: http://www.ehow.com/how_2193197_do-steam-distillation-home.html
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