Do you want to know how these pint sized powerhouses made it into your hands, with all the potent benefits that Mother Nature has to offer?
Let’s dig a little deeper on HOW ESSENTIAL OILS ARE MADE.
I have observed time and time again when people start using Essential Oils they have a keen interest to know how these pint sized powerhouses are made. People have been writing to me to know more about what goes into making of these wonderful oils. Instead of answering these questions individually I thought I would write a blog post so that everyone can learn a little bit more about what happens behind the scenes. (Quite excited to take you behind the scenes)
Various methods are used to make Essential Oils today we will discuss a few methods that are commonly used to make oils.
The one thing common in all Essential oils, is that all are made through the process of distillation. There are several specific ways to distill essential oils: steam distillation, water distillation, a combination of the two and a method called cold pressing that is used for citrus oils.
Distilling essential oils is an art and a science!
It is an Art because each plant is unique and each herb needs to be handled differently, great amount of prep work is needed to prepare the herbs for distillation. Different method of distillation may be required for different kind of herbs. We need to choose the best method for a particular herb so that the result is an essential oil which is of the highest standard.
It is a science because we need to understand how the process works from start to finish, from the time a plant is put into a machine to the time it comes out as an essential oil. It requires you to be vigilant through the process of distillation. You need to make sure the temperature is perfect, the time of operation is perfect. Distillation is quite a technical process if you falter in this step then the results can be very different.
The art and science of proper distillation is what creates an oil which is pure and one that promotes good health. This is what we strive for with all The Balance Mantra essential oils.
Different Grade of Essential Oils :
- Grade A: is regarded as therapeutic grade essential oil. They are regarded as the purest oil one can purchase and can be used in the largest variety of ways. ( All Balance Mantra Oils are Grade A)
- Grade B: Food grade Essential Oil. This grade can be used in food but may not be free of additives. ( We don’t promote the use of Essential Oils Internally)
- Grade C: Similar to oils we see in perfume or cosmetics.
- Grade D: is simply floral water. (Rose Water, Scented Waters are mostly Bi -products of the distillation process)
Steam distillation is one of the oldest methods of extracting essential oils and it remains even today as the most favorable method of extracting essential oil. If oils are extracted by any any other method apart from steam distillation or cold expression then it is not a therapeutic grade essential oil. All our oils are extracted using Steam Distillation process.
In all of the methods of steam distillation, steam is used to rupture the oil membranes in the plant and release the essential oil.
What is Water Distillation?
This method is where the plant material is placed in boiling water. The steam and oils are captured and then separated out to produce the essential oil. Clove essential oil is collected using water distillation.
What is Water/Steam Distillation?
This method is where steam and water are pushed around and though the plant material. And then the steam and oils are captured and then separated out to produce the essential oil. Nutmeg oil is collected using this method!
What is Straight Steam Distillation Method?
Distilling essential oils using the straight steam method involves pushing steam through the plant material and then picking up the essential oil. Lavender essential oil is distilled in this manner!
Cold Pressed Distillation
This method is also sometimes called expression and is commonly used to distill citrus oils such as lemon and tangerine.
Find the Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils Here.