A Complete Steam Distillation Kit - with Grapefruit Peel in the Material/Holding Flask.
Here is the Hot Plate, which will heat up the water in the boiling flask, causing steam to rise through the plant material, this is how the oils will become seperated from the plant material.
Here is another aspect or view. 1. Black Hot Plate will heat water to boiling temperature. 2. The boiling flask sits on top of the Hot plate, steam is created here and forced upwards into the plant holding flask. 3. Steam will move upwards into glass elbow, which connects to the long tube, called a condenser. 4. This long tube is essentially two tubes in one. The inner tube is where the steam will condense, because the outer tube has cold water, running through it ..
This condenser is where the oils drop out of the steam and are essentially separated for a moment in time. There are two plastic tubes, one going into the top of the condenser, bringing cold water in, and one coming out the bottom, taking the water back to a plastic tub filled with ice or frozen water bottles.
Here is a piece of glass ware called a Separator. This is where the Hydrosol and Essential Oil can be made to go their separate ways. Note the Essential Oil sitting on top of the Hydrosol. The Hydrosol is being pushed off and into the mason jar on the right side of the photo. Both the Essential Oil and The Hydrosol is what I am after! Hydrosols are often called Floral Waters. Note the Essential Oil of Grapefruit Peel here is fairly colorless.
Chopped up Rosemary leaf and small stem in the Holding Flask.
A complete set up with Artemisia tridentata, or New Mexico Sage Brush.
A Student photo of some of the Amazing Essential Oils and Hydrosol/Floral Waters we made during one of my Essential Oil Making Workshops.
This is the plant medicine - Yerba Mansa, that literally started me on my journey with making my own essential oils.
Photo Credit - Voyage Botanica Student!
Making your own essential oils is fairly easy. About 4 years ago, I really knew nothing about how to make my own essential oils.
One day, I was working with one of my favorite medicine plants - Yerba Mansa and I decided, I really wanted an essential oil from this plant. I intuitively felt that the oil would be an important herbal first aid item to have in my kit. Maybe life saving, for super viral and bacterial infections.
So, I went searching to purchase the oil. Of course no one sold or even had thought to make one from Yerba Mansa. I decided then to teach myself on how to make my own essential oils. I choose Steam Distillation, because it is effective, fairly inexpensive, and there is enough information on this method from the last 500 years. Actually, Steam Distillation might date back over 2000 years!
After achieving my heart's desire to have a essential oil from Yerba Mansa, well, one plant led to the next, and four years later, I now teach other people how to do this for themselves. It is liberating when you make your very first essential oil! So very, very cool.
While, I believe a lot of people can figure this out for themselves, the actual class that I have designed, pretty much takes out the initial mystery of how to do it. Once a person sees how to set up everything, and once we have made a few oils ... you are essentially there at this new doorway, you now can go through.
A basic kit and an introduction essential oil class might cost you - $700 to $900. The cost for my classes actually vary, depending on where I hold it and how bare bones I can make it. However, that still is a fair amount of money for most of us!
Is such a venture worth it?
I have estimated that one of the basic kits that you might start out with and is ~$500.00 in cost, with everything you need, could very well, (If you take care of it and do not break pieces!) ... MAKE you over $10,000.00 worth of Essential Oils and Hydrosol. It is liberating, in the fact that there are endless unique medicines and products just waiting to be made with your local and abundant plants!
Yes, it is worth it just from the dollar investment aspect. It is worth it for many reasons, and another big reason is the fact that when you make your own oils, you are self sufficient and not dependent on big commercial oil companies. You also, know what is actually in your oils.
As essential oils become more and more popular ... adulterants and contaminants, become more and more of an issue. Making your own EO's, can assure you of the purity, not to mention save you a lot of dollars over the years.
There is also another fact. That while there are many different essential oils out there being made and many of these can be purchased, there are probably more that are not available ... and only you or I can make them. There are many amazing ones that I have made which are NOT available in commerce. A whole frontier of exploration awaits ...
To be continued ... (An immense topic after all!)