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Re: [pfaf] Plants for distillation/Aromatherapy

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  • astobart
    Hi Terry There seem be 2 main problems in home production of essential oils - one is the quantity of plant material needed for producing a realistic amount.
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 30, 2005
      Hi Terry
      There seem be 2 main problems in home production of essential oils - one is the quantity of plant material needed for producing a realistic amount. This is because most oils from steam distillation are produced in very small amounts - maybe 2 or 3% at most - even less for true essential oil of lavender where half a percent is likely. The other problem is the need for suitable equipment which includes a sealed pot in which to pass steam through the plant material and a condenser to cool down the steam - great if you have easy access to laboratory supplies, otherwise there are quite expensive copper or stainless steel stills on sale outside the UK (see www.homedistiller.org and related sites for sources). I have used a pressure cooker full of fresh lavender tops with several pints of water, fitted with a plastic tube that cooled in a sink of cold water - this produced a few drops of lavender essential oil and about a pint of rather nice aromatic lavender water. However the process nearly melted the plastic tubing and would not be very practical or safe to repeat!
       
      Perhaps worth looking at infused oils too as these are much easier to make. For example there are recipes for infused rose oil and also rosemary oil in:
      Christopher Hedley and Non Shaw, Herbal Remedies: A Practical Beginners Guide to Making Effective Remedies in the Kitchen, 1997, Parragon Books
       
      Best wishes
      Anne
      Anne Stobart, MNIMH
      Consultant Medical Herbalist
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Thursday, October 27, 2005 8:59 PM
      Subject: [pfaf] Plants for distillation/Aromatherapy

      I'm afraid I'm not a gardener but fascinated with the idea of making
      my own essential oils,albeit in a small way using volatile fragrant
      plants or herbs.
      I know and understand the process but have no idea what plants would
      be suitable or easier to utilize.For example:Are there dried herbs and
      flowers that could be used?
      Does anyone know of any reading material that would be helpful?
      Best regards,

      Terry 



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