Ever wonder how essential oils for aromatherapy are actually made?
There are 3 basic ways to extract essential oils from plants.
The most popular way is steam distillation. With this method, plant material is placed in a still, and pressurized steam is used to extract the essential oils from the plant material.
Another method is maceration. This method actually results in an infused oil, rather than an essential oil. This involves steeping plant material in a vegetable oil. Sometimes heat is used in the process. Finally it is strained.
Solvent extraction is the least desirable method. Residues of chemicals can be left behind with this process. This may cause allergic reactions or other undesirable effects for people. It is always best to get your essential oils from quality, reliable sources.
The image on the right shows chamomile flowers. Chamomile essential oil is calming and anti-inflammatory.