Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How to Extract Your Own Essential Oils With Grain Alcohol

Just as there are many varieties of essential oils there are many various uses for them. From aromatherapy to health care, pure essential oils have become very popular. They of course can be used in spells and potions. Your own home made magical oils what could be better than that?

There are a few methods of extracting essential oils from herbs and plants one of the most potent being the use of grain alcohol. Alcohol is ideal for extracting fats, resins, waxes and most plant alkaloids. It is an excellent preservative and is quickly assimilated. 
 Have fun play with your scents and flowers, create your own signature scents and unique blends. You can use some tried and true Hoodoo recipes like "Follow me Boy" or my Favorite Cleo May Oil, which smells divine!

Items needed
blender or food processor
Wide mouth jar
grain alcohol
dried Herbs or flowers
Cheese cloth
2 cup capacity sauce pan
Electric stove or electric burner
Dark colored bottles

Step one
Chop dried herbs or flowers in blender or food processor. Pour chopped herbs into wide mouth jar.
Cover herbs with grain alcohol until the chopped or powdered particles are either floating or completely covered. Vodka, gin or Everclear are some of the grain alcohols often used to extract essential oils. Close jar tightly, shake jar and store in a dark cool place.

Step Two
Let herb and alcohol sit for a few hours, shaking and gently inverting it every 15minutes. Strain the liquid from the solid material through a cheesecloth into the sauce pan. Twist and squeeze cheesecloth tightly to extract as much of the liquid as possible. Repeat step one and two, reusing the same plant material for dense or heavy herbs or flowers.

Step Three

Use this step only if you have an electric stove or burner. Do not use a gas stove to cook down alcohol as this can result in a fire. Place sauce pan on electric burner and turn on lowest setting. Watch the liquid closely, it should never go over a slight boil. Allow liquid to cook until slightly thickened. This step burns off the alcohol leaving the pure essential oil. Once the liquid is the consistency of heated oil remove from heat. Allow to cool then use funnel to pour finished oil into the dark colored bottle. Seal, label and date your oil.

If you do not have an electric stove or burner.

If you have no electric stove or burner stop at step two. Instead of letting the mixture sit for a few hours it will have to sit for three to four weeks. This will allow time for the alcohol to evaporate on its own. Shake mixture once a day to keep it from settling. Check liquid after three weeks to see determine if the alcohol has evaporated. Once it has evaporated use funnel to pour finished oil into the dark colored bottle.
Seal, label and date your bottles.

Next post I will share a few of my favorite oil recipes.