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Essential oils extraction

To obtain essential oils the aromatic essence molecules of the plant must be captured by using a technical distillation or extraction method.

How to Extract Essential Oils?

There are many ways in which essential oils are extracted. A few of them are illustrated below:

Essential Oil Extraction - Distillation

The Egyptians stored their raw materials in large clay pots. Water are added and the pots heated so that steam rose and was pushed through a cotton cloth in the neck of the jar. This soaked up the essential oil which was then squeezed and pressed out into a collection vessel. The same principle remains in use today as high pressure steam is passed over the leaves or flowers in a sophisticated still often using a vacuum, so that the essential oils within them vaporize. When the steam carrying the essential oil passes though a cooling system, the oil condenses and cannot be separated easily from the water.

Essential Oil Extraction - Maceration

Flowers are soaked in hot oil to break down the cells, releasing their fragrance into the oil which is then purified and the essential oil is extracted.

Essential Oil Extraction - Enfleurage

This is the method by which flower essences such as Jasmine, Rose, which are more delicate and difficult to obtain are extracted. Flowers or petals are crushed between wooden framed, glass trays smeared with a greasy animal fat until the fat is saturated with their perfume.

Essential Oil Extraction - Pressing

This is a simple method of squeezing out literally, essential oils from the rinds and peel off ripe fruit such as orange and lemon into a sponge.

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