Aromatherapy is becoming one of the most popular alternative methods of achieving psychological and physical well-being. It involves the use of several kinds of scents by means of essential oils – the distilled essences of aromatic plants.
Distillation of essential oils isn’t an easy process, and it requires time, money, equipment and tons of knowledge in chemistry. Of course you can come scrambling for the nearest natural health and beauty products stores to buy essential oils. But you might be surprised that they don’t come cheap. The price of essential oils greatly depends on the rarity of the plant, the amount of oil yielded by the plant, and where the plant is grown and harvested.
But did you know that you can actually make your very own essential oils right in your own home, and without all those chemistry laboratory apparatuses?
To begin, you’ll need a collection of glass jars and bottles. You need not purchase them; you can simply recycle them from marmalade or jam jars or any bottle available. However, you must make sure that they’re clean and sterilized. How do you sterilize them? It’s as easy as cleaning them first in hot soapy water, then boiling them in a large pan for 20-30 minutes. Make sure that while boiling, they’re completely soaked in water, and that their insides are filled with water as well.
The next step is gathering your plants. Now you should ask yourself: what sort of essential oil do you need? Do you need something that will relax your mind? Or do you need something that will help keep you alert? There’s plenty of time for that. But in the meantime, since this is your very first attempt at making your very own essential oils, it’s best to stick with common strong aromatic plants like rose, lavender or rosemary. These 3 are some of the most popular scents out there, and are great to keep at home because they help uplift you mood, heal minor skin injuries like cuts, abrasions and burns, and are a great additive to your cooking too!
You should get at least a cup of their petals. Now the oil that will serve as a base should be related to the purpose you have in mind. If you intend use your essential oils for massage or cosmetic purposes, you can use either baby oil or almond oil. If you intend to use your essential oils for cooking, you can use olive oil. You may also use safflower or canola oils.
Place the petals inside the sterilized glass jars or bottles. You may also place stems of the plants. Now pour the oil of your choice, again depending on the purpose you have in mind, making sure that the jars or bottles are full. It is recommended that you use 2 cups of oil base for every 1 cup of plant material.
The next step is capping the jars or bottles tightly and placing them in a warm spot in the house. This could be on the window sill where the sun shines directly, next to the heater, or in a spot close to the back of the refrigerator. Leave it there for a few days for the oil to infuse, or until the petals and the stems begin to brown.
If the aromatherapy essential oil is not strong enough for you after a few days, you can simply replace the plant materials with fresh ones, and leave to infuse for more days.