What is an essential oil? Let’s learn the difference, and how to make lavender essential oil..
The art of making floral essential oils dates back to several centuries. Folk medicine was a practice that made use of plants to take out the extracts in the form of floral waters, essential oils or merely botanical oils.
With time, the trend of using essential oils has spread widely throughout the globe, and various kinds of essential oils are now a part of the medicine and cosmetic industries. But in recent decades, as the concept of aromatherapy took over the globe, essential oils got the hype back.
How is essential oil different from infused oil?
There is a fine line between infused oils and essential oils. Although both have the same aroma and properties, but still, the concentration and strength of chemicals matter a lot.
Infused oils are more diluted and have lower concentrations of the chemicals in it while essential oils are rich in compounds that are present in the respective plant material.
Infused oils can be obtained by simply soaking the plant parts into any oil and getting the extract of the plant into the oil. On the contrary, the essential oil is the extraction of chemicals in a systematic way. Generally done in a distillation apparatus by the steam distillation process.
Essential oils that are commonly found and used for many different purposes:
Many types of essential oils are now used in making several skincare, hair and medicinal products. Some of the most important essential oils that are used in different industries are:
Cedar Wood essential oil
Peppermint essential oil
Eucalyptus essential oil
Chamomile essential oil
Lemon essential oil
Lavender essential oil
And besides these many other oils are also available in the market. In this article were are going to pin down the mysterious therapeutic as well as cosmetic powers of lavender essential oil. And also different methods of lavender essential oil preparation.
So just skip to your desired part and give it a read for an easy guide towards lavender essential oil preparation.
What are the specifications of lavender essential oil?
The exceptional healing and moisturizing power of this magic oil makes it one of the most versatile and widely used oils in the whole world. Extracted from the plant Lavandula angustifolia, different parts of the plant can be used to remove the oil.
But extensively used part is the vibrant purple colored buds or flowers. The buds are subjected to various methods in order to extract the oil. Some of the methods are elaborated later in this article.
The mystic powers and benefits of lavender oil:
To jot down all the benefits of lavender oil in a single article is almost impossible. This extraordinary oil has seen to have multiple properties.
Lavender oil has anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antiseptic, anti fungal, antimicrobial and antibacterial effect. But that’s not it; lavender oil also promotes a nerve-calming effect when massaged throughout the body.
Lavender oil treats headache, nausea and works as a decongestant in soothing sore throat and cough symptoms.
Sleep disorders and insomnia can be effectively treated by the help of lavender oil. It can help in combating depression and anxiety and relaxes the body.
Skincare and haircare departments are also producing tons of products containing lavender essential oil because of its anti-acne and skin tightening effect.
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How to make lavender essential oil:
The preparation of lavender essential oil can be both easy and hard, depending on the method of preparation you’re opting. From simply inundating the buds in the oil to steam distilling the flowers, you can use any method according to your will.
Quick tip: make sure to sun dry your lavender buds or flowers to boost your oil yield.
The methods that can be used for extracting lavender essential oil are;
Boiling or steaming
All of these methods can be carried out for the extraction of oil from the buds/flowers. But the exclusively exact way to obtain the pure essential oil is steam distillation.
How to make lavender essential oil without a still?
Though the distillation process yields the purest oil, but the process may cost you a fortune. Hence, a budget-friendly approach to extract the lavender oil would be without a still. The two commonly used DIY ways to get lavender oil without still are
Lavender oil in a crock pot: Take a crock pot of your desired size and put some lavender flowers or buds in it. Fill the crock pot with water and turn the flame on. Let the mixture cook for about 24 to 36 hours. Let the mixture rest in sunlight for at least a week. After that, collect the upper layer of the oil in a blue or amber glass container. You can remove any traces of water by keeping the container in sunlight.
Lavender oil on the stove top: This method is even easier, take your lavender in a cheesecloth or a mesh to keep it separated. Take any regular pot and fill it with water, now put the cloth/mesh in the pot and let it simmer for 24-36 hours. After that, remove the cloth and collect the layer of oil on top of the water.
How to make lavender essential oil with vodka:
This method is beyond your imagination easy; you just need to have a handful of lavender buds, two cups of vodka and a glass container. The steps to make lavender oil with vodka are as follows.
Take your glass container and put all the lavender buds you want to get extracted in it.
Pour the vodka in the jar and seal it with the cap.
Keep the jar in sunlight for at least two weeks.
Don’t forget to give your mixture a good shake from time to time.
After two weeks, remove the vodka and press the leaves to get the lavender goodness in the form of oil.
For a better yield of your oil, press the flowers again and strain the oil from a coffee filter. This straining will remove all traces of moisture from your oil, and it will last a lot longer.
How to make lavender essential oil with coconut oil:
The heavenly aroma of coconut oil, when mixed with lavender oil, is nothing less than the smell of Eden that soothes and relaxes the body. Besides, it also has some moisturizing and skin-clearing effects.
Making lavender-infused coconut oil is as easy as ABC.
The whole setup takes about 10 minutes to get completed and then the mixture is left to infuse. Here is the entire process divided into manageable steps.
The ratio of lavender and coconut oil while making the infusion is 1:10.
One oz dried lavender is infused in ten oz coconut oil.
Collect your dried buds and put them in a glass container
Add the coconut oil in your container until the buds are entirely immersed in oil.
Shake the container and seal it with the lid completely.
Let the mixture infuse for about 7 to 10 days approx.
After that, strain your oil with the help of cheesecloth or strainer into a clear glass jar by using a funnel.
Your lavender-infused coconut oil is all ready to be used. You can store this oil for about a year without any problem.
How to make lavender essential oil for bedbugs:
As stated earlier, lavender oil is a multipurpose oil, and its benefits are hard to be summed up. So one astonishing advantage of lavender essential oil is that it can also work as an insecticide and pesticide. The insecticidal power of lavender oil makes it most popular in various insecticides preparations. Its intense aroma repels many insects, especially bedbugs.
A competent DIY lavender oil will not only vanish all the bedbugs from your furniture but also keep them away for a more extended period of time.
Now, you can use various materials or liquids to mix with your lavender oil to make a bedbug spray. These liquids can be witch hazel, bergamot essential oil, cedar-wood essential oil and lavender essential oil. Below are the steps to make the bed bug spray.
Just grab a spray bottle of any desired size and quantity.
Mix all the ingredients by pouring them into the spray bottle.
Shake well, and your bedbug spray is ready.
Generally the ratio for this would be 20 to 1. Or a 5% solution to distilled water.
You can use this spray at the corners of your bed or your mattress to avoid any bedbug infestation.
Extra tips and tricks regarding lavender essential oil:
Try using fresh buds instead of dried and old buds. Fresh buds result in more oil yields.
Chop your flowers/buds finely in order to increase the surface volume. This will again end up giving you more oil.
Use distilled water for your extraction processes to avoid any contamination of the oil.
The more plants you have, the more oil you will get. So try to grab as many flowers as you can.
So if you are planning on preparing lavender essential oil yourself, you don’t have to worry anymore. You can follow these processes to make your very own DIY lavender oil efficiently at home.