What is Lavender Essential Oil?
Interesting in learning how to make lavender essential oil? Lavender essential oil is a natural, medicinal substance extracted from the dried flowers of Lavandula angustifolia. It has been used in many cultures for centuries and has been found to be an excellent natural remedy for a wide variety of emotional and physical ailments. It is one of the most popular essential oils used today due to its versatility.
Lavender works by balancing out mood swings, alleviating tension, anxiety, and stress. It also helps with sleep problems, nervous conditions, and chronic pain.
Is Lavender Oil and Lavender Essential Oil the Same?
No. Lavender oil and lavender essential oil are two different things. Lavender essential oil is what is used in aromatherapy and spa treatments. So, it is not something that you would use in cooking or for other medicinal purposes.
In Lavender Oil, the dried flowers of Lavandula Officinalis (lavender) are steam distilled and the resultant liquid is in a water-based suspension with other essential oils. Normally it is diluted in a carrier oil such as almond, coconut or jojoba, before use.
Lavender Essential Oil, on the other hand, is very concentrated and contains just pure Lavandula officinalis essential oil. This oil is not diluted and should only be used sparingly.
How To Make Lavender Essential Oil: Steam Distillation
There are several ways to extract a Lavender-based oil, two common methods are tincture or extract, but to produce genuine essential oils – or high-quality aromatics – you must distill the flowers, then capture and condense the steam.
This process is also known as steam distillation, where the flowers are steamed to release their valuable essential oils. The hot steam from boiling water causes the oil to rise and collect at the top of the jar while leaving behind any impurities or plant material.
The process is not particularly fast or easy, and it requires distillation equipment. The main drawback of this method is the equipment and expertise that it takes to set up everything if you have not done this before.
But once you have done it a few times, the process becomes more streamlined, and you can produce pure essential oil for use in aromatherapy.
Before we get started, you will need:
- Distiller kit
- Fresh and dry lavender
- Glass jar
- Cotton ball
- Empty oil bottle
Step 1: Setup the distiller according to the instructions provided by the company. We recommend getting complete distillation equipment like VEVOR Moonshine. It has a thermometer and water circulation for rapid cooling – you do not need to purchase other parts to run the process.
Step 2: Fill the container with lavender and some water. You want to use the lavender plants that are grown organically, and make sure there are no chemical fertilizers or pesticides applied. 5oz of essential oil can be extracted from roughly 40lbs of lavender.
Step 3: Heat up the container with gas, electric coil stoves, or induction cooker. The lavender will release its oils into the air when heated in a sealed container, returning to liquid when cooled by circulating water.
Step 4: You will get the mixture of hydrosol and lavender essential oil through the condensation. Collect the liquid by a glass of jar for the next step.
Step 5: Because oil and water do not mix, you can easily use a pipette to separate essential oil and hydrosol. But you need to add a cotton ball on top of the empty oil bottle to strain the essential oil.
Voilà! You just DIY your lavender essential oil!
How To Keep Your Essential Oils Fresh
Essential oils are greatly beneficial, but they do have a shelf life. They can be expensive, so you must know how to keep them from going bad.
That way you will always have your favorite essential oil on hand when you need it most. Keep them fresh with these tips:
- Store them in dark glass jars or bottles.
- Keep them away from sunlight and heat sources like hot water pipes or radiators.
- Make sure the lid tightly seals over lids.
- Store the essential oil bottles in a UV protective case if you frequently travel with them.
Lavender Essential Oil: Top Six Health Benefits and Uses
- Lowering high blood pressure and regulating the heart.
- Improving sleep.
- Relieving stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Treating acne or eczema outbreaks with a topical application on the skin area affected.
- Reducing chronic pain from scar tissue formation after surgery. This type of pain is called “phantom limb” because it feels as if your limbs are still there even though they have been amputated. It may also be used for phantom joint pain in amputees who suffer continual burning sensations where their joints were removed to cure rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or other disorders that cause inflammation.
- Relieving muscle pain from overuse or injury because it stimulates the production of anti-inflammatory chemicals and a natural body heat regulator, which can be helpful for arthritis or other inflammation-related pain.