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Essential oils Products & Tools

Essential oils products have been extracted from plants for centuries and one of the earliest methods that is still heavily used today is steam distillation. Some people think that distilled essential oils using this method are the only oils that healers and aroma therapists should use. It’s a simple process where the plants are not damaged and no chemicals are used.

In order to use steam distillation, the plants are put in a special still which has a vessel for heating the plant. Once the plant is inside, steam is piped in and the heat from the steam encourages the plant to release it’s essential oils. Molecules of essential oils rise with the steam which is contained in a closed system.

These vapors, which contain the essential oils, are trapped in a closed system and then cooled which causes them to condense and become liquid. Once liquid the oil rises to the top and is captured for use. The water is also used as a milder form of essential oils called hydrosols.

The temperature of the steam is constantly monitored – it needs to be hot enough to release the oils but not so hot that it damages the plant and, therefore, the oils.

There is another way to get distilled essential oils and that is with water distillation. With this method the plants are submerged in water which is then brought to a boil. Once again, this causes the plant to release it’s oils which float to the top and are extracted for use. This is an alternative method from the steam method as it uses less pressure as well as heat so plants that are more fragile and can’t tolerate the steam method might use water distillation.

A newer method called hydro distillation is said to take less time and produce more oils but many prefer the age old method discussed in the first paragraph.

Distilled essential oils are a traditional method of getting the plant to release it’s oils without harming the plant or introducing harmful chemicals into the oils – it’s a more natural approach to a substance that is used for natural healing.

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