Essential oils are concentrated hydrophobic liquids that contain volatile chemical compounds from plants. These oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils, or simply as the oil of the plant from which they were extracted. Essential oils are used in a variety of products such as perfumes, cosmetics, soaps, and air fresheners. They are also used for flavoring food and drink, and for adding scents to incense and household cleaning products.
There are several methods for extracting essential oils from plants. The most common methods include steam distillation, cold pressing, and solvent extraction.
Steam distillation is the most commonly used method for extracting essential oils. In this process, harvested plant matter is placed in a distilling apparatus over boiling water. The steam pulls oil from the plant and rises into a vessel where it is pushed through a tube. The steam cools and condenses back into water, separating the oil from the water. The oil is then collected and the remaining water may become hydrosol, a product created from plants that contain water-soluble aromatic compounds.
Cold pressing is another method of extraction that usually involves the entire fruit. This method is used to extract citrus oils such as bergamot. The fruit is washed thoroughly and placed in a container where it is agitated by spikes or grating to bring the oils to the surface. Water is then sprayed over the fruit and mixed with the essential oil released from the punctured botanical material.
Essential oils are made through various extraction methods such as steam distillation and cold pressing. These methods allow for the separation of essential oils from plant matter, providing us with the fragrant oils we know and love.
I hope this blog post has provided you with valuable information on how essential oils are made. If you have any further questions or would like more information on this topic, feel free to ask.