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How Essential Oils Are Being Extracted From Plants The essential oils that are often used in aromatherapy are often extracted from roots, leaves of plants, barks and flowers. And the process on which essential oils are extracted from these sources are called distillation. The distillation process is a lengthy process but, this ensures the extraction of oil without affecting the quality. Basically, distillation is the way of extracting the required component from the liquid through process of condensation and heating. As a matter of fact, there are different ways of distillation for essential oils and this includes: Water distillation – what is done here is pouring the water first in a container and other raw materials as well for boiling. The oil is separated from water since water and oil are insoluble substances. The separated oil is then stored in a container for further use.
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And while the process might seem simple to do, it is actually a time consuming one. This particular method helps in maintaining properties of oil as water is preventing it from overheating and as a result, it is restricting evaporation of beneficial components in it.
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Steam + Water Distillation – steam and water combined pushes the oil out of plants and from there, the essential oils are being gathered, leaving the steam behind. Steam Distillation – for this process, plant extracts are placed inside a container and the lid is put on it so the steam will not evaporate. As soon as it begins to release oil, the extracts will be steamed. It is vital to have controlled temperature while doing this method. The temperature should be set accordingly and it must be enough for extracts to release the oil and not burn it. After the steam process is over, the steam that contains the essential oil is condensed by passing it in a specialized cooling system. The steam condensed forms liquid from where the water is separated from oil. This process is quite cumbersome while extracting only little amount of oil. Hydro Diffusion – in this process of distillation, the steam is fed from top on botanical material instead of the bottom. Cohobation – it’s usually applied for the extraction of rose oil in this method. The process makes rose oil via water distillation. The oil is being extracted and its components are named as phenyl ethyl alcohol are dissolved to distilled water and doesn’t form a part of extracted essential oils. The phenyl ethyl alcohol is distilled from water and then, it is added back to oil in the right proportion in order to form rose oil. The entire process not to mention is quite daunting and lengthy.