How to extract lavender oil

Written by joan reinbold
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How to extract lavender oil
A Pot of Lavender (Petr Kratochvil)

The essential oil lavender is extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant--a plant that is native to the Mediterranean, but has spread to other areas of the world. There are several ways to extract the essential oil from the lavender flower. This method uses distillation, which entails the boiling and condensing of liquid. The ratio of lavender oil is 0.907 to 2.27kg. of lavender blooms (the whole spike) for 29.6ml of oil.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Brick
  • Large pan
  • Dish, heat proof
  • Stainless-steel bowl
  • Ice
  • Water
  • Separating funnel
  • Lavender blooms, whole spikes
  • Ladle

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Clean the brick. This helps to prevent any residue from being incorporated into the essential oil.

  2. 2

    Center the brick in the bottom of a large pan. Fill the pot with the lavender spikes until you reach the top edge of the brick. Fill the pot with water until you reach the top edge of the brick.

  3. 3

    Place the heat-proof dish on top of the brick.

  4. 4

    Place a stainless steel bowl on top of the pan. The bowl should rest on the rim of the pot, above the dish. Fill it with ice.

  5. 5

    Heat the water in the pot to a simmer. Cook for approximately three hours. While it simmers, put more ice in the bowl as it melts. Scoop out melted water with a ladle.

  6. 6

    Cool the pan. Remove the stainless-steel bowl, and pour out all of the ice and water.

  7. 7

    Remove the glass dish. It now has a mixture of water and oil.

  8. 8

    Separate the water and oil using a separating funnel. Close the valve on the bottom of the funnel. Fill it with the liquid from the heat-proof dish. Hold the funnel over the stainless-steel bowl. Open the valve on the funnel, and carefully watch the water as it drains. As soon as oil starts to pour out, close the valve.

Tips and warnings

  • Store the oil in coloured glass bottles in a cool dark place.
  • Label oil bottles to differentiate from other substances.
  • Don't use rubber stoppers since the oil destroys them.
  • Keep oil away from direct sunlight.

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