Essential oils are used in perfumes, aromatherapy, in creams and lotions and for many other purposes. Several methods are used to extract essential oils from flowers and other plant materials. The essential oils is only a very small percentage of the plant or flower if a large amount of plant material is needed to produce a small amount of oil.
More than a hundred pounds may be needed to produce an ounce of oil. Essential oils can be expensive, but they are very concentrated. Most recipes only require a few drops so a small bottle will last for a long time.
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Steam Distillation of Essential Oil
The Steam distillation is used for most of the production of essential oil. Pressurized steam is passed through flowers or other plant material broadcast on screens inside a still. The oils are absorbed by water vapor which is then passed into another room and cooled.
By condensing the oil floats on top of water. The remaining water is not lost because it contains small amounts of oil can be used for toners and facial mists. As it is not as concentrated as essential oils flower water can be used by people who are sensitive to essential oils.