Thursday, September 08, 2011
Introduction to Aromatherapy Distillation and ACHS Distillation Manual for Download
Distillation is the most widely used method for producing essential oils, and while the basic principle of distillation remains the same, the process of distillation is carried out in different ways depending on the plant material being distilled.
In general, the process of distillation requires steam to be passed through the plant material. The basic process is:
First plant material (this can be leaves, flowers, etc. depending on the specific plant) is loaded into the “retort” of the still. Then, steam is passed through the retort. The steam carries the essential oil out of the plant in droplets in the steam. The oil moves into the still’s condenser and the steam changes back to water. The water and oil then separate passively. In most cases the oil floats on the top. (There are exceptions depending on how heavy the oil is compared to the water.) The oil is separated from the water by dripping or pouring off the water from the top, leaving the essential oil.
To learn more about the art and science of aromatherapy distillation, download the American College Distillation Manual free here. Note, this PDF manual is password protected -- if you attend our recent distillation workshop on the ACHS campus, the password has been emailed to you.
If you were unable to attend our distillation workshop in person, not to worry! Subscribe to our holistic health and aromatherapy YouTube channel ACHStv, "Like" us on Facebook, then post a comment to this blog letting us know you're now an ACHS fan, and we'll send you the password to download our distillation manual (just be to sure to include a valid email).