How to extract Rosemary oil

How to extract rosemary oil

This post will provide simple instructions on how to extract rosemary oil in the comfort of your own home.

Rosemary is one of those plants that seems to be bursting from the bottom with aroma. By squeezing a cluster of the narrow, dense pine like leaves, it releases a rush of the unique and refreshing fragrance. You’ll be glad to discover that this aromatic plant is sun-loving and very easy to cultivate in pots on a deck or balcony. So gathering enough Rosemary to extract the oils from is very simple.

How to extract rosemary oil
Rosemary grows everywhere so getting the freshest plant material is so easy

How to extract Rosemary oil

Plants’ essential oils are stored in their cells, in this case the majority are found in the quill-like leaves of the Rosemary plant. Rosemary oil can be extracted in a variety of ways, the common ones are steam distillation and water distillation.

But before we get started you should keep in mind that the oil required for cooking differs from that required for aromatherapy, in that they are very volatile concentrated products. Often the natural functions of essential oils are unknown; although the ones we do know of are often used to help the plant survive by repelling insects or enhancing the plants ability to reproduce.

The concentrated nature of essential oils means that there is a chance that if ingested, there may be harmful effects on human.

Extracting Rosemary oil using water distillation.

To make Rosemary oil using water distillation, the plant material should be soaked in water for up to 3 hours.

The wet plant material is then heated in order to boil of the water and with it the essential oils.

The steam and oils then separate from the plant material and can be cooled, resulting in a condensate that can then be collected.

If you had the right equipment water distillation could be carried out under reduced (vacuum) pressure, allowing the temperature to be kept below boiling. This would assist in the protection and preservation of some of the more sensitive plant materials, although water distillation remains the the most simple and straight forward way of collecting essential oils.

Extracting Rosemary oil using steam distillation.

Essential oils are produced in similar way to the water distillation method, except that instead of having the plant material soaked in hot water and heated, steam is passed through the rosemary, much like one would steam vegetables.

The steam opens the cells which contain the essential oils, and then the steam with the oils flow into the settling tank. There the two products cool and the condensate can be collected.

Like the water distillation method this condensate will contain essential oil and water-soluble plant material or hydrosols. The essential oil, like all oils should be found on the surface and can be physically separated from there.

Using a still makes distilling essential oils very easy as every still contains a heating element and a condensate collection area. We here at Besthomestills have reviewed affordable stills that are small enough to fit on the average kitchen stove, which means that you can save space, setup and cleaning time. All essential oils are so easy to make we encourage everyone to give it a go.

How to extract Rosemary oil
You’ll need about a cup of the freshest Rosemary you can find.

How to infuse Rosemary oil into a massage oil.

You can also extract Rosemary oils from the leaves by infusing it into a base oil. This is a great way to create your own massage oils.

 Here’s what you’ll need:

• 1 cup fresh rosemary leaves.

• 2 cups sunflower oil (or any other low odor neutral oils)

• Slow cooker

• Strainer

• Bowl (wooden would be best)

• Small airtight glass container-heat for 5 minutes to wash the jar and cover it, then leave to air-dry.

Measure out one cup of fresh Rosemary leaves picked from the stem. Your kitchen will smell lovely just by picking the quills from the stems. Dried Rosemary could be used, however, the aroma will not be as rich or pleasant.

Heat the rosemary leaves in the slow cooker on high.

Add in two cups of oil, while any oil can be used it is best to use one with a high-temperature boil with low-odor oil, like sunflower or safflower oil, as compared to the high aromatic oil like olive oil.

Mix the rosemary leaves gently with a wooden spoon a few times in the Rosemary leaves, and then let heat for six hours. Metal is very reactive and by using wooden spoon you remove the possibility of any impurities transferring into the oil. 

After six hours, turn down the heat. Using a strainer, pour the hot oil into a dish to cool for an hour. Ensure it is sufficiently cooled before transferring it to a new jar.

 If you want to preserve your new oil, cover the jar and keep it in a cool dark area.  The Rosemary-and-oil-filled glass jar can be rested for at least a week in direct sunlight. After which it can be removed.

Please be aware, that some essential oils should not be ingested or applied to the skin without being fully aware of the risks. Some essential oils are potentially toxic with very small amounts being able to cause sever distress on the human body, please leave essential oils for smelling. 

For more wonderful guides to making your own essential oils at home please see our guide here.

How to make homemade essential oils

how to make homemade essential oils

A complete guide to creating homemade essential oils using you new distiller.

Making essential oils is easy. With the right equipment anyone can do it

Did you know that essential oils have been utilized for decades by numerous civilizations all over the world? There are various uses for essential oils, including spiritual and beauty goals, and some people use them to improve their emotional traits.

Essential oils are also made from numerous different plants, so they can be expensive to purchase. The good news is that you can create various essential oils whenever you want and at relatively low costs, right in your own house. If you’ve been looking for a sign to start making your essential oils, this is it! With a simple and entertaining step-by-step approach, we’ll show you how to make your own oils using an essential oil distiller.





How to make homemade essential oils.

  1. Gathering the plant’s raw materials

    Growing your own plants allows you to have more control over the content and harvest, as plants harvested at the correct time yield the most excellent oils. However, you’ll still need to conduct extensive study to identify the best ways to maximize your harvest, as you’ll need to consider factors such as harvest season, harvest time (morning vs. evening), and various handling procedures. But, if you don’t have enough time to plant, you can easily buy plants. Just be sure to choose the healthiest plants available, especially those cultivated organically without chemicals.
  1. The plant material, To dry or not to dry?

    It will always depend on the type of your raw material; however, you can boil or steam the plant materials to coagulate protein and cook other components in the plant material, so partially freeing the oil for extraction. However, one disadvantage of this method is that the oil frequently contains little moisture, which can be eliminated if desired.

    If you decide to dry your plants, keep in mind that this will reduce the amount of oil in each plant, but it will boost your output per batch because you’ll be able to fit a lot more material into each batch. But keep in mind that drying should be done carefully and away from direct sunshine.
how to make homemade essential oils
  1. Preparing the water for the still

    Make absolutely sure the still is clean before you begin in order to avoid contaminating your batch of oils with other potentially rancid oils. The distiller will be used as a boiler, so make sure there’s enough water in the still to finish the distillation; otherwise, it’ll fail, and you’ll be wasting your time. You can fill the pot of your still to the suggested volume for the oil you’re making, which is between 35 and 50 percent. After the water boils, the distillation might take anywhere between 30 minutes to 6 hours or more, but that will depend on the type of plant and the quantity.
  1. Add Plant Material To Still

    In this step, you can begin to fill the plant bag with your plant material, being sure to cram it in as often as possible. Do not slice the plant material, leading the plant material to lose some of its oils. Essential oils are extremely concentrated forms of plants from which they are produced, according to studies, so a normal-sized bottle of essential oil will require a large amount of plant material.
  1. Heat The Still

    You must set the boiler’s heat to high, but you may always lower the temperature if necessary once the boiling point has been reached. You could now turn on the water for the condenser once the still has begun to heat up. Remember that the condensing water should be turned on at 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. Filter The Collected Oil

    After you’ve collected all of the oil, the next step is to filter it. This can be done by straining it through a clean cheesecloth before funneling it into its final containers with a clean funnel.
  1. Preserve, Store and Enjoy

    You’ll need a lot of plant material to make a significant amount of essential oil. Don’t be startled if you only have 1 millimeter of oil left after a single run; this is very normal.

    You should keep your homemade essential oils in stainless steel or dark glass containers since they will last longer. Store it in a cool, dry location and away from direct sunlight to ensure the longest shelf life.
  1. Clean The Still

    After you’ve completed all of the previous steps, it’s time to clean the still. To ensure that the still is fully cleaned, rinse it thoroughly and wipe away any residue.

Have you been inspired to start creating your own essential oils at home see our guide on purchasing a new distiller?