Steam distillation may sound fancy and complicated but it is actually very easy to do at home. You do not need some highly advanced equipment to create this process. All you need is a few tools from your kitchen and any dried plant from your garden. Read on to learn more.
- The first thing that you need to do is to get a relatively large pot and place it on your stove. Fill it with any dried herb, plant or flower like Lavender, Vanilla, and the like. Put water in the pot until the dried plant is completely covered or submerged. Get a vegetable steamer and put it on top of the pot. Make sure it is open. Prepare a measuring glass cup and put it at the center of the vegetable steamer.
- Cover the vegetable steamer with the lid of the pot upside down. The handle of the lid should be above the glass cup. It is important that the lid fits perfectly well to avoid losing any steam and heat on the sides. To begin the process of distillation, turn the heat on to the highest settings. Wait for the water to boil. The water is already boiling if the cover is hazy or foggy. As soon as you see this, immediately put ice on the lid to create condensation. As the ice melts (leaving behind a puddle on the lid), the steam will be faster. When the ice is completely melted, turn off the fire. Carefully remove the lid and discard the puddle of water in it. Make sure you use potholders.
- You will now see the measuring glass cup that you have placed at the center of the vegetable steamer. Carefully lift the cup and pour the liquid substance in a clean, sterilized container with an opening at the bottom (preferably sealed by a stopcock for a more air tight effect). Use a funnel to avoid spilling the contents. Close it off real tight on the top opening and shake the bottle vigorously. Invert the container making the stopcock on top now. Slowly pull off the cover to release the pressure. Wait for a few minutes. As the content begins to settle, you will see the essential oil and hydrosol (the water from the steam distillation, also known as essential water) separate. When you see a clear line that separates the two, you can now get the essential oil. Remember, get the one that is floating on top of the water. Be very careful when doing this. You would not want to waste any essential fragrant oil and water during this process.
- Add a little water on the pot and repeat these steps four to seven times, depending on the amount of dried plant you have put in. Put both in an airtight bottle and store in the refrigerator. If you will not use the essential water immediately, add a splash of pure vodka in it to avoid bacterial contamination.
How amazingly easy it is to do this! You do not even need to spend anything. The best part is, you can make profit by selling the essential oils and waters as a perfume, air freshener and the like. Good luck!