Monday, May 28, 2012

making lavender oil

I go through a lot of lavender oil... a few drops are so nice in a hot bath, or in the car or closet, and then the biggest quantities I use to infuse rice for the little herbal therapy pillows I make.

So I started wondering why I wasn't making it myself instead of buying half-ounce bottles that are about $12 each?  I found varying recipes that involved shoving lavender into dark bottles with olive or almond oil and letting it steep for a month or two to make a 'carrier' oil, which wouldn't be pure lavender oil, and doesn't it sound greasy unless you just want it for a massage or the bath?... or steam distilling, which overwhelmed me the deeper I got into it... and then, I stumbled across a very simple recipe on this blog, which I think is a crude method of the 'solvent' technique for extracting essential oil using alcohol (to put it very roughly and vaguely).  Oils extracted this way are not 100 % pure, as 2 - 3% of the solvent remains in the oil, but their fragrance is supposedly very potent, and as far as I can tell, there isn't anything harmful about a little bit of solvent residue.  Anyway, in the spirit of inexpensive experimentation, I've attempted the blogger's simple technique, which the doubter side of me is thinking is too simple to be legitimate.  If it fails, I've lost a couple cups of lavender and a couple cups of Aristocrat vodka.  The time it took to lightly crush and chop the lavender was time I enjoyed outside on the porch on a beautiful evening.  If the recipe works, I will have my very own homemade lavender oil around June 7th.  We'll see!

No comments:

Post a Comment