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Understanding the extraction methods for essential oil

For centuries, civilizations have sought to capture the healing benefits of plants. The proper extraction of an essential oil’s volatile properties, which causes oil to smell and have inhalation benefits, is crucial to maintaining oil’s integrity and potency. There are four types of extraction: expression, solvent extraction, CO2 extraction and distillation. Oil extraction kits in USA includes everything you need to maximize your oil extraction experience and results.

Extraction of essential oils

The extraction spectrum is those oils that are solvent are extracted. This costly method bathes the plant material in a solvent that extracts its volatile parts. Solvent extraction is mainly done on flower petals such as a rose or jasmine, which may be too delicate for the heat or steam and pressure required in the other methods. High temperatures are used to evaporate the solvent bath, and a crystallized fragrant substance is left. The oil created from this crystallized substance, called an absolute, is often more pricey due to the minuscule amounts of oils obtained from the process and the cost of the process itself. Occasionally solvents are used to finish the distillation process.

The new one on extraction’s block is CO2 extraction. Oils are rendered in this process, very similar to how coffee is decaffeinated. Low temperatures are used, which makes it suitable for maintaining important oil aspects.

Distillation- the best method

Distillation, the tried and true method, has been around for 1000s of years. It is the most common. Distillation pushes vaporized water through plant material, releasing its precious oils. The oil and steam are separated as they travel through the process. The water is drained off, and the remaining oil is retrieved. The temperature at which distillation occurs is critical to the balance of chemicals within the oil. Minimal temperatures and pressures are best, and effective temperatures vary from plant to plant. Distilling at high temperatures is cheaper and shortens distillation time for oil producers, but damages and essential oil’s chemical. It may result in a very fragrant but not therapeutic essential oil. This integral factor can render oil completely ineffective therapeutically.

The shape of the distiller is essential. Most distillation units are domed, causing steam to flow back into the material and causing the oil to lose its potency. Some distillation units are conical; these typically deliver better grade oil. One type of distillation unit, initially designed by D. Gary Young, involves low-temperature, low pressure, and a spiral vortex of steam. Young asserts that distilling in this way encourages steam to rise up and out into a condenser, preserving fragile essential oil components and giving them the most therapeutic effect.

Get proper chemical constituents

After any extraction process, assessing oil’s composition is very important so that the bottled oil is sure to hold the proper chemical constituents in the right proportions. Without this quality assurance, the therapeutic effects a user is expecting cannot be ensured. It is done with a Gas Chromatograph (GC) and Mass Spectrometer (MS). Likewise, any adulteration of oil (i.e. cutting it with carrier oils, alcohols, other solvents) decreases its effectiveness, increases health hazards, and takes away the beauty of using a completely natural substance to heal.

Viking Lab Supply is a trusted leader in supplying laboratory and chemistry equipment with a specialization in distillation. We also provide full consultation and training.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

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