While Eucalyptus essential oil is easily accessible through on-line websites and whole food stores, it can be educational, fun and rewarding to make your own oil at home. It is not nearly as difficult as one may think and can quickly become a great hobby. You can even grow your own Eucalyptus that will make this a great way to save money as well.
It is important to know that what you make at home will not have the same potency as what you can buy. This is because the essential oil that you purchase has been made through a steam distilling process, which cannot be imitated at home without the same complicated and expensive machinery. While there are home steam distillers, it is often advised against, as without proper training a high quality oil will not be produced. By using the following method, you will have a great substitute that still possesses the same chemical compounds that give Eucalyptus oil its amazing healing and medical properties.
What You Will Need
- Fresh Eucalyptus Leaves
Fresh Eucalyptus leaves will produce you with the best fragrance. These leaves can be straight from your garden or purchased. The only part of the plant that contains the oil is the leaves so discard any stems or woody pieces. If you are harvesting the leaves yourself, it is best to do so in the mid-morning hours. The morning dew should be evaporated but the hot afternoon sun should not be out yet. This will guarantee the largest presence of oil.
If you chose the first method, you will need a crock-pot A basic crock-pot will do. It can be one that you use to prepare food in as well but it must be impeccably cleaned before and after the oil making process. If you plan on making oil as a hobby, it would be wise to have a separate crock-pot just for oil making.
- Large Glass Container
If you chose the second method, this is what you will make the oil in so make sure that it is big enough to hold all of your Eucalyptus and carrier oil. It should also have a tight fitting lid. You can use an old food container as long as it has been cleaned thoroughly. A canning jar would be ideal.
- Carrier Oil
A carrier oil is an oil that is used to dilute essential oils so that they are safe to use. Organic oils are typically a higher quality. Some great options include sweet almond oil, jojoba oil and coconut oil. Choose one with a pale color. Use one with a mild scent so that it doesn’t overpower the Eucalyptus. For Eucalyptus, olive oil would be a great choice.
- Mesh Strainer
You can use a strainer that you already have in the kitchen, as long as the slots are not large enough to let any of the materials seep through. You can also use a cheesecloth or coffee filter.
- Dark Glass Bottle
This is what you will be storing your essential oil in. They store best in dark glass and will stay fresher longer this way. Try to use one with a eyedropper attached to the lid to make distribution easier. Be cautious if using a bottle that previously held a different essential oil. It can be difficult to completely clean the bottle and remove all the residue and fragrance from the previous oil, which can affect the new oil that will be placed in it.
There are two ways to extract the oil from Eucalyptus leaves. They are very similar and depends on your level of patience.
Method 1 (Crock-pot)
Take your Eucalyptus leaves and begin by slightly crushing them. You don’t want to damage them but instead make it easier for the oil to escape. Start with two ounces and add or subtract leaves depending on your needs and size of your crock-pot Place the crushed leaves in the crock-pot For every quarter ounce of crushed leaves used, add one cup of olive oil or similar carrier oil. Place the lid on the crock-pot and turn on the low heat. Allow the mixture to sit and soak for at least six hours.
After the time has passed, strain the mixture. Make sure that all pieces of the leaves have been removed. You may need to strain more than once. Pour the solution into a dark glass jar and store in a cool and dry place. Try to use within six months.
Method 2 (Canning Jar)
Take your Eucalyptus leaves and begin by slightly crushing them. You don’t want to damage them but instead make it easier for the oil to escape. Place the Eucalyptus into the glass jar, filling it as much as desired. Cover the leaves with olive oil.
Once the leaves are completely covered in the carrier oil, put the top on, make sure it is secure and give it a good shake. Put the jar in a safe spot where it will receive sunlight and leave it for two weeks. Longer is okay but shorter is not. Some may even suggest to let the mixture sit for up to a month. . Remember to shake the jar on occasion.
After the two weeks have passed, open the jar and begin to strain the mixture. You will want to not only remove all of the leaves but also try and get all of the oil off of these pieces before discarding them. Once the straining has been completed, put the oil back into the jar and add another portion of Eucalyptus leaves. Repeat the process, which you will want to do a total of three times or more. You are finished making your essential oil when it has reached the desired fragrance level.
Transfer the oil to the dark glass bottle and store it in a cool and dark place. If stored in the refrigerator, it should last up to a year. If you would like to help extend the life of your Eucalyptus essential oil, you can add a few drops of vitamin E. You can get plain vitamin E oil or buy capsules and pour in the content.