Don’t you love to go behind the scenes and discover how things are made? We do, and we thought you might like to know a bit about how a plant product is turned into an essential oil.
All of Beeyoutiful’s Essential Oils are produced utilizing only steam distillation or cold pressing with no additional ingredients (that’s why we can call them Essential!). We also provide a few blended products such as Tension Tamer that include essential oils, and these are clearly labeled as diluted with additional carrier oils.
Most of our oils are extracted using steam, while the citrus oils (such as Orange, Lemon, and Tangerine) are released through pressure.
1. The plant material is placed on a screen in a steam still. Steam from a boiler is introduced under the screen where the plant material is held. The steam vaporizes the essential oil in the plant material. Both steam and oil vapor rise to a condenser.
2. The steam and oil are condensed to a liquid, and fed to a receiving vessel.
3. The essential oil rises to the top of the liquid in the receiving vessel. It is separated from the condensed steam liquid (water or hydrosols). The water may be returned to the boiler and reboiled into steam.
1. The whole fruit is scarified, which means the peel or rind is mechanically pierced to open the sacs containing the essential oil.
2. The whole fruit is then pressed which squeezes out the juice and oil.
3. The oil and juice, which contains the peel and other fruit solids, are centrifuged to separate the liquids and solids.
4. The oil liquid layer is then separated from the juice liquid layer.
What about chemicals?
Further physical processing such as filtering and distillation of either the steam distilled or cold pressed essential oils may follow, if it’s needed to remove any remaining debris, waxes, etc. However, we NEVER use chemical solvents or additives in anything labeled as 100% pure essential oils. When we say it’s a pure oil, we really mean it!
Plant Quality & Species
The plants we use are obtained from many sources, and we carefully select the species and quality of those plants. The final quality of an essential oil involves many factors, so we start at a high level by weeding out things like old stale plant parts, and insisting on choosing the specific plant species used.
When you purchase an essential oil, always look past the common names (Chamomile) and insist on a label that bears the Latin binomial or scientific name (Chamaemelum nobile) so that you know exactly what’s in the bottle. Not all varieties of the same kind of common plant will have the same therapeutic properties.
Even a very pure oil could be completely dead, containing little to none of the active constituents that would make the oil valuable for health-building purposes. Each kind of oil will have different functional properties and we have a set of standards in place for each one.
A partial list of the components that may be analyzed include Specific Gravity, Refractive Index, Optical Rotation, Flash Point, Infrared Absorption (as published in FCC), Solubility, Taste/Odor, Color/Appearance, Heavy Metals and Predominant Active Chemical Components. We employ state-of-the-art analytical equipment that allows highly specialized analyses, such as Gas Chromatography and Infrared Spectrometry.
As a general guideline, we follow the specifications used by the Essential Oils and Flavor Industry and published in The Essential Oils by Guenther, as well as Fenaroli’s Handbook of Flavor Ingredients. These texts, as well as other sources of scientific information, detail specific physical and chemical properties of a particular oil.
Once an oil passes all of our quality checks, it’s bottled, labeled, and ready for use in your home medicine kit!
For more information on how to use Essential Oils, we recommend The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. Consider signing up for our email series that includes 101 Ways to Use Essential Oils for free weekly tips sent straight to your inbox!