I want to clear up something that is irritating me. No, not my eczema though I’ll gladly celebrate the day when that is over with. I am talking about people confusing essential oils with infused oils. Infused oils are great and I use them all the time (several recipes up on my blog for them already); however, they are NOT essential oils! I’m sure that this is not intentional but it needs to be pointed out. They cannot always be used interchangeably so it’s important to know the difference between infused and essential oils. First let’s start by properly defining each item.
An infused oil is made by taking the desired herb(s) and soaking or double boiling in an oil (my favs are now grapeseed and coconut oils but you can technically use any food grade oil – cautionary advice is to avoid vegetable and canola oils because they have less nutrient values, can harm your health further and are very likely GMO; also avoid oils that go rancid quickly such as olive oil). I have make infused oil by two methods so far: double boiling and by sitting outside for a month in a jar, tightly sealed and in an airtight bag so that condensation from the outside weather didn’t breach the container’s lid. This allows for the sun light and moon and star light to be a part of the process. I’m not sure if one method is better over the other but if you pressed for time and need something quickly, then double boiling will be fine. I have a recipe for making infused oils via double boil (aka water bath) HERE.
Essential Oils are the oils FROM the herb itself – and only those oils! If someone is telling you that you can get essential oil by infusing a different oil with the herb, they are mistaken. Essential oils, from the herb, can only be gotten via distillation or expression. Any other method does not result in true essential oils, therefore, they cannot be utilized the same way.
Here is a couple of many videos I found on YouTube about distilling herbs to make essential oils:
So, one can see there is a HUGE difference between infused oils and essential oils. I’m not going around, looking for blogs to correct but I do see a ton of blogs giving instructions for making infused oils, but calling them essential oils.
I do not have what I would need to make essential oils yet; however, some essential oils are so expensive that it makes it well worth the effort if you use oils a lot, which I do. Please feel free to add any info in the comments section you may have.
I have seen this questionable video as well:
She got these instructions from HERE. This isn’t the proper way to distill for just essential oil. There might be essential oil in the water but they were not separated, which is the point of a still. I have seen this method used to obtain distilled water from salt water in an ocean emergency scenario via my favorite survival show, Surviving Disaster. So I am confident that the result isn’t essential oil. I might try it out this week and see what I think; however, a commenter on the video points out it isn’t really essential oil but hydrosol, or herbal water, which I have made in the past by mixing essential oil with distilled water. I don’t know if there is an easy way to separate the newly distilled water and essential oil without a still so if anyone has any info on this, please let me know.