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Eucalyptus oil is one of the most important essential oils. It is extracted from fresh and dried leaves, in addition to branch twigs. These leaves have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. A few drops of eucalyptus oil in a bath can sooth aches and pain. No matter you want to make at home or for business, it is not difficult to do.
Equipment Involved in Producing Eucalyptus Oil: Crock pot or home essential oil distiller.
1. Find fresh leaves. Fresh Eucalyptus leaves will produce you with the best fragrance.
2. If you choose home essential oil distiller kit, that will be very easy. Put the leaves into the pot and add proper amount of water, and then wait. The whole process usually take two hours, you can get eucalyptus oil. However, the eucalyptus oil content may not be high. It is enough to satisfy your need. If you want to improve its content, add carrier oil. As for how to do then, I will list in the step 3.
3. If you choose to use carrier oil, crock pot or home essential oil distiller will be both OK. The best carrier oil can be cold-pressed olive oil, coconut oil or almond oil. The proportion is 4 parts oil to 1 part leaves.
Put the leaves into crock pot or home distiller and then pour into the carrier oil. Allow the mixture to steep for at least 6 hours. With the extracting time more longer, the scents will be stronger.
4. Pour the eucalyptus oil through a fine mesh strainer when the oil is cool and store the oil in a dark glass jar.
There are many ways to extract essential oil, which the most popular is steam distillation. Other methods like solvent extraction and microwave extraction. The suitability of extraction method varies from plant to plant and their are great differences in the cost. For Eucalyptus oil extraction, the economical way is water distillation and organic solvent extraction.
There are many solvents for extracting essential oil including benzene, hexane, ethyl alcohols, acetone, petroleum ether,etc. For eucalyptus, ethanol and n-hexane are both proper choices. According to related research, the oil yield will be the highest at 65 ℃ with solvent to solid ratio 7:1(ml/g) by n-hexane and 75 ℃ by ethanol.
When using water distillation, we should consider three factors: extraction time, temperature and water to solid ratio. As the research reports, extraction of oil increases with time, but it will not change after exceeding a period. This period is about 2.5 hours.
As for water to solid ratio, we test five ratios from 4:1 to 8:1. Under the same condition, the oil yield is the highest at 5:1, reaching 46.25 wt. %. And double-layer stainless steel essential oil distiller is helpful to save energy.