Steam Distillation

The use of water in steam form in order to extract essential oils from plants. Known for millennia, it was the Arabic doctor and philosopher, Avicenna, who perfected it in the tenth century. The raw material is placed on a grille suspended inside the still, water is put into the bottom, which is brought to the boil and turns to steam; as heat rises, the steam makes its way towards the top of the still, passing through the raw material en-route. The steam opens up the oil ‘cells’ and the oil becomes suspended in the steam as it passes out of the still via the ‘swans neck’ towards a condenser. As oil and water do not mix, the steam turns back to liquid and the oil and water separate. The resulting oil is known as an essential oil.

This entry was posted in . Bookmark the permalink.