A Beginner's Guide to Botanical Extraction

Plants may be good for us in many ways, but when desired concentrated plant compounds are extracted, the therapeutic benefits of those extracts are unlimited. Below, you’ll learn what botanical extraction is, how it works, the process, and how botanical extraction makes the oils you might already be using.

What Does Botanical Extract Mean?

Botanical extracts are concentrated plant material that comes from petals, flowers, leaves, roots, and stems of plants that contain potent bioactive compounds. The botanical extraction process removes the desirable plant compounds using a solvent, then that extracted oil is processed further to remove any unwanted compounds.

What is Botanical Extract Used for?

Some of the most popular uses of botanical extracts include skincare products, food, pharmaceutical products, and essential oils. Generally, products with botanical extract provide a strong source of vitamins, antioxidants, and proteins, among other bioactive compounds. The best thing about the botanical extraction process is that it enhances the overall final product.

How are Botanical Extracts Made?

There are several different ways to extract the desired botanical blend, which include:

 

However, the basic process involves a solid/liquid extraction. Once the botanical

properties have been added to the solvent (a fluid, such as water or alcohol), the

solvent will dissolve the botanical properties. The solute will then be diffused and the

extracts collected. Botanical extraction equipment is needed for most of the

botanical extract methods.

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Types of Botanical Extracts?

From spa and organic products to aromatic, antioxidant, and energizing properties, the different types of botanical extracts have a vast range of uses.

Some common examples include:

  • Alcohol Tinctures are made with alcohol and botanicals and are often used in herbal medicines and skincare products.

  • Water-based Extracts are extracted with water, which is not a strong solvent, and are used in skincare products, such as lotions and creams.

  • Powdered Extracts are obtained from dried plants that remain in liquid solvent, which ensures the active substances remain intact and in high amounts.  These are used in supplements, energy drinks, and herbal medicines.
     

One of the most popular forms of botanical extract is oils.

What is Botanical Extract Oil?

Botanical Extract oil has been taken directly from a plant and tends to be a type of tincture or infusion. The plant is soaked in a liquid solution, such as water, oil, or alcohol, which extracts the desired quality. Once the plant is removed, the leftover botanical extract oil is ready to use. Extracted oil is made for internal use. Botanical extract oils include soybean oil, sunflower oil, almond oil, and castor oil.

What is Essential Oil?

Essential oils extracted from plants are very concentrated, volatile, and aromatic, and are extracted from an aromatic herb through steam distillation. Because essential oils are extremely concentrated, dilution is crucial to ensure the oil is safe and effective on the skin. However, because of the high concentration, essential oils have been found to have potent antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.

Benefits of Essential Oils

Essential oils are all about the fragrance and are used for therapeutic benefits. When inhaled, the fragrance travels to the emotional center of the brain, which then produces change within a person. The benefits of essential oils depend on the type you choose, but common benefits include the alleviation of anxiety,

depression, fatigue, nausea, insomnia, low appetite, and body aches.

What are the 7 Essential Oils?  

There are many types of essential oils, but the seven main essential oils include:

1. Bergamot – eases pain and aids in digestion.

2. Lavender – provides a calming and relaxing sensation.

3. Lemon – provides invigorating energy. 

4. Orange – provides energy, uplifts the spirit, and combats odors.

5. Marjoram – eases headaches and muscle aches.

6. Peppermint – relieves tension and mental fatigue.

7. Roman Chamomile – balances mood and tension.

What is the Difference Between Oil Extracts and Essential Oil?

lavender: often made into essential oil

It’s important to know that botanical extract oil is not the same as essential oil. Unlike many extract oils, essential oils are not for consumption but are rather used for external therapeutic purposes, think skin and hair, whereas essential oils have mental and emotional benefits.

Botanical extraction provides us with limitless products, all of which have amazing internal and external benefits. If you’d like to learn more about the botanical extraction process and the hydrocarbon extraction equipment our team offers, we are very happy to provide more information and answer any questions you may have. Give us a call at (503) 783-6550 or email us at contact@pdx.gold.