In the Lab: Using a Simple Still for Home Extraction of Essential Oils

December 3, 2021
By Dennis Klocek 1 min read

Join Dennis, an experienced gardener with 50 years of expertise, as he walks you through the detailed process of distilling essential oils from medicinal plants, specifically lemon balm.

Learn how to use an old pressure cooker as a functional still, the importance of proper herb preparation, and the step-by-step distillation process using various laboratory glassware such as a Vigreux fractionating column and a Clevenger apparatus. Discover valuable tips to optimize your extraction and produce high-quality essential oils.

  • 00:00 Introduction to Dennis and His Gardening Journey
  • 00:34 Harvesting and Preparing Lemon Balm
  • 01:49 Setting Up the Distillation Process
  • 06:15 Using the Vigreux Fractionating Column
  • 08:25 The Clevenger and Oil Extraction
  • 11:00 Efficient Water Recycling System
  • 12:33 Conclusion and Final Thoughts

(See In the Lab: Creating a Simple Still for Home Distillation/Extraction of Essential Oils for details on creating your own pressure cooker distilling device.)

This is a video about operating the still.

Dennis Klocek

Dennis Klocek, MFA, is co-founder of the Coros Institute, an internationally renowned lecturer, and teacher. He is the author of nine books, including the newly released Colors of the Soul; Esoteric Physiology and also Sacred Agriculture: The Alchemy of Biodynamics. He regularly shares his alchemical, spiritual, and scientific insights at

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