Making Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Updated on April 27, 2020
Nathanville profile image

I love to recycle, upcycle and work with nature, an area where homecrafts well suited; far more rewarding to make something than buy it.

One litre of homemade eucalyptus essential oil
One litre of homemade eucalyptus essential oil

Source and Purpose

Although the eucalyptus tree is native to Australia (over 700 species), according to Wikipedia about eight thrive in the warmer climates in Europe, and a couple of them will even quite happily grow in southern England.

I don’t know which species of eucalyptus tree we have; we bought it from a ‘Garden Centre’ about 15 years ago and planted it in our front garden, from where it’s thrived.

It’s a lovely tree, but it is a vigorous grower, so each year I have to prune it back hard to keep the branches away from the old telephone wires above. Most of the branches I end up burning to add potash to our vegetable garden, but occasionally I’ll use some of the leaves to make eucalyptus oil.

Some of the eucalyptus essential oil my wife uses, and the rest I use various home crafts, such as scented candles (from recycled candle wax) and handmade scented soaps (from recycled soap).

Below are five simple steps for making eucalyptus essential oil.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The eucalyptus tree in our front gardenThe eucalyptus tree after I'd given it its yearly prune.
The eucalyptus tree in our front garden
The eucalyptus tree in our front garden
The eucalyptus tree after I'd given it its yearly prune.
The eucalyptus tree after I'd given it its yearly prune.

Harvesting Fresh Leaves

You can buy dried leaves on the Internet, but I’m not sure how easy it is to buy fresh leaves for making your own essential oils. However, if you have a eucalyptus tree in your garden, or you know someone who does, then with the tree being evergreen you’ll have ample supply all year round.

I prune back our eucalyptus tree every March when I’m tidying up the winter garden and preparing it for spring and summer, and this is when I collect any eucalyptus leaves I want for making the essential oil.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pruned eucalyptus branches in back garden ready to harvest leaves for making oil.The harvested eucalyptus leaves.
Pruned eucalyptus branches in back garden ready to harvest leaves for making oil.
Pruned eucalyptus branches in back garden ready to harvest leaves for making oil.
The harvested eucalyptus leaves.
The harvested eucalyptus leaves.

Step 1: Fill Jars with Eucalyptus Leaves

Fill jam jars and or any other glass jars with eucalyptus Leaves.

I used an assortment of ten glass jars on this occasion (with lids), from small mustard jars to large pickled union jars; and this was enough to make over 1 litre (1 ½ pints) of essential eucalyptus oil.

Filling jars with eucalyptus Leaves.
Filling jars with eucalyptus Leaves.

Step 2: Gently Crush the Leaves With a Wooden Spoon

Press the leaves down in the jar and bruise them with a wooden spoon.

You don’t need to get too vigorous with this, or spend too much time doing it; less than a minute on each jar is more than sufficient. It just helps with the infusion process of getting the oil out of the leaves.

Once the leaves are pressed down each jar should be about half full.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pushing the eucalyptus leaves into the jam jars with a wooden spoon.Using a wood spoon to push the leaves into the jar and slightly bruise them to aid infusion of the oils.
Pushing the eucalyptus leaves into the jam jars with a wooden spoon.
Pushing the eucalyptus leaves into the jam jars with a wooden spoon.
Using a wood spoon to push the leaves into the jar and slightly bruise them to aid infusion of the oils.
Using a wood spoon to push the leaves into the jar and slightly bruise them to aid infusion of the oils.

Step 3: Add Olive Oil as the Base Oil

Half fill each jar with olive oil; this should cover most or all of the leaves, and allow the eucalyptus oil to leach from the leaves and infuse with the olive oil.

The olive oil makes an excellent base oil for the eucalyptus oil; especially as the olive oil is quite odourless and isn’t going to mask the eucalyptus scent.

I used 1 ½ litres of olive oil, and ended up with just over 1 litre (1 ½ pints) of eucalyptus oil

Adding olive oil to eucalyptus leaves as base oil for making eucalyptus essential oil.
Adding olive oil to eucalyptus leaves as base oil for making eucalyptus essential oil.

Step 4: Leave for a Month in the Sun to Infuse

Once you’ve half-filled the jars with olive oil, seal them with their lids and place on a sunny window sill for a month; the sun and heat help with the oil infusion.

I used our kitchen window sill as its west facing and gets lots of sunshine on sunny days.

To further assist with the infusion vigorously shake each jar once a day, but be mindful that if the lids are not watertight you may get some slight leakage of oil when shaking. So make the lids as tight as you can, and if need be just wipe the window sill over with a damp cloth as necessary.

Just behind the kitchen utensils that we keep on the window sill are all the jars filled with eucalyptus leaves and olive oil, kept in the sunshine, while the eucalyptus oils infuses into the base olive oil.
Just behind the kitchen utensils that we keep on the window sill are all the jars filled with eucalyptus leaves and olive oil, kept in the sunshine, while the eucalyptus oils infuses into the base olive oil.

Step 5: Straining the Leaves

After a month strain the leave and bottle your essential eucalyptus oil.

I used a steamer to strain the leaves, pressing the leave down with a fork, and left to drain. Although by this time the oil is thick and oily and sticking to the surface of the leaves. So you can get more oil out by pressing the leaves, maybe evening straining them through a muslin cloth. I was a little tempted, as I use a muslin cloth for winemaking, and I could have used that. However, with over 1 litre of essential eucalyptus oil, I had more than sufficient. So I just wrung the leaves in my hands, before adding them to my compost bin, just for good measure. Squeezing them didn’t get much of the surplus oil off the leaves (just a couple of tablespoons full), but I was more than satisfied with what I had.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
After a month in the sunshine the oil in jars is ready for straining, to separate the essential eucalyptus oil from the leaves.The lids are taken off the jars, ready for straining.The oil is separated from the leaves using a steamer.The collected essential eucalyptus oil is transferred to a measuring jug.The essential eucalyptus oil in the measuring jug is poured into jars for storage and eventual use.
After a month in the sunshine the oil in jars is ready for straining, to separate the essential eucalyptus oil from the leaves.
After a month in the sunshine the oil in jars is ready for straining, to separate the essential eucalyptus oil from the leaves.
The lids are taken off the jars, ready for straining.
The lids are taken off the jars, ready for straining.
The oil is separated from the leaves using a steamer.
The oil is separated from the leaves using a steamer.
The collected essential eucalyptus oil is transferred to a measuring jug.
The collected essential eucalyptus oil is transferred to a measuring jug.
The essential eucalyptus oil in the measuring jug is poured into jars for storage and eventual use.
The essential eucalyptus oil in the measuring jug is poured into jars for storage and eventual use.

Making Your Own Essential Oils

Do you are would you be interested in making your own essential oils?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2020 Arthur Russ

    Your Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • Nathanville profile imageAUTHOR

        Arthur Russ 

        3 weeks ago from England

        Thanks Jo.

      • jo miller profile image

        Jo Miller 

        3 weeks ago from Tennessee

        I don't have a eucalyptus tree and probably won't try this, but I am very impressed with your industriousness.

      • Nathanville profile imageAUTHOR

        Arthur Russ 

        4 weeks ago from England

        Yes I like anything that’s environmentally friendly. You are right, it could be developed into a business venture quite easily; it is a thought that had crossed my mind, and in some ways is tempting.

        However, I am not money orientated, and when I took early retirement I did so that I could use my leisure time for pleasure rather than work. So I’m not that keen on creating something that could end up as a job (work); if that makes sense.

        Albeit, once the Covid-19 crisis is over it wouldn’t be too much effort to offer to sale fresh eucalyptus leave to anyone who’s interested; something I can bear in mind.

        In fact when we collected the leaves from the branches my son did ask on his Facebook if any of his friends wanted any, with the intention of giving them away free, and a friend of his insisted on paying for them; a nominal fee, which was rather nice of her.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        4 weeks ago from UK

        This sounds like a very environmentally friendly practice. Essential oils are increasing in popularity. You could develop this into a business venture.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, remedygrove.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)