Bitter almond oil is not found in the natural form of the almond kernel. Almond oil is concentrated energetic oil derived from the powder of ground almond nuts, or seeds. It's a delicate process to extract and store properties of an essence without losing concentration and organic harmony, so careful attention should be given to the care of essential oils. Plant extracts will evaporate quickly when exposed to air, lose potency in sunlight and can become rancid. Though natural oils benefit the body in various ways, bitter almond oil contains hydrogen cyanide and will cause death when ingested orally.
Things You'll Need
- Almond seeds
- Mortar and pestle
- Glass mixing bowl
- Alembic pot still
- Dark glass bottle and seal
Processing bitter almond oil
Separate the kernels, or nut seed from the shells. Clean the nuts free of dirt, abnormal or bruised seeds, and then crush them to powder in a mortar. Crush the amount of powder you want to work with.
Transfer the almond powder to a glass mixing bowl, and then add enough water to make a paste.
Allow the almond paste to soften by soaking for twenty four hours. This gives time for the enzymes to release and act.
Put the paste in the pot. Place the head on top and seal the joints against steam leaks. Position the beak over the coil pot or a beaker standing with water.
Light the burner and watch so the paste does not scorch, but do not pour in too much water. Cook off as much oil as possible.
Pour the distillate you've produced, back into the retort or pot with the residue and redistill to gain greater purity. Bottle, seal and keep in a cool room when you're satisfied with the quality of your oil.