The improving effect of lavender in health and well-being can most effectively be utilized with the use of lavender oil. In the Benedictian Archabbeys arboretum in Pannonhalma you not only find lavender cultivation but the distillery of lavender oil just the way the benedictian monks have experimented it.
Oil is distillation is done not only from the cultivar's plants but private growers who bring their own cultivated lavenders can ask for distillation, in a frame of lease-distillery that is why the sweet scented plants are brought to town from many different parts of the country. Besides professional gardeners and lavender growers, small farmers, furthermore private people are represented: more and more people are ordering distillation from their home grown flowers.
Lavender oil is extracted from the flowers by the ancient steam-distillation method, in 3 m3 sized caldrons full with lavender the distillation process goes through in hot dry steam on 160-170 °C - just as it is done with Hungarian palinka or brandy distillation.
When separating the condensed oil and water obtained by steaming effect, as by-product lavender water is gained that is used for cosmetic purposes e.g. for bath or soap fragrance however, due to its antiseptic effect if you pour it to the stools of flowers it can keep away the pests, as well.
In one caldron you can put 4-5 quintal of flowers, from them you can gain 2-3 litres of oil. Every drop is a precious asset. For extracting lavender oil, flowers need to be harvested in the hottest and sunniest weather, because this is the time when their constituents of essential oils are the highest, in case of unfavourable weather there can be a loss of value even of 50%.