In my last post I talked about infusing fresh plant material into hydrosols. That has inspired me to do a write up on what a hydrosol is and talk about some of the things one can do with a hydrosol.
First off, what is a hydrosol? Well, basically it is the water that is coproduced during the steam-or hydro-distillartion of plant material when making an essential oil. Most plants that are used to make essential oil also have a hydrosol that is produced as well. From Rose to Lavender to Yarrow, many essential oils have a hydrosol partner. A hydrosol is not distilled, spring or tap water with essential oils added to them, so when you are purchasing hydrosol, look close at the ingredients to make sure you are getting the real deal.
So that leads us to what you can do with hydrosols. First off you can add hydrosols to water and drinks for extra flavor. I like to add a little bit of Rose hydrosol to a glass of red wine for an exotic treat. Or you can add hydrosols to water for medicinal benefits, such as Neroli for calming and anti-stress or Peppermint for digestive disturbances like bloat and heartburn. They are also great added to iced sun tea!
Hydrosols are also used in skin care treatments. Recently I have been using cucumber hydrosol with a drop of Jasmine essential oil as a face toner and have noticed how much more moisturized my face is. What is really nice to do is to spray your face with the hydrosol and while your face is still wet apply your moisturizer. Not only will you be able to use less of your moisturizer, but that will lock in that water to your face for even more hydration. Sandalwood hydrosol is another good toner for skin care especially for delicate and mature skin and is mildy anti-inflammatory helping with acne, rosacea and eczema. Rose hydrosol adds and retains moisture and is suitable for normal to dry, mature, sensitive and devitalized skin.
I also use hydrosols in aromatherapy spritzers. They add a little something extra to a formula as well as help to disperse the essential oils. They can be added to baths as well and won’t harm pumps used in whirlpool baths like essential oils will. They are great for baby baths adding 1 tsp to an infant sized tub or 2 tsp to an adult tub filled to baby depth. For children up to twelve years, add to the tub 1 tsp per years of age up to 8 tsp. Roman Chamomile or Lemon Balm hydrosols are great ones to use for kids baths as they are both calming to the nervous system. And for adults, you can add up to 8 oz to the tub, or less, especially since some hydrosols aren’t cheap.
So I hope this inspires you to enter into the world of hydrosols, they are amazing things that have so many uses.
One of my favorite books on the subject and where I got a lot of this information is- Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy, by Suzanne Catty.
By: Kate Maxey