Hydrosols have been in my aromatherapy arsenal for years, but it’s only in the last 3-4 years that I’ve really embraced their wonderfulness. Now, they’re a regular part of aromatherapy use for my whole family – even my pets!
What is a Hydrosol?
Hydrosols (also know as hydrolats, distillate water or floral waters) are the aromatic water that results from water distilling or steam distilling plant materials.
A hydrosol is the aromatic water that remains after steam-distilling or hydro-distilling plant materials like flowers, leaves, seeds, wood, etc. This aromatic water contains the essence of everything that was contained within the plant.
This distillate water contains small quantities of essential oil plus many of the water-soluble (hydrophilic) parts of the plant and is a completely separate, safe and effective product than essential oils with their own unique therapeutic and cosmetic benefits.
For the best quality hydrosol, you should buy a product that was distilled specifically for the hydrosol, not as a by-product. You’ll purchase waters that are superior in both aroma and therapeutic benefit.
Unlike essential oils that need to be diluted prior to topically use, hydrosols are so gentle that they can generally be used directly on the skin without further dilution.
This image may help you visually understand the process:
How Much Essential Oil is in a Hydrosol?
This is from author Jeanne Rose:
“The best comes from a distillation where it is the hydrosol that is being produced rather than the essential oil. Often the best comes from the earliest part of the distillation rather than the body of the distillation. This usually smells bright and pleasantly fragrant. Although, some of the therapeutic part of the hydrosol is also produced at the very end of the distillation, and usually has a rather grassy or vegetative note. As the plants are being distilled, micro-particles of essential oil are in suspension, they give the aromatic distillate its scent and will separate out as the hydrosol cools. There is approximately .02% essential oil in hydrosol”.
Essential oils should always be diluted when put on the skin (my blending guidelines are here), but that doesn’t hold true for hydrosols. Because they are so gentle, they can be used directly on the skin without and you can even use them on babies, animals and anywhere on your body. You can even drink them! Add about 1/4 of hydrosol to a litre of water!
If you’d like to learn more about hydrosols
and how to use them,
click the link below to be notified when my new online course opens in May 2018!
Hydrosols for Health: Explore the Benefits and Uses of Aromatic Waters
If you enjoyed this, try my blog post called
Practical and Creative Ways to Use Hydrosols!
PS. If you’d like to make your own hydrosols, it’s easier than you’d think! The book Harvest to Hydrosol is a wonderful guide that shows you step-by-step how to make your own hydrosols and essential oils.
You can buy the book, and a premium handcrafted copper still to make your hydrosol at Copperstills.com