What is a hydrosol?
A hydrosol is distilled water with the aromatic, therapeutic, and healing properties of plants bound to it on a molecular level. This process begins by boiling water beneath a chamber holding the fresh or dried botanical matter. The steam rises up through the plant matter within that chamber and moves through a funnel, which flows through a cooling chamber. In the cooling chamber, the water soluble constituents of the plant matter separate from the essential oil, which collects on top of the water (also called distillate, or hydrosol, at this point in the process). The remaining product is the hydrosol.
How do you use them?
Hydrosols are a gentler, more cost efficient byproduct of essential oils with many of the same healing properties. They can also be used for:
Aromatherapy: According to NAHA, "Aromatherapy, also referred to as essential oil therapy, can be defined as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit. It seeks to unify physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process." Our hydrosols can be used as a gentle botanical alternative to your perfume, hair scent, air freshener, linen spray, car freshener, aphrodisiac room mists, garment freshener, calming spray, meditation/prayer spray, purification spray, and soothing spray's for children. They can also be used in oil-diffusers in addition to essential oils.
Bath Water Enhancement: Nourish your skin, mind, and body by filling up the bath with hot water. Add hydrosol in any quantity to experience the aromatic and therapeutic benefits of nature.
Skin Toner: Lightly mist face with eyes tightly closed.
Hair Care: Part freshly cleaned hair and spritz the hydrosol on the roots. Massage into scalp daily to stimulate hair growth.
Anti-itch Spray: Some hydrosols can be used to calm itchy bug bites, dry skin, and dandruff.
Deodorizer: The scent of any hydrosol be used to mask bodily odors from the underarms, feet, and elsewhere. Additionally, the anti-bacterial properties of some hydrosols can be particularly helpful in minimizing bodily odors.
Wound Spray: Several hydrosols have germ killing properties, can be anti-inflammatory, and have even been reported to help stop minor bleeding.
Men's Aftershave: If you know someone who gets irritated, rashy skin after shaving, a good astringent, anti-bacterial hyrdrsol can really make a difference. These gentle cleansers can keep your pores clean, your skin soft, and you smelling fresh without any synthetic fragrances.
Facial and Respiratory Steam: Place boiled hydrosol in a bowl of water on a table. Lean your head over the bowl to inhale the steam, and drape a towel over your head and onto the table around the bowl to trap the vapors.
Any External Water Replacement: Compresses, baby wipe moistener, oil diffusers, etc. can have the water in the replaced with hydrosols.
Culinary and Internal Use: While some hydrosols can be consumed, it requires a higher level of expertise than we would like to be responsible for sharing. Please refer to the wonderful, in-depth hydrosol manual Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy by Suzanne Catty if you are interested in how they can be used internally.
The preceding summary of uses is partially derived from AromaWeb, but the versatility and usability of hydrosols is widely known. Additionally, Pure Botanica Soul offers classes for those interested in learning more about hydrosols.