What is a Hydrosol?
Hydrosols are the by-product of the steam distillation of raw materials used to create Essential Oils. They are water infused with the raw product, be that Lavender, Tea Tree, Chamomile, or any other Essential Oil. Because they are infused with the raw material that makes up the Essential Oil, hydrosols have some of the same healing properties of that Essential Oil but in a much lesser concentration.
All About Hydrosols
Where Does a Hydrosol Come From?
In the distillation process the is used to create Essential Oils, plant matter is placed in the boiling pot with distilled water. As the water & plant material boil, the oils in the plant is released into the steam. The oil rises & is then skimmed from the water & this becomes the Essential Oil. The water that is left over from this process is the hydrosol.
Hydrosols are hydrophilic (water-loving) acids, & it is this property that makes them most useful when it comes to natural wellness. Their intrinsic acidity makes them naturally antibacterial. Their acidity also means that hydrosols are astringents & a very useful addition to any skincare regime.
How to Use a Hydrosol
The most common use for hydrosols is as a toner for your face. You can use it either by spritzing the hydrosol of your choice directly onto your face or by applying it to a cotton swab & then using the cotton swab to apply it to your skin. You can also add a few drops of pure Essential Oil to the Hydrosol to make it a little more potent.
Hydrosols also make a lovely body mist. You can use a hydrosol as is, hydrosols retain a subtle scent of the Essential Oil that is was created from. You can also blend a few drops of your favourite Essential Oils into your hydrosol to create your own, signature scent. Something you will notice when mixing Essential Oils into hydrosols is that the Essential Oil & the Hydrosol separate. This is perfectly normals, just be sure to shake your body spray before each application.
Peppermint hydrosol is particularly good when it comes to itch relief. Simply spray the hydrosol on the itchy or irritated area. If you've got a dry, itchy scalp, spritz it with peppermint hydrosol between washes.
Hydrosols are a great base for an all-natural room spray. Simply add your desired amount of Essential Oils to the hydrosol of your choice & spritz the mixture around your room. Like with the body spray you created earlier, this mixture is going to seperate, so be sure to shake it gently prior to each use.
Many Hydrosols also have the same anti-inflammatory properties of their Essential Oils. To help with arthritis & joint pain, try helichrysum hydrosol, peppermint hydrosol, or chamomile hydrosol.
Some of the more gentle Hydrosols, like chamomile, neroli, or lavender can be used to create an all natural baby wipe that is soft enough for baby's sensitive skin. Remember, NEVER apply an Essential Oil to a baby's skin.
Do you have any questions about using a hydrosol? Please direct all of your questions or comments to us via email at info@TheEssentialLife.org. We would also like to invite you to share your story & experiences with The Essential Life community. To share, please contact us here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - BRITTEN THOMPSON
Who is Britten? She's a reticent little beast born in the wilds of Northern Alberta to a foul-mouthed, French-Canadian father & an angry, stiff-upper-lipped mother. Britten is, almost always, wild-haired & poorly dressed. She recently left the beautiful & untamed chill of Canada for the blistering & somewhat oppressive heat of Australia. Her list of pastimes is short & includes reading, writing, petting cats, overeating & alphabetizing things. She's a fan of Windex on Facebook because who doesn't want a streak free shine? She dreams of one day writing a super-awesome novel that affords her & her partner a comfortable lifestyle, a large property, a few horses & the means with which to foster children in need...or just becoming a red panda.
When Britten isn't writing, reading, or organizing things in her home, she can be found cuddling with her boyfriend, arguing about why Rajon Rondo is the best point guard in the history of ever, browsing Gumtree for a future cat or kitten, or contemplating days gone by, the passage of time & how ridiculous it is that humans have yet to evolve enough to grow a third set of teeth.