Hydrosols have been used for over 4,000 years for their therapeutic effects. They come about in the same sort of process that essential oils do, and contain the same plant essences with some extra ones, to boot. They're not, however, just "flower waters" or even just essential oils mixed with water. They're labor-intensive distillations that hold many therapeutic properties. Read on to learn a little bit more about how these curious concoctions are created and what benefits they can offer.
How are Hydrosols Made?
Hydrosols are created by steam distillation in a similar process to making essential oils. Plant matter is boiled in distilled water, and the steam that rises from the process travels through a special series of tubes. This steam is cooled to create the two products: essential oil and hydrosol. The oil is denser than the hydrosol, so it rises to the top. The two products are then separated and prepared for their respective uses.
[caption id="attachment_2290" align="aligncenter" width="910"] The hydrosol distillation appartus setup at evanhealy.[/caption]
What Makes Hydrosols Unique?
Because they’re created in the same process as essential oils, hydrosols are full of beneficial plant essences, just at a much lower concentration. This means that they can have some of the same aromatherapeutic properties of essential oils with a much gentler formula. They also carry a wider variety of botanicals, since essential oils can’t hold onto water-soluble molecules like hydrosols can.
Because they’re already diluted, hydrosols can be used right away - no mixing necessary! This makes them great for quick applications.
How Can You Use Hydrosols?
Hydrosols can come in handy in a number of ways. To mention just a few:
Some hydrosols have antibacterial properties and can be used for light cleaning and disinfecting. This spray from Soapwalla freshens up gym equipment and keeps hands clean.
Hydrosols also make excellent facial toners, leaving skin feeling refreshed and moisturized after a good spritz. Depending on the ingredients, they can fight inflammation, soothe redness, or cleanse pores. We love the Rose & Geranium HydroSoul from evanhealy for a quick pick-me-up.
Like essential oils, hydrosols have great aromatherapeutic benefits. The lavender infusions in this one from Alteya Organics refresh the air around you and bring new life to linens. Unlike essential oils, hydrosols don’t need a diffuser to disperse the scent, so spray away!
So there you have it - hydrosols, plain and simple. If you’re looking for a refreshing mid-afternoon mist, a soothing whiff of botanicals to scent your sheets, or a gentle, natural disinfectant, we hope you consider hydrosols and experience their wholesome benefits. You can find more here.