Floral waters are known to be God’s natural medicine of healing and curing just about any disease, ranging right from bodily functions to the outer appearance of the magnificent human body. Amazingly natural in nature, and surprisingly medicinal in touch.
Today, most common essential oils, such as lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus, are distilled. Raw plant material, consisting of the -
All of the above are put into an alembic (distillation apparatus) over water. As the water is heated the steam passes through the plant material, vaporizing the volatile compounds. The vapors flow through a coil where they condense back to liquid, which is then collected in the receiving vessel.
Most oils are distilled in a single process. One exception is Ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata), which takes 22 hours to complete through a fractional distillation.
Hydrosols are valuable therapeutic materials in their own right and can be used alongside essential oils or in place of them especially in cosmetic applications and for treating skin disorders. They can be applied to the skin direct, without further dilution and are particularly useful where a non-oily or water-soluble treatment medium is needed, for example in some forms of eczema where oils or oily creams seen to make the condition worse. Chamomile hydrosol would be particulary appropriate here. because of there gentleness, in comparison with the equivalent essential oil, hydrosols are particulary well suited to use for children, the elderly and people who are debilitated by illness. It is not an exhaustive list and you may well know, or you may discover, other methods.
The method is the same whether hot or cold. Add up to three to five tablespoons of hydrosol in one liter of water.For children dilute two to three teaspoons of hydrosol per liter of water to a basin or bowl of hot or icy cold water. Use a face-cloth, lined pad, cotton wool or other absorbent fabric and dip this into water. Wring out the excess and place the pad on the affected area. Once the compress has achieved body temperature, renew it and continue as required. A hot compress can be held in place with crepe bandage on joints or with cling-film on larger areas, for example the lower back.
Most conditions characterized by ‘aches’, for example earache, backache, etc, should be treated with hot compresses, while sprains, fevers, inflammations and headaches should be treated with cold compresses. Sprains and varicose veins respond very well to the ‘hot/cold’ treatment, ie start with a cold compress then alternate between hot and cold compresses over the next few days, finishing with a cold one.
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