Hydrosols are absolutely wonderful solutions that can be used for a number of purposes, owing to their myriad healing and curing properties. They are mild and natural in nature and hence have an edge over rest of the therapeutic liquids.
The terms flower or floral waters are misleading since these miracle waters can be produced from herbs, needles, leaves, woods, barks and seeds. In aromatherapy, these products are more commonly referred to as hydrosols, and this is the term that we prefer to use for our range.
This is because increasingly today, many ‘flower waters’ are made from synthetic compounds which smell quite pretty but posses absolutely no healing properties! In fact, quite the opposite they can cause skin irritation.
Flower water and floral water are descriptive, but now outdated terms, used to describe the condensate water that remains after the extraction of an essential oil by water or steam distillation. When essential oils are produced this way, not all of the aromatic and healing principles held within the plant are actually captured in the essential oil.
Certain components are hydrophilic, which means they dissolve into water, and this produces what is variously known as a -
▪ Flower water
What ever you choose to call it, the resulting fragrant water contains the very essence of everything that was contained within the plant when it was still alive and growing.
Others are produced by adding essential oils or absolutes to water by using alcohol or some other type of dispersant or solvent. This may appear to be perfectly acceptable, since the finished product contains essential oil and has a pleasant fragrance similar to a natural hydrosol.
People who want to use floral waters in cooking should only use food-grade products. While many cosmetic waters are perfectly safe to consume, this is not always the case, and it is better to be safe than sorry. Some cosmetic products are treated with additives to prolong their shelf life or enhance their scent, and these additives are not safe for consumption. Cooks should look for those that are clearly marked for cooking when they will be used in recipes; food grade floral waters can also be used cosmetically.
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