Hydrosols – Drawing The Curtains From History

Hydrosols are a wonderful source of the richest of nourishment. They are loaded with qualities that are enough to deal with the most chronic of problems very naturally and without any side-effects. These are highly antiseptic in nature.

The Egyptians, Greeks and Romans are all known to have made great use of hydrosols for their healing and aesthetic properties alongside their infusions and unguents. See, hydrosols have similar properties to essential oils but are much less concentrated. The plant matter used in essential oil distillation imparts an incredulously addicting aroma to its remaining water.

Now supercharged with deeply active elements from the essence of the plant, this ready-to-use hydrosol offers a misty and therapeutic way to deliver a wide range of soothing skin benefits you’ve come to expect from face and body oils. Some plants are even specifically distilled for the resulting hydrosol instead of the hydrosol being simply a byproduct of the distillation. Unlike their “essential oil added to water” counterparts, true steam-distilled hydrosols contain all the nutritional components that whole plant materials have to offer.

Gentle hydrosols are water soluble & can be used directly on the skin without further dilution. Some brands will use hydrosols in place of water when creating natural fragrances, oils, creams, balms, facial toners and other skin care products to bring even higher grades of purity to their prducts. For fun, they can also be added to the bath and even be used on their own as a light cologne or body spray on pulse points if the fragrance is heady enough.

You may be surprised to learn that many of the ‘floral waters’ available in the cluttered organic market have been made with synthetic compounds which really end up without any therapeutic or beautifying qualities. Some of these variations are produced by adding essential oils or absolutes to water and using -

  • Alcohol
  • Dispersants
  • Solvents

But, know this, the richest hydrosols are usually a by-product of essential oil production. As such, the highest quality comes from devoted distillers who, with artist-like precision, steam small batches of fresh floral and plant material strictly to produce hydrosols, such as copper stills and processed through certified organic methods. Hydrosols contain all of the essence of the plant in every drop, just like essential oils but in a milder form; making them suitable for all manner of applications where essential oils might be too strong for daily use. In most hydrosols there is less than 5% actual oil.

Hava a look at these reference links now -

  1. Floral Waters by Wise Geek
  2. Hydro-sols by Natural Home Spa
  3. Floral Flowers by Chemistry

Aromatherapy..Floral Waters – Best Of Friends

Whenever you hear the word aromatherapy, a picture of a person lying on stomach, with just a towel to cover the skin, and some nice fleshy and soft hands giving a sumptuous massage crosses the mind, isn’t it? Well, there is much to aromatherapy and floral waters.

Aromatherapy usually deals with essential oils that are derived from plant material either via distillation or expression. The latter method is used for fixed oils like olive, almond, sesame, etc., and also, for the volatile citrus oils which are expressed from the peel or zest of fruits mainly like –

  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Bergamot

However, the bulk of essential oils are produced by either hydro or steam distillation. This age-old process has been modernized for industrial purposes, but those who distil plants for health purposes still do so in the same delicate manner as distillers millennium ago.

The process produces a small amount of essential oil and a large amount of water and it is the waters, the co-product of distillation, or at least a portion of them, that are the hydrosols of which I write. I must say that in authentic distillation only 20-30% of the total waters produced would be deemed therapeutic and marketed as hydrosols, whereas in industrial distillation, which produces 3-4 times the volume of water, I have known companies to sell all of it as ‘therapeutic’ hydrosols for use primarily in the cosmetics industry.

Rosewater is a hydrosol, as is lavender, orange blossom, chamomile or rosemary water. In fact the most famous hydrosol is probably witch hazel, the distillate water of Hamamelis virginiana, and a product that is available in chemists and pharmacies all over the world. Unfortunately, due to its unstable nature, witch hazel is usually diluted with 10-30% alcohol to prevent bacterial growth. Which brings me to one last salient point – the issue of stabilizers and preservatives.

Hydrosols, since they are water, just beg to be used internally – to be consumed as a beverage. We need to drink water after all, so why not healing plant waters? In my definition, hydrosols are free from any additives, including stabilizers or preservatives such as alcohol, grapefruit seed extract or synthetic chemicals. It does not make sense to drink bottled or filtered water and then add chemicals to it – the same is true for hydrosols.

Have a look at our reference links now -

  1. Floral Waters by Wise Geek
  2. Hydro-sols by Natural Home Spa
  3. Floral Flowers by Chemistry

The Top 8 Of Floral Waters

Talking purely about floral waters, they are amazingly wonderful at helping the people suffering from a number of health conditions. These hydrosols are absolute boon for the ones who use these in the correct manner. Talking about the best 8 hydrosols/floral waters, here’s the list I have-

  1. Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) Comfrey distillate, although not very aromatic, has many skin benefits. Try spraying it on burned or irritated skin. I’ve had amazing results using it this way.
  2. Catnip (Nepeta cataria) This distillate has a potent catnip smell! The herb has a reputation for repelling insects. It should be a great base for formulating insect repellants.
  3. Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) A pleasant fruity, floral, herby aroma. Clary sage is known for its many curative properties including joint and muscle pain. Also try it as a spray for improving mood or for hot flashes.
  4. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) This distillate has a very strong aroma with some essential oil floating on top. Try it for anti-aging formulas. As a drink it may help obesity – again be sure it does not have preservatives in it for ingestion.
  5. Lavender (Lavandula sp) We grow alot of lavender on our farm and I just love this hydrosol. It is a combination of all the different lavenders we have. I keep a small spritzer in my pocket to use throughout the day. Many customers also buy this as well as rose for use on airplanes to hydrate the face.
  6. Rose (Rosa sp) We have put in a variety of roses on our farm that were chosen for their aromatic properties rather than their long stemmed flowers. Rose is great for skin hydration as well as mood. Many people like to use it after a yoga session to restore balance. This also makes a great ‘little girl’s perfume’ as it is very light.
  7. Mint (Mentha sp) I make this distillate from a variety of mints I grow including chocolate mint. The aroma is very strong and great for the sinuses. This is a great cooling mist for summer.
  8. Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) Cooling, astringent and hydrating, cucumber is an old standby in skin care. Did you put cucumber slices on your eyes when you were a teen? You can get that same cooling feeling spritzing cucumber distillate on your face.

Have a look at our reference links now -

  1. Floral Waters by Wise Geek
  2. Hydro-sols by Natural Home Spa
  3. Floral Flowers by Chemistry

Liquid-Vapour-Magic! Hydrosols

There are a certain number of things on this earth that people run after all their lives, and when they finally come to their access, they do not hold that same significance, so to deal with such a situation, one needs to dig their own access to get their sacred wants at the right time. This is exactly what happened with floral waters, right when they were on the verge of being ignored and forgotten, they came to fore, and humans grabbed the great-health-boosters.

A hydrosol is a product of the distillation process. While in the vapor state this distillate water is responsible for carrying the essential oil to the seperator. The water- soluble constituents of the plant are contained in it which give it its aroma and therapeutic properties.

A wonderful lemony and refreshing scent! Known for its calming effect on the body, Melissa hydrosol eases anxiety and stress. These same calming properties aid the digestive system, easing digestive upsets, bloating, and cramping. Immune-stimulating and infection-fighting properties make this hydrosol a must during allergy and flu season. In a skin care routine, Melissa hydrosol is mildly astringent and can be used as a toner for oily skin. Additionally, this hydrosol calms -

  • Skin irritation
  • Rash
  • Poison ivy/oak
  • Eczema

Its anti-inflammatory properties combat the signs of aging and are the perfect for after sun care.

An excellent daily skin care treatment for any skin type. Especially cooling for eczema and regenerative for fragile or damaged skin. Cleansing and refreshing, add it to masks, use before and after shaving to prevent inflammation and ingrown hairs, or use in the home, car or office to promote calmness. Excellent for use as a gentle and effective cleanser and healer for cuts and scrapes for adults and children this Organic distilled Lavender hydrosol can be used for infants as a room spray for calming sleep, in the bath or spritzed on a cloth for a healthy alternative to baby wipes. Young children can use it as their own personal and non-allergenic perfume mist. Also useful as an after sun spray or in a cold compress for headaches and migraines.

Hydrosols are moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, mildly antiseptic, and are a wonderfully fragrant addition to skin care. Due to their benevolent nature, hydrosols offer a myriad of treatment possibilities when essential oils might be too strong. They are a safe and gentle way for people with sensitive skin, children, elders, chronically ill, and highly allergic individuals to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy.

Have a look at these reference links now -

  1. Floral Waters by Wise Geek
  2. Hydro-sols by Natural Home Spa
  3. Floral Flowers by Chemistry

Aromatic Hydrosols Reigning High

A quality that is quite inseparable from the name ‘hydrosols’ is the quality of smelling beautiful, fragrance. Hydrosols, alomost al of them are absolutely wonderful smelling liquid potions and do a lot of benefits to the skin.

Hydrosols are the aromatic waters that condense in the collecting vessel during steam distillation. They contain minute amounts of the essential oil, so hydrosols are very safe and gentle. Many hydrosols can be sprayed near the eyes, taken as drinks, sprayed on the skin, amongst other uses.

Benefits of hydrosols include the potential action of some of the water-soluble components found in the parent plant – and so are perfect for cleansing around ears and eyes and other delicate areas – but not strong enough for ticks, fleas, and strong coat and paw cleaning. A number of essential oils have been used in veterinary work for many, many years – way before other pharmaceuticals were available.

Be careful though with using concentrated preparations near eyes and noses – ocular and respiratory membranes may not react well to some essential oils. Use low dose first – then build up depending on the result you want. Less is still often more even with dogs – although cleaning a wound, deterring fleas and ticks, combatting fungal infections for example will likely require relatively high concentrations to be effective.

Less concentrated than pure essential oils, these fragrant waters are produced during the steam distillation process. Each hydrosol has specific therapeutic benefits depending on the plant it was derived from. Organic hydrosols are saturated with the scent and essence of these oils and can gently do a lot for the skin or hair -

  • Hydrate
  • Refresh
  • Nurture

Hydrosols contain a wide range of therapeutic compounds which makes them highly effective for treating various health concerns. In Ayurvedic medicine aromatic waters are called arkas; they are consumed as drinks for their therapeutic benefits, especially for digestive disorders.

Because hydrosols are water-based products, they have a shorter shelf life than essential oils. Please keep all hydrosols refrigerated to extend their shelf life.

Go through our reference links now -

  1. Floral Waters by Wise Geek
  2. Hydro-sols by Natural Home Spa
  3. Floral Flowers by Chemistry

Tha Calming Magic – Floral Waters

More than anything else, most people are unaware that floral waters can make amazing mood-boosters. The oils are quite soothing and calming in nature. That is the major reason that they’re a part of almost all aroma-therapies.

During the summer hydrosols are perfect to use as a cooling body mist, and the most cooling of all is Peppermint. Make sure you take some with you to use on holidays, on the beach and even to cool those aching tootsies when you are out shopping! Hydrosols help to revitalise you when your energies are beginning to flag, and a few sprays onto a tissue makes a handy wet-wipe for all sorts of applications including babies and grubby children.

To calm a restless baby try adding a few tablespoons of Lavender or Chamomile hydrosol into their bathwater. This can be especially beneficial if your baby is suffering from nappy rash or eczema, because the soothing properties of these hydrosols help calm the irritation and speed up the healing process.

Talking about the many uses of hydrosols -

Hydrosols are quite safe to use on young children, and since they only contain a small amount of essential oil they do not need diluting much further except as above when using with very young babies.

Hydrosols such as Rose or Neroli can be added to the final rinse water in your washing cycle as well as used as a fragrant linen spray whilst ironing since they smell much nicer than their synthetic counterparts. Around the house, hydrosols are great to freshen the air instead of using aerosols which of course are harmful to the environment.

Go through our reference links now -

  1. Floral Waters by Wise Geek
  2. Hydro-sols by Natural Home Spa
  3. Floral Flowers by Chemistry

Floral Waters – Soothing Souls

Floral waters or call them hydrosols, are no less than magical potions for the ailing skins. The hydrosols are wonderful respites from any so-called solution that can be harmful in the long run. Floral waters are absolutely pure and antiseptic.

Hydrosols, also known as floral waters and hydrolats, are the by-products of the steam distillation of essential oils. The hydrosols contain small quantities of the essential oils themselves, as well as water-soluble components of the plants that would otherwise be lost in the distillation process.

Hydrosols differ from many of the “face sprays” and “spritzers” available in shops (which also occasionally call themselves floral waters) which are often a simple mix of water and essential oil, sometimes with a little food colouring added to make it too “authentic”.

Hydrosols have a very subtle energy, and are therefore a useful addition and complement to essential oil-based therapy where a gentle approach is desired. Traditionally hydrosols are most commonly used for skin care, but they are also useful for eye inflammation and infection, and can be taken internally.

Until recently, the most readily available hydrosols were rose, lavender, chamomile and neroli (orange flower). But over the last few years more and more possibilities have been explored, as people realize that if it can be distilled, there can be a hydrosol.

  • Chamomile, Roman – soothing; anti-inflammatory; relieves stress; a compress for migraines; relieves nappy-rash; suitable for sensitive, inflamed or dry skin; sunburn; excellent for eyes
  • Lavender – soothing; gentle; balancing; antiseptic; suitable for all skin types; eczema; razor-burn; healing for burnt skin (including sunburn)
  • Manuka – cleansing; anti-fungal; antiseptic mouthwash
  • Melissa – hot flashes; a compress to relieve pain of shingles; suitable for oily skin
  • Neroli – calming; balancing; hydrating; rejuvenating; uplifting; anti-depressant; relieves stress; mildly astringent; suitable for all skin types
  • Peppermint – refreshing; deodorizing; cooling; antibacterial; mouthwash; clears sinus congestion; excellent as a facial and body spray in summer
  • Rose – refreshing; soothing; anti-inflammatory; regenerative; rehydrating; a gargle for sore or inflamed throats; suitable for sensitive or dry skin; soothes irritated eyes
  • Rose Geranium – balancing; antidepressant; hot flashes; suitable for oily or dry skin
  • Rosemary – refreshing; stimulating; razor-burn; suitable for congested skin
  • Tea Tree – stimulating; antiseptic; athlete’s foot; acne

Have a look at these reference links now -

  1. Floral Waters by Wise Geek
  2. Hydro-sols by Natural Home Spa
  3. Floral Flowers by Chemistry

Floral Waters – Sacred Solutions

The oils or call them floral waters or hydrosols are wonderful solutions to a number of health-related problems. They are highly antiseptic and amazingly mild in nature. The floral waters are used for a number of purposes.

The term hydrosol is derived from the Latin words hydro and sol, meaning “water solution.” When plant material, such as the -

  • Roots
  • Barks
  • Flowers
  • Leaves
  • Stems
  • Seeds

All of these are steam distilled to obtain an essential oil, certain chemical constituents of the plant first build up in the water. Only after they reach their maximum solubility in water, do they start to collect in a separate layer on the surface of the water (the essential oil). Many of the water-soluble plant compounds and some of the oil-soluble compounds wind up in the distillation water.

A hydrosol is the pure, distillate water that remains after essential oils are steam distilled from the original plant material. Hydrosols are usually clear and have the appearance and consistency of water. Their aroma is generally, but not always, similar to that of the essential oil, but the aroma is usually much more subtle. Hydrosols contain small amounts of essential oil. They also contain water-soluble components of the plant material that may not be present in the essential oil. The aroma, therefore, may differ somewhat from the plant’s essential oil. Some hydrosols do smell surprisingly different from the essential oil.

Hydrosols are also known as hydrolates. Hydrosols are also sometimes incorrectly referred to as floral waters. Floral waters are typically aromatic waters made with the use of fragrance oils (see our Floral Water category, but do not contain the natural therapeutic properties that hydrosols contain. Hydrosols cannot be made by solubilizing essential oils in water.

Hydrosols are gaining importance in aromatherapy because they naturally contain low dilutions of essential oils combined with the botanical’s water-soluble compounds not present within the essential oil itself. Hydrosols are generally safer for use in babies and individuals with depressed immune systems.

Use hydrosols in toners, creams, lotions, body sprays, room sprays and in place of water in most formulations. They will impart both fragrance and therapeutic benefits to your products. Hydrosols are also wonderful when used as wetting agents in clay facials. An anti-bacterial preservative should be considered for preserving products that contain hydrosols.

Pure hydrosols are more gentle and thus even more fragile than their essential oil counterparts. They do not have the same concentrated anti-bacterial properties that essential oils possess and are subject to much more rapid degradation. Even when stored in an ideal, sterile environment, the shelf life of hydrosols is limited to 6-24 months, depending on the specific hydrosol.

Have a look at our reference links now -

  1. Floral Waters by Wise Geek
  2. Hydro-sols by Natural Home Spa
  3. Floral Flowers by Chemistry

King Floral Water – Rosewater

As cliched as it might sound, simply like the king of flowers is rose, the king of natural oils or floral waters is none other than rosewater. Well, that’s actually pretty obvious, but then I dont leave any point unexplained.

Rosewater has been used through the millenniums for religious ceremonies, as a courtesy to guests, for physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. Today, the best rose hydrosol is distilled in Bulgaria, although France also has a thriving rosewater industry.

Rose hydrosol is wonderful in homemade skin care products. It can be used by itself as a toner, used to moisten a mask, or used in place of water in lotions or cosmetics recipes. Rosewater stimulates the skin, heightening the blood flow. Experts disagree about using it on extraordinarily sensitive skin. Rosewater controls and balances sebum production, making it useful for both dry and oily skin. It can balance and restore the skin’s Ph and helps tighten pores. Its antibacterial properties help fight acne giving troubled skin a gentle, rather than a harsh treatment. It is reputed to be useful in the treatment of all sorts of dermatitis. Suzanne Catty recommends blending Rose Hydrosol with Cistus Hydrosol as an anti-wrinkle treatment.

In Bulgaria, there is much scientific research being done about the therapeutic and medicinal benefits of Rosewater indicates that Rosewater, taken internally. is effective against strep and staph infections, among many others. Rosewater has been recommended as a gargle or throat spray for sore or inflamed throats.

Rose Hydrosol is a wonderful woman’s tool for healing. It may be used externally, as a facial or body spray, or in a compress. Some recommend taking a teaspoon of the hydrosol to calm stress and anxiety. Others recommend a rosewater douche as a treatment for low libido (low sex drive); it seems to act on both the body and the psyche to gently bring down barriers. Catty recommends taking Rose Hydrosol internally to help balance female hormones. She writes that by helping balance the endocrine system it can combat -

  • PMS
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Moodiness, even during menopause

Have a look at our reference links now -

  1. Floral Waters by Wise Geek
  2. Hydro-sols by Natural Home Spa
  3. Floral Flowers by Chemistry

Floral Waters – Phytotherapy

Floral water, this should be known to the human race that the purest form of liquids are obatined from plants. And there is an entire formal process involved in the extraction of that liquid from plants. I’ll discuss something yet untouched.

Phytotherapy is another name for plant therapy, which includes herbalism, homeopathy, Chinese herbal medicine, and even mud, seaweed and water therapies. Aromatherapy is, of course, another form of phytotherapy, and much of our modern thinking on how the modality should develop is coming from the naturopathic and phytotherapeutic domains.

The expansion of our aromatic world to include hydrosols as well as essential oils is an important step in the new future of aromatherapy on a global basis. It also allows us to put aromatherapy into the larger context and to see ways in which herbs, aromatics and other remedies can work together in the healing process – true synergistic use of the plant properties.

My experience and that of several colleagues indicate that hydrosols may in fact be used exactly as homeopathic remedies. In the past year we have expanded our experiments in this and other areas. The more people trying different methods the more likely results will be.

Homeopathic remedies are prepared by repeated dilution and succussion of standard tinctures in 60% alcohol or high proof vodka. The more diluted and succussed the remedy, the stronger its potency. Alcohol is the chosen medium because it contains water, which can best hold and expand the medicinal vibration of the remedy, and the alcohol acts as -

  • Preservative
  • Antibacterial agent

Hydrosols can be treated in the same way as the tinctures used in homeopathy. Single drops can be diluted in quantities of distilled water and succussed to distribute the energy of the hydrosol throughout the water.

Probably the biggest drawback to the remedy concept is the delicate nature of hydrosols. Tinctures will stay viable and free from bacteria for fairly long periods thanks to their alcohol content. Homeopathic remedies, which are diluted in alcohol, also benefit from this preservative action; not so aromatic waters.

Hydrosols ideally contain no preservatives and must be packaged in sterilized containers and kept cool and dark to avoid bacterial degradation. Any remedy made in the manner described will either require the addition of alcohol or have a short life span suitable only for immediate use or where clients are willing to prepare the dilutions themselves.

Go through our reference links now -

  1. Floral Waters by Wise Geek
  2. Hydro-sols by Natural Home Spa
  3. Floral Flowers by Chemistry