What Are Hydrosols?
Are you trying to decide about incorporating aromatherapy into your lifestyle but are afraid or hesitant because of the volatile nature of these powerfully concentrated healing essences? Hydrosols offer an alternative to experience the relaxing aromas of certain botanicals and essential oils without concern over usage surrounded with skin sensitivity; photo-sensitivity and problems with proper dilution.
If you are new to the use of essential oils then you will have to educate yourself concerning the health benefits the Essential Oil lifestyle may offer while always being aware of the challenges of each particular essential oils and blends weighed with the challenges of proper dilution and any inherent dangers. Essential oils do provide many health benefits in the treatment for many health compromised conditions as a resort of remedy. The use of Essentials oils used in Aromatherapy offer stress relief by providing a boost to already in place treatments.
In the book Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy; the Author proposes the following definition of Hydrosols:
“Hydrosols are the condensate water co-produced during the steam or hydro-distillation of plant materials for aromatherapeutic purposes.” [Suzanne Catty, Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy (Rochester, VT Healing Arts Press, 2001),10.]
What are hydrosols? Don’t let the fancy name cause you any grief; hydrosols are quite simply “flower waters”. However their aromas are soft and subtle compared to their essential oil counterparts. Hydrosols are produced by distilling fresh leaves, fruits, flowers and other plant material. Most hydrosols are produced as a result of essential oil distillation with hydrosol or the aromatic water that remains after steam distilling or hydro-distilling botanical material such as lavender. The plant matter used in the distillation process imparts the hydrosol with the water soluble aromatic and therapeutic properties of the plant.
Whether or not to choose a hydrosol or just rely on using 100% pure therapeutic essentials oils such as Young Living with its seed to soil expert distillation is a matter of individual preference. True hydrosols are safer to use because they are water soluble; they are not as volatile in application as essential oils; also less likely to be photosensitive thereby gentler to the skin. They may be applied directly on the skin without further dilution. When should you choose hydrosols over EO’s? Mostly when there are safety concerns such as:
1. some essential oils are unsafe for children
2. some EO’s are unsafe for pregnant moms
3. most EO’s require that you dilute the oil with another essential oil or
add a carrier oil
4. a few are phototoxic
One may use hydrosols in place of water in creating natural fragrances, lotions, creams, facial toners and other skin care products. Used on their own they make an excellent light cologne or body spray. Hydrosols are great in finger bowls for elegant or romantic dinners. Examples of botanicals that are popular and available from artisan distillers in hydrosols are Rose, Roman chamomile, Neroli and Lavender. Botanical experts specifically distill plants for the resulting hydrosol that they produce. This results in hydrosols with superior aroma and therapeutic benefit. Hydrosols are sometimes referred to as hydrolats, distillate waters or floral waters.
While Young Living does not sell hydrosols; they do produce a 120 ml Rosemary floral water. This aromatic rosemary floral water from Young Living’s French farm in Provence is the ideal solution to clean your skin and to refresh your face in hot weather. Distilled in a traditional copper distiller which allows a longer shelf life than similar products. Unfortunately at present the availability of these true gifts of nature is limited. Once a product is sold out,YL may not receive further stock until the next harvest.
Happy adventures in discovering the relaxing scents of Aromatherapy!