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WHAT ARE HYDROSOLS AND HOW TO USE THEM
- Apr, 06 , 21
- Martina Steege
Hydrosols, also known as hydrolats or floral waters, are produced through the same process as essential oils. The distinction between the two products is in the chemical make-up of the end product. Hydrosols are predominately made up of hydrophilic compounds of the plant, with a minute number of essential oil compounds, whereas essential oils are lipophilic (literally: "oil-loving").
The distillation process involves filling a still with plant material and forcing steam through the plant under pressure. The pressurized steam breaks open the plant's cells, which releases its oil content. The steam and the oil molecules pass through a cooling condenser, which turns the steam back to water. The water is collected in a flask, and the oil generally floats on the surface. This water is the hydrosol. It contains the water-soluble parts of the plant and can have wonderful therapeutic effects.
Hydrosols are aromatic waters with healing benefits. Some authors (Price and Price 2004, Catty 2001) describe homoeopathic properties of hydrolats, their ability to retain some form of memory or life force from the plants. Cellular water (water from the plant material that gets distilled into hydrolat) is considered an important element for mediating these properties, which is one of the reasons why high-quality hydrolats should be distilled from fresh plant material (Harman 2014).
Hydrosols do have advantages over essential oils: you do not have to dilute them for topical use, you can use them with small children and pets.
Use of hydrosols include effective skin toners, Skin soothing sprays for pets, wound healing gels.