Aromatherapy and Hydrosols

Aromatherapy and Hydrosols

Hydrosols are a by-product of the distillation of essential oils which are commonly used in aromatherapy.

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Boy, even in something as seemingly simple as aromatherapy, strange terms just keep cropping up, don't they. Now we want to discuss hyrdosols.

So, what the heck are they?

Hydrosols are basically just another type of product commonly used in aromatherapy.

They are frequently combined with essential oils and carrier oils as a way to enhance the base product. Steam distillation, and water distillation, two processes commonly used for extracting essential oils from plants, roots, flowers and fruits produce another byproduct: water.

This leftover water retains within it the scent of the plant from which it was extracted and this fragrant liquid is what's referred to as the hydrosols.

Hydrosols are also known by other names including hydrolytes and hydrolates.

By their nature, hydrosols are much lighter than essential oils. 

However, they also maintain many of the same attributes of essential oils and the addition of water simply makes for a milder product than the essential oils themselves. There are times in aromatherapy when a milder version of an essential oil is preferred. For example, hydrosols are perfect for using as a toner for skin. Hydrosols, because they are milder, are also safer to use on children's skin and sensitive skin.

Since hydrosols are water-based, they're sometimes also called "floral water". Just be certain to read the label as some floral water products claiming to contain hydrosols really are nothing more than colored water which has been scented with a few drops of essential oils. This color is a clue. Most hydrosols are nearly colorless, so steer clear of those that have color. 

WHAT HYDROSOLS CAN DO:

A few drops of your favorite scented hydrosols can calm, invigorate, relax and soothe. Believe it or not, these light scents can help turn a cranky person into a happy person in just a few minutes. Aromatherapy hydrosols really are that effective.

The thing that's important to remember about hydrosols is that in order to preserve their shelf life, they need to be refrigerated. And although they are primarily used externally, they can be used internally, with caution. Some need to be heated prior to use. When in doubt, always read the product label. 

THREE HYDROSOLS AND THEIR USES

Roman Chamomile hydrosol is an excellent way to alleviate a number of skin problems. 

Whether you have dry, flaky skin or a problem with eczema, acne and even hemorrhoids, a few drops will make a huge difference. A few drops on a compress can alleviate tired eyes and can even dull the pounding pain of a migraine headache. 

If you love the aroma of freshly cut Christmas trees, a few drops from a bottle of balsam fir hydrosol can fill the air inside your home with that same pleasant scent all year 'round. The scent is distilled from a balsam fir's needles. Besides adding the aroma to the air, you can pour a few drops into a foot bath to help invigorate tired feet. This scent is a powerful mood booster, too.

One of the most popular aromatherapy hydrosols and one that has been used for thousands of years is rose hydrosol

Rose hydrosol is used in many different types of skin care products including toners and moisturizers, body sprays and douches. Rose hydrosol can help balance the skin's pH and its antibacterial properties can help those with acne.

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Aromatherapy and Hydrosols - Copyright 2015
Page Updated 8:11 AM Saturday 2/21/2015