What is Hydrosol?

What are they?  How do you use them? Even better yet, why should I care about them?
All very good questions.

Hydrosol is another name for hydrolat or “floral water”.  Most people have heard of Rose Water.  Rose water is Rose Hydrosol. It is the water portion of the steam distillation process. That same process of distillation can be applied to many other flower and herb plants.

In steam and water distillation, the water is heated to create a steam to pass through the plant product.  It turns the plant parts into vapour which rises and passes through the top of the condenser. 

The condenser is cold and the steam is vapour and hot.  When the two come together, you get condensation and it starts to return to liquid state again.  This is the alchemy and science parts of it. 

You have two things coming out of the condenser tube.  Essential oil and water which is the Hydrosol.  Oil and water do not combine so the essential oil floats on top of the water.

I can separate that essential oil off the Hydrosol water part or leave it in.  Many times I do leave it in the Hydrosol because I do small batch steam distillation. There is very little essential oil to separate in some batches.  Many plants are stingy and don’t give up their oil easily.  An example is Lemon balm.  It takes 7 tonnes of plant material to create 1 quart of essential oil!

My normal still run will yield approximately 34-40 ounces of Hydrosol and about 10-15 ml of Lavender or Rosemary essential oil if I separate it off.  Some variety of Lavender and many other herbs that I grow are low oil producers.  Those plants I distill for Hydrosol in small batches and leave the few drops of essential oil in the Hydrosol.

Hydrosol are so simple to use.  Because it is water off the steam distillation process, it is already diluted.  The goodness of the plant with a small bit of essential oil in a water form. It is a part of aromatherapy that is safer for usage due to its mild diluted water form. 

No worries about diluting hydrosol or mixing with other oils.  That is why I love hydrosols for everyday use.  No fuss and no need for intense training to understand application, usage and safety protocols like in traditional essential oil aromatherapy. Just spritz away.

I bottle hydrosol in 4 ounce glass bottles with a fine mist sprayer.  You can simply take the cap off and spritz.  No diluting or mixing necessary.  No perservatives added.  Just Hydrosol of whatever plant was used in the distillation process.  I grow these plants here at Alba Ranch without pesticides and herbicides.  I am allergic to many things like that and keep my products as pure and natural as possible. 

It is best to keep your Hydrosol out of direct sunlight and in a cooler temperature to extend it’s shelf life. Use your Hydrosol and spritz away.  Some uses for Hydrosol are:

Room spray, pet bedding spray, linen spray, cooling facial toner, back of neck cooling mist, all over body spray, and a wonderful spritz of Lavender on your pillow for bedtime.  Light scents that don’t linger like heavy perfumes.  Can be used frequently all day long instead of perfume.

Get your HYDROSOL here from Alba Ranch Shop

Calming and restorative, I use mine daily and frequently.  I have been testing these various hydrosols over the last year.  I have been an aromatherapist for over 20 years and am finding I rarely use essential oils anymore.  I just reach for a Hydrosol or an “infused” oil instead.  Both are mild and require no dilution or mixing for application. 

Hydrosols and Infused Oils have been uploaded to the shop with more to come as I continue to harvest, distill and create.. Look for my next post to come soon…. “What is an infused oil?”

What are your thoughts?

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