Hydrosols, also called hydrolats, are a wonderful plant-based aromatic water, made from steam distillation of plant material with water. Hydrosols are not as concentrated as essential oils, use less plant material, and are more gentle for everyday use. Hydrosols can also be easily made at home, with either a still or a pot. Hydrosols are so gentle that they can even be used with children and those that otherwise would stay away from concentrated plant compounds.
Surprisingly, hydrosols often smell very different than the plant or the essential oil and can have a unique aroma profile. They may also share only some of the chemical constituents as the essential oil! But a good general rule of thumb is to use the hydrosols in a similar way you would use fresh plant material or essential oils.
Depending on where you are on the planet, you will have different plants available to distill. Vetiver, Neroli, Eucalyptus, and Jasmine are in warmer climates, Mint, Clary Sage, Spruce, and Pine in more northern climates. Find what is local and grows in your area.
A few hydrosols to try:
Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis, Matricaria)
Citrus (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit)
Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)
Cucumber (Cucumis sativis)
Elderflower (Sambuca nigra)
Goldenrod (Solidago sp)
Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum)
Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
Lemon Verbena (Aloysia triphylla)
Monarda (Monarda sp)
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Pine (Pinus sp)
Rose (Rosa damascena)
Rosemary (Rosemarinus offcinialis)
Rose Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
Spearmint (Mentha spicata)
Spruce (Picea sp)
Tulsi (Ocimum sp)
Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
How to Use:
Hydrosols are gentle and can be used internally and externally. There are many wonderful recipes for hydrosol cocktails out there, but today, we will focus on the healing components of the body.
Here are some general hydrosol usage categories:
Aromatherapy: Lavender, Rose, Lemon Verbena, Clary Sage, Tulsi
Respiratory Support: Catnip, Douglas Fir, Eucalyptus, Sitka Spruce
Foot odor: Tea Tree, Melissa, Lavender
Athletes Foot: Tea Tree, Monarda, Ponderosa Pine
Dry, Irritated Skin: Calendula, Lemon Balm, Rose Geranium
Eye Compress: Chamomile, Cucumber, Cornflower
Facial: Cistus, Cornflower, Lemon Thyme, Lemon Verbena, Clary Sage, Ponderosa Pine, Rosemary
Anti-inflammatory: Elderflower, German Chamomile, Ponderosa Pine, Rose Geranium, Sitka Spruce, Tulsi
Bath: Goldenrod, Lavender, Rose, German Chamomile
Headache: Lavender, Lemon Balm
Kids Bath: Calendula, German Chamomile, Lavender, Thyme
Diaper Rash Spray: Lavender, Witch Hazel
Acne: Lemon Thyme, Lavender, Lime, Tea Tree, Thyme, Witch Hazel
Scars & Wounds: Cistus, Helichrysum, Tea Tree, Thyme, Yarrow
Bruises: Cornflower, Rose Geranium, Helichrysum, Lavender
Sunburns: Cucumber, German Chamomile, Helichrysum, Lavender, Rose Geranium
Scrapes: Douglas Fir, Lavender, Witch Hazel
Itching: Peppermint, Helichrysum, Lavender, Witch Hazel
Hair & Scalp Care: Rosemary, Witch Hazel, Chamomile, Lavender,
Home: Douglas Fir, Melissa/Lemon Balm, Ponderosa Pine
Digestion: Sweet Basil, Cardamom, Chocolate Mint, Catnip, Coriander, Cucumber, German Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, Laurel Leaf, Peppermint, Spearmint, Yarrow
IBD: Cistus, Lemon Balm, Yarrow
Beverages: Peppermint, Spearmint, Lemon Verbena, Pine, Sweet Basil, Sage
Mouth: German Chamomile, Helichrysum, Tea Tree, Calendula, Lemon Verbena, Cinnamon, Laurel Leaf, Peppermint, Spearmint, Witch Hazel, Yarrow
Pets: Peppermint, Spearmint, Lavender, Yarrow
Here are a few ways to put them together.
Cooling Body Spray
Stop the Itch
Bug Bite Ice Cubes:
Spray your veggies using Lemon Balm/Melissa
After Sun Spray:
Skin Soothing Bath:
Add ¼ cup of hydrosol to bathwater. Good hydrosols to use include lavender, chamomile, and rose.
This list is compiled just to show you how versatile hydrosols can be, and their gentle nature means you can experiment, try some new combinations, and enjoy their wide uses!
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