Hydrosols, commonly known as floral waters, are a vastly underused
ingredient in self care. It should be noted that not all floral waters
are hydrosols, and not all hydrosols are floral! True hydrosols are a
by-product of the distillation process of essential oils. These can be
the flowers, needles, peel, resin or other part of the plant which are
left over in one of the distillation condensate tanks used to break down
plant material into essential oils. Unlike essential oils, which are
highly concentrated, hydrosols are mostly water and can be used
undiluted. There are almost as many hydrosols as there are essential
oils, each with its own characteristics. I often recommend neroli
(orange blossom) and rose hydrosols to my customers who are wanting a
facial toner or cleanser that is suitable for all skin types and mature
skin. These hydrosols may be more commonly recognized in Middle Eastern
delicacies such as baklava, where the sweet scent is delicately infused
into the pastry. This leads me to another point: hydrosols are extremely
versatile. They can be added to cooking (depending on the plant), to
bathing, to humidifiers-the possibilities are virtually endless. I
recently starting experimenting with ravensara hydrosol. Ravensara has
immune enhancing properties, so we are trying it out in a humidifier to
help with any dry coughs and colds this winter. It would also make a
wonderful addition to a soothing bath, or in a steam inhalation. A
compress with hydrosols would help soothe a fever: ravensara or
peppermint would be my “go tos”. I would be remiss if I did not mention
lavender hydrosol. Lavender has skin cell regenerating properties and
soothes burns and skin problems. I have eased the scald of a hot water
burn by successive immersions in cool water, aloe vera and lavender
hydrosol, and didn’t end up with any sign of skin damage. Chamomile or
lavender hydrosol can be used to replace the liquid portion in homemade
baby wipes. Chamomile is soothing and reduces inflammation and soreness
(recipe here:http://wellnessmama.com/1459/homemade-baby-wipes/). Tired
feet can be rejuvenated in a quick foot soak of peppermint or spearmint
hydrosol. Add marbles to the container you are soaking in for an instant
acupressure massage! Or do a full bath with either of these energising
hydrosols! A note to all the fellas out there: sandalwood, cedarwood,
lavender and or chamomile would make a wonderful aftershave
These are but a few of the hydrosols and their uses;: the best way to
get to know them is to experience them firsthand.