Floral Waters/Hydrosols/Hydrolats

distillations-2-150x74When plant material is subjected to steam distillation two products are produced; the essential oil and the hydrosol (also called Floral Waters or Hydrolates). Hydrosols are water solutions which contain some of the water-soluble micro-molecules of the essential oil in addition to the water-soluable plant components. While essential oils are highly concentrated substances, hydrosols are far gentler as only a very small percentage of the aromatic molecules will remain in the water.  Hydrosols can be used in a variety of ways e.g. as a spritzer (spray), as a skin toner, in compresses, when making creams, soaps or lotions hydrosols can be used instead of water.

Some Uses of Hydrosols

Hydrosol Use
Rose Good for all skin types as a freshner or toner.
Add to cotton pads to put on irritated tired eyes.
Use in a facial or body spray or compress.
Neroli Good for combination and sensitive skin types.
Good as a room spray when feeling anxious or stressed out.
Lavender Good for normal and sensitive skin types.
Excellent for soothing sunburn.
Spray on pillows for a good sleep (especially helpful when away from home).
Lavender is good for stress and helps reduce mental fatigue.
Roman Chamomile Good for dry, sensitive and inflammed skin.
Add to cotton pads to put on irritated tired eyes.
Good as a room spray to calm irritated babies and young children.
Lemon Verbena Mildly astringent and good for oily skins.
Good in a spritzer to clean and disinfect the air.
Rosemary Good for sallow skin that needs stimulation and regeneration.
Helichrysum Good for rejuvenating mature or damaged skin.
Healing and soothing for inflamed skin conditions.
Geranium Good for mature skins.
Excellent in a spritzer to cool a hot flash.
Peppermint Excellent as a cooling and deodorizing foot spray.

References:
Jan Kusmirek, Aromatherapy Quarterly, Summer 1996, No.49, 1996
Beverley Hawkins, Aromatherapy 101 Course Notes & Aromatherapy 201 Course Notes, 1999.