Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Have you heard of the term Hydrosols and do not know what it is?  Then read the following on how From Nature With Love  describes what it is.

"The term hydrosol is derived from the Latin words hydro and sol, meaning "water solution." When plant material, such as the roots, barks, flowers, leaves, stems and seeds, is steam distilled to obtain an essential oil, certain chemical constituents of the plant first build up in the water. Only after they reach their maximum solubility in water, do they start to collect in a separate layer on the surface of the water (the essential oil). Many of the water-soluble plant compounds and some of the oil-soluble compounds wind up in the distillation water.

A hydrosol is the pure, distillate water that remains after essential oils are steam distilled from the original plant material. Hydrosols are usually clear and have the appearance and consistency of water. Their aroma is generally, but not always, similar to that of the essential oil, but the aroma is usually much more subtle. Hydrosols contain very small amounts of the essential oil. They also contain water-soluble components of the plant material that may not be present in the essential oil. The aroma, therefore, may differ somewhat from the plant’s essential oil. Some hydrosols do smell surprisingly different from the essential oil. Some hydrosols, such as Yarrow, have an unpleasant odor, making them more difficult to use.

Hydrosols are gaining importance in aromatherapy because they offer an opportunity to use a well-diluted potency of a particular plant’s essential oil for therapeutic purposes. The highly concentrated compounds found in essential oils may often be too strong for the human body, and therefore may be rejected or ineffective. Hydrosols on the other hand, are well-diluted water-soluble compounds, which are easily assimilated and absorbed by the body. Hydrosols are generally safer for use in babies and individuals with depressed immune systems.

Hydrosols are also known as hydrolates. Hydrosols are also sometimes incorrectly referred to as floral waters. Floral waters are typically aromatic waters made with the use of fragrance oils (see our Floral Water category, but do not contain the natural therapeutic properties that hydrosols contain. Hydrosols cannot be made by solubilizing essential oils in water.

Unfortunately, pure hydrosols do not have the strong anti-bacterial properties that essential oils possess and therefore they are subject to rapid degradation. Hydrosols are often collected over long periods of time during which contamination may occur and subsequent handling and storage conditions may further reduce shelf life. Assuming that a hydrosol is collected in the most sterile manner and promptly sealed, stored and transported in a cool environment, it may have a shelf life of 6 months to 2 years unopened. Keeping a hydrosol stored in such pristine conditions, however, is rarely the case. We believe that the dangers of using a hydrosol harboring bacterial colonies far outweigh the negative effects of adding food grade ethyl alcohol to the hydrosols to preserve shelf life. Our European hydrosols are preserved with ethyl alcohol as required by law. Our witch hazel hydrosol is preserved with Germaben and is not suitable for internal use.

Use hydrosols in toners, creams, lotions, body sprays, room sprays and in place of water in most formulations. They will impart both fragrance and therapeutic benefits to your products. Hydrosols are also wonderful when used as wetting agents in clay facials. An anti-bacterial preservative will be needed to preserve your products that contain hydrosols."

If you are interested in purchasing a particular hydrosol, From Nature With Love sells a variety of conventional hydrosols including Clary Sage, Jasmine, Lemon Balm (Melissa), and many others.  They also sell a variety of organic hydorosols to select from.

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