Exploring Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is an incredibly vast and rich field.
Lavender

What are Hydrosols?

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Hydrosols, also known as hydrolats, are the aqueous product of distillation and carry the hydrophilic properties (water-soluble components) of the plant in solution as well as microscopic droplets of essential oils in suspension.1 Every liter of hydrosol contains between 0.05 and 0.2 milliliter (less then 1%, typically 0.01 - 0.04%) of dissolved essential oil, depending on the water solubility of the plant’s components and the distillation parameters.2 Hydrosols also contain carboxylic acids, which may explain their observed anti-inflammatory activity.3

Be sure to store all hydrosols in the refrigerator. Average shelf life: 12-24 months.

Hydrosols have numerous benefits for the skin including:

  • Serve as hydrating components in a product, e.g. cream, cleanser, etc.
  • Effective toners
  • Anti-inflammatory, cooling
  • Wound healing
  • Safe for infants and young children in baths (1 tbsp) or spritzers.

Most common hydrosols and their uses

German ChamomileGerman chamomile (Matricaria recutita): anti-inflammatory, cooling, indicated for eczema, psoriasis, rashes, acne and other inflammatory conditions


Clary Sage
Clary sage (Salvia sclarea): astringent, antidepressent, PMS, hot flashes


Lavender
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): relaxing, great for children in baths or as a spritzer, anti-inflammatory


Neroli/Orange Flower
Neroli/Orange flower (Citrus aurantium var. amara): stress relieving, all around skin care, astringent


Witch Hazel
Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana): astringent, wound cleanser, insect bites, acne, oily skin


References

1Harmon, A. (2010) Healing Waters: A spotlight on anti-inflammatory hydrolats. International Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy 7
2Catty, S. (2001). Hydrosols: The next aromatherapy. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.
3Harris, R. (2006). Aromatic approaches to wound care. International Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy, Vol 3:2b, 2006.

 

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