When the news came that we were going to carry a new line of Organic Hydrosols my curiosity was immediately peaked. When I heard the names of all the interesting and unique new varieties that would soon be available I was overjoyed. I have been enthralled with hydrosols for some time, but haven’t had the opportunity to use more than the classic variety. Lavender, Rose and Lemon Balm are perfectly charming, and extremely useful products. But Carrot Seed, Chamomile, and Rosemary? I knew I had to get my hands on these beauties right away. So, like a kid waiting for a Christmas present in the mail, I politely harassed our receiving department until they arrived. The sound of me asking, "are they here yet?", is probably forever etched into the poor fellow’s mind. Hee hee.
Hydrosols are created during the steam distillation of essential oils. After the steaming process is over, the water that is left behind contains many beneficial properties of the plant. These waters also carry their own unique aroma, often very different from that of the essential oil, but still reminiscent of the plant that they both originated from. The aromas of hydrosols can be so different, in fact, that many people are completely caught off guard when they first encounter a hydrosol.
Some of our new Organic Hydrosols include:
- Angelica Root – This hydrosol has a very strong aroma, making ideal for aromatherapy use. The herbal tone of this hydrosol is said to have a grounding or calming effect.
- Carrot Seed – Like the essential oil, Carrot Seed Hydrosol has wonderful anti-aging benefits. It would be an ideal ingredient in a facial toner, or in the water phase of a facial cream.
- Cistus (Labdanum) – Cistus is also known as Labdanum, or Rock Rose. However, rather than smelling of rose, this hydrosol has a more medicinal, herby, aroma. It is highly astringent, and has cleansing properties, making it a good choice for toner or for oily skin formulations. It may also be effective at scar and wrinkle reduction.
- Labrador Tea – The aroma of this hydrosol is very distinct. It has a sweetness to it that matches its corresponding properties as well. In aromatherapy, Labrador is used to relieve insomnia and promote a sense of well being. It has even been used to aid those recovering from addictions.
- Lavandula Augustifolia – This classic ingredient takes on a new face in its aqueous form. Its aroma is reminiscent of the essential Oil, but Lavandula Hydrosol has its own personality and distinctive scent. Lavandula has a myriad of uses. In child care, its calming effect can be taken advantage of in bath water or to ease crankiness. Lavandula is also great at calming sunburn, windburn, and some rashes. In skin care, Lavandula is a virtual chameleon. It is beneficial to most skin types due to its balancing and anti-inflammatory effects, and can be used in almost any formulation.
- Lemon Balm – This hydrosol has a very recognizable aroma. While it does vary slightly from its corresponding essential oil, most people find Lemon Balm Hydrosol’s light, refreshing aroma to be quite pleasant. Great for oily/combination skin types, this hydrosol can make an effective toner for acne prone skin.
- Roman Chamomile – One of my favorite essential oils, Roman Chamomile makes a fantastic hydrosol as well. Its classic aroma is lighter, but still recognizable, as are the properties that make this plant so popular. The strong anti-inflammatory properties of Roman Chamomile make it especially suitable for a sensitive skin toner or cream. Roman Chamomile can also help to soothe irritated scalps when it is added to hair care formulations. In aromatherapy, Roman Chamomile is famous for its strong calming and sedative properties.
- Rose Damascena – Rose Damascena Hydrosol has to be one of the most luxurious products I have had the pleasure to encounter. Rose water is a classic ingredient in natural skin care, and this hydrosol does not disappoint in fragrance or effectiveness. The delicate aroma of rose petals really shines in this hydrosol. It is light, not overpowering, and very pleasant. Rose is known for its skin balancing effects. Mature skin can especially benefit from the use of Rose Hydrosol. Use it in creams, masks, or any luxurious formulation. But whatever you do, don’t waste a drop of this precious ingredient!
- Rosemary Verbenone – I have to admit that Rosemary is not, personally, one of my favorite aromas. However, it is much more appealing to me in its hydrosol form. The strong, camphorous aroma of Rosemary has been toned down a few notches. My favorite use of Rosemary is in hair care formulas. It can add shine and softness to lackluster hair, making it fantastic for use in hair rinses, conditioners or leave-in creams.
- White Sage – The scent of this hydrosol is very interesting to me. I had to open my little sample bottle several times to fully appreciate it. I love the scent of sage. Its bold, herbaceous aroma is has been used in cleansing ceremonies for ages. Today, Sage is used for similar purposes in aromatherapy. It is said to have a grounding effect that can help to provide clarity, and even soothe pain.
Hydrosols are great for use in aqueous formulations such as hair rinses, toners, body sprays, or
creams. While they do not usually pack the same potency as an essential oil, you should treat them with a similar respect. Their properties can still be very powerful. Always make sure the hydrosol you are using is safe for that application.
To learn more about hydrosols, I recommend picking up a copy of Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy by Suzanne Catty. This book is one of the most complete guides to hydrosols available. Catty not only provides detailed profiles on a wide range of hydrosols, she provides a wealth of information on the use and history of these products. The book also offers a massive chapter of recipes, including everything from skin care to detox beverages.