Hydrosols are often referred to as herbal distillates, floral water, herbal water or medicinal water. In chemistry, the definition of a hydrosol is simply water solution. This comes from the Latin “hydro” for water and “sol” for solution.
Hydrosols originate from the concentrated steam released from the distillation process of plant matter. This matter ranges from leaves, flowers, buds, resin, bark and twigs. The plant part that is used determines the type of hydrosol produced. During the distillation process the steam will produce hydrosols and essential oils. In this process, once the steam is condensed and captured, the essential oil is less dense and will float on top of the water while the hydrosol is water soluble and will remain in the water.
Because they are distilled together, the hydrosol will contain the same chemical properties as the essential oil but it is at a much lower concentration. This property makes the hydrosol safer and easier to use because hydrosols don’t have to be diluted before their application.
Since hydrosols are an organic, plant-based product, proper storage is vital for the shelf life. Refrigeration is recommended.
Hydrosols have many uses. They can easily be added to bath water and lotions. You can add them to room, linen and body sprays as well as hair rinse. Hydrosols also make an excellent addition to facial toner and clay mask and can be added to the laundry for additional cleaning and a pleasant aroma. You can also use them as a tea substitute!