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Home Page > Hydrosol Profiles > What are Hydrosols?

What are Hydrosols?

HydrosolsBriefly stated, a hydrosol is the aromatic water that remains after producing an essential oil via steam or water distillation. Some plants are specifically distilled for the resulting hydrosol instead of the hydrosol being simply a byproduct of a distillation.

Hydrosols are sometimes referred to as hydrolats, distillate waters or floral waters.

Suzanne Catty, author of Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy proposes the following definition: "Hydrosols are the condensate water coproduced during the steam- or hydro-distillation of plant material for aromatherapeutic purposes." [Suzanne Catty, Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy (Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2001), 10.]

The plant matter used in essential oil distillation imparts the hydrosol with the water-soluble aromatic and therapeutic properties of the plant.

Unlike essential oils that should be diluted prior to application to the skin, hydrosols are much gentler than their essential oil counterparts and can generally be used directly on the skin without further dilution.

Hydrosols can be used in place of water in creating natural fragrances, lotions, creams, facial toners and other skin care products. They can also be added to the bath, and used on their own as a light cologne or body spray. Hydrosol can be added to finger bowls for elegant, romantic dinners. Examples of hydrosols are Rose, Roman Chamomile, Neroli and Lavender.

Hydrosols are available through some, but not all sellers or essential oil and natural skin care ingredients. AromaWeb's Global Business Directory provides a wonderful categorical directory of artisans and companies that sell Hydrosols and other aromatherapy products.


Beware of the Term "Floral Waters"

Sometimes water simply blended with essential oils are sold as floral waters or as hydrosols. It is always wise to ask vendors for details about the hydrosols that they sell to ensure that what you are purchasing is a true hydrosol as defined here.


Helpful Sources of Information About Hydrosols:

Cover

   

Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy
Author: Suzanne Catty
Publisher: Healing Arts Press
Copyright: 2001
ISBN: 0892819464 / 978-0892819461
Pages: 352

Cover

   

Understanding Hydrolats: The Specific Hydrosols for Aromatherapy: A Guide for Health Professionals
Author: Len Price and Shirley Price
Publisher: Churchill Livingstone
Copyright: 2004
ISBN: 0443073163 / 978-0443073168
Pages: 300

Cover

   

375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols
Author: Jeanne Rose

Publisher: Frog, Ltd.
Copyright: 1999
ISBN: 1883319897 / 978-1883319892
Pages: 252

Disclaimer: The hydrosol information and safety precautions provided within this area are intended for educational purposes only. The data is not considered complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate.

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