Hydrosols – the Aromatic Waters

basil hydrosolWarmer weather is finally here. I prefer sandals and packed up my boots. I crave salads and iced tea. Everything is lighter, including aromatherapy. Aromatic waters, aka hydrosols, are a nice way to add a lighter touch to essential oil use.

When most people hear the term ‘aromatherapy’ they think of essential oils. Essential oils are produced by the distillation of plant material, a process that also makes hydrosols or ‘aromatic waters.’ Hydrosols are the watery substances captured during distillation that can be used in therapeutic applications.

You may have heard of rosewater – it is a hydrosol. It is best known for its uses in Middle Eastern cooking and beauty products. Many other plants create hydrosols that are wonderful smelling and healthy. Lavender, rosemary and chamomile all produce aromatic waters when they are distilled. These hydrosols, and others, can be spritzed on the body or in the air as a gentle way to offer aromatherapy to adults, children, and even your pets.

A fun way to include hydrosols in your life is to add them to homemade cleaning products. You can use hydrosols as the water component in a cleaning product, such as a room spray, or add it to foaming soap. In the recipe below you can choose essential oils and hydrosols to suit your mood, or mix up a batch that is antibacterial during cold season. I like to use peppermint soap, lavender hydrosol and a citrus essential oil blend at my kitchen sink.
Foaming Soap
9 ounces liquid castile soap (such as Dr. Bronner’s)
2.5 ounces hydrosol
2 ounces filtered water
1.5 ounces aloe vera juice
20 drops of essential oil or a blend
Mix all ingredients in a 16 oz bottle with a special foamer pump.