Hydrosols are the water and oil solution created by steam distilling plants. When the oils are extracted from this solution, they are called essential oils, and must be diluted in carrier oils or water since they are highly concentrated. The rest of the water run off collected, which will contain a small amount of the essential oil as well as all of the therapeutic botanical extracts from the plant, is the hydrosol.
The name “hydrosol” comes from Hydro = Water, Sol = Solution.
Hydrosols are a type of herbal distillate, sometimes also called floral waters, hydrolates, herbal waters, or essential waters. Sometimes, people will use the term “floral water” to refer to a blend of essential oils in water. This is not the same thing as a hydrosol. A true hydrosol is a by-product (or co-product) of the essential oil distillation process.
Hydrosols have many of the same therapeutic benefits as essential oils, but are much gentler and have a softer aroma than essential oils. Unaltered hydrosols that remain in their pure state are perfectly balanced, and do not need to be diluted. With a hydrosol, you get many of the benefits of the plant’s essential oils, but in its naturally diluted state it’s safe to apply directly to your skin. Hydrosols are stronger than a tea and gentler than an essential oil.
Making Our Hydrosols
Dig It Naturals! makes our hydrosols with our own traditional copper alembic still from Portugal. You’ll sometimes see our still set up with us at Farmers’ Markets and other shows, where Tarah is happy to share her knowledge and experience. Schedule a tour of our property for a demo and samples!
How to Use Hydrosols
Hydrosols can be used in a remarkable number of ways. Some of our favourites are to use hydrosols in skin care and healing.
- Skin toners
- Body and linen sprays
- Yoga mat sprays
- Air freshener
- Base ingredient in lotions and sprays
They can also be sprayed in room diffusers where you normally add drops of essential oils, you can use 6-12 sprays of a hydrosol.
How to Store Hydrosols
Our hydrosols generally have a shelf life between 1-2 years. We do not add any preservatives to any of our hydrosols. They do not need to be refrigerated unless you are in a constantly hot climate.