Hydrosols are increasing in popularity today, although they have actually been around for a very long time! Hydrosols have more or less come full circle in history; initially, they were considered more “valuable” in the plant distillation process than essential oils. Over time, roles reversed and essential oils became the primary product of distillation. Today, hydrosols are distilled in their own right for their therapeutic properties – both from plants that yield essential oils, and those which don’t.
Here’s five uses for hydrosols, as an alternative to essential oils.
Hydrosols for Baby
Essential oils are more “potent” in nature than hydrosols and are therefore only recommended for use with babies and children with caution – and an understanding of the chemical components of each essential oil. Hydrosols do contain active chemical components but they are less volatile than essential oils because of the “water” content.
It is important to note, however, that lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) hydrosol is not an exact replica of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil in a “watered” down way. The therapeutic properties of individual hydrosols may vary from that of the essential oil counterpart. But if you do your homework, you can use certain hydrosols safely with baby; consult a certified aromatherapist or take a certified course in aromatherapy yourself before using with this age group.
Hydrosols for First Aid and the Home
Hydrosols are a great product to have around the home for first aid emergencies and for general cleaning. For example, use tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) hydrosol for disinfecting kitchen work tops – and keep handy for use as a first aid antiseptic for cuts and wounds.
Hydrosols are usually more cost effective than essential oils, too – which makes them suitable for cleaning duties.
Hydrosols as an Air Freshener
Commercial air fresheners may contain many harmful ingredients in addition to that synthetic “ocean breeze” aroma! An easy and more healthy way to deodorize and freshen up your home is to use a suitable hydrosol with antiseptic, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. Simply spritz the hydrosol in the areas required.
CAUTION: Do not spray hydrosols or essential oils in the vicinity of babies and children, pets (especially cats who may have a severe adverse reaction, in some cases death), and vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, the elderly and those with certain, serious illnesses, without checking with a certified aromatherapist first.
Hydrosols as a Body Spray
Hydrosols also make a great natural body spray. Simply mist over the body or face, depending upon the hydrosol used. Rose (Rosa damascena) essential oil is very a costly essential oil; however, as a hydrosol, it is more budget-friendly. Note that rose hydrosol may vary in aroma to the essential oil – as do some other hydrosols when compared to the essential oil. The therapeutic properties of rose hydrosol are similar to those of the essential oil including uses for skin care, as an aphrodisiac and for stress.
Learn More About Hydrosols with Sedona Aromatherapie
Hydrosols are introduced in the Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy Course Program including botanical profiles, uses, and therapeutic properties. To learn more, visit the Sedona Aromatherapie Home Study Courses home page.
*Note: Hydrosols are referred to as hydrolats in the UK and Europe.
Price, Len, Price, Shirley, 2004, Understanding Hydrolats: The Specific Hydrosols for Aromatherapy UK: Churchill Livingstone
Author is a certified aromatherapist