Hydrosols in Aromatherapy
Article by Alexia Buttigieg
I bet that you all heard rose water mentioned by our grandmas, who used it for everything and swore by it! And no wonder, they are so spot on. The benefits of these aromatic waters is fantastic.
They are also known as floral waters, but the appropriate words are hydrosols or hydrolats which both make sense. Hydro means water part than sol is a solution in Latin, and lat is milk in Latin which is the appearance of the finished product after distillation. This is a by product of distilled essential oils where on one side you get the plant matter’s essential oil and the other side this hydrolat is collected.
It must be said that hydrosols are cheaper than essential oils, and these do not need to be diluted and can be used directly on the skin. Hydrosols are very safe for babies pregnant ladies and small pets still with some exceptions (always ask your aromatherapist if you have any of the mentioned situation). They are ideal as face toners, for calming diaper rash, refreshing linen, as a room fragrance, added to steamers or steam irons ( must state that appliance is compatible ) added to the rinse cycle in washing machine, added to baths, used as deodorants or body freshener. So as you might notice the uses are vast and not only eliminating possible toxic synthetic fragrances from your home but they also have added therapeutic benefits of which I will mention a few to have an idea.
One must keep in mind that most hydrosols have a shorter shelf life than fellow oils, but usually the date would be marked on the purchased bottle. Also if you notice any sediments or change in smell it might be that it has gone bad. It is mandatory in the EU that purchased hydrolats must be properly preserved ideally with preservatives accepted by natural cosmetics associations and that only those are added to the hydrosols and no other fancy ingredient. Store in a dark cool place away from heat and sunlight.
These are a few hydrolats available on the market;
Rose water: soothes dry skin, balancing.
Witch hazel: soothes, astringent, calms inflammation, used for combination skins and acne but also diaper rash
Tea tree: fights infections, antiseptic, cooling, helps fight infection.
Chamomile: healing of skin, calms swelling, anti allergenic and anti irritant.
Lavender: antiseptic, cooling, calming, bactericidal, regenerating.
There are so many more to choose from but these should be a good starting point for those who are new to hydrosols. More will be available on the market as they are regaining popularity. And like essential oils buy from reputable sellers. One last note to add is that you might notice that the same purchased hydrosol might differ in smell or colour from the previous purchase. It is totally ok. This happens because climate, cultivation and time of distillation will make an impact on end result leaving the hydrosol with a different smell and sometimes colour too, but in my belief is the beauty of nature and what makes natural products unique.
Alexia Buttigieg is a holistic therapist who is passionate about everything that can help people feel better in a more natural approach, from massage to self-therapy to essential oils and reflexology. She believes that stress cannot be avoided but nature has given us all we need to reduce it, and live a more balanced existence. She started her career as a Beauty therapist and has achieved diplomas in Esteticienne and Physiatrics, where she was able to understand the anatomy and physiology of the human body. She furthered her studies by achieving diplomas in Reflexology (including palliative care) and Aromatherapy. Other certificate courses include tui na, facial analysis and ayurvedic stone massage. In these past years she has ventured into natural cosmetics and read for a diploma and an advanced diploma in organic skincare formulation, which harmonises her passions for Aromatherapy and organic skincare treatments. Alexia still feels like her first role is being a mother to her daughter and prioritises family and their well-being. She may be contacted at email@example.com