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Hydrosols and 101 Ways to Use Them

by Jeanne Rose

     Hydrosols are that other product of distillation when plants are steam-distilled to release their essential oil. Hydrosol simply means, hydro or water and sol or solution, that is, the water solution that contains some of the water-soluble micro-molecules of essential oil as well as water-soluble plant components. These micro-molecules of essential oil give the hydrosol its scent and the plant components give the hydrosol its herbal or floral therapy. Remember that hydrosols are not just misters, water to which essential oils have been added. Hydrosols are a unique product, a true part of distillation and cannot be manufactured synthetically. The micro-drops of essential oil are left intact in the hydrosol. The hydrosol is the first 20% of the distilled non-alcoholic waters. They are used 100% pure as they come out of the still with a strong taste, strong scent and a perfect acid balance of 5.5 –to match human skin.

     In the past years, since I introduced organically grown, California grown and distilled hydrosols, during the Aromatherapy Course and I have received many letters from readers and the two questions they ask are:

"Where can I get them?" and "What do I do with them?"

Here are the answers to both!

     Besides having many sections on Hydrosols in my books, including the new Hydrosols & Aromatic Waters Booklet, I teach classes in Distillation to show people how to use these products in their life.

aAHh! = aromatherapy Aromatic Hydrosols– heaven!

1. Spray, to cool a hot flash. (Pelargonium)

2. You are five hours away from the cabin, still on the interstate, and already falling asleep. . . spray awake! (Lemon Verbena)

3. Aftershave toner. (Lavender or Witch Hazel)

4. On your way to work, no coffee? Spray AAH! (Pelargonium)

5. Before make-up to tone the skin. Lavender or Owyhee

6. I'm on my way to Switzerland from France, , , all night long my train compartment is filled with smokers . . .
    Oh, spray AAH! (Artemisia)

7. Spray in the air to clean and disinfect. (Lemon Verbena)

8. Spray on hotel room pillows for a refreshing sleep-enhancing scent. (Lavandula or Lemon Balm)

9. The Bluenose Ferry from Maine to Nova Scotia, it's too cold outside but stuffy inside, spray away! (Rosemary)

10. The motel towels are musty from for lack of use, spray to refresh.(Melissa or Peppermint)

11. Here I am again on a ferry but this time to Staten Island, it's too crowded, A.H! (Pelargonium)

12. Spray after putting on make-up to set it. (Lavandula)

13. Spray on your face to moisturize and hydrate the skin. (Rose Geranium)

14. You are flying to Key West in a small six-seater biplane and dipping low over the water to look at the sharks
      swimming below. You're definitely nervous, spray to relax. (Lavandin)

15. You are at a conference, everyone is sneezing and coughing, they all want to shake your hand and give you a hug.
      Spray hydrosol on your hands and wipe dry to discreetly kill those germs. (Yarrow flowers)

16. You are driving through the high desert of Nevada, it's hot, your air-conditioning doesn't work, spray away
      with hydrosol. (Artemisia or Rosemary to stimulate)

17. Oh, dear, your car broke down 30 miles from Winnemucca and you only have Lemon Verbena hydrosol.
      Drink it . . . it's tasty!

18. Spray on your hair after a trip in cramped quarters. (Lemon Verbena)

19. Spray on your hair when there's no time to shampoo. Just mist, comb, and go! (You choose!)

20. Mini shower! You arrive late to your hotel and have to go out immediately to meet your wife's boss. Strip, spray, air dry,
      and dress. Use Lavandula for this one.

21. The restaurant in clean but the bathroom. . . ugh! Spray aAHh! Yes, that is better. (Yarrow flowers)

22, Those apples from the city street side market look great, but they aren't washed. Spray with hydrosol, wipe with
      your hankie and eat! (Melissa)

23. Fun in the sun. . . whoa - red as a lobster - AHA! (Artemisia)

24. My clothes are crushed from being in my suitcase all day, spray, hand press -- well, not great but definitely
     better.  (Pelargonium)

25. Just ate a candy bar on the plane -- sticky fingers but I am NOT going in that hamster cage of a bathroom! Spray and
     a tissue and I'm OK! (Use your favorite!)

26. Had to change the baby at the airport and ran out of wipes! A.AH! is handy -- (Artemisia)

27. No time to run all the way downstairs to fill the spray bottle for ironing this one little scarf! Spray, steam! (Pelargonium)

28. The pillows are a little stuffy, but I don't have fresh pillow slips ready. AAH! to the rescue. (Lavandula)

29. Company's coming and the guest sheets and towels have been stored in a closet and need to smell fressssh.
      A.H! (Melissa)

30. Jock itch from running around in that football uniform? Lift the sac and give it a spray. (Yarrow flowers)

31. Just finished an hour -- well, really twenty minutes on the ole exercise bike -- toooo hot, but no time to shower ---
     AH! (Artemisia)

32. Barbeque grill fire -- only kidding -- just wanted to see who would read all of these!! But hydrosols will put it out.

33. Work -- gotta do it! (Lemon Verbena)

34. Wake up and smell the hydrosol!

35. Annoying office mates perfume/cologne is all over your phone -- spray and wipe aAHh! (Lavender)

36. Desk top plant is dehydrated. Dilute and aAHh! life! (Yarrow flower and water with pure water)

37. It's four o'clock and you still have tons to do -- aAHh! lift! (Melissa)

38. Partner is flagging behind on the project -- stressed out by deadline -- kamikaze attack of A.H! . . . SO
     (surprise attack leads to light hearted fun break and stress disappears!)

39. Smelly smoker fumigates your space aAHh! -- Ozone! (Lemon Verbena)

40. Who wears make-up anymore aAHh! feels great on a naked face but will freshen make-up too! (Lavandula)

41. Sweaty palms, fluttery stomach aAHh! OK! (Lavandula)

42. Oops, spilled lunch on desk -- just a little -- aAHh! bon appetite!

43. Tired eyes from staring at the computer screen, dilute with water and rinse your eyes . . . Mmmmmm! (Geranium)

44. Summer in Louisiana - OUCH that car seat's HOT! Cool with a spray or two. (Pelargonium)

45. Coffee all day, garlic for lunch. . . PFEEW! A little swish and gargle of hydrosol and I can stand close! (Lavandula)

46. Mix half and half with honey as a gentle daily face wash -- oh the luxury and firm skin too! (Lavandula)

47. Long day waiting tables at the café — spray your face with Lavandula while you soak your feet in Lemon Verbena.

48. Standing in line at the crowded supermarket - screaming babies, mass confusion. Spray your cares away! (Pelargonium)

49. Riding your motorcycle across Texas in June! Take off that helmet and cool down with a refreshing mist. (Lavandula)

50. Cutting out caffeine? Try Iced Mint Tea made with Mentha hydrosol.

51. Keep in the glove box of the car - spray before the morning commute, and on the way home too! (Yarrow flower)

52. Boss breathing down your neck? Spray for attitude - it may change the boss' too! (Pelargonium)

53. Riding your bike across town behind a bus? Cough cough, mist mist. (Lemon Verbena)

55. Tired of awful diet drinks? Order water and add a bit of Lemon Verbena hydrosol. Sweet and refreshing!

56. Finals week is dragging on and on and on and on....spray and breathe! (Choose any)

57. Grouchy in the morning? Have a mist before you open your eyes . . . Good morning sunshine! (Lemon Verbena)

58. Just pierced your nose . . . "Didn't that hurt?" Soothe with Artemisia.

59. Make that wedding reception really special, forget a champagne fountain, how about hydrosol?

60. Musty tents, sleeping bags and camping gear? Bring along some Artemisia . . . spray those bug bites too!

61. Champagne jazz brunch add some Lavandula for some truly unique bubbly!

62. After yoga -- it's not as easy as it looks you know! (Melissa)

63. Walk 12 minutes a day and reduce your risk for heart attack -- spray and enjoy!

64. Pulling the winter clothes down from musty attic? Mist them and hang - mmmm airy! (Pelargonium)

65. Dirt under the nails that's hard to get out? Spray and clean. (Use your favorite)

66. All the kids in pre-school have runny noses and coughs, mist yours with hydrosol before she leaves the house --
     maybe her scarf too. (Artemisia)

67. After sex sitz bath for men and women. (Lavandula)

68. Lavandula hydrosol and Aloe Vera gel . . . soothe a burn, treat your skin.

69. Hot date -- spray your privates before you go -- um!

70. Baby too hot in the stroller at the fair. Try Lemon Verbena!

71. The only salad dressing is creamy ranch or fatty 1000 island . . . sprinkle your greens with lemon juice and Lemon Verbena hydrosol! Light, delicious, no fat!

72. Tired of plain steamed veggies? Steam with hydrosol instead! (Melissa)

73. Marinate chicken in lemon juice and pepper -- add some Verbena for a yummy treat.

74. Long day of negotiating in Congress and still no balanced budget? Spray away and dive back in -- spray the man next
     to you too. (Lavandula)

75. Busy lunch hour restaurant, great food, but a dirty knife. Spray and wipe, spray and wipe. (Artemisia)

76. Summer tea party with Lavandula and Melissa hydrosol ice cubes. "What's your secret?"

77. Party favors for your teenager's birthday. (Lemon Verbena)

78. My favorite band played at a smoky bar -- ew -- my hair stinks! Spray with Lemon Verbena. Much better, care to dance
      the slow song?

79. Spray inside a diaper, wait a second and put in on the baby. Soothe and prevent diaper rash. (Artemisia or Lavender)

80. Nobody in the family likes those "bathroom" sprays because they are too synthetic -- spray, spray away AAH! (Lavandin)

81. Yeast infections got you down? Spray your panties with Artemisia.

82. Enjoying the hot tub and sauna but feeling droopy? Spray to liven up!

83. Kids hate it when you lick your finger to wipe muck off their face? Spray with hydrosol instead! (Lavandula)

84.Spray your pj's or lingerie for luxurious relaxation. (Melissa)

85. Facial steam to cleanse the smog from your pores. (Pelargonium)

86. Menstrual cramps go away! Add Yarrow flowers hydrosol to your bath.... and a bit to your tea.

87. Cats got fleas? Irritated skin? Spray with anything you choose.

88. Want to make your furniture smell nice? Spray with hydrosol and dust clean.

89. Driving in LA, smog choking you? Spray hydrosol on a hankie and breathe through it till you get home.

90. My teenage son's been driving the car and the steering wheel is all sticky. Spray with hydrosol and wipe clean.

91. Doggie feet smell like popcorn. Spray with Lemon Verbena and wipe with a clean cloth.

92. Wash hand washables with hydrosol as a final rinse. (Choose your favorite!)

93. My ear is really itchy! Spray a bit of hydrosol on a cotton swab and wipe gently.

94. Sore throat -- spray Yarrow flower hydrosol down your throat to lubricate and soothe.

95. Spray your sock drawer once a week with hydrosol. (Lavandin or anyone will do)

96. Professional manicurist waiting for the nails to dry -- spray A.H! you and your customer will be happy and refreshed.

97. Your ex-husband is giving you a hard time on the telephone. Spray with Lemon Verbena, cool off, and put him in his place.

98. The dog is scratching again, those hot spots on his back are spreading. Spray with Artemisia arborescens hydrosol to
      cool and heal.

100. My beautiful leather books are old and dusty, spray hydrosol and wipe gently with a soft cloth.

101. Varicose veins or hemorrhoids hurting? Use a compress of Witch Hazel for relief.


Steam distillation is done when the time is right, and the potency of the essential oils in the plant are at their height. The harvest is done, the plants carried to the distiller who may have grown up at the elbow of his father and grandfather watching them perfect this art. This master distiller takes the plants, and simply by inhaling the aroma of the steam, can tell when to stop the distillation process. Distillation is both art and science. Time, temperature, and the craft of the distiller combine to produce a perfectly distilled product of both essential oil and hydrosol.

Hydrosols can be obtained in bulk from Prima Fleur Botanicals at 415-455-0957 and other Sources as well. Sources include Lavandula from several farms, Lemon Verbena, Pelargonium (Rose Geranium), Artemisia arborescens, sometimes Melissa and Yarrow flowers. Ask for true Organically-Grown, freshly-distilled Hydrosols®.


Herbal BodyWorks has hydrosols in 6 ounce bottles. Call 415/564-6785.

aAHh! Hydrosols…Jeanne Rose Aromatherapy Course and Herbal Studies & Herbal BodyWorks has hydrosols. Try Owyhee for the skin, Witch Hazel for hemorrhoids, Rosemary to stimulate and to reduce stress and Lavender Lovely for all.

Rose, Jeanne. Hydrosols & Aromatic Waters. 16 years of collected information. 415-564-6785.

©All Rights Reserved 2003, 2004. No part of this article may be used
without prior permission from The Aromatic Plant Project.
©Author's Copyright and Jeanne Rose,


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