|(S.P.A.) Salve Per Aqua Health Through Water|
|Notes On Hydrosols by Jeanne Rose|
|What kinds of Hydrosols are Available?|
Looking inside the condenser
of Natural Hydrosols & Local Essential Oils, etc.
last 10 years since the APP began to distill plants and discuss the
hydrosols much has been learned.
Jeanne Rose published a book called 375 Essential Oils & Hydrosols in 1999 and in 2000 produced a 2nd edition of her Herbal Body Book that contained updated information on these luscious aromatherapy products.
Jeanne spoke on this subject both in the United States and Canada in 1999. More and information is being gathered and here are some notes and bits and pieces of information.
[see also The Aromatic News from any past issue]
are like a very concentrated extract. You can consider them about
20-30 times more concentrated in herbal strength than a cup of herb tea.
[250 lbs Geranium (16,000 t. herb) = 250 quarts hydrosol (50-60 gallons)
or 800-900 cups] For a 3 week course of treatment, use 1 t.
hydrosol/cup of water. Take 3 cups per day for 3 weeks .
Treat hydrosols with respect and like an essential oil. If you add
a drop of essential oil to the diluted hydrosol you have a powerful
When plants are distilled in a small still, the hydrosol drips into the receiver (about 1 gallon every 32 minutes) and there will be an actual slick of essential oil on the surface of the water. This essential oil will further collect as the hydrosol cools and it then can be decanted off or removed with an eye dropper. Or the bottle containing the hydrosol with the collected essential oil can be placed in the freezer. The hydrosol will freeze and then the essential oil can be poured off into a small vial. Hydrosols are naturally very acidic.
|Many people have been quoted as not recommending hydrosols because of bacterial or mold contamination. But, in my experience when carefully distilled and bottled they will not spoil easily. Recently, author Suzanne Catty said ..."Hydrosols are not overly prone to contamination and are in fact, remarkably stable."1 Every hydrosol is different because of where it is produced and how it is produced, in terroir, distillation technique, chemotype varietal. Not all the water produced from the distillation of essential oils can be considered a valuable hydrosol. The best comes from a distillation where it is the hydrosol that is being produced rather than the essential oil. Often the best comes from the earliest part of the distillation rather than the body of the distillation. The pH will be low, about 3.5-4.0. This usually smells bright and pleasantly fragrant. Although, some of the therapeutic part of the hydrosol is also produced at the very end of the distillation and usually has a rather grassy or vegetative note. As the plants are being distilled, micro-particles of essential oil are in suspension, they give the aromatic distillate its scent and will separate out as the hydrosol cools. There is approximately .02% essential oil in hydrosol. Hydrosols have a strong taste, strong smell and will normally be clear like water and acidic.|
|Clinically, the chemical components in the hydrosol are primarily acids which are hydrophilic (water-loving). Why do they work? They work because they acidify the water or the product which is beneficial to the skin or in the body. Thus the hydrosol acts as a healing anti-inflammatory and mild but therapeutic antiseptic. Bacteria do not live well in acidic environments which is why acids such as vinegar make good preservatives for such food items as pickles, Chilι peppers and Olives. Acidic environments are astringent and so the hydrosols are useful in skin care products as astringents that constrict and contract the tissues. The hydrosols can be used externally in skin care products or internally as a douche or diluted and taken as a tonic drink.|
|During a distillation, both the chemistry of the essential oil and the chemistry of the hydrosol are continually changing. Just as there are chemotypes of essential oils so there is parallel chemotypes of hydrosols. If bottled in sterile containers directly at the still, the hydrosol or aromatic distillate should have a shelf life of at least 1 year. In my collection, however, I have healthy hydrosols that were distilled as early as 1995. Only the consumer should dilute the hydrosol with plain or distilled water and just before using. Any water added before this will dilute the hydrosol and enable contaminants such as mold and mildews to enter. All containers that will receive the hydrosol should be rinsed with a 10% Clorox solution. Peroxide or alcohol will not work as well. After the rinsing with Clorox, then the containers should be carefully rinsed with boiling water to remove any Clorox odor. They should be filled and sealed immediately, and shipped directly to the marketer. At this point, the marketer should store the hydrosols in a cold room at about 55° F. (like wine).|
|Hydrosols of the rare Blue Sage (Artemisia douglasiana) and Blue Artemis (A. arborescens) are best bottled and immediately placed in the freezer. This will keep the deep blue particles of essential oil in suspension and will keep the hydrosol blue-looking until it is needed for use. These hydrosols are very beautiful and have some rare qualities that are not available in any other hydrosol. They are only available through the APP during the spring and fall of the year.||
|If properly handled, hydrosols will have a shelf life of one year and more if they have been deeply chilled. The Aromatic Plant Project (APP) begins their distillation year with Rosemary in February/March and continues through to Blue Artemis in September/October. Any of these aromatic distillates that are left over a year after distilling can be used in the bath for either humans or pets, or diluted and fed to the soil of acid-loving plants.|
|To monitor your hydrosols, measure their pH regularly. You can use pH equipment or simple litmus paper or sticks that measures pH from 3.6-6.1 or higher. Macherey-Nagel makes such sticks (called colour-fixed indicator sticks). First, measure the pH directly at the still and then check the pH regularly over the course of a year. Whatever the pH is at the still is what you should try to maintain as time goes on. Each hydrosol is different so it is imperative that you keep a log book of each hydrosol that you produce or that you purchase. If you are the consumer the pH must be measured the day the hydrosol arrives and regularly thereafter. "Hydrosols contain some complex sugars and carbohydrates in solution as well" 2 as micro-drops of essential oils and water-soluble plant components. Always try to have the chemical constituents of the hydrosol (water properties) analyzed. If you will read the Spring 2001 issue of The Aromatic News you will find several methods that can be used to analyze the hydrosol.|
|Remember that the hydrosol, the essential oil and the plant extract may all have different properties. An herbal extract may have certain therapeutic properties and uses, while the hydrosol of the same herb or the essential oil of the same herb may have entirely different properties. For instance, Oregano herb is delicious when added to spaghetti as an important ingredient; it can also be used as a compress for aching muscles where it acts as a mild analgesic (pain-killer); the herbal extract is used by capsules as an antiseptic for the digestive system; the essential oil with its phenols of carvacrol and thymol can be considered as an anti-infective by inhalation while the hydrosol is antiseptic by application. We are still discovering the therapeutic properties of the various herbs, aromatherapy is still a science in its infancy and hydrosol therapy is just now being birthed as a complementary modality. So there is still much to learn.|
|Each of the hydrosols must be considered in this way, separate from both the herb and the essential oil but as important. By making an herbal extract, then adding back some of the essential oil and the hydrosol an important synergy is presented that incorporates all the qualities of both herbal and aroma- therapy.|
For a homeopathic solution to integrate hydrosols into water add 1 drop/quart of water, then use succussion (bang or shake it ~ 30-40 times.) To further the homeopathic solution or for the Bach flower remedy way, use 1 drop of this in a liter of water. These are very small amounts of hydrosol seriously diluted but would be useful for a person with a very sensitive body or skin, such as infants or the elderly.
Terrain of the patient is somewhat like the terroir of the soil that produces the aromatic product. Terrain is the body landscape. Each human is different and terrain must be considered when recommending any sort of treatment whether herbal or aromatic. It must be considered when deciding which hydrosol to choose for which patient. Chakra treatments and treatments for the psyche require extra care and thought.
|Conifers began with simpler plants, even trees that were deciduous. The conifers will give you a transformational experience...Using the conifers has a specific action on the inner self. For instance, for personal transformation take 1 drop Tsuga + 1 tsp. honey internally, 1 time a day. This will work for most persons, but for some this may be too strong, and a hydrosol in homeopathic solution may work better. You have to be aware of each individual body type or personality type to treat effectively.|
|For a cold or flu, you can take any of the Pines, Firs, Spruces by inhalation plus Eucalyptus as a mucolytic. For some persons it would be best to use E. radiata + Balsam Fir: Inhale: 1 drop Eucalyptus radiata - cineole rich oil + 1 drop Balsam Fir. In this instance the Fir quenches, but enhances E. Radiata. For added benefit, take the mixture with a tonic drink of Tea Tree hydrosol in a cup of hot water, Lemon juice and honey. This is a great combination of folkloric wisdom plus new aromatherapy benefit and knowledge.|
For essential oil blends with phenols add alcohols to quench phenols and remove their 'fire' . 80% alcohols and 20% phenol is a good balance. Make your herbal formula, add 1 drop essential oil blend to each herbal capsule. Take no more than 10 capsules, 3 3 times a day (total 10 drops e.o.) And take the herbal/aromatic capsules for no more than 10 days. Take the capsules with a full glass of water to which has been added 1t. of complementary hydrosol. The herbal capsules should complement the essential oil blend. For example, if you have asthma, you should be already taking Gingko plus Marshmallow root, so just open the capsule and add the essential oil blend to the contents, close the capsule and take it. This could be termed complementary healing - Aromatherapy + essential oils with antibiotic properties. Other techniques include using clay packs made with either hydrosols or Calendula infused oil, for skin infections make your clay pack with Calophyllum oil and then if there is an acute infection use herbal/aromatic capsules as previously described.
|Integrative Aromatherapy is using the essential oils in your life and integrating aromatherapy within your life. Integrate the Male and Female sides of aromatherapy and the male and female side of your nature, that is, integrate the logical and the creative and combine both together. This is the art and science of aromatherapy. The ability to extrapolate between the lines is intelligence and makes a creative thinker. Think creatively regarding herbal/aromatic solutions but make the solution whole by using the logical side of your brain and incorporating the science of the components. Know the chemistry of the essential oils and hydrosols.|
|Experience this transformational system when you integrate essential oils into your life completely with the herbs as well as the hydrosol. Aromatic plants can be considered one of the peaks of plant evolution. [Although, there are some plants with oil glands that are not essential and do not release volatile oils.]|
English model of aromatherapy is more concerned with the skin and
massage care of the whole person. The German model is in caring
for the environment and by inhalation or water type therapies. The
French one uses the digestion avenues of the mouth or in
suppository form via a medical model. Americans are very
eclectic and when they know about a technique will use aromatherapy in
any form that works. These four systems and various aspects of
them are entirely complimentary.
In my notes from the Canadian conference S. Catty said something like ..."Savoir is to understand, Connect is to be born with, and knowledge, or Connaissance, is knowing." If essential oils, herbs and hydrosols are integrated into your early life, you do not have to pay the price of disease. Use them, every day of your life. To live - To exchange (information, matter, energy) through external interface your skin and senses.
TREATMENTS AND HYDROSOLS THAT CAN BE USED.
Hydrosols can be applied directly to the eye as a compress after eye surgery or for irritated eyes. For either of these conditions use the following formula.
for the Eyes
1 oz. Myrtle hydrosol 3 oz water irritated eyes
1 oz. Chamomile hydrosol 3 oz water sore or tired eyes
1 oz. Lavender hydrosol 3 oz water conjunctivitis
Use distilled water for dilution
And don't forget when treating the eyes it is very important to sterilize everything, all containers and utensils.
Lavender (Lavandula x intermedia var. Grosso CT
linaloφl/borneol ) hydrosol
This hydrosol from select fields in California can be used by external application for all your skin care needs, especially if there is some sort of problem such as oily skin, acne or irritation. Because of the borneol content it is considered immune stimulating and revitalizing by inhalation or ingestion Other Lavender hydrosols are soothing and relaxing, except when the essential oil contains camphor or cineol and then it is best used by inhalation for the respiratory system.
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) & Roman Camomile (Chamaemelum
Baby Care- For cleaning the baby, you can make natural antiseptic wipes from diaper wipes or paper towels. Cut large paper towels in half, and put into a container. Add Camomile hydrosol. For teething, you can make a spray using a mister bottle and spritz into the mouth when the baby begins to feel pain from newly erupting teeth. For all ages and all skin care - Spray and wipe as a cleanser before or to remove makeup.
flowers, buds and leaves (Tilia europaea) hydrosol
The hydrosol when produced during flower is a bit different than when it is produced during leaf out and budding. The herb tea is called Lime flower tea. Hydrosol and herbal tea are delicious. The essential oil is produced by solvent extraction and can be irritating to the skin unless it is sufficiently reduced in concentration by adding to other products. The hydrosol is very soothing for external skin care. Can be sprayed on bed clothes or bedding for a soothing, relaxing inhalation which is anti-depressant, relieving anxiety, easing insomnia and somewhat euphoric. Can be taken as a tonic drink. When the Linden is in flower, the hydrosol is a bit more floral and sweet and perfect as a baby spray or a few drops added to a baby's water. It is very relaxing, calming and good for dreaming.
(Rosa spp.) hydrosol
A great toner for all skin types, and all ages and sexes. A fabulous addition to all skin and body care products. If you don't have Rose, Rose Geranium is a wonderful substitute. Spray on hankie, clothes or bedding as an aphrodisiac, it also eases nervousness and relaxes.
Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) Hydrosol
This should be distilled when it is in full flower in the spring. Sometimes it can be distilled again in the fall, but the fall distillation produces a much different hydrosol and essential oil. Externally, the hydrosol is useful for bathing, skin cellular regeneration. It balances the skin whether dry or oily. It is one of the few hydrosols that can be sprayed on smelly pets to deodorize them. If this hydrosol is inhaled via a spray, it is cooling, antidepressant, and useful to relieve hot flashes. This hydrosol can also be taken as a tonic drink (1 t/glass of water) and may be helpful to woman for hormonal balance and during menopause.
Flower (Achillea millefolium) hydrosol
This somewhat unpleasant smelling hydrosol works on all body systems circulatory, respiratory, and may be helpful in weight loss. It can be taken internally for low thyroid to balance while you use Seaweed absolute externally. Yarrow flower hydrosol can also be used to help balance the menstrual cycle and the endocrine system and used internally for menopause. It is superb if used as a compress for varicose veins. It, plus Tea Tree, can be sprayed on the scalp and skin for seborrhea. The hydrosol is safe for topical use. To alter the odor blend it with other hydrosols. One suggestion is to mask the area with Niaouli, then spray with yarrow hydrosol. Be careful of this hydrosol as some distillers pick and distill the entire plant and not just the flowers which are the important part.
For More Information ~ Join the Aromatic Plant Project ~ Phone 415-564-6785
Laurel (Laurus nobilis) hydrosol
Take internally as a drink for swollen lymph nodes in breast tissue. It can also be used externally in a spray for breast cancer and fibroids. Dilute 2 T in a quart of water and drink a quart a day for 10 days as a detoxifying tonic. Bay has a particularly spicy odor and must be kept closely refrigerated as it has a short shelf life. It is a great tonic drink and should be alternated with other hydrosols rather than be used on a daily basis. It is picked and distilled in full flower (in California, that is, late March). We distilled our 2001 Bay on March 26, started with 3 large garden bags of fresh picked leaf. This was packed into 3 - 5 gallon containers and the leaves held down with a weight. Fresh spring water was added and totaled about 10 gallons (3 gallons per container). The leaves were soaked for 72 hours to allow them to break down a bit so that the distillation would proceed more quickly. We got about 1 gallon every 40 minutes and stopped when 50% had distilled over (5 gallons). The odor was fresh, spicy and bright. The pH is normally about 5.0.
Artemis (Artemisia arborescens) hydrosol
This is a rare and to most people new essential oil and hydrosol. To my knowledge the hydrosol is only available via the APP. If correctly distilled and immediately frozen the hydrosol will retain the indigo blue essential oil particles in solution in the hydrosol rendering the hydrosol a lovely sky blue. This is an important application where the skin is damaged or sore, it is anti-inflammatory and can ease pain. Use Blue Artemis hydrosol after a face lift or surgery or on a dogs hot spots for healing. This can be a strongly energizing spray which is also mildly calming. California distilled essential oil (and hydrosol) of Blue Artemis is thujone free but about 13% camphor (Moroccan Blue Artemis essential oil is very high in thujone! Be aware of what you have).
Sage or Green Sage (Artemisia douglasiana) hydrosol
The herb is used in smudge sticks for cleansing the person and the area. The herb is used ceremonially in the sweat lodges or used as decoction to wash and ease the pain of aching muscles and joints. The essential oil, called Blue or Green Sage is inhaled for the same purpose mental clarity and ease of mental distress and the application in massage oils or carrier oils is for aching muscles and pain on the surface of the body. This essential oil is excellent with Lemon peel oil or mixed with any of the other anti-inflammatory high azulene oils. The hydrosol is great as an addition to a relaxing bath and can be taken as a tonic drink.
(Cistus ladanifer) hydrosol*
A great application for smoothing out wrinkles as it is strongly astringent. Can be applied externally as a spray or compress.
Moss (Ledum groenlandicum) hydrosol*
The maximum dose of this hydrosol is 50%. Always dilute it before using. Examples are 2 T (1 oz.) hydrosol in 1 * L water/day as a tonic drink. Drink daily for short periods of time. This is a most powerful detoxification remedy. Suggest you start with small or homeopathic doses and work up for a liver detoxification. For Liver Cancer use two times/day as a topical compress + the Greenland Moss essential oil. Add 1 drop e.o. to 8 oz of water. Bang on table to integrate. This is an especially good treatment for people with addictions. To treat addictions, you must detoxify the liver.
(Helichrysum spp.) hydrosol*
An anti-hematomic used for bruising. Take internally as a tonic drink, or apply externally as a spray along with an application of the essential oil.
This powerful mucolytic can be taken internally. The essential oil is powerful and can be applied externally, use only 1 drop. Also, the essential oil can be used in the diffusor, inhaled, as a powerful aid to congested, infected sinus'.
Verbena (Aloysia triphylla) hydrosol
This is a wonderful hydrosol with a refreshing Lemon odor. It is a revitalizing and balancing spray for all skin types. On tiring trips it can be sprayed on the face to stimulate the driver and keep the driver alert. This is a great hydrosol to use as a tonic drink, it is cooling and tasty (1 t. per cup of water or soda water with a bit of sugar and poured over ice cubes).
(Melissa officinalis) hydrosol
Melissa is well-known as an antiviral. All Melissa products; hydrosol, herbal extract, herbal tea, essential oil are anti-viral. They are also de-stressing and calming. Since there is so little essential oil, it makes good sense to learn to use the herb and the hydrosol. Approximately 50 gallons of the hydrosol are available every year (Prima Fleur, 415/455-0957). Add this tea and hydrosol to your bath, as a face spray, the herb as a relaxing tonic tea.
(Myrtus communis) hydrosol
1 oz Myrtle hydrosol or German Chamomile hydrosol with 1 oz Lavender hydrosol and diluted with 2 oz distilled water is used to treat conjunctivitis. (You can also use an herbal infusion of Comfrey root + Fennel seed). Myrtle water can be applied as a compress after eye surgery. Make sure all containers and utensils are sterilized when treating the eyes. There is Myrtle hydrosol available in California that is not preserved with alcohol as much of the European hydrosols are. It makes it useful for eye treatments. Do not use any hydrosol in the eyes that has alcohol added to it.
(Artemisia ludoviciana) hydrosol
A great smelling hydrosol with good applications for all types of skin and hair care products. The essential oil contains almost 90% esters which are hydrophilic (water-loving) and they infuse the hydrosol with their skin soothing nature. Substitute this hydrosol in all of your water-based products for all or part of the water that is in the formula. Antifungal and anti-inflammatory.
hydrosol, esp. of Clementine (Citrus x spp. var. Clementine)
For eating disorders and addictions. If taken internally, this hydrosol can increase appetite. It is also useful as a skin spray for soothing irritated skin.
(Rosmarinus officinalis) Hydrosol
This should be picked and distilled in full flower or just before full flower. At this time, early Spring, the hydrosol will be sweet while later it will be very camphoraceous. This is stimulating both by external application and internal use. This is the rejuvenating and 'holding back old age' hydrosol. It should be taken as a tonic drink, bathed in, used in shampoo or skin care; in other words submerse yourself in Rosemary herb tea, Rosemary herb and hydrosol baths, Rosemary essential oil inhalations. The herbal extract and essential oil (and why not the hydrosol) shows some powerful uses in diminishing the effects of Alzheimers. It is stimulating and averages 5.5 pH ± .1.
The Aromatic Plant Project has a wonderful U.S. source of Rosemary Verbenone essential oil and hydrosol.
Call us! 415-564-6785
(Salvia officinalis) Hydrosol*
Delicious, but verboten for high blood pressure. This is a hard and fast contraindication. The more it is diluted the more it raises blood pressure - homeopathy of the hydrosols. Can use as a spray for hypotension.
(Satureia spp.) hydrosol*
For tonsillitis or strep throat - spray directly into the throat. Since this hydrosol can be difficult to obtain, you can also use Tea Tree, Clary sage or Rosemary which are also active for this.
tree (Melaleuca spp.)hydrosol
It is great to spray directly onto hurt skin such as scrapes on knees, falls from bikes or roller blades. It can be sprayed into the throat for sore throat, laryngitis or inflamed tonsils. This is a useful hydrosol for dog care skin, hot spots, sore, irritated 'elbows' (particularly on larger dogs).
linaloφl + Oregano hydrosol*
This is a great combination for a winter drink to keep you healthy.
# # #
Plant Project · 219 Carl Street · San Francisco, CA 94117