Hydrosols have several uses. Since they contain the water soluble components extracted from the plants during the steam distillation process as well as trace amounts of the essential oils; they exhibit several therapeutic properties of the corresponding essential oils.
Some hydrosols such as Rose ‘or’ Neroli (Orange Blossoms) can act as an authentic but cheaper alternative or substitute for their very expensive essential oil counterparts.
Keeping in mind that oil and water do not mix- in order to make aromatic water one needs to shake this compound solution constantly and allow it to remain mixed for a considerable length of time to obtain aromatic water with any significant fragrance. Otherwise, one would note that the water stays at the bottom and the essential oil floats to the top. It needs to be noted that commercially available aromatic waters contain emulsifiers which helps to keep the oil and water blended together.
Unlike hydrosols which is a by-product produced during the extraction of essential oil during steam distillation; aromatic waters are fairly easy to prepare on one’s own and hence also a cheaper alternative to the more expensive hydrosols.
Such therapeutic waters can be used to-
- Cool a hot skin which is inflamed due to heat or hot flashes.
- Soothe skin which is inflamed from excessive heat and/or sunburn.
- Freshen up any room space.
- Spritz on face to set make up. Spritz on finger nails to encourage healthy growth of nails.
- Can be added to face packs and other such beautifying recipes which call for use of water as one of the key hydrating ingredient.
- Sprayed on clothes during ironing to infuse them with mild aroma.
Care and precautions during hydrosols usage-
To preserve its quality and ensure its effectiveness; hydrosols should be kept in the refrigerator and used in the year of distillation. It is always advisable to use fresh hydrosols in hygiene and skin care. Older hydrosols could be used as room fresheners.
Keeping in mind that there are many fake and adulterous aromatherapeutic products commercially available- it becomes imperative that one carefully chooses a product which has been manufactured by an authentic source and has been obtained by natural means in an environmentally friendly method of preparation.
Some special uses of certain commonly available hydrosols are-
- German Chamomile
- Roman Chamomile
- Orange Blossom