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Hydrosols

Hydrosols contain all of the plant in every drops, just like a hologram.” – Suzanne Catty.

Hydrosol is an underused natural product. It is gentle yet powerful at the same time, excellent for babies, children, and delicate skin. Hydrosols can be used undiluted.

The word “hydrosol” is derived from the Greek hydro, meaning water, and the Latin sol, meaning solution. When plant matter is distilled, an essential oil and a hydrosol are produced.  Hydrosols can be made from leaves and needles, roots, bark, peels, wood, branches, flowers, and resins, even fruit and seeds.

Traditionally hydrosols are by-product of essential oil steam distillation. Nowadays, a good quality hydrosol should not be a byproduct of essential oil making. Producers will distill hydrosol just for hydrosol. The core product is hydrosol, not essential oil. In this case, the essential oil is the byproduct, and the hydrosol is the main product. Ask the company this question before making a purchase: is your hydrosol produced just for hydrosol, or your hydrosol is a byproduct of essential oil distillation? An ethical and reputable seller will be able to answer this question.

Hydrosols are not essential oils mixed in with water, or with any dispersant, though hydrosols do contain miniscule amount of essential oils, between 0.05 and 0.2 milliliter of dissolved essential oil per every liter, depending on the plant material used.

Below is a simplified diagram of how hydrosol and essential oil are produced.

And here is a picture of my homemade Yarrow hydrosol using a stainless steel still. There is a thin layer of essential oil floating on the top of the Hydrosol.

In my Natural Eczema Skin Care ebook, I discuss several hydrosols that are wonderful for eczema.

In the next few weeks, I will discuss several hydrosols that are beneficial for skin care.

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