Recently I was invited to do a segment on a local television show called Living Well. The Joplin Empire Market manager asked me to speak about Hydrosols.
Being somehwat of a hermit I was more than a little nervous about this.
The very next day I saw a Meme on Facebook,
it stated, “Hang on, I’m not dumb Im just panicking”
That was so Appropriate! 😀 It’s Pronounced Al-Em-Bic.
So, What are Hydrosols?
To quote Suzanne Catty
”Hydrosols are the condensate water coproduced during the steam distillation of plant material for the aromatherapeutic purposes”
(Hydrosols - The Next Aromatherapy)
I like to explain to people that Hydrosols are the Water Soluble portions of the plant.
Many will tell you that Hydrosols are a by product of Essential Oil distillation.
I would emphatically Disagree.
I’ve been distilling Hydrosols only For a year and a half And I can tell you there is a Huge Difference between a Hydrosol that has been distilled For the Hydrosol and one that is the afterthought of essential oil distillation. Even as a novice distiller the difference is very clear.
I have purchased 1 Hydrosol from 4 different companies on every plant I have distilled myself. That is a total of 104 different Hydrosols.
I’ve purchased From Reputable companies for several reasons.
For comparison purposes, to check the PH of each and to get a feel for that particular plant material. The difference is Huge!
Some I knew right away were not distilled FOR the Hydrosol, or they were much older than the product description stated.
From what I’ve found, if the Hydrosol is Not the end goal, the quality suffers greatly.
While I love Essential oils, I have absolutely no interest in growing enough plant material to actually capture essential oils. That’s not my goal.
My goal is to produce a Gorgeous Distillate that can be used everyday in a plethora of ways.
Herbal preparations, poultices, an additive to water or teas, Facial toners, Hair Spritzers, linen spray, pillow case refreshers... or just because you want an emotional pick me up.
Many Hydrosols are safer to use than essential oils and as long as they are produced properly they can last for a very long time.
Some distillers will tell you a year at most, others will tell you up to 24 months as long as they are refrigerated.
But, I’ve known some distillers to say that it just depends. Depends on How they were distilled, bottled and stored. And on how you, the consumer, have stored them as well.
I have 4 samples from 1 farm that are 4 years old each and all of them are still viable and Fresh smelling. Just a tad bit fainter than when I originally received them.
How do I know this? Notes notes and more notes.
As a grower and seller, the US Government says I cannot tell you what these distillates are good for medicinally.
I have struggled with this for years on All the products I create.
It is up to you as a consumer to know what your purchase are good for.
Learning something new is always beneficial anyway.
Today im going to introduce you to Lemongrass Hydrosol. This has become one of my Favorite Hydrosols and a Huge hit with my clients & customers.
Cymbopogon flexuosis is the variety I grew In 2018 and this year I have actually been able to sprout seeds. Thanks to Bakers Creek Seeds.
The leaves of the plant were harvested at the height of summer. Just brushing the leaves sent an amazing aroma into the air.
Fully expecting the hydrosol to be less than the plant material meant I had a Very Pleasant surprise when the distillate came. Shockingly Fresh, strong yet very pleasing. Unlike the essential oil there is no max dermal limit (how much you can use on your skin) on the hydrosol.
When the essential oil started coming hard and fast within the 1st 30 minutes of the distillate coming over, I was more than a little shocked. As the EO is generally not something I get to see in such abundance.
Ive found Lemongrass to be a very effective room spray for eliminating odors in the kitchen,bathroom & especially helpful when the house is cooped up during winter. I spray it on my curtains in spring when the windows are open. When I need an emotional pick me up, as a facial toner and a Hair Spritzer for when my curls need refreshing. Very cool and refreshing.
I’ve been told that it also makes a great aftershave. I wouldn’t know as my wooley man doesn’t shave in the winter and barely in the summer 🙄 😉
It imparts a light citrus odor on my linens when they have been stored away in their closet for long periods of time.
I add Lemongrass Hydrosol to my diffuser in place of the water. On its own it is very lovely for a soft gentle citrus aroma. Add a citrus Oil to it and it’s Oh So lovely!
I use a lot of the Hydrosol in my soapmaking as I have a large # of requests for Lemongrass soaps.
i em Created a magnificent lotion using Lemongrass as the distilled water portion. Just Gorgeous!
Well, I hope that somehow you managed to get through this novel and I’ve imparted some small measure of wisdom that I’ve gleaned from so many others.
Have a Great Monday!