I’ve been using herbs for 10 years now, and I’ve never made a homemade hydrosol of any kind. Can you believe it?
Sure I’ve bought hydrosols and used them in DIY skin care products before, but I’ve never actually made my own hydrosol from scratch. I suppose I had preconceived ideas about homemade hydrosols. I either thought they were too difficult to make at home or that they would be of low-quality if I made them myself. Thankfully, after doing a bit more research on hydrosols, my confidence in homemade versions has increased, and I’ve been inspired to start making my own when I need them.
BTW, have you ever priced a yarrow hydrosol? Gasp! Talk about expensive! Making your own homemade version is totally worth it!
Today, I want to show you how to make your very own homemade lavender hydrosol in the comfort of your own home. Lavender is one of the most readily available herbs there is which makes this an inexpensive hydrosol to make. Plus, it can be used in so many ways. Lavender is very versatile!
What Is A Hydrosol
A hydrosol is a milky looking water that results from steam-distilling herbs. This water not only contains small amounts of essential oil but also the water-soluble properties of the plant material.
Hydrosols are very safe for most people, and they can be used in a lot of different ways ranging from linen spray, to the liquid portion of skin care products, as a facial toner, in baths, as a body spray, and more. They are commonly used externally, but they can be used internally as well.
One thing I recently learned about hydrosols was that they have a relatively long shelf-life compared to most water-based products. Most hydrosols have a shelf-life of 18-24 months, depending on the herb, of course, and as usual, refrigeration can extend the shelf-life.
How To Make A Homemade Lavender Hydrosol
To make your homemade lavender hydrosol, start by gathering your supplies.
- a large pot (I use my stainless steel stock pot)
- trivet (a heat-stable bowl, large rock, or brick will work too)
- 10-ounces of fresh lavender by weight (5-ounces of dried lavender)
- 3 quarts of distilled water
- ice (lots of ice!)
Next, place the trivet inside your pot and place the herbs and water around the trivet, making sure to saturate the herbs (especially if using dried herbs) well. Place your bowl on the trivet in the center of the pot. This will be where your finished hydrosol will collect.
Next, flip your lid upside-down and put it on the pot. Add ice to the lid, and turn the heat on medium-high. The heat at the bottom of the pan will cause the water and herbs to heat up, releasing steam (and your house will start to smell amazing!). When the hot steam hits the cold lid, it will cause the steam to condensate on the lid. This condensation is your hydrosol. Because the lid is upside-down, the condensation will drip into your bowl. It’s nice to have a little helper working to collect water during this process, but if you want to avoid a melted water mess, put your ice in a gallon sized plastic baggie and swap it out for a new one when all the ice melts.
After 20 minutes, you should have a good amount of hydrosol collected in your bowl. CAREFULLY remove the lid and set aside. CAREFULLY remove your bowl and transfer your finished hydrosol to a glass measuring cup or anything that makes it easier to pour. Finally, pour your hydrosol into a jar for storage. Be sure to label and store your jar properly.
How To Use A Lavender Hydrosol
Your homemade lavender hydrosol will have a lot of the same therapeutic properties the herb has.
Lavender hydrosols can be used to:
- relieve mild pain
- discourage microbial growth
- decrease inflammation
- cool the skin
- calm the mind
- stimulate digestion
- thin mucous in the lungs
- relax the body
- stimulate energy
- and more.
Keep in mind that most herbs work gently to bring the body back into a state of balance. For example, if you have a fever and your body is tense and hot, lavender hydrosol can help calm the mind, relax the body, and bring cooling to the surface of the skin. On the other hand, if you lack energy, lavender hydrosol can bring warmth and stimulation to the mind and body. This may seem contradictory, but the more you learn about herbs and how they work, you’ll see how they work best to center and balance the body when it’s off.
One of the easiest ways to use your lavender hydrosol will be to put it in a bottle with a spray cap. You can then use them anytime you are cleaning a cut or scrape, when your child gets a bug bite, to spritz on your sheets before bed, to clean the makeup off your face, to cool a burn, to clean baby’s diaper area, and so much more.
As you can see, a homemade lavender hydrosol has a lot of different uses!
So there you go! I hope you’ve enjoyed this homemade lavender hydrosol tutorial, and I hope it gives you the confidence to try making one on your own.