Have you made hydrosols a part of your herbal apothecary yet? If not, what’s stopping you? Not only are they easy to come by, but they have tons of benefits and are safe for kids and adults to use. Plus, there are lots of practical ways to use hydrosols so you’ll never find yourself wondering what to do with it or feeling like you’ve wasted your time and money on another herbal preparation you have no idea how to use.
If you’re not already familiar with them, keep reading because today, I’m going to introduce you to the world of hydrosols!
I’ll be talking about their benefits, where you can buy them and how you can make them in your own home as well as some of the best herbs for hydrosols. Then, I’ll tell you about some practical ways to use hydrosols (including some DIY recipes) so you can put these beauties to use in your home.
The Wonderful World of Herbal Hydrosols
If you’re wondering what a hydrosol is, let me tell ya.
A hydrosol is a milky looking water that is the result of steam-distilling an herb. This water contains a small amount of essential oil which you can often see the oil floating on the surface of the water as well as the water-soluble properties of the plant such as alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, mucilage, saponins, tannins, and vitamins and minerals (Forȇt, 2008). Most hydrosols are clear and have a faint aroma to them, but some turn out slightly milky looking or with a hint of color depending on the herb you distil (think pink with roses).
Hydrosols have many benefits, most of which center around the properties of the plants they originate from. Most of them are used externally, but they can be used internally as well. We’ll talk more about uses for hydrosols later.
Getting Started With Hydrosols
Hydrosols can be purchased from local suppliers or online. I know Mountain Rose Herbs and Plant Therapy carries them as does Wildroot Botanicals on Etsy. If you’re not able to purchase them, though, you can always make them yourself at home.
Hydrosols are fairly easy to make. In fact, you probably already have all the supplies you need in your kitchen right now. The only thing you may need to collect or purchase is your herbs. You can see how easy it is to make an herbal hydrosol right here in this post where I walk you through the steps to make a lavender hydrosol.
You can use fresh or dried herbs to make hydrosols, but some herbs lend themselves better or are used more often than others. Really, the hydrosols you make will totally depend on your needs and the properties the herbs lend to the hydrosol.
Some great starter options are:
- elder flower
- lemon balm
- rose petal
Practical Ways To Use Hydrosols
Now that you know what a hydrosol is, that it’s one of the safest herbal preparations you can use (especially for littles), that they have many different health benefits, and that they’re easy to make (and buy), now it’s time to talk about how to actually use hydrosols.
Below, I’d like to share 15 of the most common ways hydrosols can be used. And yes, I’m talking about practical uses for your home, your skin, and your health.
Hydrosols On Your Skin
Hydrosols are most often used externally on the skin. Most times this is to achieve some sort of action like minimizing swelling, itching, or discouraging bacterial growth. Here are a few examples of using hydrosols for direct use on the skin.
- Tick-Off! Bug-Off! Spray – Using Essential Oils Safely
- Antiseptic Wound Spray – Frugally Sustainable
- Hydrosol Bath Tonics – Wild Craft Oils
Hydrosols In Food
Yes, you can use hydrosols in your food. They can be used to impart a very mild flavor and aroma when used as part of the liquids in food recipes like the ones below.
- Rose-infused Cheesecakes – Growing Up Herbal
- Orange Blossom Lemonade – Kayla Fioravanti
- Fig Rose Jazmin Chocolate – Chef Samia Noor via Raw Food Recipes
Hydrosols In The Home
Hydrosols can easily be used in the home. They’re most often used for aromatic purposes, but can also be used for some therapeutic action as well. Some practical uses of hydrosols in the home could be as a disinfecting surface spray, an air freshener, or in your homemade cleaning products.
- Antibacterial Soap Spray for Bathrooms – Mountain Rose Herbs Blog
- Simple Hydrosol Air Fresheners – The Natural Beauty Workshop
- Peppermint Room Spray – Aromahead Blog
Hydrosols For Health
Like I mentioned earlier, hydrosols have many therapeutic uses which can vary depending on the herb the hydrosol stems from. Most times, hydrosols are use used externally, but they can also be used internally as well. Below are some examples of using hydrosols for your health.
- Lemon Balm for Immune Health (for pets and humans!) – Whole Dog Journal
- Peppermint Antiseptic Mouthwash – The Hippy Homemaker
- All Natural Feminine Cleanser – One Good Thing By Jillie
Hydrosols In Personal Care Products
Another way to use hydrosols in daily life would be in the form of your personal care products as a part of your daily skincare routine, as the liquid ingredient in body creams, or even in scented body sprays. Check out the fun hydrosol personal care product recipes below!
- Two-Ingredient Natural Body Spray – Bren Did
- Rosewater Facial Toner – Live Simply
- Cleansing & Nourishing Face Masks – The Naked Chemist
So there you go. Hydrosols are a great herbal preparation, and if you’ve not considered using them, especially if you have little ones in the home, perhaps you will now that you know some practical ways to use hydrosols for yourself and your family!
Are hydrosols a regular part of your natural medicine cabinet? How do you use them most often?
- Forêt, R. D. (2008, September 19). What’s Chemistry Got to do With It? Retrieved February 01, 2017, from http://www.methowvalleyherbs.com/2008/09/whats-chemistry-got-to-do-with-it.html
- Green, J. (2000). The Herbal Medicin-Maker’s Handbook. New York, NY: Crossing Press.