There are two main waters collected from distillation of aromatic plant materials. Hydrosols are the waters created during steam distillation for essential oil production; they could be seen as a “by-product” of essential oil production. On the other hand, Aromatic Waters are created from water distillation of aromatic plant materials specifically for the water-soluble components found in the plant material. Both hydrosols and aromatic waters have a place in our aromatherapy tool kit.
Hydrosols are important for skin care as they contain restorative plant acids and other wonderful antioxidant substances . As they have no petrochemicals or alcohol as a base or preservative, they are a lovely, natural alternative to commercial skin toners which can have a drying/damaging effect. Hydrosols can be used to calm down inflammation from burns or rashes . Some women have reported that certain cold hydrosols, when sprayed on their face/neck and arms at the onset of a hot flash, help stop their hormonal hot flashes immediately. Some people find drinking hydrosol is helpful for a variety of health issues. Be warned: the product must be of the highest quality for this use, as hydrosols are prone to bacterial and fungal contamination. This would not be healthy for your body!
Aromatic Waters are collected over a longer period of time and contain trace amounts of essential oil within. This acts as a natural preservative for these waters. It is also why many people choose to use Aromatic Waters instead of hydrosols for internal use. Aromatic Waters can be blended for all types of digestive issues, as many of them help calm bowel spasm and neutralize harmful bacteria in the gut. People with GERD have reported that they have fewer incidents and are able to eat a more varied diet without a problem if they use Aromatic Waters regularly. These waters can be used as a mouth wash to help keep bacteria and other organisms at bay. This is very important to those undergoing chemotherapy as mouth ulcers and thrush infections are common problems associated with the treatment. These mouth problems are painful and often prevent the person from eating and drinking enough. Aromatic Waters can also be used on the skin, just like hydrosols. And because of the traces of essential oils, they are important for infectious problems.
We are pleased to carry both Hydrosols and Aromatic Waters for your health and healing. Come and try them out – you’ll be pleased with the results.
Article written by Pat Antoniak Registered Nurse – Registered Aromatherapist
and owner of the Natural Comfort Wellness Centre in Tsawwassen, BC.
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