A hydrosol is the pure, distillate water that is carefully collected after aromatic plant material is hydro or steam distilled. Hydrosols are aromatic and usually have the appearance and consistency of water.
The term hydrosol is derived from the Latin words hydro and sol, meaning "water solution." Hydrosols are also known as hydrolates or as distillate waters. Pure hydrosols are not the same thing as Floral Waters.
Hydrosols contain trace amounts of essential oil. They primarily contain the water-soluble aromatic compounds present within the distilled botanical.
Hydrosols are highly beneficial for inclusion in toners, creams, lotions, body sprays, room sprays and in place of water in most formulations. They will impart both their natural aroma and their beneficial properties into to your products. Hydrosols are also wonderful when used as wetting agents in clay facials. Hydrosols are also generally much safer than essential oils for use with babies.
Pure hydrosols are more fragile than essential oils. Hydrosols do not have the same concentrated anti-microbial properties that essential oils possess and are subject to more rapid degradation. Even when stored in an ideal, sterile environment, the shelf life of hydrosols is limited, depending on the specific hydrosol. Each of our hydrosols lists the typical shelf life. However, the shelf life can be negatively impacted if it is not stored in cool, sterile conditions. Because hydrosols are water-based, a suitable preservative should be considered for preserving products that contain hydrosols.
Due to the highly fragile nature of hydrosols, we strongly encourage our customers to use the following guidelines for storing and handling hydrosols:
With the exception of our Witch Hazel Hydrosol, preservatives have not been added to our hydrosols.
For more in-depth information about hydrosols, we offer the 290 page book Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy written by Suzanne Catty. Suzanne Catty is well known for her knowledge and work with hydrosols. Please see the Bookstore section for pricing information.
We ship our hydrosols in plastic to avoid breakage. If you do not plan to fully utilize your hydrosol soon after purchase, we recommend that you consider transferring it to clear glass. Clear glass will allow you to see any visual changes in the hydrosol over time. The use of clear glass instead of amber glass as a storage method for hydrosols is recommended by hydrosol experts Ann Harman and Liz Fulcher.
FNWL is pleased to offer certified organic hydrosols. To view detailed information about each of our organic hydrosols, click on the links displayed below.
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- Laura Mohr RMT, CST | Cedar Creek, TX