Practical Hydrosol Applications – Part 1

by Karen on February 21, 2012

Hydrosols are the first part of the distillate waters from the steam distillation of plants as stated by Ann Harmon. Also known as hydrolates or floral waters, hydrosols have a wide variety of applications. Read on to discover some of the remarkable ways that I have used hydrosols this winter!

1.  Helichrysum hydrosol is wonderful for:

  • The treatment of cuts, wounds, bruising, and pain
  • Skin care applications: this hydrosol helps to heal most skin conditions
  • The treatment of incisions after any kind of surgery
  • Daily use as a mouthwash
  • The treatment of animals with skin conditions

Helichrysum Tip: Spray Helichrysum hydrosol on sun spots or “liver spots” to greatly fade the darkened areas. When used as a toner on the face and body, it can help control skin irritations and skin infections.  Great for healing the skin!

2.  Peppermint and Spearmint are hydrosols that I can’t live without!  I like to spray them on my face and neck but my favorite use is to put 1-2 teaspoons of peppermint or spearmint hydrosol in my water bottle for sipping throughout the day.  The resulting mint-flavored water is incredibly refreshing, excellent for digestion, mentally stimulating, and a rejuvenating “wake-up” beverage!

  • Peppermint is most famous for its digestive, anti-inflammatory, and mind-stimulating properties
  • Individuals suffering from Crohn’s disease, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome have reported success with this hydrosol

3.  Bay Laurel hydrosol is remarkable as a cleansing and toning agent for the lymphatic system. Its taste is warm, spicy, and delicious.  When experiencing pain associated with a congested lymphatic system and lymph node swelling, I undertake this three-week Internal Protocol that has been recommended by Suzanne Catty in her book Hydrosols: The next Aromatherapy.

•   Take 2 Tablespoons of Bay Laurel hydrosol and add to a water bottle, sipping throughout the day.  Do this for 3 weeks and then stop for 7 days. If, at the end of 7 days the swelling and pain are gone, there is no need to do another 3 weeks.  However, if there is still a problem, continue for 21 more days.  Caution:  Bay Laurel should not be ingested if there is a cancer diagnosis.

When using Bay Laurel for Lymph node swelling I have noticed relief within 2 days!

4.  Rose Centifolia and Rose Damascena are hydrosols that I put on every day.  I love their sweet aromas and healing skin properties.  Rose hydrosol has been known for many generations to be a wonderful toner for the skin. It is an excellent moisturizer for dry/mature skin. Read below for more great properties of rose hydrosols:

  • They promote emotional balance and a sense of well-being.
  • They can be used on their own as perfumes, or in combination with essential oils.
  • Moist, cool floral scent and taste.
  • Hormone balancer
  • Have postmenopausal applications
  • They balance the endocrine system
  • Support combating PMS, cramps, and moodiness
  • Uplifting & relaxing
  • Can be used in a sitz bath for postpartum healing.
  • Mildly antiseptic
  • They support clear-headed decision making

Other ways I use hydrosols:

  • When making face and body creams, I substitute the water portion with hydrosols.
  • Room and sheet sprays
  • Cleaning countertops

More ideas in Part 2!  Be sure and share the difference ways you use hydrosols!

References:  Catty, Suzanne. HydrosolsThe Next Aromatherapy. Vermont: Healing Arts Press. 2001.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

creando February 21, 2012 at 17:06

 Bay Laurel should not be ingested if there is a cancer diagnosis. Why?
I live in the Caribbean and bay laurel is part of our daily food seasoning.

Karen February 21, 2012 at 20:58

This is referring to the hydrosol that is the distillate of the Bay leaf (Laurus nobilis). The hydrosol is much more concentrated than just a single Bay Leaf that is used for daily cooking.

Andrea Butje February 22, 2012 at 05:02

Karen-thanks for this great blog post. I always appreciate suggestions for practical uses of hydrosols. I have been using your laurel hydrosol each morning right after my shower. I simply apply it to the areas of lymph nodes by my neck and shoulders. The aroma is wonderful and I feel refreshed! Thanks for sharing so much excellent information!

Brenda February 22, 2012 at 06:49

Hi Karen,
Signed up for the blog and this is the first post I have received. I am quite interested in the use of hydrosols, so I enjoyed it and found it informative.
Please tell why bay laurel hydrosol is not to be used if there is a cancer diagnosis. I understand cautions are to be used with many things but there is no explanantion and I am curious to know why.
Thank you.

Karen February 22, 2012 at 11:14

Great questions on why we avoid Bay Laurel hydrosol if there is a known cancer diagnosis. In talking with Suzanne Catty she emphasized hydrosols are very powerful. Below is a synopsis of our conversation: Bay Laurel is specific for the lymph system and helps with lymphatic drainage. We do know that cancer cells can spread via the lymphatic system. Bay Laurel hasn’t been researched in this area. A practitioner with knowledge might opt to use Bay Laurel in a lymphatic massage, but this would be up to the practitioner.

There are other hydrosols that would be better used if cancer is a concern such as Greenland Moss that has been researched and doesn’t flush the system as Bay Laurel does.

I hope this helps with your questions and recommend purchasing a copy of the book by Suzanne Catty, Hydrosols The Next Aromatherapy. Available at Amazon or through our bookstore.

nekosan March 2, 2012 at 21:06

I just wanted to thank you again for participating in the NPG “Joy in Janurary” project.
I hope that my browing of your store and your web pages before and since hasn’t cause offense. If it has, I deeply apologize.

Karen March 4, 2012 at 08:42

Hello Nekosan, The Joy in January Project was fun and I enjoyed reading all the blogs. By all means, please browse our website! We love you to do that.

Dale March 5, 2012 at 09:50

Looking forward to reading Part 2 !!

Andrea Giordano July 1, 2012 at 08:46

Hi Karen,
Just now read your info on Hydrosols. Very infomative. Loved it and can’t wait for the next one.

Karen July 9, 2012 at 16:49

Thanks Andrea,
Part 2 will publish July 10.

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