Hydrolates and how to use them

By Sherry Simoes

I have recently been learning about hydrolates, these miracle waters that not many seem to know about and wow, what I have been missing in my life!  I just had to share!

Hydrolates are condensate water that remains after the extraction of an essential oil by water or steam distillation. When essential oils are produced by either of these methods not all the aromatic compounds held within the plant are captured in the essential oil. Some components are dissolved into the water, and this produces what is variously known as a hydrosol or hydrolate, a beautiful resulting fragrant water that contains the very essence of everything that was contained within the plant when it was still alive and growing.

How can you use them?

Hydrolates re highly versatile and can be used for personal care and around the house. Here are some creative ways:

To Hydrate the Skin:  Rose, Orange Blossom (Neroli) and Lavender Hydrolates are great for hydrating dry skin and cooling hot and sensitized skin.

To Ease a Sunburn: If you have been out in the sun too long and got burned, Lavender Hydrolate is soothing and comforting as well as healing.

As a Hair Rinse: Used in the final rinse after shampooing, they can help to condition hair and add a shine.

To Soothe Eyes: puffy, dark circles under the eyes: soak two cotton wool pads with Chamomile (properly diluted  (30% hydrolate to 70% of ionised water) and cover each eye for around 10 minutes for an immediate and dramatic reduction in puffiness. Regular use can help diminish those dreaded dark circles too.

As a Cooling Body Mist: Peppermint makes a lovely cooling mist!

To Ease Aching Tootsies: Simply spray or rub onto sore feet.

To Revitalise:  mist on when your energies are beginning to lag

As a Wet-wipe: a few sprays on a tissue makes a great wipe for grubby hands

To Calm a Restless Baby: try adding a few tablespoons of Lavender or Chamomile hydrolate into their bathwater. If your baby is suffering from a rash or eczema, the soothing properties of they can help calm the irritation and speed up the healing process.

In washing machine: Hydrolates such as Rose or Neroli can be added to the final rinse water in your washing cycle

As a Linen Spray: use while ironing instead of synthetic linen spray

As an Air Freshener: Hydrolates are great to freshen the air instead of using aerosols which of course are harmful to the environment and you!

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