Hydrosols are really underappreciated in the holistic care world.
Hydrosols are the water-based liquid that is left over after essential oils are distilled off. You end up with a little bit of fat-soluble compounds (essential oils) and a lot more water-soluble compounds (hydrosols). The hydrosols will at best, have a much milder smell than the essential oil, and at worst smell completely different than their essential oil counterpart.
Since hydrosols are much more plentiful in the distillation process, they are much more diluted and therefore don’t need to be altered really at all. You can use them in recipes that call for water to add other healing dimensions to the recipe. Because hydrosols are water-based, they have a short shelf-life – only 1 year – and must be stored in the refrigerator. And any recipes that use hydrosols must also be stored in the fridge and should be made in small batches that can be used up in 2 weeks or so.
I love hydrosols because they are so easy to use. No need to worry about dilution rates or skin sensitivity (for the most part, there are a couple that still have some safety warnings). And even better, they can be used on babies! Essential oils are not recommended topically for children under the age of 2, but hydrosols are fine for infants and those that have sensitive skin and other constraints.
My husband uses the tea tree hydrosol as a face tonic every evening. He has blemish-prone skin, so the tea tree hydrosol has antibacterial effects and can also help clear general redness. And he just opens the fridge and sprays it straight on his face, no mixing, nothing. Easy. Another easy use would be lavender hydrosol as a bedtime linen spray.
Some people have asked if you can use it in your diffuser, and the answer is yes, but that is not the best use for them. Cost-wise, these are best used directly on the skin, either in a recipe, or ‘neat’.
This recipe (which is almost too easy to be called a recipe), I’m blending two hydrosols specifically to care for open wounds. This would be excellent to have on hand for cuts, scrapes, and especially for major wounds which you should not put essential oils on, like puncture wounds, or in my case, surgery incisions. This would also be good for sun overexposure. Anything that is easy to use and is safe for all ages and is cooling is a plus for the medicine cabinet.
This is 2 oz of hydrosol spray. I will not use this in 2 weeks, but since it is just 2 hydrosols mixed together with no other ingredients, this will have a shelf life of a year (or whatever the remaining shelf life is of the oldest hydrosol you are using. Does that make sense? I bought one in September, meaning this mixture will expire in September of this year).
Hydrosol Wound Blend
Blend them together in a small glass spritzer bottle and store in the fridge. Use on any open wound or injury to aid in healing and pain levels.
Now that you’ve been introduced to hydrosols, start getting creative! What hydrosols can you blend up? I was thinking of making another one like this, but adding tea tree for some antimicrobial benefits as well… What about mixing lavender and tea tree for a diaper rash spray? Healing and can prevent rashes from starting? The possibilities are endless! Hydrosols are so easy, it starts getting fun to mix them up!
I hope you enjoy this very simple recipe and get the confidence to dive right into the world of hydrosols!