How to Make an Herbal Hydrosol for Beautiful Skin.
There is an amazing cohesion that takes place between volatile oil and water when making an herbal hydrosol. It reminds me a lot of the forbidden romance of Romeo and Juliet in the sense that they are forbidden to be together. However for hydrosols, that oil and water continue as one entity bringing together the lovely aromatics of herbs into a wonderful aqueous coexistence.
What is an Herbal Hydrosol?
Hydrosols are the baby that comes from distilling aromatic herbs for their essential oils leaving a faint but pleasant memory behind in the remaining water.
Only recently have floral waters been saved from being disposed of as lowly byproducts. Since their unique medicinal and therapeutic properties had not yet been realized, only rose and orange blossom waters had center stage as true hydrosols.
Nowadays many aromatic herbs are appreciated for their soothing, anti-inflammatory, and hydrating properties that are not found in essentials oils. Whereas most essential oils must be diluted before application, hydrosols do not.
How to Use Herbal Hydrosols
Hydrosols can be used both internally and externally provided they come from a nontoxic plant. Their light flavor and aroma pair wonderfully with homemade skincare recipes like lotions, body mists, and mouthwash as well as baked goods like baklava, tea cakes, and cookies.
Externally hydrosols are slightly astringent in nature and are wonderful as a daily skin tonic. They are incredibly hydrating for dry skin types and work well as toners for balancing pH and normalizing the skin’s acid mantle. Hydrosols are also good for acne prone skin and oily complexions.
I especially love rose hydrosol for skincare as it’s healing, balancing, and restores the skin’s proper pH levels.
To use herbal hydrosols externally, simply spray them directly onto freshly cleansed skin. Apply your usual moisturizer (I like to use hemp seed oil) and let it all soak in before applying any cosmetics. Your skin should feel refreshed and hydrated.
Some of my favorite hydrosols to use include:
• Catnip – try this one with your cat, you won’t be disappointed!
• Thyme– great for acne prone skin
• Lemon Verbena– Oh my goodness!
• Peppermint (you can read more about peppermint hydrosol here.)
How to Make an Herbal Hydrosol
Since hydrosols are a product of steam distillation and buying real one is just a bit nutty, we will need to make our own. This is simple and kinda rewarding!
Here’s what You’ll Need
• A stock pot that is enameled or made from non-reactive metal (stainless steel will work)
• A lid without a steam release hole
• A metal vegetable steamer that goes inside the pot
• A bowl
• 3 liters of spring water
• 10oz of fresh herb
Loving Preparation – Herbal Hydrosol Recipe
1. Make sure all of your distillation pieces are clean
2. Pour in the 3 liters of spring water
3. Add the plant matter and let it sit for a few hours
4. Put the strainer into the pot fully opened
5. Put the bowl on the strainer
6. Bring your water/plant matter to a boil
7. Once it begins to simmer, put on the lid upside down
8. Place a nice big bag of ice on the upside down lid (the ice will give your hydrosol more oomph but isn’t necessary)
9. Keep the water simmering nicely at about medium heat
10. The vapor produced from the boiling plant matter will condense on the lid and drip into the bowl
11. Let the water/plant matter distill for a few hours or until you have the desired amount of hydrosol
12. Let the hydrosol cool enough to be poured into glass bottles
13. Keep them capped tightly (hydrosols will last much longer in the refrigerator)
Spritz on your hydrosol to refresh and awaken your senses with a snapshot of aromatic herbs.
[yumprint-recipe id=’74’]Have you ever made your own herbal hydrosols before? Please share in the comments!
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