Stay cool during the summer with a hydrosol spray!

Herbal hydrosols and flower waters are the aromatic essences of distilled essential oils. Hydrosols are created as a byproduct of essential oil distillation. They carry the healing properties of essential oils, but at a far gentler and safer concentration.

Not to be confused with aromatherapy sprays, hydrosols can be used internally and externally—on skin as a lotion, body, and face spray/toner, and even in baked goods as long as they are made from non-toxic plants. Aromatic sprays are made by adding essential oils directly to water for much heavier duty concentration.

Hydrosols contain healing water-soluble compounds like plant acids in addition to the essential oil properties inherent in their waters. You can spritz them on throughout a hot day. The only drawback is that they tend to be pretty costly. No need to break the bank. You can easily make hydrosols at home.

Take your pick of flowers and herbs. We love rose, lavender, peppermint, lemon balm, rosemary, and geranium.

Here’s what you will need:

  • A large stockpot (enamel or made from non-reactive metal like stainless steel) with a lid (without a steam hole release)
  • Vegetable steamer
  • Small glass bowl
  • 10 ounces of fresh herbs/flower or 5 ounces of dried herbs
  • 3 quarts filtered water
  • Ice

Here’s how to make a hydrosol:

  1. Place the vegetable steamer into your large empty stockpot.
  2. Fill the vegetable steamer up with your herbs/flowers.
  3. Place your glass bowl onto the vegetable steamer (the bowl will catch the distilled steam/water).
  4. Pour in the 3 quarts of water, being sure to saturate your herbs.
  5. Bring the water and herb mixture to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.
  6. Place the lid facing down on the stockpot.
  7. Fill a plastic bag with ice, and place on top of the stockpot lid. Refill with fresh ice when it melts.
  8. As the water boils, the pot will fill with an herbal-infused steam that will rise to the top, condense into a hydrosol, and then drip down into the glass bowl.
  9. Boil until you have enough hydrosol in the bowl, or until most of the water in the stockpot has evaporated. The process takes anywhere between 20 minutes and a few hours depending on how much hydrosol you are making.
  10. Let your hydrosol cool and then store in dark bottles (cobalt or amber). The hydrosol will keep longer when stored in the refrigerator (approximately 6-9 months). You can also add colloidal silver to preserve the hydrosol for longer.