As an Amazon Associate and affiliate with other programs, I may earn revenue from qualifying purchases through affiliate links. This does not affect the price you pay. Privacy Policy / Disclosures. This site is for educational purposes only.
**Sign up for my monthly newsletter and receive a free aromatherapy ebook.**

What Is an Aromatherapy Hydrosol
and Some Of Its Uses?

Photo of a bottle containing an aromatherapy hydrosol.

An aromatherapy hydrosol is scented water produced during the process of steam-distilling plant material to produce essential oils. These aromatherapy waters have some of the same benefits as essential oils but are more gentle, and you can sometimes use them when essential oils aren't advisable.

Also, some distillers focus only on producing these plant waters (also called hydrolates, hydrolats, or distillates), without producing essential oils. You might sometimes hear the terms floral waters or flower waters, but they aren't the same as distillates and don't have the same benefits.

Aromatherapy Hydrosol Quality

Just as you want to use the best quality essential oils for maximum benefit, you also want to use the best quality distillates. Aromatherapy waters are more easily contaminated in the production and shipping process than essential oils, so finding reputable suppliers is important.

Plant waters are also more fragile than essential oils and don't last as long. Storing the waters in a dark, cool place will prolong their life. Although some plant waters contain preservatives, purists believe preservatives lower quality.

Another important thing to know is that mixing essential oils and water together doesn't create a distillate. So, if you are looking at a floral water, for example, rose water, and the ingredient list is purified water and natural rose oil, it's not a hydrosol and doesn't have the same properties. (That's not to say that rose water isn't sometimes useful.)

Other products on the market that may not be real distillates are fruit-scented waters (orange, lemon, and so forth). Fruit essential oils are most often cold-pressed (with a few exceptions) from fruit skins, not distilled, so no aromatherapy water is produced. Another example is jasmine — this oil is solvent-extracted, not distilled, so, again, no hydrolat.

Skin Care

One use of aromatherapy waters is in making natural lotions, creams, and other skin care products. The following list shows some more common distillates and their use in skin care.

  • Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus) – Baby, delicate skin

  • Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) – Oily skin

  • Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) – Inflammation

  • Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) – Eczema and other inflammation

  • Melissa (Melissa officinalis) – All skin types; also for inflammation

  • Neroli (Citrus aurantium) – Baby, delicate, and mature skin

  • Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobilis) – Baby, delicate skin and inflammation

  • Rose (Rosa spp.) – Balancing and for dry skin

  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) verbernone – Balancing and for oily skin

  • Sandalwood (Santalum album) – Helps skin cells regenerate

  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) – To balance & calm for inflammation

  • Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata) – Oily skin

Source: Making Aromatherapy Creams and Lotions

Other Uses

You can freely drink therapeutic-grade aromatherapy waters. Although Catty provides many suggestions for internal use, the topic is too big to get into in this article. Here's a recipe she recommends for headaches:

  • 50 ml (about 10 teaspoons) peppermint hydrolat
  • 50 ml Roman chamomile hydrolat
  • 100 ml (about 6 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons) water
  1. Mix together the peppermint and Roman chamomile. 
  2. Take 2 teaspoons of the mixture internally.
  3. Add the water to the remaining hydrolat mixture.
  4. Dip two compresses into the water-hydrolat blend.
  5. Place one compress on the nape of your neck and the other on your forehead.
  6. Lie down for 15 to 20 minutes.

You might like these

Photo Credit: Latisha (herbmother) CC