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Learn how to make hydrosols from beautiful aromatic plants like rosemary, lemongrass, lemon verbena and many more.
Check out the video and then read below for the full low down on;
Before I explain how to make hydrosol you may be wondering what exactly is a hydrosol.
A hydrosol is the steam distillation of an aromatic plant. Hydrosols are sometimes referred to as flower waters or herbal distillates.
Be aware though that some things that are sold as 'flower waters' are not true distillations of the plant but rather water that has had some of the plant oils added in.
A true hydrosol is created from the steam distillation and when done in this way the hydrosol is a beautiful essence of the plant.
As I learned how to make hydrosol I realized that the method of making a hydrosol is actually a step in creating an essential oil. Making a usable quantity of essential oil though, requires a huge amount of plant material (and sometimes better equipment) whereas you can learn how to make a hydrosol, and quite a bit of it, very easily right in your own home with a much smaller amount of plant material and with things found right in your kitchen.
A hydrosol carries the subtle fragrance of the plant along with many very soothing water soluble components of the plant that you wouldn't find in an essential oil.
Hydrosols, because they are quite subtle and water based, are very soothing and anti-inflammatory when used both topically or internally (only use plants that are not poisonous, of course).
Learning how to make hydrosols is great, but what do you do with them?
As hydrosols are much more mild than essential oils there is no need to dilute them before using as they can be applied directly to skin or taken internally (provided you have not started with a toxic plant).
Here are some of the ways I love using the hydrosols that I make;
At a recent event I was doing, Making-Healthy-Choices.com had a 2-day booth. During the long days, I spritzed rosemary hydrosol on my face and it really helped to keep me focused and energized! It also helped me to remember the names of all the new people I was meeting - rosemary really is a great friend to our memory!
I keep a bottle of rosemary hydrosol and lemon verbena hydrosol next to my computer. Great for a little pick-me-up face mist when doing lots of computer work.
Below the video is the written instructions on how to make hydrosol. This is all explained in this video as well.
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In order to create hydrosol you need to set up a still in your home.
This can be easily done with kitchen equipment that you probably already have.
You will need:
and of course
I am going to show you two different setups for how to make a hydrosol, one using the vegetable steamer and one using a brick/stone.
How to Make Hydrosol using the Vegetable Steamer Setup:
How to Make Hydrosol using a Brick or Stone:
The only difference with this setup is that instead of using a vegetable steamer you will use a brick or a stone. Find a stone that is flat on the top and the bottom so you can easily place your heat resistant bowl on top of it.
For this setup, I have used amethyst, rose quartz and milky quartz as I like to bring the energy of these stones into whatever I am making. Just find a rock that is the right shape and give it a good wash before using. A brick will work well because of its flat shape and again, give it a good wash before using.
And the rest is the same as the first method:
As the plant material is simmering in your pot, steam will rise. This steam will hit the inverted lid. Because the lid is cool with the ice, the steam will condense back into a liquid. This liquid (the distillate from the plant which is your hydrosol) will drip into the glass bowl. Over time the bowl will fill with hydrosol.
I keep my hydrosol going for several hours and during this time your home will fill with the gorgeous smell of the plant you have chosen.
Every so often check the ice and put new ice on the lid when it melts.
You will also need to keep an eye on the bowl inside the pot. This is where your hydrosol is collecting. If it gets too full, empty it into another container and replace the empty bowl back inside the pot to continue to collect more distillate. Be sure to use oven mitts as this bowl will be very hot.
So, now that you know how to make hydrosol, you will also need to know the best way to store it.
Bottle this precious liquid in glass bottles and store in the fridge.
I store my hydrosols in a bigger glass bottle in the fridge and then I like to keep a small glass spray bottle out for everyday use. I will continue to refill this small bottle as needed.
Dark colored glass is nice to use as this will further protect the integrity of your hydrosols. You can purchase bottles like these here.
Be sure to label your bottles so you know what plant materials you used and when you bottled it.
If you store your hydrosols in this manner they can last quite a long time. Mine have lasted months and even years.
Use any plant that is aromatic. And, of course, avoid any plants that are toxic.
So far I have made hydrosols using:
Other plants that I am excited to try include:
Another idea is to blend different plants together to create your own unique hydrosol.
I hope you have enjoyed learning how to make hydrosols. Please share your comments and questions below.
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