We’ve been waxing poetic on the virtues of Botanical Waters and hydrosols for months now, but what exactly are botanical waters and how are they made?
Hydrosols can feel mysterious to some. What are they? Water you say? Plant water? Alembic? Copper steam distilled?
Hydrosols, or Botanical Waters as we like to call them, are composed of a plant's water-soluble components, essential oil molecules, as well as the very fluid that was flowing through the plant cells when the plant was collected.
Let’s demystify the distillation process.
- Harvest fresh flowers, blossoms, herbs
All plants are harvested at peak aroma
We then add this plant matter to our Portuguese copper alembic still
- Fire heats up the water in the still, producing hot steam which travels through the plants like a light fog rolling over the land, coaxing the water soluble components and essential oils up and out of the herbs!
- This aromatic medicinal steam makes its way through the plant material and reaches the condenser. The condenser cools the steam and converts it back into water and oil. And there you have it, hydrosol (and essential oils).
Often distillation is undertaken to obtain the essential oils contained in plant material, but the plant water that results through this process is equally valuable and prized (& more sustainable). We offer seven simple distillaitons (where we bottle up only one plant) & one blended formula (West Coast) that is a distillation of the trees of Redwood, Cedar & Bay.
- Rose Geranium
- Clary Sage
- Lemon Blossom
- West Coast
“Hydrosols contain all of the plant in every drop, just like a hologram. Here we have the water-soluble components, the essential oil molecules, the very fluid that was flowing through the plant cells when the plant was collected. It’s all there in a matrix of water that is so much more than water, one of the most recognized holographic substances in healing” - Suzanne Catty
What Isn’t a Hydrosol?
Now that we know what hydrosols are, let’s look at what they are not. They are not distilled, spring, or tap water with essential oils added. Nor are they water and essential oils combined with a dispersant (alcohol or glycerin) to dissolve oils in water.