What is a hydrosol?

Hydrosol meaning as the name explains is a water solution that is prepared using plant material like stems, leaves, fruits and their peels, roots, bark, flower/petals, etc.

Making of Hydrosol

Making of Hydrosol is not a newly devised technique, It is an ancient practice called steam distillation (deg bhapka method). It is the same process that is used to extract essential oils. This environment-friendly practice produces pure hydrosols that are rich with water-soluble nutrients of the herb (Plant material).

This water solution called hydrosol was used in Food, Skincare, Medicine/Pharma, Religious rituals, and much more in earlier times.

But with different industrial revolutions, cheap and alcohol & paraffin-based fragrances and scented waters have made their way to each of these areas pushing the traditional distilleries to closure.

Hence, the true real hydrosol and essential oil have almost disappeared from the market.

And the natural market nowadays is majorly flourished with deceiving products with names like floral mist, flower water, plant water, herbal mist, herb water, botanical water, aromatic water, for example – rose water, lavender water, green tea, green apple, etc. It is quite common to see an expensive hydrosol adulterated with distilled water & synthetic/preservative.

You may often come across fake hydrosols in the form of face toner or face mist.

The composition of so-called Natural facial toners/mists maybe

  • Water blended with fragrance oil, solubilizer & preservative
  • Hydrosol blended with water, fragrance oil, solubilizer & preservative
  • Herb infused water is something like making green tea blended with fragrance oil, solubilizer, and preservative.

  • These not the true hydrosol products contain various chemically synthesized ingredients that lure customers on the name of Natural.

    These are not the true steam-distilled hydrosol that contains the therapeutic benefits of the herb/plant.

    Rose oil, also called Rose attar/Otto (westernized) is highly expensive oil as 1 kg of rose oil needs tonnes of rose petals. Hence, the oil is often compared to gold and has always been the product for the rich be it in India or the world

    At SNAANA, we only make rose water and do not make the rose oil.

    The steam distillation technique of making essential oil & hydrosol is similar to our rain process where steam passes through the plant material stored in a closed deg/pot. The steam, when rises up – carries along with it the volatile and water-soluble nutrients. On rising up and coming in contact with the condenser (cool tank)- the oil & water vapor turns to water drops which are collected in a sterile jar. The oil and water, despite being collected in one beaker, are naturally separated due to different specific gravity. The oil floats on top of the hydrosol.

    Pure hydrosols are skillfully produced with artistic precision as an important product rather than a side product of distillation. Many plants –herbs do not contain essential oil and are steam distilled only for hydrosols.

    Hydrosols do not need preservatives for about a year and more when collected & stored in a clean & sterile preferably amber colored glass container. And this simply is because – all the debris, the matter is left behind and the water collected in the beaker is free of any contamination making it easily stay for more than a year when stored properly.

    The hydrosol is potent complex mixtures that contain water-soluble nutrients plus needle-like essential oil dispersed in the water somewhere about less than 0.2% which lends hydrosol their aroma.

    And this makes hydrosols super nutrient-rich tonic water.

    The hydrosols can be used for different purposes, not just skincare.

    • Medicine – Hydrosols of herbs like Holy basil, ginger, marjoram, etc. are used as medicine to treat respiratory concerns like cold & cough. Herbs like peppermint, fennel, and carom are used to treat indigestion concerns. Hydrosols are potent and effectively work in the upkeep of body functioning without the need to look for allopathic medication.
    • Eye toner – Hydrosols like Rosewater as eye drops help tone the eyes, overcome fatigue. It is an eye tonic for all those who spend a long time in front of the screen. It can help clean the eyes & improve their health.
    • Supplement – Hydrosols are rich in water-soluble nutrients like the Vitamin B & C family. For example, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folacin, folic acid, and much more.
    • Skin toner/mist – Hydrosols when used as skin toner or mist can benefit the skin in multiple ways like – Relieve itch concerns, improve the hydration in skin pores, balance the skin pH, soothe inflammation, improve the skin texture and shrink the skin pores. Different hydrosols work for different skin types.
    • Aromatherapy – Hydrosols are gentle but effective versions of essential oils. Individuals usually connect better with hydrosols and feel calm & relaxed, especially those with sensitivity.
    • Food – Hydrosols of thyme, oregano, lemongrass, and many more culinary herbs are used in salads and soups for centuries. Rose or vetiver hydrosols are often used in shakes & smoothies to enhance the flavor & make it nutrient-rich. Sweet lime & peppermint are used in lemonade.

    • Many of these like Rose are often used in Indian desserts like kheer, jalebi as natural synthetic-free flavor. Conscious bakers use natural flavors in place of synthetics that are easily & inexpensively available in the market.
    • Religious rituals – Rose petals & water is used in religious rituals & ceremonies, as a welcome spray at all festive seasons and weddings across the world.

    • Hydrosols are much gentle as compared to essential oils. And hence most of them can be used without dilution.

    How Hydrosols are better than Essential oils

    1-Hydrosol is a complete plant in a drop containing both hydrophilic (water-soluble nutrients) and lipophilic (oil molecules - dispersed) in it.

    2-Hydrosols are less expensive than essential oil.

    3-Hydrosols are not as strong- concentrated as are essential oils hence it becomes convenient to deal with them. Gentle hydrosols can be used on individuals with sensitivity concerns.

    Hydrosols despite being used extensively in ancient times are not much known in today’s time. Therefore people with some information look for detailed information on the internet like hydrosol uses and benefits, hydrosol for acne, pure hydrosols, Hydrosol examples, Hydrosols Definition, Hydrosol Chemistry, Herbal Hydrosols, Hydrosol vs Toner, Hydrosol Aromatherapy, Hydrosol for Acne, etc.

    At SNAANA we make different herb hydrosols to use them for different purposes in our day to day life. Please refer to the table to see how you can benefit from these therapeutic waters.

    Here is what you can do to store your hydrosols for a long time. Care is needed especially for chemical & preservatives free products like hydrosols to ensure the hydrosols do not go bad quickly.

    • Store hydrosols in glass bottles/jars
    • Always tight the bottle immediately after each use.
    • Keep the bottle away from sunlight, preferably in a cupboard or refrigerator. Do not freeze it.
    • Keep the bottle in a cool place if you do not want to keep it in a refrigerator.
    • Do not mix anything into the bottle.

    Precaution

    If you are allergic to any herb, we suggest you not use its hydrosol too. When using the product for the first time, be it for consumption or application; always test/observe after usage before incorporating it in your daily intake/application routine.

    How to check the purity of the hydrosol?

    Purity is a major concern in today’s world. When it comes to hydrosol, you can have a quick check on these fronts.

    1-Make sure the hydrosol is edible. If the herb is edible, the hydrosol produced will be edible too. For example Rose hydrosol.

    2-The hydrosols do not really have a strong fragrance as we often find in many hydrosols that act as toners/mist. Hydrosols carry a very mild soothing aroma.

    3-Hydrosols do not carry the color of the herb in them during distillation. These are usually colorless or slightly pale yellow or turn brown. Often the hydrosols look like plain water. For example – rose water will be colorless and not pink.

    4-It is important to know the distillery of the hydrosol. The intent of the manufacturer is above all checks/certifications.

    Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

    1. Why are Hydrosols important in your skincare routine?
    2. Hydrosols are nutrient-rich highly therapeutic water and when incorporated in a skincare routine provides skin surface the needed nutrients & hydration. It helps in better absorption of face oil/cream which keeps skin soft, smooth & hydrated for the whole day. A skincare routine is incomplete without a hydrosol, a need usually felt by those who use hydrosols in their daily life.

    3. Where are pure organic rose, orange lavender hydrosols available?
    4. Finding pure organic hydrosols is a challenge in today’s world that is full of deceiving products, especially for a layman. In India, SNAANA is a brand that uses the ancient technique of steam distillation to produce the hydrosols. The hydrosols that SNAANA makes can be used not only for skincare use but for multiple uses like adding to your food recipes, diffuser, supplement, immunity booster, etc. SNAANA makes more than 40 different hydrosols. The brand strongly believes that if the herb is edible then the hydrosol of that very herb should be edible too. You can find all your favorite hydrosols at www.snaana.com

    5. Why are Hydrosols not so popular yet great Remedies for many health problems?
    6. The advancement in hydrosols has been lacking in this century the past few decades due to a more firm belief in allopathic medicine. This ignorance has led to no legal definition of hydrosol and its application/usage related information. The hydrosols have great therapeutic efficiency which has flown as a piece of information from generation to generation. But think about it, if we can take a teaspoon of carom or peppermint from the kitchen to overcome indigestion, then why a teaspoon of carom or peppermint can’t be consumed to reap the same benefit. After all, hydrosols are steam distilled water of the herbs.

    7. What are the benefits of eucalyptus Hydrosol?
    8. Eucalyptus hydrosol is highly beneficial for application and inhalation. Eucalyptus is super effective during respiratory concerns like cough, blocked nose, sinusitis, etc. It acts as a decongestant that helps breathe easily and improve the overall wellbeing, reducing the stress and tiredness. The water can be run in a diffuser to reap the benefit. The hydrosol of eucalyptus is a skin tonic that benefits oily skin conditions like acne- pimples. Mosquitoes are repellent to eucalyptus. It is also used as mouth rinse – oral care.

    9. Why do people not know about Hydrosol or ark in India?
    10. The lack of focus on plant-derived – ancient techniques has led to people not aware of hydrosols. Though in the last decade there is a growing desire for natural products, hence hydrosols are making a comeback. Hydrosols are one of the best, pure and efficient sources to act as medicine, health & wellness drink, food flavoring agent, skincare ingredient, and much more.

    11. Do Hydrosol Contain Water? Do they need a preservative?
    12. Hydrosols are steam distilled water that contains the used plant- herb water-soluble nutrients in it. Hydro means water & sol means a solution, hence hydrosol means a water solution. In other words, hydrosols are in the form of water containing the whole plant's hydrophilic & lipophilic nutrients. For more detailed information read here. If your hydrosol contains added water, then it may mean the hydrosol has been diluted with water. If the hydrosol is diluted, it certainly needs a preservative. Pure true Hydrosols do not need preservatives for more than a year when stored properly in a clean sterile jar/bottle.

    13. Can we drink Hydrosol as an immunity booster?
    14. Yes, we can drink the hydrosol as an immunity booster. Just make sure to buy hydrosol prepared from the herbs that are immunity builders like holy basil, marjoram, clove, black pepper, etc. If the herb is edible, the hydrosol of that herb is edible too.

    15. Are Hydrosols Good For Skin?
    16. Hydrosols are tonic for the skin provided when used the right herb hydrosol suiting your skin and the right way. For example, an individual with oily skin finds hydrosols of orange, peppermint, eucalyptus beneficial than the hydrosol of vetiver or marigold.

    17. Are hydrosol Moisturizing?
    18. Hydrosols are herb’s water-soluble nutrient solution with negligible to none oil (essential oil) molecules suspended in it. Hydrosols are moisturizing only when used with any cold-pressed oil/face & body oil/cream. The nutrient-rich water plus oil/cream helps quick absorption in skin pores & long-lasting hydration and moisturization.

    VOTE FOR CHANGE

    SNAANA wants to drag your attention to the fact that we are still living in a legal framework that was adopted in British times and has not been amended at the pace synthetics/chemicals have come into use in skin care. Import, manufacture, distribution and sale of skin care/ beauty products are regulated by Drugs & Cosmetics Act 1940 and this law till date has not given a definite and uniform definition for usage of words on labels like natural and organic which is big-time responsible for misleading the consumers.

    That is why what is packed in a bottle or jar in the name of natural, organic, ayurvedic is often not what it claims. Synthetic provide comfort and convenience to manufacturers in terms of making product cost effective and extending the shelf life but they harm our bodies. This is because we have never thought that these chemicals can make cause problems like migraine, cancer, hormonal disorders etc and much more in our bodies.

    Let's stand united and bring this revolution TOGETHER.