Hydrosols and Aromatherapy
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On distilling these essential oils, a by–product of the distillation process called hydrosol is obtained. The most common form of a by–product of the distillation of rose is rose water. However, not all the hydrosols from plants that are distilled are used as hydrosols. The usage of hydrosol is subjected to only certain plants like rose and chamomile. The reason that not all the hydrosols of all plants are used is that most of the hydrosols have an unpleasant smell.
It is only with a single process that hydrosols of plants are obtained. The raw plant material of the plant to be distilled is placed in an alembic, over water. The alembic is the apparatus that is used for distillation purposes. This raw material could be anything like flowers, bark, roots, peel, leaves and seeds. Once the water is heated, steam runs through the plant material, and in the process, vaporizes the volatile compound of the plant.
With this, the vapors flow through a coil to condense into a liquid, which is collected in a holding vessel. And it is this water that is saved, which is considered to be hydrosols of aromatherapy. The other names of hydrosols are hydrolat, floral water, distillate water or plant water essence. These hydrosols are sold as other fragrant products like rose water, orange blossom water and lavender water.
When buying hydrosols, it is always better to get the details of the hydrosols from the vendors. This is because there are so called hydrosols for sale, which is basically water added to essential oils, but are being sold as floral water or hydrosols. In fact, you can sometimes also request samples for you to determine which hydrosol is the best to buy.