DIY: How To Make A Hydrosol

by Bella Martinez September 03, 2020

DIY: How To Make A Hydrosol

The content was updated for accuracy and relevance on November 19th, 2020

If you’ve been reading through the recipes on our website, you’ve likely noticed that many of them suggest the use of hydrosols. But what is hydrosol and what are hydrosols used for outside of our recipes?

Essentially, a hydrosol is a botanical water. It’s similar to essential oil, but it’s far less concentrated, which makes it ideal for anyone with dry skin or sensitive skin. Not to mention hydrosols also contain water-soluble plant compounds that aren’t found in essential oils.

The great thing about hydrosols? You can DIY at home. 

How? Read on to find out all the tips and ingredients you’ll need to make your very own hydrosol! 


What Are Hydrosols? 

Hydrosols, also known as floral water or hydrolats, are the byproduct of the essential oil distillation process. 

They’re made of plant constituents, traces of essential oil and filtered water, which is what gives them their heavenly aroma. 

Hydrosols are primarily composed of hydrophilic plant compounds and contain less than .02% of essential oil. Because it’s water-based, you don’t need to dilute them any further before applying. 

You can use aromatic as well as non-aromatic plants when creating your homemade hydrosol. But given the choice between the two, why wouldn’t you choose something that smells divine? Some of the most popular hydrosols are made with aromatic plants, including:

  • Rose 

  • Lavender 

  • Orange blossom 

  • Chamomile 

  • Cucumber


There’s plenty of room for creativity. It’s common to add Thyme, Rosemary, Lemon Balm, Mints and other types of ingredients for the best possible outcomes. 

According to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, hydrosol uses include: 

  • Effective facial toners for skin care

  • Wound healing

  • Anti-inflammatory, cooling

  • Skincare products: Serve as hydrating components in a product, e.g. cream, cleanser, etc.

  • Safe for infants and young children in baths (1 tbsp) or spritzers

  • Skin inflammation


How Is Hydrosol Made? 

A hydrosol is made using steam distillation of various aromatic plant matter.

Plant material is boiled and then simmered, which creates steam. The hot steam passes through plant material and then rises to the top. On it’s way, it passes through ice, which cools it down. 

The condensate of this steaming process is then collected. Essential oil floats on the surface and the remaining water is the true hydrosol.  

That water is incredibly aromatic and contains many of the very same therapeutic properties of their corresponding essential oil. It can be safely added to your food and drinks or used on your face and hair. This methodology provides a solid middle ground since it's significantly more effective than an herbal tea while still being gentler than an essential oil. 


Can True Hydrosol Be Made At Home?

Hydrosols can be store-bought, but we wouldn’t suggest it.   

When industrial distillation occurs, it tends to use far more spring water than a typical recipe would call for. As a result, the hydrosol is largely diluted, so much so as to be rendered useless. 

It’s more effective to simply make your own hydrosol at home. You get to pick exactly what you want in it! Mix and match as you see fit. Try different combinations until you land on a blend that’s perfect for you.  


Hydrosol Recipe: Ingredients You’ll Need 

Ready to make your very own DIY hydrosol? Then let’s get cooking!

For starters, you’ll need several ingredients and a few select items. Then, based on your own preference (herbal hydrosol, floral hydrosol, etc), you might want to add a little flare to your recipe. 

To that end, gather the following: 

  • Large pot with lid

  • 1 Large heat-safe bowl

  • 1 Smaller heat-safe bowl

  • Ice

  • Water

  • 5 cups of fresh or dried plant material, such as:

    • Rose petals

    • Lavender

    • Peppermint 

    • Chamomile

    • Jasmine

    • Lemon Balm

    • Hibiscus 

    • Spearmint

    • Hyssop

    • Yarrow

    • Rosemary

Note: Be sure to check that the bowls and pots are cleaned. Foreign residue and debris could throw off the aromatics of the mixture


Process For Hydrosols And Essentials Oils 

Ready to learn how to make your own hydrosol? For the purpose of today’s recipe, let's use a combination of rose petals, lavender and peppermint. The mixture creates a divine aromatic water and is full of rejuvenating properties that are fantastic for your skin and hair. 

After gathering all of the essential items, you can begin:

  • Step 1 – Place your large heat-safe bowl in the center of the large pot, upside-down. Place the second, smaller bowl on top of the larger bowl. The smaller bowl should be right side-up, on top of the larger bowl. The small bowl will be what collects the hydrosol water. 

  • Step 2 – Arrange the plant material around the sides of the larger bowl (not in the bowl). Cover plant material with water. Water should remain below the top of the larger bowl.

  • Step 3 – Place the large pot lid upside down to cover the large pot. Fill a large freezer bag with ice, seal and place on top of the lid of the pot.

  • Step 4 – Boil the water, then gently simmer for 30 minutes. Replace the bag of ice, if it melts.

  • Step 5 – Remove the pot from the heat, then remove the lid. Carefully lift the smaller bowl out, which now contains your hydrosol. Pour the collected water into a container like our Amber Glass Bottles. Store in the fridge for the longest shelf life, or a cool, dark and dry area.

With this easy-to-follow recipe from Edens Garden, making your own hydrosols is simple. And once you’ve got your aromatic hydrosol bottled, you can use it however you please. 

Since it's so easy to do, you're going to want to try a variety of different aromatic plants. Whether it be a rosemary hydrosol, chamomile hydrosol, lemongrass hydrosol, lavender hydrosol, tea tree hydrosol, frankincense hydrosol geranium hydrosol or peppermint hydrosol, get ready to gather your fresh petals and dried herbs to create the essential water of your dreams!

Sources:

1. National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. What are Hydrosols? https://naha.org/explore-aromatherapy/about-aromatherapy/what-are-hydrosols


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11 comments

Edens Garden

May 25, 2021 at 4:28 pm

Hi Lori! You may want to try making a hydrosol with peonies as this isn’t something we’ve tried before and as far as we know, there aren’t commercial peony hyrdosols. You may also want to check out “Hydrosols : The Next Aromatherapy” by Suzanne Catty or “375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols” by Jeanne Rose.

Lori Sylvester

May 25, 2021 at 3:55 pm

I am relatively new to the land of essential oils, soap making and other DIYs, including making
hydrosols. My peony bushes are beautiful this year and I was wondering if a hydrosol could be made from the peony petals. If so, what other DIY uses are there for this hydrosol…would appreciate recipes and/or a book to purchase discussing this. THANKS!

Edens Garden

May 20, 2021 at 11:20 am

Hi Anne-Marie! We do not have plans of bringing this product back at the moment. Our apologies for any inconvenience.

Anne-Marie

May 20, 2021 at 11:18 am

I bought a Neroli Hydrosol from you a couple of years ago that I enjoyed using. Does this mean you will not be bringing them back again?

Edens Garden

May 3, 2021 at 2:54 pm

Hi Rosemary! We suggest sanitizing your utensils and containers beforehand. You can also use distilled water as opposed to tap water.

Rosemary Jolly

May 3, 2021 at 2:20 pm

How do you ensure the hydrosol is not contaminated in a normal kitchen please?

Edens Garden

March 22, 2021 at 9:41 am

Hi Erin! We only recommend doing this for 30 minutes, as this is the optimum amount of time we’ve found works for creating hydrosols at home.

Erin

March 22, 2021 at 9:35 am

How much hydrosol should I expect to get in 30 minutes, and what happens if I simmer it for longer? At some point, all the plant constituents that are going to evaporate, will, and only water will be evaporating. Is there a way to know when that point has been reached?

Marcey Kay Cochran

March 22, 2021 at 9:29 am

I love hydrosols and now I’m really excited about trying to make my own ! Thank you !

kathy

March 19, 2021 at 12:15 pm

This sounds like so much fun and so easy. I have rosemary and peppermint growing like crazy right now. I can’t wait to try this!

Carole Barrett

February 4, 2021 at 8:53 am

THANK YOU! I read so many sites that wanted me to use a copper still. It gets frustrating. You want to try something new, you sure don’t want to invest in a copper still just to try. You took a huge, expensive process and made it simple and inexpensive.