Are Hydrosols abandoned by the Aromatherapy Industry?

Essential oils are the first thing that crosses people’s mind, when it comes to aromatherapy. They are potent and therapeutic, said to promote overall well-being, aid relaxation, lift depression, heal illnesses – basically they sound like magical elixirs offering a myriad of beneficial properties. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy essential oils, I really do (especially the combination of Bergamot and Geranium).

The distillation of essential oils was dated back to as far back as the 10th century and got famous in Europe by the 12th century.

Essential oil extraction method

(Photo credit: Hxcorp)

Essential oils are usually extracted by a steam distillation process, in which steam vaporized the aromatic compounds in the plant material,  which was then passed through the cooling chamber to be condensed back to liquid form. This resulting liquid will then be separated into essential oil and hydrosol (commonly termed as ‘floral water’). Essential oil contains oil-soluble aromatic compounds while the hydrosol contains water-soluble aromatic compounds (aka nutrients), and small amount of water-soluble essential oil.

traditional distillation method(Photo Credit: Young Living)

However, focus has been on the essential oils and hydrosol has been considered as a by-product with little use. As there is strong demand for essential oils as they are deemed as precious, some distillers resorted to distilling hydrosol after separating essential oil from the hydrosol, a second time, to extract any remaining essential oil in the hydrosol.

Truth is, both essential oils and hydrosols have their respective benefits. Compared to the high concentration of essential oils, which require most essential oils to be diluted in a carrier oil for tropical application, hydrosols are much safer and gentler to use.

Usage

  • Hydrosol can be used in DIY masks – it can replace distilled water when mixing wash off mask as well as soaking sheet masks (compressed/gauze) with hydrosol and use it in place of commercial sheet masks. There is so much room for creativity here! I am always mixing up two or even three different hydrosols for one sheet mask.. just to reap all the benefits.
  • Mix in 30ml of hydrosol in 1 litre of water to drink daily, for a period of 21 days and stop for 7 days to complete a cycle. One hydrosol that I enjoy consuming is Ginger Hydrosol . Some benefits of Ginger Hydrosol includes promoting blood circulation, liver detox as well as reducing age spots, reduce menstrual cramps.
  • Replacing commercial eye drops with German Chamomile Hydrosol – Definitely a life saver especially during dry eyes with contact lenses. You know how contact lenses dry your eyes terribly and you can only choose from the limited choices of contact lens safe eye drops?
  • Some hydrosols work well as a mouthwash, such as Tea Tree and Peppermint Hydrosols due to their anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

rose-water(Photo Credit: Alibaba)

Types of Hydrosol

There are various different kinds of hydrosols and their benefits and smells vary differently. The weather, the area where the plant was cultivated in also play a part in the smell of the hydrosols. Hence, it is possible for batches of the same hydrosol to have slightly different aroma.

  1. Rose Hydrosol: Usually termed as rose water, this should be the most recognised hydrosol in the beauty industry. Moisturising with abundant Vitamin C, it helps to restore the vitality and make skin supple and soft. Here is one Youtube video showing how you can make rose hydrosol here.
  2. German Chamomile Hydrosol: Cooling, soothing and healing in nature, it helps to calm irritated skin, sensitive skin as well as eczema-prone skin. It is also one of the few hydrosols that can be used as an eye wash.
  3. Ginger Hydrosol: Promote blood circulation, liver detox, reducing menstrual cramps are some of its many benefits. After using it as a sheet mask, there is visible whitening and brightening effects.
  4. Rosemary Hydrosol: Anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory in nature, it deep cleanse pores, surfacing and reducing whiteheads and blackheads. It also helps to tighten and close those pores after cleansing.
  5. Tea Tree Hydrosol: Tea Tree Oil has been highly raved for its antibacterial properties and how it fight off pimples. Likewise, Tea Tree Hydrosol also provide such benefits and double up as a mouthwash, fighting against bad breath.

Have you used hydrosols before? If not, would you give it a try?

rose water.jpg (Photo Credit: Bellatory)

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Reflection

Been a long time since I am back on WordPress. Just want to blank out my mind, pen the fleeting thoughts through my mind, just like the slightest snow that disintegrating through grasping hands.

As I listen to ballad song, that ever familiar rhythm, set me on a daze. Whilst squeezing time from my schedule to work in the office, I can’t help but to have the urge to pen a reflection about recent happenings.

Politics, often lay beneath the amiable atmosphere that fills every corner of the environment. As long as people exist, interacting in a common space, there bound to be conflict of interest, and politics seem to be a good collective term to describe that, and the means and ways to achieve and ‘win’ that particular interest.

Being new to the working sphere, despite knowing the existence of politics, I have never seem to step on its boundaries. Honestly speaking, coast is practically clear for me. However,I have recently realised that things are not how it seemed to be, it took me a while to come around it, and a hard lesson was taught very recently. Just like how the sea is mostly calm on the surface, but the darkness and ruthlessness beneath it is not known to people, unless you ventured into it.

Watching people, observing habits, deciphering expressions and dissecting thoughts trains – these things I’m conditioned to do, since young, shed light on people’s interactions. I was, however, careful to be on the sidelines, being the observant one, predicting the future action course. This time, I was dragged in, unexpectedly. Reflecting on it for numerous days, different thoughts and feelings everyday, on the same event. Albeit feeling a tad betrayed, despite an acquaintance relationship being almost ruined, I wouldn’t deny the lessons learnt, nor blame anyone for this. No matter what, it was a good lesson explored, it allowed for better handling in the future, and of course, it shed even more light on the conflict of interest between the two groups of people. Just coincidentally, I was the one sandwiched, and the one who spoke the truth.

A very interesting twist that I have never expected, but still thankful for it.

Only when we got over difficulties we thought we could never get by, that we are able to think they weren’t as overwhelming as we thought they were in the past.

Just like how we started climbing a mountain that stood high and majestic in front of us, the awe of nature overwhelms us and reminds us of our fragility of being mere human beings. Though the power that nature possesses seems limitless and far more than the threshold we could withstand, but we need to acknowledge the strength of willpower, and the “miracle” sheer stubbornness can bring us. As long as we persevere, one day, we will see that mountain right behind us when we turn back, and appreciate where the challenge has brought us to.

And new challenges await.

The mermaid and the fisherman

The beautiful one,

dweller of the sea,

glistening green-blue scales under moonlight,

it is said her voice is like that of heaven,

and her tears are precious gemstones.

 

A fisherman in his tiny boat,

In the middle of the night,

he heard a song so gentle,

so surreal,

it feels like a dream he don’t want to wake up from.

 

The subconscious indulges in the dangerous feast his senses presents,

the conscious remembers the tale passed down for generations.

 

He knows clearly,

either he get eaten up,

or he conquer the mermaid.

Upon that, not only he would be safe,

he would sail with no danger.

 

Little do the mermaid know,

when she express her interest in the fisherman and use her voice to entice him to fall into her arms,

she has already fallen into the web weaved by the fisherman.

Not only the fisherman cannot withstand the temptation of the mermaid, even if he knows his life is at stake,

the mermaid could not deny the temptation the fisherman has on her.

 

This is a tale of entwined fates of two ends in the nature chain.

Who is the predator, and who is the prey?

 

Growth

Perhaps this uneasiness and uncertainty I’m overwhelmed with, will ease off as I get older. Being exposed by such situations suddenly result in such emotional turbulence. It is something that I have to get accustomed with and not just accustomed, but also able to deal with it with confidence and rationality. I guess, at one point of time, you would have to step out and deal with the unexpected twist yourself and at that instance, growth takes place. It’s gratifying that you have grown, but also a little saddening that you are moving away from the simple person you once were. Maybe that is the reason why people love reminiscence about the good o’ days from their memory lane; they miss how wonderfully simple and blessed they were in the past – satisfied and feeling blessed for the every little things in life.

At this point of time – although you know it would be hard, you have hopes and aspirations to be a better person and have a bright future that you envision. You would not consider so much and more likely to act on impulses, because YOLO right? You would not talk in ways that make you look like a wily fox and your edges poke people when you don’t like them. 

But as you continue your life journey and say, in your 30s or 40s, you learn to think more, and sometimes overthink to the extent you are stuck in the same spot that you expected yourself to because of too many self-imposed restrictions, to talk in ways that wouldn’t rub off people, and lose that initial fearless attitude in life. Too many things in life slowly round those edges you once have that distinguish you as a young adult, albeit many of them are simple things – they are simple, yet the consistency of them just weighs you down as time pass by and sap the energy out of you.

This is something very true in life, but I hope that we would keep that strength and hope we have (or once have) through our course of our lives. Nothing is ever too late.

Perhaps when you socialise and expand your social circle, you strain relationships with your close friends and family at the same time.