Every day I am blessed by using hydrosols! While hydrosols can differ in their chemical properties from essential oils, they also have fantastic therapeutic value. With a milder aroma, hydrosols are potent, chemical combinations that are effective in assisting with various discomforts or conditions. There are two hydrosols I am particularly excited about right now: Rose Geranium Hydrosol and Lemon Thyme Hydrosol! I am continually using them for any major or minor skin related discomfort I encounter.
Rose Geranium is a beautiful product that is helpful in addressing a multitude of skin related distresses. Hydrosols are so often misunderstood as simply being a watered-down mixture of essential oils. This suggestion completely underestimates the actuality of these wonderful distillations! The following is a typical chemical breakdown by a GC/MS test for Rose Geranium (Pelargonium capitatum) courtesy of Ann Harman (Ann, from Morning Myst Botanics, has spent considerable funds and time researching the benefits of hydrosols):
- Citronellol 66.96%
- Isomenthone 8.46%
- Linalool 5.28%
- Geraniol 8.46%
- Rose Cis-oxyde 2.39%
In searching through the Component Data Base from the Aromahead Institute (an invaluable tool), I find research that shows the components Citronellol and Geraniol found in this hydrosol are:
- Effective chemical constituents for controlling dust mites, (which can aggravate respiratory allergies)
- Fantastic mosquito repellent (often times found more effective than DEET)
As it is anti-inflammatory, this is a good product to use in any condition where heat is involved such as sunburn, bug bites, and rashes. Suzanne Catty in her book, Hydrosols The Next Aromatherapy, says that Rose Geranium is a hemostatic, it slows or stops bleeding rapidly and can be used to clean wounds and cuts. Rose Geranium is a great hydrosol to keep around!
Lemon Thyme Hydrosol (Thymus x citriodorus) is also a valuable product to have in the aromatherapy cabinet. Here is the GC/MS report that Ann Harmon has shared showing its main chemical constituents:
- Neral 11.68%
- ß-bisabolene 13.00%
- Geranial 9.42%
- Nerol 6.67%
- Geraniol 30.60%
One of the most interesting components is Citral (Geranial and Neral), an aldehyde, which is an ingredient making up over 20% of the hydrosol. Citral possesses properties that are:
Once again, in searching through the Component Data Base from the Aromahead Institute, I find research that shows Citral has a broad-spectrum antibacterial action, encompassing gram+ bacteria such as Bacillus subtitlis, Bacillus cereus, Micrococcus spp, Streptococcus agalactiae, Staphylococcus aureus and MRSA, and gram- bacteria including Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter sakazakii and Helicobacter pylori.
Lemon Thyme hydrosol is primarily used for infectious skin conditions, as it is stimulating helping to increase circulation, and is particularly great for acne and wound treatment. In a study with Lemon Thyme that Ann Harmon has been working on with a Doctor at UCLA, Ann reports: ”Initial reports in the 9 cases of chronic sinusitis (inflammation) and infections have all been positive, most are remarkable. One case, in particular, had the woman patient free from infection and thus antibiotics for the first time in years, she had been through numerous surgeries and many antibiotics all to no avail” (used with permission from Ann. She will be making her studies available shortly).
For nasal infections and inflammation, Ann Harman suggests using either a neti pot with saline (1 TBL to 1Cup saline) or 1ml in a vaporizer. This same protocol has been used with a blend of Rosemary and Yarrow for sinusitis. As with essential oils, hydrosols are best stored in a cool, darkened area.