Aromatherapists often use hydrolats, essential oil waters or infused oils. These are products that include some of the same healing properties as the essential oil properties found in plants. Hydrolats are complicated to make and you should purchase them from specialist suppliers. Essential oil waters are made with essential oils and can be used (in some cases) in place of hydrolats.

A hydrolat is a by-product of the essential oil distillation process. It is only the water-soluble components of plants that become infused in the water used in the distillation process. Hydrolats are not just watered down essential oils because they do not contain all the components the essential oils have and they often smell quite different from the plant or the essential oil. They do contain antiseptic properties and have their own unique uses. They can be used to spray rooms, put on bedding and to spray on compresses. They usually have a delicious scent and can be used like an essential oil.

Essential oil waters can be used in place of hydrolats when they are not available. These are easily made in the following manner:

  • pour 1/2 pint of boiling water into a heat proof bowl
  • add 6-10 drops of lavender (or whichever essential oil you want to use)
  • cover the bowl completely so that the cooled condensed water falls back into the bowl
  • pour the mixture through an unbleached paper coffee filter to remove the globules of essential oil
  • leave it to cool and then bottle it

Infused oils can be made at home too. Use a jar that can be tightly sealed. Pack it tightly with whatever plant material you want to use like lavender, chamomile, marigold or calendula. Fill the packed jar with an organic carrier oil like grapeseed oil, almond oil or sunflower oil. Put the sealed jar in a sunny window for at least 48 hours and shake the bottle every day. After 48 hours strain the oil (it will be thick so it will take a while.) To make the oil stronger, add more fresh plant material and repeat the process until it smells the way you want.


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July 2020