Essential Oils Versus Hydrosols
“Eating is more than a fix, it’s nature’s way to nourish cells — it’s a way to extend life. Don’t give a natural body unnatural food.” ~ Nancy S. Mure
As much as I would like to continue reviewing everything that I have said thus far, I can’t. I think it is safe to say we are far enough along where reiterating all previous content would be overwhelming and somewhat redundant. Alas, I know some of you are starting to join our jaunt through essential oils (EOs). Don’t worry! You will not be left to your own devices. Simply, if something becomes obscure, review previous blogs and hop back on the October train. I’m sure you’re wondering why these few statements have been warranted. Well, to answer your titillating questions I ask you to turn to the word H-Y-D-R-O-S-O-L. That’s right, hydrosol.
“What is hydrosol, or better yet, what is a hydrosol?”
Hydrosol is a form of distillation. It is the resulting collection of steam acquired during an EO’s cultivation. Hydrosols are more commonly regarded as herbal waters, hydrolate, essential water, or floral water. They have a tendency to be used in skin care products, medicine, and flavorings. Some examples are as follows: rose water, orange flower water, and witch hazel.
Despite the hydrosols’ growth in popularity amongst makeup fanatics and beauty blogs you can cook with hydrosol! They, like EOs, offer vibrant, healthy alternatives to a variety of spices that are placed throughout your kitchen. Hydrosols and EOs maintain similar properties in that they add flavor, depth, and profound cellular nutrition into your cooking. However, there are some differences between the two that should be noted. Hydrosols are 30-40% stronger than an infusion; an infusion is herbs infused into a carrier liquid. They are water soluble, and as a result, are easily absorbed and ingested. This allows hydrosols to be gentle on the body, but with a punch!
NOTE: If you are allergic to the plant, you will be allergic to its corresponding hydrosol (just like EOs)! So, in other words, don’t dive headfirst into integrating a hydrofoil or EO into your cooking if you’re unsure as to your body’s (possible) negative reaction to the plant form.
Now that you know a little about hydrosols, let us investigate one in particular, rosemary. I will take the time to tell you about its benefits as well as how to get your own rosemary hydrosol! So, to answer the question, “What is so great about rosemary hydrosol Suzy?” Well, my devoted followers, rosemary acts as an anti-inflammatory, pain reliever, antiseptic, stress reliever, stimulator of the immune system, mood and energy booster, helper of circulation and digestion, and inhibitor of arthritis progression. On that last comment, rosemary contains rosmarinic acid, phytochemicals, that have be hypothesized to combat arthritic symptoms. Tangents aside, this particular hydrosol contains vitamins and minerals like foliate, vitamin A, magnesium, and potassium. Simply replace some of the water in your tea, soup, ice, or recipe of choice with rosemary hydrosol to receive its positive effects, vitamins, and minerals.
“But, Suzy, how am I supposed to make or get my hands on rosemary hydrosol to follow your wise words regarding holistic cooking?”
Again, another fantastic question! Here are the steps to making hydrosol at home:
* Credit for this step-by-step process goes to http://www.mamarosemary.com
Step #1, collect the materials, and Step #2, follow the correct methodology.
- Large pot
- Glass lid
- Small collecting container (i.e. glass bowl or measuring cup)
- Heatproof stand (i.e. ramekin or other bowl)
- Distilled or filtered water
- Ice cubes
- Plant material of choice (i.e. rosemary)
- Storing bottle with lid or mister top
- Place the heatproof stand in the bottom of the large pot, and then place the collecting container on top of the stand.
- Fill the bottom of the pot with plant material; the plant material should reach up to the smaller bowl.
- Fill with water until the plant material is barely submerged.
- Place glass lid upside down on top of the pot and fill with it with ice cubes.
- Heat pot on medium to medium-low.
- Bring the water and plant material to a simmer NOT a boil.
- Let the collection begin – it will take about 20 minutes – and be patient.
- Transfer your hydrosol to your storing bottle of choice.
That’s all I have for this week ladies and gentlemen. I know you were likely suspecting an EO of the month, but don’t fret, that’s for next week! Until then, try out hydrosols! If you have any questions either ask Google, or better yet, post a comment and I will be happy to respond.
~ Suzy Brown, Nutrition Practitioner & Personal Chef ~