When observing the distillation of a plant, may it be done from fresh flower petals, crushed roots or seeds, dried leaves or twigs, the alchemical process create two very distinct products: The essential oil and the hydrosol also called the distillate or hydrolat (hydro=water/ lat=milk). This precious water is very distinct from the essential oil yet contains similar properties. The essential oil droplets are the heavier and more hydrophilic (water loving) compounds of the plant. Some of the molecules are also unique from the hydrosols especially when distilled from fresh material. These precious waters contain the genetic signature of the plant as well as the 5 alchemical elements, Water- Fire- Earth- Air and Ether. These 5 elements are combined in the process in the three alchemical principals
- The interaction of water and earth is the process of MATERIALIZATION, also known as the Kapha dosha in Ayurveda or the SALT principal in ancient alchemy. This is connected to the BODY.
- The interaction between Water and fire finds expression in the TRANSFORMATION, also known as Pitta in Ayurveda and represents the SOUL or SULFUR among the three alchemical principals.
- The last principal lies in the dance between Air and Ether and is symbolized by the movement of DISPERSION that is the Vata principal in Ayurveda and represents the SPIRIT or MERCURY in ancient alchemy.
Essential oils are by nature more related to the principal of Vata, as the terpene and volatile molecules are light in weight and travel through the air and aromas that themselves that can invisibly enter the body and reach some of our deepest emotions and memories.
The hydrosol is mainly connected to the EARTH principal, or SALT as it is essentially composed of water that is the universal cleansing and regenerating element. Nevertheless, hydrosols also contain the Sulfur element through its aroma as well as the Sulfur element with their power to change emotions and move chronic health issues with repetitive usage.
These essential waters, because of their H2O like nature do not contain the dangerous side effects that essential oils can present, they are easily assimilable by the body and the skin. They are mostly safe and can be used daily for health, skin conditions and emotional balance. Many of them can also be allies during pregnancy, lactation and to help babies and children, making them a great alternative to aromatherapy.
Hydrosols are slightly acidic and mimic perfectly the skin’s natural PH, therefor they are an ingredient of choice to heal and regenerate any skin types and problems.
If you have any questions regarding a specific skin type or condition in regards to what hydrosols to pick, feel free to "ask Alice"on the top bar of this page!
You can also join us for thsi incredible online upcoming workshop featuring 10 of Alice's favorites (that you will receive at home before class), to sign up, click here