From the Essential Oils Integrative Medical Guide, pg 163 and 164.
Hydrosols (also called floral waters) are aromatic water extracts that are a result of the steam distilling process that produces essential oils. As steam passes through the plant material, the plant or herb releases essential oil which is then separated out as the steam cools. The oil floats on the top of the water and is collected. The remaining water is laced with subtle traces of oil and contains beneficial water soluble phyto-compounds. Hydrosols have properties that are similar to those of essential oil, but in lower concentrations. They are gentle, fragrant, and suitable for all ages.
Many hydrosols are re-hydrating, nurturing, and protective to the skin. They are also uniquely uplifting, calming, soothing, relaxing, and restorative.
Some common Hyrdosols and their effects:
Basil – is stimulating, energizing, uplifting, and relaxing to the muscles.
Chamomile – is relaxing and soothing for sore muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It also soothes skin irritations and swelling.
Balsam Fir – is a detoxifier and an energizing and uplifting restorative.
Peppermint – is cooling and refreshing. It is excellent for cleansing blemished and oily skin, and soothing for digestion and headaches.
Thyme – is antiseptic, cleansing, energizing, and stimulating to the scalp.