WHAT IS IN THE
By Jeanne Rose
Recently a friend faxed me a page of questions
regarding hydrosols. The questions were regarding hydrosols and seemed
very thoughtful. Some of the questions that you should think to ask your
supplier of hydrosols are:
Is each hydrosols analyzed to know its chemical
Do you pass on the analysis if a customer requests it?
Where and how is the hydrosol bottled?
Does the distiller or someone else bottle it?
Is it repackaged from larger containers?
If you are taking the hydrosol internally, do you think
that the distillation premises should be certified just like a
Is the hydrosol tested regularly for bacterial or
Are the bottles or bulk containers that are used to
collect the hydrosol cleaned carefully with Clorox and then rinsed clear
to make sure that they are free of contamination?
Are the test results available to the one who purchases
Are you the distiller and if so, do you know how to
care for the hydrosol so that it will not be contaminated?
Do you know the distiller?
How is the hydrosol stored at the distillation site?
Are your hydrosols produced for the hydrosol or for the
Is the plant fresh or dried when distilled?
Were the plants picked at the height of their season?
Was the distillation stopped at the peak time for the
hydrosol or was it allowed to continue until the hydrosol became weak
What kind of equipment was used for the distillation?
(Using Copper improves the quality
of the hydrosol)
Was the hydrosol tested for pH during all phases of the
distillation and a record kept?
Is it about 5.5 or lower? (If it is near 7, it is
Are preservatives added to the hydrosol and in what
Smell & Taste:
It should have both in quantity!.
How do the distiller, the producer, the manufacturer,
and you store the hydrosols?
Are the hydrosols continually being tested throughout
their life for bacteria, mold, mildew and pH?
For this and
other answers you will have to ask your hydrosol seller. For information
about the hydrosol, join the Aromatic Plant
Project for a quarterly newsletter that addresses these questions.
Know your soil!
Location, location, location.
Water source and type.
Choose the correct plant that will match
Know what your plant is. The Latin
binomial, the variety and the chemotype.
Harvest at the correct time in the
Harvest the correct part and only the
first flowering if it is a flowering plant.
Choose a method of distillation and the
type of equipment. Use copper at least in the gooseneck or the
condenser for a sweet-smelling hydrosol.
Choose whether you are distilling for an
essential oil or a hydrosol.
Distill with the art and craft of 500
years experience using only pure water. Collect only up to 50%
of the water or steam used in the distillation process.
(EX: If you start with 100 pounds. plant material you will
only get about 100 quarts of hydrosol.)
Bottle or collect in clean containers.
The containers should be rinsed for 3 minutes with 10% Clorox
solution, then rinsed with boiling water or steam to remove the
Measure the pH. It should be about
4.5-5.5. If its is higher or close to 7, then you have water
and not hydrosol.
Bottle and label your sterile hyrdrosol.
Market the product.
Aromatic News, a quarterly from the
Aromatic Plant Project.
Spring 2002, Aromatic News of the
Aromatic Plant Project.
All rights reserved
2002. No part of this article
Course – Home & Family may be used
without the prior permission of Jeanne Rose. © Authors Copyright Jeanne