Hydrosols are the newest and most gentle canine aromatherapy.
Most essential oils used in aromatherapy are obtained by steam distillation, at the end of which a small amount of essential oil is extracted from a large amount of water. But that isn’t just any water, for the liquid that condenses after steam drives volatile material from blossoms, stems, leaves, fruit, roots, or seeds is itself an aromatic substance with significant healing properties.
That liquid is called a hydrosol, hydrolat, hydrolate, flower water, floral water, or distillate water. Regardless of name, hydrosols are aromatherapy’s hot topic – and for pet lovers, they’re ideal. They combine the therapeutic benefits of essential oils, which they contain in minute amounts, with the safety of herbal teas. Make that very strong herbal teas, for hydrosols are 20 to 30 times more concentrated than any steeped or simmered tea.
Hydrosols have become buzzword ingredients in cosmetics and skin care products, where they are valued for their pleasant fragrances, hydrophilic (water-loving) acids, and mild but effective anti-inflammatory, astringent, and antiseptic properties.
The most familiar hydrosols are rose water, orange blossom water, and lavender water. But these culinary and hand lotion ingredients are usually made from water and perfume oils, not by steam distillation. The difference is significant, for true hydrosols contain water-soluble components that never appear in essential oils. As a result, hydrosols are gentle, powerful, versatile, therapeutic, and unique.