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Information about Hydrosols ~ from Jeanne Rose


Advisory Panel Member Deborah Seewald contacted Jeanne Rose, author of 19 books on herbs and aromatherapy including "375 Essential Oils & Hydrosols", about the 'naturalness' of hydrosols. This page contains the generous information provided by Jeanne Rose.

Jeanne Rose
Aromatic Plant Project


NIRC Question: In the formulation of personal care items, is a hydrosol considered a natural ingredient and can it be included in the percentage of natural ingredients in a formulation?

Jeanne Rose: It is a natural ingredient if the plants are grown organically and if the water is natural spring water. However, currently, there is a very loud discussion going on at this point regarding your question and currently there is no definitive answer.

Information Provided with permission from Jeanne Rose
Hydrosol Definition 1990-2006

HYDROSOL: the aromatic non-alcoholic distillate left from the distillation process of organically grown plants that contains water-soluble parts of the plant material and micro-drops of the essential oil. Organoleptically, it
has strong taste, strong scent and a pH of less than 5.5. …Jeanne
Rose 1990

The word hydrosol was first used in the production of gold in 1864. In 1990, Jeanne Rose was the first person to use this word for the first part of the
liquid of the distillation of fresh plant material. Jeanne Rose says `hydro' means water and `sol' means solution – the new liquid that results from plant

Every hydrosol is different because of where it is produced and how it is produced, in terroir, distillation technique, chemotype varietal. Not all
the water produced from the distillation of essential oils can be considered a valuable hydrosol. The best comes from a distillation where it is the hydrosol
that is being produced rather than the essential oil. Often the best comes from the earliest part of the distillation rather than the body of the distillation. The pH will be low, about 3.5-4.0. This usually smells bright and pleasantly fragrant. Although, some of the therapeutic part of the hydrosol is also produced at the very end of the distillation and usually has a rather grassy or vegetative note. As the plants are being distilled, micro-particles of essential oil are in suspension, they give the aromatic distillate its scent and will separate out as the hydrosol cools. There is approximately .02% essential oil in hydrosol. Hydrosols have a strong taste, strong smell and will normally
be clear like water and acidic...."

this is a direct quote from Jeanne Rose at

Thank you Deb and Jeanne!

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