What is Lavender Hydrosol?
We began distilling lavender essential oil here on our farm last summer and it is a beautiful process. It is exciting for us to teach others how lavender is harvested, packed into our copper still and then steam distilled.
There are two components that emerge from the spout when a “run” has begun. Everyone knows about the lavender essential oil, but not many know about hydrosol. Simply speaking, lavender hydrosol is lavender water.
During the steam distillation, the lavender oils excite and are carried through the copper tubing along with the steam water. We chose copper for our still because the lavender essential oils react with the copper ions and create a beautifully sweet lavender essential oil that can be used immediately. This is not the case with stainless steel stills. (I will cover that in another blog)
The lavender essential oils and water flow through a tube and into our glass separatory funnel. This process is gratifying to watch and we did a major happy dance here when we did our very first run. How amazing is it that we can harvest and distill this beautiful lavender essential oil here on our farm? So amazing!
As the water and essential oil is falling into the separatory funnel, they begin to separate. The essential oil rises to the top. As we progress through our runs, we are finding that there is an increase in the essential oil output. We try to do at least three consecutive runs.
The water component that emerges is filled with minute amounts of the lavender essential oil that did not separate. This is what we call hydrosol. It has so many benefits with the lavender infusion and is a highly sought after product.
Hydrosol and essential oils are produced whenever you steam-distill a botanical. We have tested distillation of pine, Sweet Annie, and eucalyptus plants. We are very impressed with the results of the eucalyptus and plan to continue adding that to our distillation routine. The eucalyptus is from Caleb, a local Mattawan flower grower who owns FirstFruit Garden.
Lavender essential oils have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The hydrosol carries all of these benefits within the water. We do not use any chemicals on our lavender, so you can be assured that what you are using is a safe product for your family.
There are ridiculous amounts of ways you can use hydrosol. So far we have simply bottled it in a spray bottle so that it can be used as a room freshener, linen spray or directly on your face as a refresher. This hydrosol spray can be used on bug bites, minor sun burns and assists with lowering anxiety. Several of our customers spray the hydrosol on their pillows at night to aid them in sleeping.
We also make facial toner when we place the hydrosol in jars with toner wipes. The lavender hydrosol assists in cleansing the face while leaving the benefits of the essential oil on your skin. We have begun incorporating the eucalyptus hydrosol into the facial toners and this has been a big hit with our customers. Eucalyptus hydrosol comes with its own set of benefits to your skin and beautifully complements the lavender.
I hope that this explains a bit about what hydrosol is and how we use it here at Shades of Lavender Farm. Stop by this summer in June/July and watch our Master Distiller Carly work her magic with our copper still. She is eager to answer your questions and explain the process in detail with you. Our farm is here to share with you so stop out and enjoy a day of learning and fun. We guarantee you will walk away with a plethora of new knowledge about lavender and lavender farming.