Understanding Hydrolats: The Specific Hydrosols for Aromatherapy - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780443073168

Understanding Hydrolats: The Specific Hydrosols for Aromatherapy

1st Edition

A Guide for Health Professionals

Authors: Len Price Shirley Price
Paperback ISBN: 9780443073168
Imprint: Churchill Livingstone
Published Date: 3rd August 2004
Page Count: 300

Secure Checkout

Personal information is secured with SSL technology.

Free Shipping

Free global shipping
No minimum order.


Distilled waters, or hydrolats, are therapeutic in many ways, and yet little has been written to clarify their properties and clinical applications. This book details the nature, properties (where known), and nomenclature of hydrolats, and gathers in one source the sure and sensible facts about distilled waters. Already used by aromatherapists interested in extending their therapeutic range, this book provides all therapists with the confidence to practice safely with a solid understanding of the value of hydrolats.

Key Features

  • Dispels confusion over what hydrolats and distilled waters actually are — equipping the therapist to make accurate choices in what to use for effective therapeutic interventions.
  • Analyzes the science of hydrolats and sorts fact from wild claim.
  • Extends the range of therapeutic interventions available to the practicing aromatherapist/massage therapist.

Table of Contents


The first aromatherapy

Is natural safe?

Why are waters not used more?

Sourcing good materials

Advantages of distilled waters

What is their composition?

Scientific proof — what is it?

Other water based plant extracts

Chapter One: Historical background

Egypt — Nile, Edfu, priest embalmers, architects
Aromatics worldwide — China, India, Middle East, Jewish, Greek, Roman

Development of distillation — golden age of the Arabs, alcohol, alchemists





New plants

Still rooms

Renaissance herbals

Hungary water, carmelite water, eau de cologne

Rise of science

Fall and resurrection of plant medicine — 20th century pioneers

Chapter Two: The nature of water

Universal distillation process


Basic necessity

Life and death, life giving

Physical power of water

Visual aspect

Water as solvent, cleanser

Judging by water

Water in the body, passage through body

Bottled water

Treatments with water — Thalassotherapy, spa treatments

Scientists who investigated water — Priestley, Cavendish, Watt, Lavoisier, Laplace

Structure of liquid water — hydrogen bonding, polar solvent

Molecules soluble in water, increased dilution

Chapter Three: Terminology and nomenclature

Introduction — what’s in a name?

How waters are obtained

Current terminology — aromatic water, essential water, prepared water, distilled water, floral water, hydrolat, medicated water

Colloids, hydrosols, suspensions

Cohobation — water oil, are cohobated waters therapeutic?

Chapter Four: Prepared waters

Identifying the product

Not distilled

Internal use

Fragrant waters — methods of production, pharmacopoea, trituration, preservatives

Addition of alcohol


Witch hazel

DIY home made

Chapter Five: The plants utilized

Kinds of plants used

Extraction process — distillation, water quality, pH of water used, still hardware, distillation time

Plants used — which parts of plants

Yield of water

Volatile molecules in distilled waters — quantity, kind of molecules, artefacts in waters

Therapeutic value

Chapter Six: Physical aspects

Keeping qualities — storage, temperature, time










Chapter Seven: Discussion of Analyses

Discussion of molecules found in hydrolats

Table of molecules found in waters

Chemistry of aromatic molecules

Chapter Eight: Alphabetical listing of waters with description, properties and indications

Chapter Nine: Methods of use and dosage

Reasons for using waters

Uses of distilled waters

External use — baths, compresses, douches, eyes, hair, nebulizers, skin care, creams, lotions, sprays, vaporisers

Internal uses

Beverages, teas

Culinary use

Digestive problems

Gargles, mouthwashes

Rectal use



Cautions and safe use

Chapter 9a: Recipes

Common ailments: circulation, colds and flu, detoxification, diarrhoea, digestive, eyes, general health, hair, hypertension, legs, lice, lymph, nervous system, respiratory, rheumatism, skin, slimming, teeth, tonic, urinary problems

Baby and child care

Culinary recipes

Making your own hydrolats

Chapter Ten: Case studies

Chapter Eleven: Teas, infusions, decoctions

Appendix A: Therapeutic index
Appendix B: Index of therapeutic properties of hydrolats
Appendix C: Plant list - Scientific and common names
Appendix D: Analyses of hydrolats





No. of pages:
© Churchill Livingstone 2004
Churchill Livingstone
Paperback ISBN:

About the Author

Len Price

Affiliations and Expertise

Lecturer in Aromatherapy, Hinkley, Leicestershire, UK

Shirley Price

Affiliations and Expertise

Practitioner and Lecturer in Aromatherapy, Hinkley, Leicestershire, UK