Hydrosols

New Era Flower Waters

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The Monographs

such flippant rejection of many millennia of accumulated knowledge has its price, as does the rejection of traditional medicine from foreign cultures.

Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein, Honey, Mud, Maggots and other medical marvels

When I initially put together this chapter I divided it into two sections. The first covered those hydrosols that I had accumulated a large amount of data about, had spent time with working in my practice, and had received feedback about from my clients and other practitioners who also explored the waters.

The second section covered those hydrosols that were still relatively unknown , at least to me, or those for which only a small amount of data and a little or no clinical experience was available. After feedback from my diligent proof back readers, I decided to combine the two sections, listing all monographs together.

This means that you will find the known beside the unknown, large amounts of data followed by the briefest descriptions. It is an interesting thing that once you start exploring a subject, in this case hydrosols, the subject seems to come to you. So it is with the waters. In the time it has taken to write this book, no less than fifteen completely new waters have landed on my desk. The plants want to be heard, they have messages for us, and so their voices are combined, large and small, and I, for one, am impressed by their variety.

So how did I arrive at my conclusion? Obviously it was a lengthy process. I began by considering the properties of the essential oil equivalent to water, comparing the effects and eliminating those that do not appear to transfer  to the hydrosol, and making notes on the "new" properties that seemed to be unique to the water. However. I realized that they were too many possibilities that I could be missing, so I devised a new method.

For each hydrosol, I made notes that listed therapeutic properties ascribed to the plant in all its various forms. The properties list covered herb (fresh and dried), tincture, decoction, infusion, tea, macerated oil, essential oil, homeopathic remedy, local and traditional applications, and in some cases Ayurvedic uses and Chinese medicinal properties.These lists were huge! But by going over them carefully I found obvious overlaps, properties that appeared in every form  and others that appeared frequently enough to be noteworthy.

The information has been compiled over four and a half years from many sources. Some scientific data does exist, but other information is the result of aromatherapy practice on real clients and the anecdotal evidence of people who work extensively with this new aromatherapy.

Methodology
So how did I arrive at my conclusion? Obviously it was a lengthy process. I began by considering the properties of the essential oil equivalent to water, comparing the effects and eliminating those that do not appear to transfer  to the hydrosol, and making notes on the "new" properties that seemed to be unique to the water. However . I realized that they were too many possibilities that I could be missing, so I devised a new method.

For each hydrosol, I made notes that listed therapeutic properties ascribed to the plant in all its various forms. The properties list covered herb (fresh and dried), tincture, decoction, infusion, tea, macerated oil, essential oil, homeopathic remedy, local and traditional applications, and in some cases Ayurvedic uses and Chinese medicinal properties.These lists were huge! But by going over them carefully I found obvious overlaps, properties that appeared in every form  and others that appeared frequently enough to be noteworthy. Gallons of hydrosols have been consumed in the past few years by myself, clients, colleagues, our families and our animals. 

The process of elimination has yielded some of my findings. When the importance of the pH values became clear, they too were incorporated intop my lists, and I know they are significant factors. Fo instance, Dr. H. C. Base, in his presentation at the Third Aromatherapy Conference on Therapeutic uses of Essential Oils, said that chemical analysis of oregano hydrosol showed no indication that it has antiviral or even marked antiseptic properties, yet my experience says that it has both.

But by looking at the pH and thinking about the bacteriostatic properties of substance with a 4.2 pH, we can see that even if the chemistry doesn't indicate antiseptic properties, the pH does. and this probably gives the hydrosol its in vivo effects. There is still so much to learn.

Of course, there were more than a few surprises , and in some cases the waters act like one particular therapeutic form of the plant, be it the homeopathic, the fresh herb, or the oil. But when there are too many unanswered questions, I have called the use experimental . Is this data written in stone? I hope not. Unlike so much of the information in aromatherapy, this, is all pretty new.

We've been compiling our data on the oils for a very long time, and science has added its own dimension to our knowledge. Unfortunately, this isn't so for the waters. I am sure tht over the next few years, new research will come to light, and I look forward to the information explosion. I want to continue learning,  about these incredible aromatic waters. As I said, the information is not carved in stone, but it is a basis to work from, a starting point, and at the moment that's what we need.

Reference: Hydrosols The Next Aromatherapy: Suzanne Catty

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