New Era Flower Waters

Hydrosols -The PH - Anomalies

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Hydrosols -The PH - Anomalies

On the other hand, some waters with a pH over 5.0 do have long lives. myrtus communis, specifically the high-altitude green myrtle, is quite stable, even though it is 5.7 to 6.0 pH(l'arom atherapie exactment lists myrtle at 3.95 pH). Is this because of its chemistry?

Unlikely, since the high-altitude myrtle is a cineole-rich plant and the cineole-rich hydrosols tend to have shorter life spans.Is it because of the growing conditions at this higher altitude? Perhaps, as high-mountain lavender has a much lower pH than midaltitude lavender.

But there are no confirmed answers yet, I'm afraid, just lots ofm ideas, and this is the kind of thing that I hope will be answered by research in the next couple of years. Good thing, too, that gren myrtle lasts so well, since this is one of the only four waters that is recommended for use in the eyes.

Shock, horror?! Yes, some people actually put hydrosols in their eyes,just like a saline solution or eyedrops, and they are lovely to use in this manner. Look in the momographs section for more information on this subject.

Lavender our precious stalwart, has a pH of 5.6 to 5.9, and as low as 4.5 from the wild highland varieties, yet it will sit on the shelf for two years without a problem-that is, if your supply lasts that long. As interests in hydrosols grows, more and more people are experimenting, but nearly everyone starts with lavender, since they know it so well.

I can barely keep enough in stock to get me from season to season these days, and although I still think the French true lavender water is the best, my Canadian distiller produces a lovely product, and I may need to add Calfornian production to my inventory if demand keeps growing.

(Until now the U.S.-Canadian exchange rate has tendered this product rather expensive by comparison.) But here we enter the sticky world of botanical specificity and the chemical analysis.

My French hydrosol and oil both come from the same producer. It is true organic French Lavendula angustifolia, and Iv'e seen where it grows and where and by whom it is distilled. I have had the oil analyzed, and as the oil and water batch numbers agree, I can be sure that the therapeutic parameters are within the desired range.

My Canadian distiller also provides analysis of the oil that comes with the hydrosol, and although it doesn't grow at one thousand meters above sea level, it, too, fits within the desired parameters when chemically analysed.

This is really what you want when you buy a hydrosol. It is a co-product of essential-oil production, and if you want to know that truly therapeutic oil was produced so you can feel certain that the properties of the hydrosol are also therapeutic. It's not just a smell thing. And I still believe that you get a better hydrosol if the distillation produces oil rather than just water, assuming the plant produces oil.

It has been mentioned several times that botanical specificity is absolutely necessary for essential-oil production, or for any plant being grown for therapeutic applications. Even then, the chemistry of the plant changes and your active ingredients will be more variable from year to year and from producer to producer.

That is the argument for standardized extracts, at least on the surface. Until the day comes when labs can assess hydrosols by GCMS (gas chromatography, mass spectrometry) as easily as oils, we must rely on this cross-referencing system when we buy our waters. For the moment no one is offering analysis of hydrosols, but a project is underway that I hope will soon change this situation.

However, I have digressed wildly. Back to the stability issue. As I said, 5.0 pH seems to be the point at which the shelf life of a hydrosol starts to change; more acid than that and you have a longer shelf life. Why is this?

Reference: Hydrosols - The Next Aromatherapy: SuzanneCatty


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