Hydrosols

Concerning hydrosols Suzanne Catty says in her book Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy, “Hydrosols contain all of the plant in every drop, just like a hologram. Here we have the water-soluble components, the essential-oil molecules, the very fluid that was flowing through the plant cells when the plant was collected. It’s all there in a matrix of water that is so much more than water, one of the most recognized holographic substances in healing”. Many of the actions for the essential oil and hydrosol will be similar to the medicinal properties of the whole plant part. The essential oil is usually stronger in action than the herb because it is concentrated. However, it doesn’t necessarily perform the same actions in the body because it is missing various plant components. Some of these other plant components can be found in the hydrosol (a condensate water solution co-produced during steam distillation containing micro droplets of essential oil and hydrophilic plant components).

California Mugwort (Artemisia douglasiana) “Mugwort Essence”
California Mugwort (Artemisia douglasiana) is a silvery green strongly aromatic woolly herb in the Sunflower family. It is similar to the European variety of Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris). Mugwort is used to regulate and bring on menses in women, as an antiparasitic to detoxify the liver, to cleanse the blood, to improve digestion, to improve circulation, and as a compress for muscle spasm and pain being especially useful for overexertion. Mugwort’s woolly fibers are made into moxa that is burned above areas of pain or “stagnation” as a stimulating therapy in Chinese Medicine. The Chumash Native Americans practiced a similar technique using Ca. Mugwort and used the plant to treat muscle and joint aches, poison oak rash, abdominal and menstrual cramping and pain, diarrhea, fever, and headache. It has been used as an aid for lucid dreaming, meditation, and working with the spirit world. My favorite use for this hydrosol is as a moxa spray for pain, swelling, hernia, and pain combined with infrared heat or moist heat.

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California Sagebrush (Artemisia californica)
This feathery soft silver leaved sagebrush of the Sunflower family is known for its clean refreshing scent. It is a powerful remedy for colds, parasites, roundworms, pinworms, sore eyes, and stomachache. It is used as a bitter tonic and as a vermifuge for fleas and insects (especially useful for pets). Native Americans used Artemisia californica for ridding of worms, menstrual cramps, colds, coughs, and tuberculosis. The Spanish settlers used sagebrush tea for bronchial problems and as a wash for wounds, sores, swellings, sore muscles, rheumatism, or bruises. Artemisia is used as a flower essence to cleanse and purify oneself & to release dysfunctional aspects.

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Poison Oak Away (Artemisia douglasiana)
An antidote to poison oak rash, body aches and pains.

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White Sage (Salvia apiana)
Sage or Salvia meaning “to save” may be the most healing herb known to mankind. Salvia apiana, the Santa Barbara white sage, is no exception. The Chumash Native Americans used this plant to treat sprains and sore muscles, cure colds and congestion, stop sweating, and for ceremonial purposes, The precious essential oil from this plant’s leaves and flowers is stimulating and cleansing to the skin, soothing to sore muscles, and restorative to skin and hair. The oil is also a stimulant for the nervous system, metabolism, and vital centers, and is antiseptic, antiviral, and antibacterial. We’ve steam distilled white sage from the Refugio Gardens Ranch in the foothills of Santa Barbara to create a hydrosol (herbal water). The aromatic herbal water is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, tolerable, and very gentle. We recommend you use this hydrosol to clean the air (as a substitute for the well known smudge stick), freshen the bathroom, spray on your body or pet, disinfect the hands, spray in the dryer when doing laundry, add to the bath, or spray on the hair.

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