As we hit the summer holidays many people start looking towards natural remedies to take on their travels and breaks away. While essential oils are a popular choice they have some limitations in who they can be used with i.e. not small children and also don’t always travel well in hot cars and on planes due to low flashpoints.
Hydrolats also known as hydrosols are a lot more versatile, they are a by-product of the steam distillation of essential oils and have some volatile plant molecules in them that make them useful for many conditions and symptoms.
They have a subtle effect without the risk of irritation and so are good for the treatment of internal problems, mucous skin areas and on those that would not tolerate the essential oils well. The only thing to be wary of is that other than Lavender, Rose and Neroli many of the hydrolats do not smell as nice as their essential oil counterparts so it is probably best to try before you buy!
As they are water based they can be used on even the smallest of children and used directly onto the skin for a variety of skin disorders including eczema, nappy rash, ulcers and wounds. They have a very low risk of irritation which why they can be used on open wounds and mucous surfaces. In the summer you can use spearmint and peppermint hydrolats as a face mist to help keep cool. They are especially refreshing if kept in a spray bottle in the fridge.
For people who suffer with upset stomachs when they are away hydrolats can be added to water to aid or balance digestion or added to foods as dressings or in sauces although internal use should be under the advice of a trained aromatherapist.
Hydrolats can also be used as compresses for burns, or insect bites or for dry and itchy eyes roman chamomile hydrolat is good for pain and inflammation in these circumstances and they can be used alongside other products such as over the counter creams and medicines with no adverse effects.
They are also incredibly purse friendly compared to the essential oils so popping two or three of them into your luggage won’t break the bank and might save you money on finding remedies while you are away and they can be bought in amounts as small as 100ml. Just be mindful to try and find a supplier who does not use preservatives added to them especially if you are thinking of using them internally.