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September 15, 2020 2 min read

Do you know fact from myth when it comes to hydrosols? Seriously. I see a LOT of information flying around lately about them. A lot of it is not necessarily true. So today I took some time to engage and share with you hydrosol facts versus myths.

Hydrosol fact or fiction

Question:Is catnip hydrosol safe for cats?

Answer: It is indeed! In fact, here’s a blog that Animal Aromatherapist and teacher Kelly wrote: https://www.animalaromatherapy.com/catnip/

Question: Can ingest them? I just know, in general, it has been recommended to take the hydrosol in place of essential oil internally.

Answer: You can, however, potential allergies to copper should be considered as many are created in copper stills.

Also, it's important to understand they are typically utilized for skin care purposes because of the knowledge needed for understanding flavoring drinks and food. So cosmetic companies (essential oil companies fall under cosmetic) can only sell them for cosmetic purposes. Not as flavoring aides.

In regard to hydrosols being safer for ingestion, they generally are when diluted properly (it's all about the dose). However, they aren't nearly as effective on certain systems (think respiratory) because hydrosols can't be used in suppositories. It's really a more advanced topic, but if I'm using hydrosols internally with a therapeutic purpose, it's typically going to be related to the digestive system. Additionally, with regard to internal use, you should always consult with an Aromatic Medicine Practitioner.

Question: What are the differences between oils and hydrosols regarding shelf life. Since they’re *water* I’d assume a much shorter shelf life?

Answer: Hydrosols have a significantly shorter shelf life than most essential oils. Generally after a year or so they really should not be used topically unless they've been properly preserved and formulated for a singular purpose.

Question: Maybe you can't answer this one without some issues, but I'm a more advanced user of hydrosols and I'm always worried about using them internally due to potential contamination. I think I usually go back to external usage only once I've had them longer than a month even tho I store them carefully in a fridge. From a trusted source combined with proper safe storage, could they still be safe for a slightly longer period for more advanced usage?

AnswerHydrosols can be safe for a slightly longer period if stored properly IF the bottle has an appropriate dispensing mechanism that limits potential contamination and your GMP is exceptional.

I personally prefer mister/spray caps for this reason. Disc caps are ok, but if your GMP isn't stellar, contaminants can be introduced. So really, storage and GMP will go a LONG way in allowing you to utilize your hydrosols however you choose to use them.

I do want to add that IF you have concerns about internal use due to potential contaminants, I wouldn't use them topically either. Growth is not always visible or "smellable." So always consider what you can do to ensure the most effective GMP possible.