Healing waters are the steam condensation that carries essential oils in a distillation process. The water is distilled with all the properties of the plant and a tiny amount of essential oil.
Distillation is a process that has been used for at least five thousand years. Most essential oils are produced by distillation. The water separated from the essential oil is called a hydrolate. I refer to them as healing waters.
To distill is a time consuming process. When a plant produces the most essential oil, usually the spring and summer months, the leaves and or flowers are stripped from the stems, ground to a paste and combined with water.
Once blended, the plant material is poured into a glass-distilling container. The contents are boiled to soften the tissue and release the essential oil. The essential oil is carried by steam into a long condensing tube, surrounded by cold, flowing water. The cold water flowing inside the outer casing of the condensing tube cools the steam into a liquid. The water drips, carrying the essential oil, into a glass vessel. The oil floats on top of the healing water, or hydrolate. The essential oil is separated commercially by hexane most often. As a small grower I separate with glass and no chemicals. The water is now available as a healing agent in different ways than essential oils.
Healing waters are most often used to moisturize the skin. They are very gentle to the skin tissue. When using healing waters as moisturizers, I like to recommend which ones are best for skin conditioners. I add a few drops of essential oils to add flavor to the Healing Waters I make. These are not distilled water with essential oils added. The waters are distilled from an aromatic plant, encompassing all the healing properties of the plant. They work best as a spray misted on the skin one to three times a daily.
For oily skin use one the following healing waters:
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinales)
Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon citratus)
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinales)
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
Rosewood (Aniba rosaedora)
Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii)
For Normal or Combination Skin use one the following healing waters:
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinales)
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
Sage (Salvia lavendulafolia)
Marigold Mint (Tagetes foeniculum)
For Sensitive and Dry Skin use one the following healing waters:
Rose (Rosa damask, centifolia)
Lavender (Lavendula species)
Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
Sandalwood (Santalum album)
Chamomile (Matricaria chamamilla)
Healing Water Compresses
Healing Waters can also be used as compresses. Here are some suggestions for warm compresses.
Rose: relieves heartburn; compress the sternum and upper stomach.
Lavender: relieves nausea; compress the abdomen above the navel.
Chamomile: relieves colic, especially for babies; compress the abdomen.
Lemon Balm: relieves overexertion; compress the forehead.
Sage: relieves sinus congestion; compress the face
The following are suggestions for healing waters with cold compresses.
Rosemary relieves headaches; compress the forehead.
Sage relieves facial swelling; compress the swelling. Avoid the eyes.
Oregano relieves swelling from injuries (such as sports); compress the injury. Avoid the eyes and open wounds, cuts.
Yarrow relieves bleeding; compress the area bleeding.
Rose relieves teething pain; rub cold rose water on gums or compress the cheeks.
Tips for Using Healing Waters
Remember to add Healing Waters to footbaths and pleasure baths.
Keep a favorite Healing Water in the refrigerator to refresh your face with a fragrant mist after gardening or exercising.
Use a favorite Healing Water to refresh your pillow case before resting.
Spray your favorite Healing Water in every room of the house as an air freshener.
Use a Healing Water spray to refresh the pet pillow.
Spray Lemon Grass healing water to repel mosquitoes.
Spray Basil Healing Water to repel flies.
Spray Lemon Balm Healing Water in the room of an elderly person to calm him or her. It especially helps those with Alzheimer’s.
Next week, we will study exotic plants that produce essential oils.