05 Apr 2023

All about herbal water

author Ashley Owen
Interested in herbal water but not sure where to start? In this article, we talk about what herbal water is, and some of the many benefits different fragrances can offer. Plus, we discuss a variety of simple yet effective ways to utilise it.

What is herbal water?

Herbal water, also known as hydrosol, is a common ingredient in skincare, perfume, alternative medicine, and aromatherapy products. In addition, you can use it to add flavour and fragrance to food and drink.

You make herbal water by distilling plant materials – such as flowers, bark, leaves, and roots – with either water or steam. The result is a water-based product infused with the scent and taste of the plant it was created from.

Herbal water tends to be gentle, with a subtle aroma. This means it’s possible to utilise it in a wide variety of ways. That includes both consuming it and applying it directly to the skin.

How is herbal water different from essential oil?

Both herbal water and essential oils are crafted by distilling plant matter, so they share lots of the same properties. In fact, herbal water often contains a small amount of essential oil within it. They also offer many similar benefits, however there are important differences between the two types of product.

Firstly, as the names imply, herbal water is water-based, whereas essential oils are oil-based. The result of this is that herbal water is less concentrated than essential oil. Consequently, it’s safe to use herbal water topically, but you need to dilute essential oils with a carrier oil before putting them on your skin. Similarly, you can be more generous when using herbal water in food and drink compared to an essential oil.

It also means that herbal water has a softer scent than essential oils do. In some instances, the aroma of herbal water may not only be more delicate than an essential oil made from the same plant, but noticeably different.

The benefits of herbal water

There are a wealth of potential benefits you can gain by harnessing the power of herbal water. From boosting your mood to cleansing your skin, it’s able to enhance both your physical and mental wellbeing. The exact effects that you can expect will vary depending on which specific herbal water you use.

With that in mind, let’s look at four common varieties of herbal water and how they could benefit you. After that, we’ll go into more detail about the different ways in which you can utilise herbal water.

The delicate delight of rose water

Our organic rose water is crafted by distilling petals from the finest Damask roses, ethically grown in Bulgaria. This gives it a beautifully soft floral fragrance and flavour.

Its delicate scent makes rose water a fantastic way to soothe the mind and body, for example by adding a few tablespoons to sparkling water. Studies indicate that rose water could help to alleviate feelings of both anxiety and depression.(1) Similarly, it may work to ease headaches, possibly due to these stress-relieving effects.

On top of this, rose water can do wonders for your skin when applied topically. It possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties, which might help to decrease redness and puffiness in your complexion. Rose water could also assist in soothing conditions like eczema. Meanwhile, the antibacterial nature of the herbal water could work to reduce symptoms of acne. Rose water is also naturally antiseptic, making it useful for keeping cuts and other wounds clean and fighting infection.

Furthermore, rose water is high in phenolic compounds that act as antioxidants.(2) These defend our cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Experts have linked this kind of oxidative stress to signs of ageing. Therefore, adding this herbal water to your skincare regime could help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

In terms of flavour, rose water pairs particularly well with citrus fruits like grapefruit and lemon.

The soothing calm of lavender water

You’ve probably heard about the power of using lavender essential oil as a sleep aid. Well, lavender water could be equally beneficial for relaxing the mind and body. Studies suggest that lavender’s delicate floral scent helps to ease symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety.(3) In addition, research indicates that inhaling lavender can improve the quality of your sleep.(4) All of which means it’s the perfect choice for a soothing beverage before bed.

The benefits of lavender water go far beyond its gorgeous aroma though. It’s also rich in potent polyphenols, which protect your cells from oxidative stress and premature ageing. Moreover, lavender water works to firm up the skin and tighten your pores, giving you a glowing complexion.

Lavender additionally has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, meaning it could promote skin healing and ease symptoms of conditions like acne.(5) As such, including this herbal water in your beauty routine may help to clear up, hydrate, and refresh tired skin.

We craft our organic lavender water from the very best plants grown sustainably in Provence, France. If you’re using it in food and drink recipes, it pairs beautifully with citrus flavours like bergamot and lemon.

The herbal warmth of thyme water

Thyme is likely already a staple ingredient in your kitchen. However, as a herbal water thyme can offer greater benefits than flavour alone. To begin with, its warming, earthy scent is blissfully comforting – particularly when added to a mug of chamomile tea. Other ingredients that thyme water pairs well with include echinacea and calendula.

Our organic thyme water is expertly steam distilled, using hand-picked leaves grown in the Provence region of France. As such, it’s more potent than simply infusing thyme in water at home. For example, this herbal water has impressive anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. This means it can help purify the skin and reduce the symptoms of ailments such as acne.(6) Interestingly, these same qualities also make it highly effective when used as a mouthwash.

Moreover, thyme additionally boasts antiviral properties, so this herbal water is an ideal choice when you’re feeling under the weather.(7) Plus, with a fresh, earthy flavour profile featuring undertones of mint, it’s easy to add to all kinds of recipes. Speaking of recipes, there is evidence to suggest that thyme can also help to support digestion and soothe upset stomachs. However, further research is required to confirm this.

Finally, thyme water also includes powerful phenolic compounds which act as antioxidants. These work to protect your cells against damage from free radicals, brightening your complexion and fighting signs of ageing.

The refreshing focus of rosemary water

The herbaceous, evergreen scent of rosemary water is perfect for refreshing your senses. Research suggests that inhaling rosemary’s aroma can help to boost your mood, generating feelings of optimism, confidence, and positivity.(8)

Moreover, studies have also found that it may improve your cognitive performance, enhancing concentration and memory.(9) In fact, evidence indicates drinking rosemary in water can even reduce feelings of burnout.(10) This could be due to the neuroprotective effects of some of the flavonoids rosemary water contains, such as apigenin and rosmarinic acid. All of which makes this herbal water a fantastic choice to add to dishes when you’re working from home!

Rosemary water can be just as beneficial for the body as for the mind. Like the types of herbal water discussed above, it’s bursting with polyphenolic compounds such as luteolin that have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Similar to thyme water, it’s also naturally antibacterial and therefore great in mouthwash.

One factor that has made rosemary water especially popular is its potential to promote hair growth.(11) To get this particular benefit, mix the herbal water into a hair mask or use in a rinse after shampooing. That way, it can help to nourish your follicles and keep your scalp healthy.

Crafted using hand-picked leaves and flowers grown ethically in France, our organic rosemary water pairs especially well with bergamot, ginger, basil, and mint.

Related reading