Herbal distillates (from wikipedia) are aqueous solutions or colloidal suspensions (hydrosol) of essential oils usually obtained by steam distillation from aromatic plants. These herbal distillates have uses as flavorings, medicine and in skin care. Herbal distillates go by many other names including floral water, hydrosol, hydrolate, herbal water and essential water.
Herbal distillates are produced in the same manner as essential oils. However, the essential oil will float to the top of the distillate where it is removed, leaving behind the watery distillate. For this reason perhaps the term essential water is more descript. In the past, these essential waters were considered a byproduct of distillation, but now are considered an important co-product. Much of the process of making and using herbal distillates was documented in Grace Firth's 1983 book titled Secrets of the Still.
The science of distillation is based on the fact that different substances vaporize at different temperature. Unlike other extraction techniques based on solubility of a compound in either water or oil, distillation will separate components regardless of their solubility. The distillate will contain compounds that vaporize at or below the temperature that water boils. The actual chemical components of distillates have not yet been fully identified, but distillate will contain essential oil compounds as well as organic acids. Compounds with a higher vaporization point will remain behind and will include many of the water soluble plant pigments and flavonoids.
Herbal waters contain diluted essential oils. Besides aromatic chemicals, these distillates also contain many of the plant acids than pure essential oils making them skin friendly. Cosmetics and toiletries makers are finding many uses for herbal distillates. A pH between 5-6 makes them suitable for use as facial toners. They can be used alone as room sprays. Distillates are also used traditionally as flavorings for cocktails and foods as well as medicine.

Our Herbal distillates are not approved food additives by the FDA, and are not stored refrigerated for the purpose of maintaining a sterile product for oral consumption. Many of our herbal distillates include large amounts of the essential oil still present in the hydrosol, (to maximise the scent) and may not be suitable for human consumption as well due to the concentration of essential oils in the hydrosol. Because of the quantity of essential oils in the hydrosol please shake before spraying.  Cascadia Hydrosol Company makes absolutely no medical claims, and our products are not approved by the FDA. Working with our hydrosols as a medicine or for oral consumption is done at your own personal risk.
Essential Oil separating from the hydrosol