To date, hydrosols are mainly used as cosmetic agents. Only recently hydrosols attract more attention in the aromatherapy research field.
A research conducted in 2008 by S. Inouye, S. Abe and M. Takahashi from the Teikyo University Institute of Medical Mycology in Japan focused on the composition of forty four hydrosols and their essential oils. A comparison of the composition was made based on gas chromatographic analysis using solvent extraction.
Read an abstract of the research paper from the "International Journal of Essential Oil Therapeutics" here:
"The composition of 44 hydrosols was determined by gas chromatography using the solvent extraction method, and compared with that of the essential oils obtained simultaneously by steam distillation, with the exception of some oils prepared independently.
The results indicated that 18 hydrosols of the 43 compared (42%) showed a major component different from that of the oil. This suggests that the bioactivity of hydrosols is not always the same as that of the essential oil.
Furthermore, the concentration of the major component was extremely low as compared with that of essential oil. The concentration of the major component varied widely hydrosol by hydrosol suggesting a large fluctuation of the bioactivity.
Several unique components such as p-menthane-3,8-diol and hydroxyangelate were found to be rich in the hydrosols but not so in the essential oils. The hydrosols analysed were classified into seven groups, based on the functionality of the major component; that is, aldehyde, alcohol, phenol, ketone, oxide, ester; and phenol methyl ether groups."
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