2 oz. brown glass bottle with dropper. (Nepeta cataria). Catnip Hydrosol has been used for stimulating the circulatory system, indigestion and for mild depression.
This common perennial European herb is widely cultivated in Britain and the United States and has naturalized throughout both countries. Catnip is a member of the mint family and has the characteristic square, erect stems. The branching stems are hairy and grow from three to five feet tall. The oblong or cordate, pointed leaves have scalloped edges and grayish hairs on the under side. The flowers are white with purple spots and grow in spikes from June to September. The leaves and flowering tops are collected between June and September.
Constituents: Includes traces of volatile oil, camphor, carvacrol, citronellal, nerol, geraniol, pulegone, thymol and nepetalic acid. Iridoids, including epideoxyloganic acid and 7- deoxyloganic acid, and tannins.
Hydrosols, used for medicinal, pharmacological, and cosmetic purposes, have been dated to use in Egypt over 6,000 years ago. Ancient Vedic Hindus vaporized floral and herbal oils to soften the skin, sooth the mind, and normalize various glandular activities. The Aztecs enjoyed saunas whose steam carried fragrant floral and herbal vapors from small pools of stone and hot water. Hippocrates described the curative effect of more than 300 plants.
'Flower water' isn't an accurate definition because hydrosols do not come just from flowers any more than essential oils come only from flowers. Roots, bark, branches, wood, needles and leaves, even fruit and seeds can produce both oils and hydrosols. Hydrosols are the condensate water co-produced during the steam- or hydro-distillation of plant material for aroma therapeutic purposes. Usually the distillation is undertaken is to obtain the essential oils contained in the plant material, but occasionally the distillation is undertaken specifically to produce the plant water that results.
Hydrosols contain all of the plant in every drop, just like a hologram. Here we have the water-soluble components, the essential-oil molecules, and the very fluid that was flowing through the plant cells when the plant was collected. It's all there in a matrix of water that is so much more than water, one of the most recognized holographic substances in healing.
Storing Hydrosols ~ Most Hydrosols will keep for approximately one year if stored in a cool, dark place with very little temperature fluctuation. The refrigerator works fine, if you don't have a cool storage area otherwise.