Who doesn’t hate sweat? It’s the worst. It gets in your eyes and in your mouth, and drips all around you when you’re running on the treadmill or lifting in the gym. Sometimes, it seems like there’s absolutely no reason for our bodies to sweat other than to make us frustrated and smelly. But medically speaking, we couldn’t live without sweat. Sweat isn’t a problem; it’s actually good for you. It helps regulate your body temperature and prevents it from getting too high or too low. It also acts as a great method of excreting unwanted toxins and waste products from your skin. So when does sweating become a problem? When it’s excessive. In other words, when it becomes what is known as hyperhidrosis. That’s when you need to do something about it. One of the best options on the market for getting rid of excessive sweating is hydrosols.
What are Hydrosols?
Before we get into how hydrosols can help reduce excessive sweating, it’s only fair that you have a decent idea of what hydrosols actually are. To understand hydrosols, split the word in half. The first part is “hydro”. We all know what that word means, don’t we? It’s Latin for water. The second half of the word is “sol”, which means solution. Put those together and you have hydrosol which is a water-based solution. A lot of people argue that the correct scientific name is hydrolate because it often looks like milk (which is lait in Latin) but let’s not get too geeky here. Another common name for hydrosols is floral water. Of course, this name isn’t very accurate because hydrosols can be steam distilled from pretty much any part of a plant, not just the flower. The third and final common name for hydrosols is aromatic water. This name is somewhat acceptable because hydrosols are definitely full of wonderful aromas. However, don’t always expect their aroma to match that of their essential oil counterparts. Some might be better, some might be worse.
Here’s a tip if you don’t like the aroma of the hydrosol you’re using. If it’s for therapeutic purposes and you absolutely have to use it, then find another type of hydrosol that smells much better and mix them together. Instead of adding another hydrosol, you can add a pleasant-smelling essential oil of your choice to make a lotion. There are a lot of options when it comes to hydrosols. Don’t be afraid to show some creativity.
How are Hydrosols Made?
Hydrosols are made during the steam distillation of various plant materials, giving both essential oils and hydrosols. How does this work? Well, during steam distillation, high-temperature steam enters through the plant material, rupturing its membranes. This releases all sorts of volatile components, including essential oils and aqueous compounds, in the form of vapors. These vapors are then collected and passed into a condenser which takes these vapors and returns them to liquid form, giving you hydrosols and essential oils. The essential oils, being the lighter of the two, will float on top, while the hydrosol sinks to the bottom. By using an efficient separator such as a Florentine flask, you can extract the hydrosol from the bottom of the mixture. You can repeat this distillation process as many times as you want. In the end, you’ll find that you’ve produced huge quantities of hydrosol, much more than essential oil.
How do Hydrosols help with Excessive Sweating?
There are a number of ways hydrosols can help you get rid of your excessive sweating problem. First of all, some hydrosols have powerful diuretic-like properties. Diuretics are substances that increase both the frequency and the volume of urination. In other words, these kinds of hydrosols can make you frequent the bathroom much more often. But that doesn’t make since, does it? Why would you want to take something that makes you got to the bathroom more frequently? Well, think of it this way. Your hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, can often be the result of too much water and fluids being retained inside your body. Your skin decides to take all the water, channel it through your sweat glands, and dump it on the surface. This leaves you with way too much sweat on your skin. To solve this problem, the logical approach would be to find another exit for all that excess water and fluids. What better exit is there than through urination? That’s why hydrosols that enhance urination are very effective at getting rid of excessive sweating.
Some types of hydrosols can fight excessive sweating by directly affecting your sweat glands. They have a normalizing effect, reversing any factors that might be responsible for their excessive secretions. They can also enhance your metabolism and glandular functions, preventing hyperhidrosis in the first place.
Perhaps the most effective of all the hydrosols are the ones that have astringent properties. Astringent means that it has the ability to cause tissues to contract. For example, an astringent compound can act directly on the smooth muscles that make up our blood vessels, causing them to “vasoconstrict” (which is a fancy word for “blood vessels getting narrower”. So how do hydrosols’ astringent properties help with your excessive sweating problem? Well, when applied topically to your skin, they can cause your skin’s blood vessels to become narrower. Narrower blood vessels equal a smaller blood supply. With a smaller blood supply reaching your sweat glands, there are less materials and less water for them to form sweat. Basically, the hydrosols decreased your skin’s water supply so your skin stopped excreting excessive amounts of sweat. Pretty neat, huh!
Some Precautions when using Hydrosols for Excessive Sweating
Before you decide to use hydrosols to solve your excessive sweating problem, there are a few precautions that you should be aware of. Certain types of hydrosols are contraindicated in various conditions because they can either worsen the condition or cause some sort of harm. For example, pregnant mothers should avoid certain hydrosols such as Cypress, Cornflower/Bachelor’s Button, Juniper Berry, Greenland Moss/Labrador Tea, Sweet Gale/Bog Myrtle, Rosemary, and Sage. If you suffer from any kind of kidney disease, be it chronic or acute, then you’re better off avoiding Cypress, Juniper Berry, and Goldenrod. Certain hydrosols like Bay Laurel/Bay Leaf are completely contraindicated in cancer patients.
If you’re using hydrosols for your child’s excessive sweating, then you should know that some hydrosols shouldn’t be used, depending on their age. For those under 2 years old, you should avoid using Sweet Gale/Bog Myrtle. For children under 6 years old, you might want to dilute certain hydrosols before use such as Greenland Moss/Labrador Tea. Last but not least, if you suffer from any kind of seizure disorder, then you should avoid Greenland Moss/Labrador Tea altogether.
Should I dilute my Hydrosol before using it?
Generally speaking, there’s no need to dilute your hydrosols if you’re going to use them externally (topically) for something like excessive sweating. If you’re worried about using it for a child and would prefer to dilute it, then go right ahead. It’s not really necessary, except maybe with peppermint and eucalyptus hydrosols. Dilution isn’t really about increasing safety. It’s more about taste, preference, and therapeutic effect. Keep in mind that hydrosols are generally safe. You can’t really “overdose” on hydrosols but there’s no reason to use more than necessary. If you’re going to do some diluting, here are a few tips.
For babies that are old enough to eat solids, you can take about half a teaspoon of hydrosol and add it to 1 cup of water. That’ll give you a 5% dilution. If your hydrosol is intended for children up to the age of 10, you can give a 10% dilution by using 1 cup of water with 1 teaspoon of hydrosol. Above the age of 10, you’ll need higher concentrations. A 25% dilution should do the trick. All you have to do is add 3 teaspoons of hydrosol to 1 cup of water and you’ll get rid of the excessive sweating in no time.
Hydrosols are definitely a great option if you want to get rid of excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis. Sure, there might be a lot of antiperspirants on the market but I wouldn’t buy them if I were you. Why? Well, for one simple reason. They’re all synthetic. Synthetic products are always full of chemicals that have adverse side effects and cause countless problems. They can cause skin irritation, itchiness, redness, swelling, edema, pain and hundreds of other allergic manifestations. And those are just the simple side effects. Some synthetic chemicals can cause kidney failure or liver failure, even if they’re only applied on the skin because sooner or later, they’ll get absorbed. On the other hand, hydrosols are as natural as it gets. They’re extracted from natural plant materials which makes them free from all those pesky side effects. Don’t settle for something that can be potentially harmful when you have a perfectly safe alternative right at your fingertips. Try out hydrosols today and you’ll never have to worry about shaking someone’s hand ever again.