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Lydia Bosson’s book on Hydrosols

Hydrosols (also known as hydrolats) have been variously described as ‘The forgotten aromatherapy’ and ‘The new aromatherapy’.

The implication, I suppose, is that we used to know a lot about them, and in the future we will know a lot about them, but at the moment we don’t!

This is probably quite a good reflection of the situation. Hydrosols are not taught very much in most aromatherapy schools, and there are relatively few good source materials. So it’s wonderful to be able to announce that Lydia Bosson has written a new book with everything you need to know about hydrosols, and that it has just become available in English.

What are hydrosols?
To remind you: when you steam-distil plant material, the volatile compounds in the plant fit broadly into two categories: the compounds that don’t dissolve in water (hydrophobic) which end up comprising the plant’s essential oil, and the water-soluble (or hydrophylic) compounds which dissolve in the distillate; and this mixture which is full of the water-soluble plant compounds is known as a hydrosol, or hydrolat.

Therapeutic action
Think about it for a moment. The human body is known to be about 70% water, and one of the key physiological functions in the body is the water exchange across the cell membrane. So these water soluble molecules (contained in the hydrosol) are probably easier for the body to absorb than the ‘fat-loving’ compounds in the essential oils.

Lydia Bosson

Lydia was one of the first importers of the Oshadhi line of essential oils, quickly establishing a very successful distribution in Switzerland, and was largely responsible for the Swiss Government acknowledging aromatherapy as a valid treatment plan within the Swiss health system. With her husband Philippe she founded Usha Veda, a renowned holistic college based in Switzerland. Some of you will remember an amazing weekend seminar which she ran in the UK in 2016 where she presented some of the New Generation of Essential Oils and explained a lot about hydrosols.

Hydrosol Therapy – Lydia’s book

Lydia’s passion is building a bridge between the spiritual and intellectual understanding of health care and her new book pays tribute to both approaches, dipping easily between the two.

The book gives a complete overview of the theory and practice of hydrosols, with detailed descriptions of 47 different hydrosols, explaining clearly how to use them for all kinds of disorders, including their use for babies, in cooking, and care of the elderly. Lydia has huge knowledge and vast experience, and her enthusiasm jumps out of every page.

My French Teacher
If you look carefully on the inside front cover you will see that the translation of the book is attributed to a certain Jonathan Hinde. I have to confess that this is not strictly true, and since French wasn’t my strong suit at school, my French teacher would doubtless be more than surprised to see this. What actually happened was that Lydia gave me a rather rough translation of the book which I was able to put into smooth English. The publishers decided that the best way to explain this was ‘translated by’. Hm. A couple of weeks after the book went to press I had a phone call from someone asking me if I could translate another book on aromatherapy from French. I declined.