Organic Witch Hazel hydrosol is essentially another name for an organic non-alcoholic Witch Hazel distillate. It is the pure, distillate that is steam distilled from the original Witch Hazel plant material. Witch Hazel hydrosols contain very small amounts of the essential oils and water-soluble components of the plant material that may not be present in the heavier components typically classified as essential oils.
In order to be classified as an Organic Witch Hazel hydrosol, the harvest and production process must be certified by a USDA approved certifying agency. This certification confirms that the plant was grown without pesticides or contaminates, sustainably harvested according to NOP protocols, and manufactured using a designated organic processing system. Products that have this certification usually will display the USDA Organic logo and the Certifying agency’s logo as well.
Other names for Witch Hazel Hydrosols are Witch Hazel distillates, Witch Hazel flower water or Witch Hazel floral waters but all are products from the steam distillation of plant material. They generally are referred to as “waters” due to the fact that they are typically clear and have a “water white” appearance. ‘Flower water’ is somewhat misleading though as hydrosols do not come just from flowers any more than essential oils come only from flowers. As with Witch Hazel, various parts of the plant from top to bottom including leaves, bark, branches, pulp and even seeds can be used to make hydrosols.
In addition, these “waters” are far richer in organic constituents than just plain water. The chemical components in hydrosols are primarily acids, which acidify the water or the product and have multiple benefits for the skin. In the case of Witch Hazel, the resulting pH is 3.0 – 5.0. The product acts as a healing anti-irritant and mild therapeutic astringent used to remove and control oils, reduce and relieve inflamed tissues.