COOKING WITH Essential Oils & Hydrosols©
June 1999
by Jeanne Rose and Susan Apito

A healthy vibrant alternative to herbs and spices in your daily food is the addition of essential oils and hydrosols. Essential oils judiciously added to special foods will enliven your taste buds and improve digestion. The flavors of food will be more flavorful and fragrances superb! Essential oils added to foods can stimulate conversations. Essential oils and flowers added to meals can be used as flavor enhancers, aphrodisiacs, rejuvenate and health treats. When you add essential oils, add only 1 drop per every four servings.

San Francisco, CA — We are all familiar with using hydrosols for their therapeutic indications, but what about for their flavor. Lavender hydrosol can be used in tea, and is a component the herbs of Provence seasoning blend. In California, many farms grow herbs and Lavender and use the essential oil and hydrosol to make vinegar and treats. For instance, take a favorite cookie recipe and add one tablespoon fresh or dried sweet Lavender flowers for each cup of flour or substitute 1 drop of sweet Lavender oil or 1 T of Lavender Hydrosol. “It tastes floral and lemony, but you’ve added no lemon to it,” Rose says. Then spritz on the hydrosol at the presentation for a dramatic taste sensation.

Lavender is generally associated with its medicinal and aromatic uses. A native of the Mediterranean region, Lavender has been used for centuries. Romans distributed the plants throughout Europe, where it has been grown widely since medieval times for its medicinal and fragrant oils. Lavender has grown in Europe since the 1500’s, and early European settlers took it to North America.

Lavender is widely grown as a drought-tolerant and bug-resistant landscape plant. It is very hardy and can thrive in severe conditions. This quality gives it an attractive commercial potential. In fact, Lavender farms are being developed in the extreme northwest, extremely dry end of Washington State for its hydrosol and essential oil. The Aromatic Plant Project© supports this work.

Lemon Balm hydrosol can be used in fruit punches and on lamb. Lemon Verbena hydrosols can be added to water for a refreshing drink. Rosemary hydrosol can be added to a marinade or spritzed on poultry for a great savory flavor. Put Peppermint hydrosol in the ice cube trays and add to iced tea, makes a cooling summer drink.

So many different hydrosols can be used. See 375 Essential Oils & Hydrosols, chapter six for other ideas.
A Culinary and Weight Loss Aromatherapy Travel kit is available from The Herbal BodyWorks. See the Products page.

Brief history of the APP •••••••

Hydrosol production is one of the goals of the Aromatic Plant Project — we encourage American farmers to organically grow essential oil bearing plants and we educate the public as to how to obtain these pure and natural aromatherapy products. Jeanne Rose, the Executive Director, teacher and author of 16 herbal and aroma healing books, founded the APP in 1990 and is dedicated to encouraging American agriculture, providing pure aromatherapy products, both hydrosols and essential oils and educating the public about the therapeutic value of such products.

“At present’” says Jeanne Rose, “most aromatherapy products are made with synthetic essential oils and aromatherapy products have completely neglected the fabulous use and inclusion of the hydrosols.”

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© Authors Copyright Jeanne Rose,
Herbal Power/APP Press Release #6, June 1999
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