Monday, June 20, 2011

A Good Day to Panic

As fabulous as they are, hydrosols are demanding. It doesn't happen often, but on occasion, a hydrosol will go bad before date – despite being stored in ideal conditions and treated with the utmost reverence. Some hydrosols are solid as a rock and will last for what seems like ages (rose hydrosol is an excellent example), while others (like witch hazel) need so much babying that it's almost impossible to keep them happy (read: fresh). Such was a recent experience with my brand new best friend (and super-efficient magical hot flash tamer), sage hydrosol. Even though it was enjoying a dark and cool existence in a perfect 10-degree celcius environment, my entire stock of sage hydrosol sat there and quietly went wonky – shortly before I prepared to make myself a Hot Flash Skin Drench and Skin Mist.

Don't Panic – Just Sweat
'Oh, no' I thought upon discovering the condition of the hydrosol in the opened bottle. Discarding the remaining liquid, I reached for a fresh bottle. By habit, I held it up to the light for a visual check. It was wonky. The 'use by' date was not even close to the limit. 'Hmm, must be a fluke' I thought as I reached for the final, unopened bottle. It was wonky too.

I had a quiet conversation with myself.

Take a chill pill, it's not like it's the end of the world...
(YES – IT IS!!!!)

Random profuse sweating accompanied by queasiness was part of your life for 7 years until you found sage hydrosol. It didn't kill you then and it won't kill you now. You can deal with this...
(NO – I CAN'T!!!)

And besides, this is a great supplier and they'll send a replacement right away...
(EXCEPT IT'S THE WEEKEND AND THEY'RE CLOSED!!!)

Ok, now you can panic.

Don't Sweat – Just Panic
Realistically, I knew it would be several days before I had a replacement in my hands – no matter how fast my supplier was. To figure out what to do, I started running around like a chicken with its head cut off and panicked thoroughly in an unconstructive and non-problem solving kind of way. My husband couldn't help but notice and, after learning what was wrong, asked why I couldn't just make my own.

Make
my own hydrosol?!!?? Do I look like I have a distiller and a ton of fresh organic sage lying around??

Yet, through the panic, his words sparked a thought – a glimmer of hope.  Why not try making an infusion?

Necessity – The Mother of Invention
Leave it to my husband to quickly and calmly come up with a perfectly viable alternative (bless his cotton socks). His thinking was completely logical for someone who isn't aware of the difference between a hydrosol and an infusion – which, in this case – was a really good thing. Although it's not the same as a steam-distillation of fresh plants, an infusion with dried plants should logically contain at least some of the actives. It wasn't unlikely that there was some relief to be had from an infusion. I checked my watch. The shops were still open. I dashed out and came home with a packet of dried sage leaves. To my pleasant surprise, dried sage was easily available at the local health food store, and wasn't even remotely expensive.

If you join me tomorrow, I'll share how to make sage infusion and how the emergency Hot Flash Mist worked.

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