Hydrosols or botanical tonics are produced by steam distilling medicinal plant material through an alembic potstill. The hydrosol is what remains after the essential oil has been tapped off.
The hydrosols can be consumed for the health benefits of the plants, and some can be used as unique additions to cocktails, kombucha, or iced tea. In cooking and cocktails, use only a small amount as the taste is intense.
Substitute for some of the water content in curries or stews, or in any savoury baking recipe. Buchu water is an old Cape remedy for all manner of urinary conditions, from water retention to bladder infection. It is also good for inflammation, particularly when combined with wild rosemary. Rooibos softens the taste and adds an anti-oxidant boost.