How to use Botnia’s Sausalito Hydrosol

Otis Redding had it right… Sausalito is the perfect place to sit on the dock of the bay! We want to capture the essence of Sausalito in a bottle, so with every spray, it’ll remind you of this beautiful city. Last year, we sold out of this special seasonal hydrosol so quickly we didn’t even get a chance to chat about it here on the blog! We’re happy to share the botanical abundance with you, and that’s why we’ve brought it back this year. It’s good to see you again, Sausalito Hydrosol!

Story of the harvest//

Sausalito Hydrosol is an essence but also a love note to a place that has created such deep meaning for so many, especially me with Botnia. This land was originally inhabited by the coastal Miwok, then later by Portuguese immigrants, and now by many coming from such diverse backgrounds. Each plant, tree, and flower I found from a unique part of Sausalito, a special place to me that represents the spirit and essence of what it is to love the earth and make medicine to heal using what is abundant around you.

On a breezy afternoon in April with our farmer Emily in tow, I hiked the hilltops and lowlands to ethically harvest eucalyptus, great for acne and those struggling with congested skin. Bay laurel for oily skin types, coastal willow for its tannins and anti-inflammatory properties. California sagebrush for its balancing and lung tonic effects and California poppy to inspire creativity and a sense of place.

Meet the plants of Sausalito//

Inspired by the magic of this coastal city, we love the way the trees and plants meet the coast. We only harvest a little from each plant to ensure the continued growth of these beautiful healing botanicals. Let’s learn a little more about the wildcrafted botanicals of our newest hydrosol!

Eucalyptus – (Eucalyptus Globulus)- One of the most popular trees that are grown along the California coast is actually invasive! You may be most familiar with eucalyptus if you’ve ever used Vick’s Vaporub during the cold and flu season. It’s got a strong sweet and woody scent and contains properties that are antimicrobial, antiseptic, and reduce the symptoms of coughs, colds, and congestion. 

California Bay Laurel – (Umbellularia Californica) – This evergreen tree was historically used by many tribes including the Miwok tribe here in Sausalito as a tea to treat stomach aches, colds, sore throats, relieve headaches, and clear up mucus in the lungs. It’s antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral, and anti-bacterial. Bay laurel has a peppery aroma and is often used as a cooking spice for seasoning. (Don’t forget to remove it before eating!) On an emotional level, the scent of Bay laurel is known to alleviate anxiety and purifies the area, giving energy to those who are present. 

Sagebrush – (Artemisia Californica)- The California Sagebrush is not actually a true sage, and is in the sunflower family like our favorite botanical Calendula! It contains flavonoids that act as an anti-inflammatory. It also contains monoterpenoids, a chemical that helps relieve pain. Its bitter leaves are antimicrobial in nature and used to treat and fight coughs and colds. Native Americans have also used a decoction to ease menopausal and menstrual pains. Sagebrush wood was also used as a construction material for homes such as roofing or the wattling of walls.

Coastal Willow – (Salix Hookeriana) – This willow, like all other willows, contain amounts of salicin, a form of salicylic acid (related to aspirin) which anti-inflammatory properties are a natural treatment for acne and other skin irritations. It has a scent that smells like wintergreen. In medicine, it has painkilling properties and reduces fever. Coastal willow stems and bark are used in basket making and the fibers can be used to make long ropes.

California Poppy – (Eschscholzia Californica) – Our state flower, the California poppy has hypnotic effects, similar to its cousin the opium poppy, but with a much milder, nonnarcotic, and nonaddictive effect. All poppies contain morphine-like alkaloids which are nerve-calming and pain-relieving and aid in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. Its leaves, buds, and seeds were used in teas by the Native Americans for pain and to improve sleep. It’s an incredibly gentle and mild tonic for the nervous system when it’s stressed.

How to use//

Best suited for those with acne, maskne, or eczema, or those with digestive issues. Used on cleansed skin before or after applying hydrating serum and before your moisturizer. Contraindicated for pregnancy.

Also indicated if you are feeling ungrounded, grief, have writer’s block, need a creative boost, or want to be reminded of the smells and feels of Northern California.

Sausalito hydrosol can also be used with one of our powdered masks weekly for a refreshing at-home treatment. For spot treatments, our Fix-Zit Mask is a great ally to use with this hydrosol blend. Check out our Instagram Reels for other creative ways to incorporate the aromatherapy of this special hydrosol into your day! 

One hundred percent of the plants in this hydrosol are from Sausalito and brewed in our copper alembic still in Sausalito. These amazing plants come together to create a hydrosol that smells like the coast of California, helps heal inflamed and irritated skin, and also lifts up your spirits every time you use it! My hope is that Sausalito Hydrosol will bring you a connection to us, notes of Mother Earth that linger with you, and a sense of place.

Use in good health and wellness,

P.S. What’s the difference between a hydrosol and toner? Learn more here.

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