|Aroma and taste :
||A relative of bayberry, sweet gale has a subtler, less distinct fragrance, more on the untamed side. It is complex, bittersweet, herbaceous, and wet, with only an undertone of the bayberry spice so popular in potpourris and candles. The flavor is much sweeter than the fragrance, bordering on floral, very refreshing and light, with a slight green edge and a tiny bit of spice that is felt more than tasted at the back of the throat when consumed undiluted. The spiciness disappears completely in dilution and the flavor is sublime.
|Stability and Shelf Life :
||Quite stable. Although this is a relatively new hydrosol, to date shelf life seems to be in the two-years-plus range.
Properties and Applications
This is one of the most powerfully energetic of the waters. Sweet gale grows in clean, flowing water, and its red-and-yellow roots form a dense complex mass, allowing the plants to communicate directly with each other both chemically and by contact. Native Americans used it as a tea for communal dreaming, and the hydrosol has shown itself very powerful for lucid dreaming, meditation, group and distance healing, working with crystals, and all forms of energy work.
On the physical level it is a respiratory antiseptic, helping to loosen phlegm in the lungs, a boon for both dry and wet cough. Astringent to the digestive system, it promotes peristalsis in the bowel while calming gastric spasms and helps alleviate non-infectious diarrhea. A variety of sweet gale was a replacement for hops in old Swedish and British beer recipes, and the hydrosol makes a refreshing and thirst quenching beverage. Interestingly, this is one of the least diuretic hydrosols despite its pH value, and it is a good choice for those wishing to flavor their waters daily. The hydrosol can be used as part of a phytotherapy treatment against cancer. A daily intake of fifty millilitres diluted in water during mosquito and black fly season is said to work wonders as a bug repellent.