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Herbs A-C

 

 

 ANGELICA ROOT 

 

Main Constituents: 
Botanical Name: 
Radix angelicae sinensis 
Plant Part: Root
Extraction Method: 
Origin: Asia

Description: Commonly known as dong quai or female ginseng, Angelica is a large hairy, biennial plant with ferny leaves and umbels of white flowers. It can grow 5 to 8 feet tall, and flowering time is June to August. 
Color: Light brownish yellow to brown viscous liquid.
Consistency: Medium
Aromatic Scent: It is said to have a peppery, rich, herbal, earthy, woody and musk animal odor.
Note: Middle
Strength of Aroma: Strong
Blends well with: Cedarwood, Frankincense, Myrrh and Sandalwood. 
Common Uses: Also referred to as Dong Quai and Chinese Angelica, in Chinese medicine it is used to relieve cramps, infrequent and irregular periods, PMS, and ease menopausal symptoms. Based on its monoterpene hydrocarbons, Angelica Oil may be antispasmodic, carminative, depurative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, hepatic, stomachic and tonic; however, it has photosensitizing properties as well, and may have properties as a nervine stimulant. Though animal studies had indicated it has the properties for which it is known in China, more studies are necessary to test its safety and efficiency in humans. 
History: Used in the West for perfumery, as a sugared confection in Europe, and as one of the flavoring ingredients in Chartreuse, Benedictine and gin, Angelica has long been used in traditional East Asian medicine, dating back to 400 BCE as one of the first drugs recorded in China. Still used today in Chinese medicine, it is taken as a tonic to improve gynecological and general health in women. 
Cautions: Angelica essential oil is considered generally non-toxic and non-irritant; however it is known to be photo-toxic. After any application to the skin, avoid direct exposure to strong sunlight for up to 12 hours. Avoided during pregnancy.

 

 

 

  ANISE STAR

Main Constituents: Anethole: 82.5%
Botanical Name: Illicium verum 
Plant Part: Seeds
Extraction Method: 
Steam Distilled
Origin: China
Description: A small to medium evergreen tree of the magnolia family, reaching up to 8m (26ft). The leaves are lanceolate and the axillary flowers are yellow. The fruits are harvested before they ripen, then sun dried. It is, as the name suggests, star shaped, radiating between five and ten pointed boat-shaped sections, about eight on average. These hard sections are seedpods. Tough skinned and rust colored, they measure up to 3cm (1-1/4") long. 

Color: Colorless to pale yellow liquid. 
Consistency: Light
Aromatic Scent: Anise Star has a powerful and licorice-like scent.
Note: Top
Strength of Aroma: Strong
Blends well with: Lavender, Pine, Orange, Rosewood, Clove, and Cinnamon. 
Common Uses: The potent chemical constituents of Star Anise include trans-anethole and safrole, and can cause dermatitis in sensitive individuals. The seeds have traditionally been used in the East in small quantities, as a spice and remedy but also as a carminative, stomachic, stimulant and diuretic for combating colic, indigestion, and rheumatism. 
Important Note: This essential oil may solidify, and if so, must be heated to be brought back to a liquid state. This attests to the purity of the oil you have purchased. 
History: For centuries, the seeds of Star Anise have been chewed in small quantities after each meal to promote digestion and sweeten the breath. The Japanese plant this tree in their temples and on tombs, and use the pounded bark as incense. Homeopaths prepare tinctures from the seeds. 
Cautions: Anise star is generally non-toxic and non-irritating (unlike Illicium anisatum the Japanese variety that is long considered toxic). It should not be used by anyone who is allergic or has inflamed skin; is pregnant, nursing, or who has a serious medical condition such as endometriosis or other oestrogen-dependent conditions or cancer.

 

 

 

 

 ANISEED 

Main Constituents: Anethole: 92%
Botanical Name: Pimpinella anisum 
Plant Part: Seeds
Extraction Method: Steam Distilled
Origin: 
India

Description: Aniseed is the fruit of the annual anise plant of the parsley family (Umbelliferae). It grows up to 60cm in height and is umbelliferous in appearance with leaves varying in shape from heart-shaped to feathery. The fruits are covered with short hairs and each contains two dark seeds with light ribs. 
Color: Colorless to pale yellow liquid.
Consistency: Thin
Aromatic Scent: Aniseed Essential Oil has a spicy-sweet characteristic scent.
Note: Top
Strength of Aroma: Medium
Blends well with: Bay, Cardamom Caraway Cedarwood, Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Mandarin, Petitgrain and Rosewood. 
Common Uses: Because of its high anethole content, Aniseed is considered to have antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, diuretic, and expectorant properties. Additionally, it is reputed to control lice and itch mite. 
History: Revered by ancient civilizations, particularly in the Middle East, Aniseed has long been used in cooking and in bread-making. The Romans hailed it as an aphrodisiac, and in India, the seeds are still chewed to sweeten the breath. It is widely used as a spice in cooking, and as an ingredient in toothpastes and mouthwashes. Aniseed oil is very popular amongst soap-makers because the fresh spicy scent eliminates the smell of onions and fish on the hands when used by cooks, and masks the odor of humans when used by fishermen and hunters. 
Cautions: The oil is very potent and not to be used on sensitive skin. Avoid use during pregnancy.

 

 

 

BASIL, SWEET 

 

Main Constituents: Methyl chavicol: 71.8%, Linalool: 20.46%
Botanical Name: Ocimum basilicum L. 
Plant Part: Leaves
Extraction Method: Steam Distilled
Origin: India
Description: Steam distilled from the flowering tops of the Ocimum Basilicum, this oil is almost colorless to a pale yellow with a sweet spicy, slightly green, fresh, with a faint balsamic woody back note and a lasting sweetness. 
Color: Pale yellow to amber color liquid.
Consistency: Thin
Aromatic Scent: Basil Oil has a sweet-spicy, fresh aroma with a faint balsamic woody undertone.
Note: Top
Strength of Aroma: Strong
Blends well with: Bergamot, Clary Sage, Clove Bud, Lime, Eucalyptus, Juniper, Lemon, Neroli, and Rosemary. 
Common Uses: Basil Oil is praised in Ayurvedic medicine for its ability to strengthen compassion, faith and bring clarity. Traditionally, it has also been used to relieve muscular aches and pains, colds and flu, hay fever, asthma, bronchitis, mental fatigue, anxiety, and depression. In aromatherapy Basil is used to soothe and uplift. It is popular with massage therapists for alleviating tension and stress in their patients. It also helps to clear the sinuses, so it is a favored ingredient by naturopaths when treating many respiratory ailments. When applied in dilution, Basil is reputed to be a good insect repellent, while the linalool's mild analgesic properties are known to help to relieve insect bites and stings. 
History: In Greek its name means 'royal remedy' or 'king'. In the 16th century, powdered basil was used to treat migraines and chest infections. There are many rituals and beliefs associated with basil, which is native to Africa and Asia. The ancient Egyptians believed that it would open the gates of heaven to a dying person, and the Hindus use Basil sprigs to protect the dead from evil while in transition between lives. Western European lore sometimes claimed that it was a symbol of evil, while the Eastern Orthodox Church used it in the making of holy water. 
Cautions: May irritate sensitive skin. Do not use during pregnancy.

 

 

 

 

 

BAY ESSENTIAL OIL

 

Main Constituents: 1,8-Cineole: 43%
Botanical Name: 
Laurus nobilis L. 

Plant Part: Leaves
Extraction Method: Steam Distilled
Origin: Hungary
Description: This is an evergreen tree which can grow up to 20 meters high with dark green, glossy leaves and black berries. 

Color: Pale yellow green to orange brown liquid. 
Consistency: Thin
Aromatic Scent: Bay has a strong, spicy bay leaf scent.

Note: Top
Strength of Aroma: Strong
Blends well with: Bergamot, Virginian Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Ginger, Orange, Patchouli, Rosemary, Ylang-ylang. 
Common Uses: The complex chemical constituents of Bay Essential Oil, which include Cineole and Linalool, offer antiseptic, antibiotic, analgesic, anti-neuralgic, astringent, insecticidal and sedative properties. These properties have been sought in the treatment of rheumatism, muscular pain, circulation problems, colds, flu, dental infections and skin infections. 
History: Bay Essential Oil was very popular with the Romans, who thought Bay was a symbol of wisdom, peace and protection. The Latin laudis means 'to praise', which is why the victors at the Olympic Games were presented with a laurel wreath made of Bay leaves. 
Cautions: Bay has a high eugenol content and may irritate the skin and mucus membranes, so use with caution. Avoid during pregnancy.

 

 

 

BENZOIN RESINOID ESSENTIAL OIL

Main Constituents: 
Botanical Name: Styrax benzoin 

Plant Part: Resin
Extraction Method: Solvent Extraction 

Origin: India
Description: The Benzoin tree originates from Java, Sumatra and Thailand where it can grow up to 8 meters (20 feet). Deep incisions are made in the trunk of the tree from which the grayish color sap exudes. When the resinous lump becomes hard and brittle, it is collected from the bark. 
Color: Thick brown, viscous liquid.
Consistency: Thin
Aromatic Scent: Benzoin oil has a sweet, warm and vanilla-like aroma. 
Note: Base

Strength of Aroma: Medium


Blends well with: Cardamom, Frankincense, Myrrh, Myrtle, Neroli, Orange, Petitgrain and Sandalwood.


Common Uses: The main constituent of Benzoin Essential Oil is benzoic acid, which has properties that are antiseptic, anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, carminative, deodorant, diuretic and expectorant. The sweet resin is widely used as a fixative in perfumes but has also been used medicinally for respiratory ailments, and skin conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis. 


Directions to Use: We would recommend placing the bottle in a very hot water bath, changing the water frequently and once it is back to the liquid state be sure to shake before use. 


History: Also known as Gum Benjamin, Benzoin is one of the classic ingredients of incense, and in ancient times it was used as a fumigator. It is the primary ingredient in Friar's Balsam, and was medicinally used to paint sore throats and mouth ulcers. In cosmetic use, it was the additive to rosewater for the centuries-old facial cleanser and toner known as Virgin's Milk, and the ladies of the Royal House of Windsor attributed their beautiful complexions to the use of Friar's Balsam in freshly made barley water. 
Cautions: Benzoin is a non-toxic and non-irritant, but a mild sensitizer and should be avoided if you have sensitive or allergy-prone skin.

 

 

 

BERGAMOT (BERGAPTENE FREE) 
ESSENTIAL

 

Main Constituents: Linalyl acetate: 12% Limonene: 45%
Botanical Name: Citrus bergamia Plant Part: Crude Fruit Peel
Extraction Method: Cold Pressed
Origin: Italy
Description: The Bergamot tree can grow up to four meters high, with star-shaped flowers, and smooth leaves, bearing citrus fruit resembling a cross between an orange and a grapefruit but in a pear-shape. The fruit ripens from green to yellow. 
Color: Light yellowish green to yellowish brown liquid.
Consistency: Thin 
Aromatic Scent: The aroma is basically citrus, yet fruity and sweet with a warm spicy floral quality, and is reminiscent of Neroli and Lavender oil.
Note: Middle
Strength of Aroma: Medium
Blends well with: Black Pepper, Clary Sage, Cypress, Frankincense, Geranium, Jasmine, Mandarin, Nutmeg, Orange, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Vetiver and Ylang-ylang. 
Common Uses: In this variety, the bergaptene content which causes photosensitivity has been removed. This allows the Bergamot to be used in skin and hair care formulations without concern for phototoxicity after exposure to the sun. Bergamot is commonly used to treat skin ailments such as psoriasis and eczema, and by aromatherapists to help reduce stress, depression, and anxiety in their patients. It is also grown as a companion plant in gardens to discourage insects. Perhaps it is most commonly known as the exotic flavor in Earl Grey and Lady Grey Teas. 
History: Genetically, this citrus is a likely hybrid of Citrus limetta and Citrus aurantium. The name Bergamot is derived from the city Bergamo in Lombardy, where the oil was first sold. The hybrid is native to Calabria, southern Italy, where 80% is grown and where it was an indigenous treatment for malaria, but it is also cultivated in the South of France, Algeria, and the Ivory Coast for its essential oil, and in Turkey for the production of marmalade.
Cautions: It may cause sensitivity in some individuals. Avoid use during pregnancy.

 

 

 

 

 

BIRCH, WHITE ESSENTIAL OIL

Main Constituents: â-Methyl salicylate: 97%
Botanical Name: 
Betula lenta 

Plant Part: Bark
Extraction Method: Steam Distilled
Origin: Adirondacks

Description: The Birch tree is a graceful tree about 25m high, which has a pyramidal shape while young. It has bright green leaves and a dark reddish-brown aromatic bark, which his broken into plates or patches. Native to southern Canada and southeastern USA; it now grows also in Russia and parts of Eastern Europe.
Color: Colorless to pale yellow liquid.
Consistency: Thin 
Aromatic Scent: Birch Sweet has a sweet, sharp, camphoraceous scent that is very fresh and similar to Wintergreen.
Note: Top
Strength of Aroma: Strong
Blends well with: Virginian Cedarwood, Fir Balsam, Copaiba Balsam, Sandalwood, Spruce, and Rosewood. 
Common Uses: The chemical constituents in Sweet Birch are credited with being analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-pryetic, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, astringent, depurative, diuretic and tonic. It is considered to be an effective addition to many massage oil blends for sore muscles, sprains and painful joints because of these anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. 
History: Birch bark was historically used by North American native people as a tonic and beverage, as well as to induce heating and bring on a sweat so as to break a fever.
Cautions: Birch Sweet Oil is potentially toxic and may cause skin irritation. Use in dilution and avoid during pregnancy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAJEPUT ESSENTIAL OIL

Main Constituents: 1,8-Cineole: 59.4%%
Botanical Name: Melaleuca cajeputi 
Plant Part: Leaves and Twigs
Extraction Method: Steam Distilled
Origin: Indonesia
Description: Cajeput is a small tree with a tolerably erect but crooked trunk; a soft, thick, spongy, whitish, ash-colored bark; and scattered branches, with the slender twigs often drooping as completely as in the weeping willow (Salix Babylonica). The leaves are alternate, most frequently vertical, short-stalked, narrow- lanceolate, while young, sericeous, sometimes slightly falcate, entire, from 3 to 5 inches long, and from 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch broad; and very aromatic when bruised. 
Color: Colorless to pale yellow clear liquid.
Consistency: Thin
Aromatic Scent: Cajeput Essential Oil has a fresh, camphorous aroma with a slight fruity note. The odor of the oil has been stated to resemble the combined fragrance of camphor, rosemary, and cardamom.. 
Note: Middle
Strength of Aroma: Medium
Blends well with: Cedarwood, Clove Bud, Labdanum, Origanum, Rosemary and Thyme.
Common Uses: The chemical constituents of Cajeput Essential Oil have antiseptic and anti-microbial properties, which make it used chiefly as a local application for skin ailments. Other properties include analgesic, anti-neuralgic, antispasmodic, and insecticidal assets. 
History: Cajeput being the Indonesian for white wood, it is part of the Melaleuca family and used much in the same way as its cousin, Tea Tree. The essential oil has been part of traditional medicine since ancient times, and is an ingredient in liniments such as Tiger Balm. 
Cautions: No known toxicity. Avoid during pregnancy.

 

 

 

 

 

 Camphor 

 Main Constituents: 1,8-Cineole: 38.8%
Botanical Name: Cinnamomum camphora 
Plant Part: Wood

Extraction Method: Steam Distilled

Origin: China
Description: The camphor tree can grow up to 35 meters (100 feet) and camphor is found in every part of the tree. Camphor Essential Oil is extracted by steam from the chipped wood, root stumps and branches. It is then rectified under vacuum and filter-pressed. White camphor oil is the first distillation fraction. 
Color: Colorless to pale yellow clear liquid.
Consistency: Thin
Aromatic Scent: Camphor Essential Oil has a strong, penetrating, fragrant odor. 
Note: Top
Strength of Aroma: Strong
Blends well with: Basil, Cajeput, Chamomile, Lavender, Melissa Leaf, and Rosemary.
Common Uses: The chemical constituents of Camphor Essential Oil attribute it with anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, carminative, diuretic, insecticide, and laxative properties. Camphor oil has been used in the treatment of nervous depression, acne, inflammation, arthritis, muscular aches and pains, sprains, rheumatism, bronchitis, coughs, colds, fever, flu and infectious diseases. It is a well-known repellent of moths and other insects, and is an ingredient in moth balls. 
History: In China and Japan, Cinnamomum camphora must be at least 50 years old to produce oil, and can often grow as old as a thousand years. Among its many uses, it was used as a deodorant and in embalming, and camphor wood was used to build ships and temples because of the woods durable and aromatic properties. Camphor was used medicinally, such as a remedy against the plague in ancient Persia. In the past was a culinary ingredient, and was cited in the Q'ran 76:5 as a flavoring for drinks, though now an amount of 2 grams is considered toxic. 

Cautions: Camphor oil is powerful oil and should be used with care. Overdosing can cause convulsions and vomiting. Pregnant women or persons suffering from epilepsy and asthma should not use it.

 

 

 

 

CARAWAY ESSENTIAL OIL

Main Constituents: Carvone: 87.4% 
Botanical Name: Carum carvi 
Plant Part: Seeds
Extraction Method: Steam Distilled
Origin: Egypt
Description: Caraway is a biennial herb that originated from Asia Minor but is now cultivated in Northern Europe, Africa and Russia. It grows up to 60cm (2 feet) and has soft fern-like leaves, umbels of white/pink flowers and small brown fruit. 
Color: Colorless to pale yellow clear liquid.
Consistency: Light 
Aromatic Scent: Caraway Essential Oil has a sweet spicy odor with a slight peppery smell.
Note: Middle
Strength of Aroma: Strong
Blends well with: Basil, Chamomile, Coriander, Frankincense, Ginger, Lavender and Orange. 
Common Uses: The chemical constituents of Caraway Essential Oil include anti-histamine, antiseptic, astringent, digestive, disinfectant, expectorant, and vermifuge as its properties. As an herbal expectorant, it helps to clear bronchitis, bronchial asthma and coughs. It is also helpful with sore throats and laryngitis. 
History: Also known as Meadow Cumin, Caraway is a very old and well known spice, used as far back as the Stone Age by the evidence in archaeological digs. The Egyptians used it as a flavoring in foods, the Romans in bread-making, and in the Middle Ages it found popularity among the Germans and Austrians in their cooking.
Cautions: Non-toxic and non-sensitizing. It may cause skin irritation if used in high concentration. Avoid use during pregnancy.

 

 

 

 

CARDAMOM ESSENTIAL OIL

Main Constituents: 1,8-Cineole: 38% Terpinyl acetate: 42%
Botanical Name: Elettaria cardamomum 
Plant Part: Seedss
Extraction Method: Steam Distilled
Origin: India
Description: A perennial, reed-like herb, cardamom grows wild and is cultivated in India and Sri Lanka. It grows up to 4 meters (13 feet) and has long, green silky blades, small yellowy flowers, with a violet tip and a large fleshy rhizome, similar to ginger. Oblong gray fruits follow the flowers, each containing many seeds. 
Color: Colorless to very pale yellow clear liquid.
Consistency: Light 
Aromatic Scent: Cardamom Essential Oil is sweet, spicy and almost balsamic in fragrance. 
Note: Top
Strength of Aroma: Strong
Blends well with: Rose, Orange, Bergamot, Cinnamon Bark, Clove Bud, Caraway and Cedarwood. 
Common Uses: Because of its chemical constituents, Cardamom has been found to be particularly helpful for the digestive system, working as a laxative and soothing colic, flatulence, dyspepsia and even nausea caused by pregnancy. As a massage oil or diluted in the bath, cardamom oil has been prescribed by aromatherapists to assist with the digestive system and as a general tonic. 
History: Cardamom was well known in ancient times. The Egyptians used it in perfumes and incense and chewed it to whiten their teeth. The Romans used it for their stomachs when they over-indulged. The Arabs used it ground in their coffee. It is an important ingredient in Asian cooking. 
Cautions: Non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing. Avoid use during pregnancy

CARROT SEED ESSENTIAL OIL

Main Constituents: Caratol: 72.45%
Botanical Name: Daucus carota 
Plant Part: Seeds
Extraction Method: Steam Distilled
Origin: India
Description: Carrot is an annual or biennial plant with hairy leaves and umbels of white lacy flowers with purple centers. 
Color: Pale yellow to amber liquid.
Consistency: Thin 
Aromatic Scent: This oil has a woody-earthy, slightly spicy, strong herbaceous musky scent. 
Note: Middle
Strength of Aroma: Medium
Blends well with: Frankincense, Lavender, Rosewood, Cypress, Geranium. 
Common Uses: Carrot Seed Essential Oil, high in carotenes, is considered one of the best oils to enhance the appearance of mature skin. Its chemical constituents may stimulate cell growth while removing toxins, which would give the skin a more toned, youthful appearance. It has been reputed to be useful in treating scars, wounds and burns. Carrot seed oil may also be helpful in the aromatherapy's therapeutic treatment of arthritis, gout, edema, rheumatism and the accumulation of toxins in muscles and joints. It is thought to strengthen the mucus membranes in the nose, throat and lungs, thus having a beneficial effect on conditions such as bronchitis and influenza. 
History: The name is derived from the Greek Carotos and had great medicinal value to the Greeks and Romans in ancient times, especially for its carminative properties. The herb was transported to the Americas where it became known as Queen Anne's Lace, and the edible orange root as we know it was developed by the Dutch in the 1700's. 
Cautions: Non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing. Avoid use during pregnancy.