VETIVER the oil of tranquility

Vetiver (Vetiveria zizaniodes) also called khus khus, is a perennial scented grass. It has a straight stem, long narrow leaves and grows in tufts, reaching a height of 2 meters. It has abundant white scented rootlets.Vetiver is native to South India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, but is cultivated in the Comoros Islands, Reunion, Java andContinue reading “VETIVER the oil of tranquility”

MAGNOLIA heart

Magnolia is a huge and rather confusing arena; researching it for the essential oil is like moving through a labyrinth, looking for clues to connect the dots. There are more than 200 different species and it is not easy to discern exactly which is which.  Over the years, hybrids, new species and sub-species have beenContinue reading “MAGNOLIA heart”

TUBEROSE – queen of forbidden pleasures

Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) is native to Central America. Its native name Omixochitl means bone flower and was widely used by the Aztecs 600 years ago for its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. Maybe they also used it in their chocolate for its heady and sensual effects? Mmmm, chocolate for lovers… When first brought to Europe itContinue reading “TUBEROSE – queen of forbidden pleasures”

Citrus aurantium var. amara – Abundance

This is a tree; the bitter orange tree. It yields no less than three different essential oils; from the fruit (bitter orange), the flowers (neroli) and the leaves (petit grain bigaradier). How’s that for abundance? The tree originated in southern China and northeast India and was later introduced to Italy. It is widely cultivated forContinue reading “Citrus aurantium var. amara – Abundance”

GERANIUM for balance

Geranium, Rose geranium Pelargonium graveolens (P. x asperum, P. odoratissimum,P. roseum). There are many hundreds of different geraniums, but I shall concentrate on P. graveolens since this is the one most known and used in aromatherapy. It originates in South Africa, but is now cultivated in Russia, China, Egypt, Morocco and Europe. Geranium Bourbon isContinue reading “GERANIUM for balance”

ARTEMISIA HERBA ALBA, white wormwood

There are many different species of Artemisia (200-400), the most commonly known are Mugwort, Sagebrush, Wormwood, Tarragon. Most artemisia-species are high in ketones, which are neurotoxic and should not be used in aromatherapy at all, so make sure that you have the right one; Always check the latin name. Artemisias belong to the family Asteraceae,Continue reading “ARTEMISIA HERBA ALBA, white wormwood”

THE SIMPLER IT GETS – THE HARDER IT GETS

Years ago, when I first started making natural skin-care and health products, I would get all caught up in every newbie ingredient that came on the market. Over time my products got so complicated and the INCI-list so long; herbs, tinctures, essential oils, maceration, vitamins and what-have you. One day I realized that I hadContinue reading “THE SIMPLER IT GETS – THE HARDER IT GETS”

SPIKENARD

Spikenard or Narde (Nardostachys jatamansi / N. grandiflora): It belongs to the Valerian family and has similar properties as its cousin Valerian (Valeriana officinalis). A flowering plant that grows to a height of about 1 meter, the rhizomes are distilled to produce the essential oil. It is native to the Himalayas; China, northern India andContinue reading “SPIKENARD”

MAY CHANG

Time for a profile again; this is a wonderful, versatile oil with a lovely scent. It’s attractive to most people and one of those scents that is always appreciated when it comes to scenting spaces. May Chang, Litsea (Litsea cubeba). Synonyms: tropical verbena, yunnan verveine. These names are a bit misleading, since it is notContinue reading “MAY CHANG”

CHAMOMILE

There are mainly 2 different chamomiles used in aromatherapy: German or “blue” chamomile and Roman chamomile. German chamomile (Matricaria recutita): An annual aromatic plant, up to 60 cm high. It has a branching stem, feathery leaves and simple white flowers with a yellow center. It is native to Europe, but is now naturalized in NorthContinue reading “CHAMOMILE”