Oil Profiles

Information & reviews for your consideration.

Angelica
Angelica archangelica (umbelliferae) SYNONYMS Garden angelica, European angelica, angel's herb, Root of the Holy Spirit. ORIGIN It is supposed to be native to Syria from where it has spread into northern Europe. It is commonly found in the far north countries of Scandinavia, Iceland and Lapland. It grows naturally in some parts of Scotland. There are about 30 different varieties of Angelica but only Angelica Archangelica is used medicinally and commercial...   Full Article
 
Aniseed
Aniseed Family: Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) Botanical name: Pimpinella anisum Planetary association: Moon (Cancer) - maternal love; Mercury - calms nerves; Sun (Sellar) Chakra: Sacral Element: Earth Colour vibration: Orange & Gold Distillation: Steam-distilled from the fruit Colour: Colourless Aroma: Characteristic fragrant anisic aroma Taste: Sweet and pungent Main Chemical constituents: 75-9-% trans-anethole, estragole, anisic acid, methyl ...   Full Article
 
Argan
Argana spinosa of the Sapotaceae family The Argan tree originates from one area in the world only, the Agadir region, South West of Morocco, which covers over 320,000 square miles. Within this area, there are about 21 million trees which play a vital role in the life of the Berbers who have lived there for hundreds of years. The numbers of Argan trees are now declining and they are under protection of UNESCO. THE TREE The Argan tree is remarkabl...   Full Article
 
Bees Wax
HOW IS IT MADE ? Beeswax is produced in the hive by young worker bees. It is secreted from glands situated under the belly of the bee, in the shape of a tiny scale 3 ml wide and 0.1 ml thick. It takes over 1000 scales to make 1 gr of wax. The wax is used to build the comb cells in which larvae's develop, young bees are raised and honey and pollen are stored. The scales are originally crystal clear, become white as the bee chews it and turn later on to an orangey brow...   Full Article
 
Benzoin
Styrax tonkinensis (STYRACACEAE) THE TREE The styrax genus is made of a group of decidious and evergreen shrubs and trees that grow in Northern and Southern America, Asia and Europe. Siam and Sumatra benzoins are the two most important varieties cultivated for their gums. They are tall and evergreen trees that can reach a height of 12 to 15m. They are characterised by long ovate citrus-like leaves and clusters of white flowers. EXTRACTING THE TEA...   Full Article
 
Bergamot
Citrus aurantium ssp. Bergamia Family Rutaceae ORIGIN OF THE NAME Bergamot is a subspecies of the Bitter Orange tree (citrus aurantium var. amara) and the two main cultivars are Castagnaro and Femmenillo. It is completely unrelated to the herbaceous perennial red bergamot or ‘bee balm’. Other members of the Citrus genus include Sweet Orange, Mandarin, Lemon, Lime and Grapefruit. The oil may be named after Bergamo in Italy, where the oil was first distil...   Full Article
 
Black Spruce
THE TREE Black Spruce is a coniferous evergreen tree, native to northern North America, from Newfoundland west to Alaska, in a geographical region known as the taiga forest. Common names include ‘Bog spruce’ and ‘Swamp Spruce’ as Black Spruce forests develop most successfully in peat bogs and swamps, on soils naturally poor in nutrients. It is a small up-right, slow growing tree (up to 25 m), with a narrow trunk, four sided dark blue-green needles and a thin bark...   Full Article
 
Bllue Essential OIls
BLUE ESSENTIAL OILS & THEIR AZULENE DERIVATIVES Azulene is a natural compound found in some plants and some invertebrates. Its name is derived form the Spanish 'azul' meaning dark blue. Two of its derivatives are found in essential oils commonly used in Aromatherapy. CHAMAZULENE The deep blue compound, Chamazulene has a long history of being an effective anti-inflammatory. Although it is not necessarily present in very high degree in any o...   Full Article
 
Blue Cypress
Blue Cypress Family: Cupressaceae Botanical name: Callistris intratropica Common name: Blue Cypress, Northern Australian Cypress Pine Distillation: Steam-distilled from the wood, bark and leaves Colour: Light cobalt blue Aroma: Rich, resinous, woody, smoky, honey-like Odour notes: Base note Main Chemical constituents: Guaiazulene, guaiol (20-30%), guaienes, selinenes, eudosmols, beta-elemene, furanones Properties: anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, an...   Full Article
 
Borage
Family: Boraginaceae Botanical name: Borago officinalis Chakra: Heart Colour vibration: Pink & Green Distillation: Cold-pressed from the seeds Colour: Colourless Aroma: Both floral and woody Taste: Sweet and pungent Main fatty acids: 60% poly-unsaturated poly acids among which 10 to 29% GLA Yield: 40% Properties: mood-lifting effects, PMT, dermatitis, eczema ORIGIN The herb originates from the Middle East. It was widely sought after ...   Full Article
 
Camellia or Green Tea
Camellia Sinensis (Theaceae) THE PLANT This is the plant whose leaves, leaf buds and even twigs are used to produce different types of tea: white tea, green tea, black tea. Different leaf ages produce different teas since the chemical make up of the leaves is different. The leaves a shiny, typical of the camellia genus. young leaves are bright green with hairy underside. It originates from Asia and Southeast Asia, particularly Japan but is nowadays cultivated ...   Full Article
 
Chamomile, German or Roman
Roman: Chamaemelum nobile syn Anthemis nobilis German: Chamomilla recutita syn Matricaria chamomilla Family: Compositae (Asteraceae) Picture: Courtesy of Wendy Gardner - German chamomile is on the left, roman chamomile on the right The name ‘chamomile’ is derived from the Greek words kamai and melon, meaning ‘ground-apple’. The Spanish word for chamomile, manzanilla, also means ‘little apple’. Roman Chamomile ...   Full Article
 
Cistus
Cistus ladaniferus L. (Cistaceae) THE PLANT Known also by its common name 'rockrose', cistus is native to the western Mediterranean, and grows in Spain, Portugal, southern France, Sicily, Greece, Algeria and Morrocco. A shrub reaching a height of 2.5 metres, it has evergreen leaves that are lanceolate in shape and five-petalled flowers 5-8 cm in diameter, usually with a red to maroon spot at the base, surrounding yellow stamens and pistils. The whole plan...   Full Article
 
Citronella
Citronella Family: Poaceae (Germineae) Botanical name: Cympopogon nardus Common name: Citronella Chakra: Solar plexus Colour vibration: Yellow Distillation: Steam-distilled from the grass Colour: Yellow Aroma: Strong lemony Main Chemical constituents: Monoterpenols incl. Geraniol & citronellol; Monoterpenes incl. Limonene & camphene; sesquiterpenes incl. Cubebene; Aldehydes incl. Citronellal; Esters incl. Geranyl acetate; Esthers incl. Met...   Full Article
 
Cocoa Butter
Theobroma cacao or ‘food of god’! ORIGIN The cocoa trees originate in the tropical regions of South America, Central America and Africa where it is said that 70% of the world production of cocoa beans come from. THE TREE The cocoa tree only thrives in warm areas blessed with constant rainfalls. They need shelter and protection from the scorching heat of the tropical sun. To provide such an environment, farmers grow taller trees among their cocoa plan...   Full Article
 
Colds & Flu - Blends suggestions
Respiratory allergies are becoming widespread from air pollution, eating the wrong foods. Most doctors miss the connection between digestion and respiration. All the fats and oils consumed in our daily diets eventually arrive in the lungs. Our favourite foods of butter, chocolate and fatty meats are all heavy with saturated fats. Eventually the mucous which is produced to trap dust and smoke, clogs us up. When the ‘mucociliary escalator’ fails due to insufficient or ex...   Full Article
 
Crystal deodorants
Crystal Alum or Potassium Alum ORIGIN Natural crystal deodorants are made of potassium alum which is a naturally occuring salt that has solidified to form solid rocks. It appears as a white translucent crystaline stone with small veins. It is extracted from the earth in large blocks and shaped into smaller manageable stones to be used on the body. HOW IT WORKS Potassium alum is soluble in water. When the stone is wet or applied to wet s...   Full Article
 
Elemi
Canarium luzonicum Family: Burseraceae Elemi is a large tree, growing to 30m high, native to the Philippines. The tree exudes a pale yellow resin whilst growing leaves. The resin stops flowing when the leaves have fallen. Many varieties are found in Australia, India, South and Central America and Africa FOLKLORE Elemi was used by the Egyptians for embalming. It became popular in Europe around the XVIth Century. It was traditionally used to heal...   Full Article
 
Eucalyptus Dives
Family: Myrtaceae Botanical name: Eucalyptus dives Common name: Broadleaved Peppermint, ct piperitone Planetary association: Saturn, Pluto Chakra: Heart Element: Metal Colour vibration: Green and Pink Distillation: Steam-distilled from the leaves Colour: Clear Aroma: Pungent with a strong aroma of peppermint Odour notes: Top notes Yield: 2% Properties: anticatarrhal, antiseptic, decongestant, expectorant THE TREE Eucalyptus Dives commo...   Full Article
 
Fragonia
In working with Fragonia, it is important to know the chemical constituents and the properties associated with them. Possible uses for these constituents can be found in many publications, including Mark Webb's book 'Bush Sense', and are as follows: - Monoterpenes (30-39%): * a-pinene - anti-inflammatory * limonene - anticancer, antiseptic, bactericide, expectorant, fungastatic, sedative, viricide Oxides (26-32%): * 1,8-cineole - antibronchitic, ant...   Full Article
 
Galbanum
Ferula galbaniflua Galbanum essential oil is steam-distilled from the gum of a species of Ferula, a family of giant fennels. THE PLANT It is native to southern Europe, North Africa and western Asia also it is thought that the plant originates from Iran. It grows particularly well in India and Iran and it is from the latter that the oil comes from. The plant has the characteristics of its smaller relatives - umbels of small white flowers, finely toothed l...   Full Article
 
Grapefruit
Citrus x paradisi Family Rutaceae ORIGIN OF THE NAME The origin of the common English name is uncertain. It is thought to be a hybrid of the Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) and the pummelo or shaddock (Citrus maximus). The pummelo was brought to Spain from tropical Asia by Arab traders in the 12th century via the same route taken by the orange. From there it was introduced into the West Indies by the mysterious Capta...   Full Article
 
Jasmin
Jasmine grandiflorum Family Oleaceae (Jasmininaceae) ORIGIN OF THE NAME The common name of the plant is an adaption of the Old Persian word for the flower and was used as a traditional girl’s name Yasmin. There are numerous varieties including Royal / Spanish / Italian / Catalonian Jasmine (Jasmine grandiflorum). The Arabian Jasmine (Jasmine sambac) and Indian Jasmine (Jasmine auriculatum). The Persians used jasmine oil to perfume the air at their banquets. Ja...   Full Article
 
Katafray
Cedrelopsis grevei KATRAFAY OR KATAFRAY The name is made up of two malagasy words 'katra' which means bitter and 'fay' which means juice. The inaccurate spelling katafray has been commonly recognised but is inaccurate. Both names Katafray and Katrafay are used to refer to the oil of Cedrelopsis grevei. THE TREE The tree is indigenous to Madagascar and thrives in the South west of the Island where the climate is particularly dry. It is a tall and th...   Full Article
 
Kunzea
THE PLANT Also commonly called ‘Tick Bush’, Kunzea is found in North East Tasmania and South East Australia. This tall erect bush can grow up to a height of 5m although it is usually smaller. It is characterised by small, soft lanceolate dark green leaves displayed on long arching branches. It bears numerous small white flowers crowded on short lateral bracts. TRADITIONS AND USES Early pioneers and hunters noted that native animals often slept und...   Full Article
 
Lavendin
Lavandula x intermedia Family Labiatae (Lamiaceae) ORIGIN OF THE NAME The word lavender originates from the Latin word lavare, which means „to wash?. The Romans used lavender to scent their bathing water. In the Middle Ages, it was frequently used for stomach disorders in medicine and cooking. Lavendin (lavandula x intermedia hybridii) is a cross between true lavender (Lavandula augstifolia) and spike lavender (Lavandula spica). This hybrid occurs natur...   Full Article
 
Lemon
Citrus limonum Family Rutaceae ORIGIN OF THE NAME There are over 47 different varieties of lemon including Java Lemon (Citrus javanica), Median Lemon (Citrus medica), Pear Lemon (Citrus limetta), Pearl Lemon (Citrus margarita) and Sweet Lemon (Citrus Lumia). Lemon Verbena oil is from the leafy herb Lippia citriodora, and is unrelated to Lemon. The name Limonum is derived from the Arabic Limun or Limu, which in its turn probably comes from t...   Full Article
 
Mafura Butter
Trichilia emetica Family: Meliaceae COMMON NAMES the tree is also known as 'forest mahogany','Natal-mahogany', 'Cape mahogany', 'thunder tree', 'Christmas bells', 'red ash' (Eng.). Trichilia is a relatively large genus of trees and shrubs occurring in Africa, America and Asia. The two tree species in South Africa belonging to the genus are T. dregeana and T. emetica. Characteristics of the genus include leaves that are imparipinnate and spira...   Full Article
 
Mandarin
Citrus reticulata Family Rutaceae ORIGIN OF THE NAME The fruit was a traditional gift to the Mandarins of ancient China from whom it borrowed its name. The fruit itself originated in China and the dried peel was an important part of traditional medicine. It is now cultivated in other warm climates including Brazil, Spain, Cypress, Greece, Sicily, Texas and California. Syno...   Full Article
 
Orange
Citrus sinensis Family: Rutaceae ORIGIN OF THE NAME The English name originates from its Sanskrit name naranj. Orange originated in East Asia (China and India) and was described in ancient Chinese texts as far back as 2200BC where it was used in Chinese medicine and as a symbol of good luck and prosperity. It was first brought to Europe in 1520 by Portuguese explorers returning from Southern China and thus became known as the ‘Portuguese Ora...   Full Article
 
Peach Kernel Oil
Prunus persica THE TREE This small to tall tree can reach a height of 2 to 10 m. It is a deciduous tree with long lanceolate leaves (7 to 15 cm) that grow on reddish branches. Like many of the fruit trees, the solitary pink flowers appear before the leaves in early spring. The fruits ripen throughout the summer from July to September. They are large and round, with a whitish or yellow flesh, a well known velvety skin and a rough, deeply furrowed seed, cal...   Full Article
 
Pepper, Black
Piper nigrum Family Piperaceae Black pepper is considered to be the 'king of spice'. It has held his popularity for thousands of years and to these days is still one of the major ingredients in the modern kitchen and in perfumery. ORIGIN OF THE NAME The name ‘pepper’ is derived from the Latin ‘piper’, which in turn originates from the ancient Sanskrit pippali. Other members of the Piper genus are Cubeb (Piper cubeba) from Indonesia and ...   Full Article
 
Peppermint
Mentha x piperita Family Lamiaceae (Labiatae) ORIGIN OF THE NAME The botanical name Mentha originates from Greek mythology where Pluto, the god of the dead, fell in love with Minthe, a beautiful nymph, causing great distress to Pluto’s goddess-wife Persephone. Persephone became jealous and changed Minthe into a sweet smelling herb. Pluto could not bring Minthe back to life but he gave her plant a fragrant aroma. The Latin ...   Full Article
 
Pomegranate
Family Punicaceae Punica granatum To order Pomegranate Synonyms: Punica malus Grenadier. Cortex granati. Ecorce de Granade. Granatwurzelrinde. Melogranato. Malicorio. Scorzo del Melogranati. Cortezade Granada. Anardana, Dadim, Dadima, Fruit of the Dead, Granada, Grenade, Grenadier, Pomme Grena...   Full Article
 
Ravintsara versus Ravensara
Cinnamonum camphora Family: Lauraceae THE TREE Ravensara aromatica is native to Australia, Tasmania and Madagascar and thrives in humid conditions of rain forests with an altitude between 70 and 100 metres. It grows to a height of 20 metres with several buttress roots at the base. The bark is reddish and the leaves are simple elliptical in shape. The flowers are small and green and a fruit is produced with six septum inside. Traditionally, the Mal...   Full Article
 
Rosalina
Melaeuca ericifolia Family: Myrtaceae THE TREE Rosalina is a tall erect bushy shrub or a small tree growing to a height of 6 to 9 m with a bushy crown and a papery bark. Its leaves are soft to the touch, long and narrow. It thrives along creeks, behind sand dunes and in swamps for which it received the name of ‘swamp paper bark’. It is mostly found in Northern Tasmania, Bass Strait Islands, in Southern Victoria and along the coast to Northern ...   Full Article
 
Rosemary, cineole 1,8 and verbenone
Rosmarinus officinalis Family Labiatae (Lamiaceae) Photos: Bee pollinating pink rosemary, common rosemary in springtime. Devon 2012 ORIGIN OF THE NAME The name ‘rosemary’ is derived from the Latin ros marinus meaning ‘rose of the sea’ or ‘sea dew’. Rosemary has several chemotypes used in aromatherapy: 1,8-cineole (the commonly used rosemary), camphor-borneol and verbenone. Other varieties include: - Verbena scented Rosemary (Ros...   Full Article
 
Seabuckthorne
Hippophae Rhamnoides Family Rhamnaceae ORIGIN OF THE NAME The botanical name Hippophae means ‘shiny horse’ , hippo (cheval) and phaos (shining). According to Theophrates and Dioscorides, horses fed with seabuckthorne would gain weight more quickly and would have a shiny coat. It is also supposed to cure equine blindness. Pegasus was said to eat the leaves to assist becoming airborne. THE PLANT Sea Buckthorn is a hardy cold resistant shrub wit...   Full Article
 
Shea Butter
Buttyrospermum parkii THE TREE Also know as Byttyrospermum vittaleria or Vitalleria paradoxa, the shea tree occurs naturally in a wide band across Africa, south of the Sahara desert. It grows freely in the savannahs of half a dozen countries and is predominant in Ghana and Burkina Faso. It is a tall tree that takes 40 years to reach maturity and a height of 20m. It produces fruits the size of a large plum, formed of an outer skin, a thin fleshy layer and a...   Full Article
 
Tamanu
Callopyollum inophyllum Family: Clusiaceae ORIGIN The tree originates from Polynesia where it is widespread on most of the islands. The large glossy leaves gave the tree its name ‘Calophyllum’ meaning ‘beautiful leaves’ or ‘Alexandrian laurel’. Its luscious foliage earned it its popularity as an ornamental tree and it is often planted along avenues or found in lowland forest in villages. If left to its own devices, It would prefer the se...   Full Article
 
Tea Tree
Melaleuca alternifolia Family Myrtaceae ORIGIN OF THE NAME The name originates from the Greek ‘melas’ meaning ‘black' and 'leukos’ meaning white referring to the contrast between the white bark and dark green foliage of the tree Tea Tree is one of 34 species of Melaleuca (Paperbark) trees unique to New South Wales. There are as many as 100 species of Melaleuca found the world over. Others familiar to aromatherapists are: - Melaleuca quinqu...   Full Article
 
Vetiver
Vetiveria zizanoides syn Andropogon muricatus Family: Gramineae (Poaceae) ORIGIN OF THE NAME The common name vetiver originates from the Tamil ‘vetiverr’, meaning ‘hatcheted up’ – a description of the way in which the roots are collected. In Java vetiver is called ‘akar wangi’ or ‘fragrant root’. It is also called ‘Ushira’ in Sanskrit and ‘Khus’ in Hindi. In India it is called khas khas’, meaning aromatic root. ...   Full Article
 
Violet Leaf Absolute
Family: Violaceae Botanical name: Viola odorata Parts used : Leaves Distillation: solvent extracted Colour: Dark Green brown, becomes solid when temperature drops Aroma: Earthy, grassy, slightly sweet Note: Middle to base note Main constituents: Nonadienal, parmone, hexyl alcohol, bezyl alcohol, ionone, viola quercitin Yield: 0.1% Properties: calming, comforting, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant and decongestant v\:* {behavior:url(#default#...   Full Article
 
Witch Hazel
Hamamelis Virginiana THE TREE Witch Hazel is a deciduous shurb or small tree that grows to a height of about 5 m. The leaves are alternate with small teeth and a long pointed tip. They are 10-15 cm long of a deep dark green with a shiny upperside. The flowers, the fruits and the buds all appear simultaneously in the autumn which is a rarity among trees. The flowers are bright yellow and are formed of four thin elongated petals. The plant originates from...   Full Article
 
Ylang Ylang
Cananga odorata var. genuina Family: Annonaceae ORIGIN OF THE NAME The common name ylang ylang originates from the Philippine ‘alang-ilang’, meaning ‘ ‘flower of flowers’ – a description of the way in which the flowers flutter or hang in the breeze. It is sometimes called ’cheap man’s jasmine’ or ‘Crown of the East’ or ‘Perfume Tree’. There are five grades of ylang ylang produced through fractional distillation of Cananga odorata var. G...   Full Article
 
 
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