Materia Aromatica October 2011 Newsletter and Special Offers


October 2011 Newsletter


The winter is now fast approaching.  The heat of the summer sunshine and the relaxed holiday atmosphere have now gone, replaced by rather cold mornings and a frenzy of activity to get every one ready for work or for school.  Over the summer, we have source a new oil (or more accurately a CO2 extract) from the French Alps.  Sea buckthorne is extracted from bright orange fruits that are highly nutritious and invaluable in skin repair and general nutrition.   Our certified organic CO2 extract is a concentrated source of vitamins and essential fatty acids that have been used for thousands of years for their nourishing, anti ageing and life enhancing effects.

Due to popular request, we include several recipes for you to try at home.


Sea Buckthorne

Hippophae Rhamnoides

Family Rhamnaceae



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.



Sea Buckthorn is a hardy cold resistant shrub with spiny branches. It has a dense root system. It is undemanding and will thrive in poor soils, colonising quickly any open space such as sand dunes and mountainous areas. These characteristics make seabuckthorne and ideal choice to prevent or slow down soil erosion and desertification. It has been used in many places to that effect.

Please note that Sea Buckthorn is completely unrelated to regular Buckthorn. It is found growing from the north of Portugal to the Pyrenees, across the Alps then south in the Balkans, over in Turkey and to the east in central Russia, Mongolia, Korea and Japan.

Seabuckthorne has male and female plants. To produce berries one will of course need both. Despite the poor soil conditions this bush enjoys, the edible orange berries are one of the richest sources of natural vitamins A, C, E - hence the nickname given to the plant 'ACE'.  It is also a rich source of vitamin B, carotenes, essential fatty acids (omega 3, 7, 6 & 9), flavonoids and other beneficial components.  The berries are bright orange and have a sour taste combined with the characteristic flavour of the fruit. It is said to contain 30 times more vitamin C than an orange.

Every part of the plant is used and nothing goes to waste.
- Leaves and branches are used to make animal feed and herbal teas for human consumption
- The berries are used to make juice, syrop, jam, sauces, liqueur
- The oil (which can be extracted 1. from the seeds only and is then pale yellow, 2. from the seeds and the pulp of the fruit and is then orange, 3. can be a maceration of the fruits in sunflower or olive) is used as a culinary ingredient and in beauty products.



The oil is produced organically in France .  It is the CO2 extraction of the seeds and berries and is dark orange. 

Sea Buckthorn oil provides an unsurpassed natural source of vitamins A , E, B1, B2, K and P, carotenes, flavonoids, tocopherols, essential fatty acids and phytosterols.

Biological studies suggest that the restorative action of the Sea Buckthorn oil may be in part due to its high content of anri-oxydant and essential fatty acids (EFA), carotenes, tocopherols and phytosterols, which are all important for the maintenance of a healthy skin. 85% of the fatty acid contents is made of omega 3, 6, 7 and 9.

Among the carotenes found in Sea Buckthorn are alfa- and beta-carotenes, lycopene, cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, taraxanthin and phytofluin. Tocopherols are mostly represented by vitamin E and gamma-tocopherol. Phytosterols of Sea Buckthorn include beta-sitosterol, beta-amirol and erithrodiol.



The medicinal properties of Sea Buckthorn oil have been ascribed to its chemical make up and its hign content of flavonoids, carotenoids, fatty acids, vitamins etc...  Clinical studies and research carried out throughout the 20th century have demonstrated the usefulness of sea buckthorne to help with many medical conditions and particularly skin repair.   A component of the the oil, palmitoleic acid is also a compoent of skin tissue.  It is considered a important agent in treating burns, ulcers, wounds, eczema, sun damage, atopic dermatitis, radiation treatment and cosmetic laser surgery.
The oil of sea-buckthorne has become an ingredient of sun block products.  It has UV blocking properties, acting also as an emolient, anti-inflammatory and promoting healing and regeneration of tissues.

The Swiss naturopathic Alfred Vogel recommended Sea Buckthorn in his book 'The Nature Doctor', for those who are suffering from constant infections, bleeding of the gums and mucous membranes.

As it promotes cell rejuvenation it makes an ideal ingredient in blends designed for malnourished or prematurely aging skin, wrinkles and dryness. Skin care products made of Sea Buckthorn are valued for their rejuvenating, restorative and anti-aging action.



The oil is a highly contentrated product and only a tiny amount will be sufficient. Generally add 2 to 5% in a blend or use neat (1 to 2 drops only) topically (over a small area) on a wound, burn, eczema ...

The oil is dark orange.  It will give the skin a sun-kissed glow that some might like.  If not this can easily be concealed by make-up or used only at night.  Expect your pillow to be stained,  fortunately not in a bad way. A hot wash will disolve all unwanted traces.



Seabuckthorne is a wonderful oil and has rapid healing effect on the skin. Only very little is needed.  The oil is very rich and goes a long way.  Try it and you will be hooked.

We have put a few ideas for you to try at home.  These can be amended to suit tastes and needs.  We are always happy to give advise if needed.

These recipes are based on making 100 ml bottle of blend with an essential oil content of 1%

- Rejuvenating oil
This is packed with anti-oxidents and combine a range of oils specifically chosen to smooth out unwanted lines.  Neroli and frankincense are ideal for maintaining a young looking skin. Bergamot adds a hint of freshness and transform the blend into a deliciously fragrant moisturizer.

Rosehip - 24 %
borage - 20 %
camellia -25 %
argan - 25 %
seabuckthorne - 5%
neroli - 7 drops
frankincense - 13 drops
bergamot bf - 9 drops

- Sun oil
This blend is NOT to be used as sun screen. This will not protect the skin from UV rays but will bring a soothing and healing effect to a dry, sun-burnt skin.  Use after exposure to the sun or sun bed.

avocado - 30
sesame - 34
shea butter - 30
seabuckthorne -5

This will have to be melted before use as the shea will solidify in the bottle.  If this is not appealing try the following in a jar

Avocado - 10%
Shea Butter - 85%
Seabuckthorne - 5%

The nilotica shea butter that Materia Aromatica stock is naturally soft and creamy.  This will make a luxurious body butter to use after a shower and will be easy  and no fuss to apply.

- Acne
Jojoba - 40
Rosehip - 30
Argan - 24
Seabuckthorne - 5 
Helichrysum - 5 drops
German chamomile - 10 drops
Geranium - 10 drops
Lavender - 10 drops

- Eczema
Jooba - 24
shea butter - 50
Clendula - 20
Seabuckthorne - 5

Depending on the sensitivity of the skin, use as is or add 10 drops german chamomile.

- Rosaceae
Claims have been made that seabuckthorne kills the demodex mite and helps with reducing the symptoms of this unfortunate condition due to its anti-inflammatory properties.  Claims have been made to the contrary.  This has raised a lot of controversy.  We would say that it is worth a try as the feedback from our small sample of human 'guinea pigs' has demonstrated an amelioration of the condition of the skin.

The following blend combines oils suited to repair damaged skin, to reduce inflammation caused by broken capillaries, to deal with the demodex mites, should they be the cause of the condition. Apply 1 to 2 drops twice a day. Try for a few weeks.

It makes a great blend that can also be used as a nourishing night oil or rejuvenating oil. It will certainly look after your skin.

Rosehip - 44%
Camelia - 50%
Seabuckthorne - 5%
Tea tree - 10 drops
German Chamomile - 10 drops
Helichrysum - 5 drops
Lavender - 5 drops

References: The Nature Doctor by Alfred Vogel
Important therapeutic Uses of Sea Buckthron, Alam Zeb 2004


Birthday / Gift Cards

by Iona Mackenzie


Iona MacKenzie has done design work for Materia Aromatica on a few occasions. 

Her work is particularly refined, elegant, always atmospheric. 

She has designed 3 luxury cards, picturing aromatic plants widely used and found in the Aromathepist's box.  The pictures are chosen from Iona's large collection of artistic photographs. The cards are hand-made using a high quality cotton watercolour paper by Arches (France). The top edge of the card is a naturally textured deckle edge made during the manufacturing process of the paper.

"To facilitate the essential expression of the nature within something, without obstructing its light is my practice. I see this as a way that we may experience nature’s gifts to meet our own complex human experiences.

Relationship between all life becomes consciously from an essential point, which might allow a more truely harmonious possibility.


Special Offers


End 15th November 2011

20% off retail & trade prices on a selection of items

All products are certified organic by the Soil Association unless otherwise specified

Follow the links to access the Special Offers Section of the website


Essential oils 

German Chamomile   -   Eucalyptus radiata

Fragonia   -   Frankincense

Kunzea   -   Laurel

Myrtle   -   Niaouli

Black Pepper   -   Rosemary Camphor


Essential Waters

Neroli   -   Rose


Vegetable / Carrier Oils

Argan   -   Borage

Rosehip   -   St Johns Wort

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