Cleanser For Dry or Frail Skin

Cleanser for dry, sensitive and mature skin   This recipe is based on the original Galen’s Cold Cream, which is thousands of years old. This rich cream sets firm, but liquefies onRead More...

Clary sage (Salvia sclaria)

Clary sage (Salvia sclaria) Family: Labiatae or Lamiaceae Description: Clary sage is a tall biennial or perennial herb with big, hairy, purple-green leaves and prolific, small blue-violet or white flowers. The essentialRead More...

Clary

CLARY   Years ago clary was used as an alternative to hops in the brewing of beer. It made a much more intoxicating drink! In France, it was used in the makingRead More...

Cinnamon Leaf (Cinnamomum verum)

Cinnamon Leaf (Cinnamomum zeylcinicum, Cinnamomum verum) Family: Lauraceae Description: Cinnamon is a tropical evergreen tree with fragrant hark and oval leaves, white flowers and blue-white berries. The essential oil is steam—or water-distilledRead More...

Chicory

CHICORY The name chicory is believed to be of Egyptian origin, but it was the Romans who relished the plant as a cooked vegetable or in salads and who took the herbRead More...

Yarrow

YARROW Yarrow was highly prized as a wound herb. It is said that Achilles used the fresh herb to stop the flow of blood from the wounds of his soldiers. Later yarrowRead More...

Chickweed

CHICKWEED In former times the prolific chickweed was a popular green vegetable sold by itinerant street vendors. It was eaten like spinach and said to taste just as good.   Chickweed, stellariaRead More...

Woodruff

WOODRUFF   In the Middle Ages woodruff was valued as a strewing herb, laid over the floor to keep the room smelling sweet. Woodruff was also laid among the linen to keepRead More...

Chervil

CHER VIL In medieval times chervil was considered to be one of the important Lenten herbs. The leaves were eaten along with several other herbs to clear the body of winter illsRead More...

Wood Betony

WOOD BETONY Nowadays betony is a little known herb but in classical times it was an important plant used in the treatment of many diseases. It was also believed to ward offRead More...

Champaca (Michelia chumpaca)

Champaca (Michelia chumpaca)   Champaca or champa is one of several floral absolutes from India that is gradually being introduced into aromatherapy. Champaca absolute is obtained by solvent extraction of the fragrant,Read More...

Watercress

WATERCRESS The tangy, pungent taste of the leaves gave rise to the plant’s generic name of nasturtium, which comes from the Latin nasi tortium, meaning ‘nose-twisting’. It is rich in Vitamin CRead More...

Chamomile

CHAMOMILE Long ago chamomile was grown a/l round herb gardens in the belief that it would keep other plants growing near free from disease, and it was known as the ‘Plant’s Physician.’Read More...

Virginian cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)

Virginian cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana) Family: Cupressaceae Description: Virginian cedarwood is a slow-growing, majestic evergreen tree with brown cones, also commonly called red cedar. The essential oil is steam-distilled from sawdust and otherRead More...

Centaury

CENTAURY   Centaury was known to the old herbalists as ‘Earth Gall’ because of its bitter taste. The name centaury was said to come from the Greek Centaur Chiron who, when woundedRead More...

Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides)

Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides, Andropogon muricatus) Family: Gramineae or Poaceae Description: Vetiver is a tall, fragrant, densely tufted perennial grass, with an extensive network of fibrous aromatic roots. The essential oil is steam-distilledRead More...

Catnep

CATNEP   For centuries catnep has been grown in France where the young leaves and new shoots have traditionally been used as a flavouring.   Catnep, nepeta cataria, is a perennial wildRead More...

Verbena (Lippia citriadora, Verbena triphylla)

Verbena (Lippia citriadora, Verbena triphylla, Alaysia triphylla) Family: Verbenaceae Description: Verbena is a deciduous perennial shrub with fragrant lance-shaped green leaves and small white or purple flowers. The essential oil is steam-distilledRead More...

Carrot seed (Daucus carota)

Carrot seed (Daucus carota) Family: Umbellifereae or Apiaceae Description: Carrot-seed essential oil comes from the wild carrot, not the common cultivated carrot. Wild carrot is an annual or biennial herb with aRead More...

Valerian

VALERIAN In the Middle Ages valerian was not only valued for its medicinal qualities but was used as a perfume and a flavouring herb, It is said that rats are attracted byRead More...

Cardamom (Ellettaria cardamom urn)

Cardamom (Ellettaria cardamom urn) Family: Zingiberaceae Description: Cardamom is perennial, reedlike herb with long, blade-shaped leaves and yellow flowers with purple tips, which are followed by oblong red-brown or green seedpods. TheRead More...

Uses For Essential Oils

Uses for essential oils   Baths After massage, aromatic bathing with essential oils is the most effective and enjoyable aromatherapy treatment. The therapeutic effects of water and bathing are well known, butRead More...

Caraway

CARAWAY   Caraway has been in medicinal use since ancient times: Dioscorides, Greek physician of the first century AD, wrote that caraway oil was a good tonic for girls pale of face.Read More...

Uplifting Scents

Uplifting scents   Uplifting scents contain some of the most useful essential oils because they help alleviate common psychological symptoms including depression, anxiety, melancholy and apathy. Some of these moods are notRead More...

Calming Scents

Calming scents Stress and tension are major problems in today’s society and using calming essential oils to relieve their symptoms is one of the major functions of aromatherapy. However, it is notRead More...

Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa)

Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) Tuberose is a tender perennial with large, white, fragrant flowers resembling lilies. It is among the most expensive of the floral absolutes, but is highly valued for its wonderfulRead More...

Calamint

CALAMINT In the past calamint was used to calm hysterical outbursts — the sufferer was given calamint conserve to sip and a posy of the herb was tucked into the bodice soRead More...

Toothache Treatment

Toothache There are two useful aromatherapy remedies you can use to treat toothache as first aid before you visit the dentist. • Put a drop of clove oil on a cotton woolRead More...

Burn Treatment

Burns The most important action to take is to immediately cool the skin by plunging the affected body part into ice-cold water and leaving it there for at least five minutes. •Read More...

Ti-tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)

Ti-tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) Family: Myrtaceae Description: Ti-tree is also spelled tea-tree, and is a shrub or small tree with needlelike leaves, which grows best in swampy ground. Also known as paper bark,Read More...

Burdock

BURDOCK Burdock was a popular herb in folk medicine and the seeds, hung in a bag around the neck, were commonly believed to protect the wearer against rheumatism.   Burdock, arctium lappa,Read More...

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) Family: Labiatae or Lamiaceae Description: Thyme is a perennial aromatic shrub with small green-grey leaves and violet or white flowers. The essential oil is steam— or water-distilled from theRead More...

Bruise Treatment

Bruises • An effective first-aid remedy is to use a cold compress of witch hazel to reduce the pain and swelling. Follow this with further cold compresses using fennel, hyssop or lavender.Read More...

Thyme

THYME The Greeks and Romans would burn quantities of thyme to fumigate their rooms. In medieval times thyme was used in drinks and cordials, and because they were slightly intoxicating the herbRead More...

Bronchitis Treatment

Bronchitis This is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes and may be either an acute condition caused by a viral infection or a chronic condition usually caused by smoking or environmental factors.Read More...

Sweet Violet

SWEET VIOLET In early times violets were much valued as a cure for sleeplessness for which ailment the feet were wrapped in cloths soaked in an infusion and the herb was boundRead More...

Borage

BORAGE A plant from the shores of the Mediterranean, borage has been known for centuries for lifting the spirits. Traditionally borage is added to drinks and salads to provide a refreshing andRead More...

Sweet Marjoram

SWEET MARJORAM In ancient times marjoram was used in the preservation of meat for its disinfectant quality. As a medicinal herb it was used both internally and externally for stomach ailments.  Read More...

Boils and Abscess Treatment

Abscesses and boils • For abscesses and boils, the most effective aromatherapy treatment is repeated hot compresses of roman chamomile, lavender or ti-tree. • To treat boils, keep the whole area hygienicRead More...

Sweet Flag

SWEET FLAG Sweet flag was known as sweet rush and highly prized as a strewing herb, covering the floors and filling the rooms with its sweet scent. It was also believed toRead More...

Blessed Thistle

BLESSED THISTLE In the Middle Ages this handsome member of the thistle family was used in the treatment of many diseases. Holy powers were attributed to the herb and it thus cameRead More...

Sweet fennel (Anethum foeniculum)

Sweet fennel (Foeniculum vulgare, Foeniculum officinale, Anethum foeniculum) Family: Umbelliferae or Apiaceae Description: Sweet fennel is a biennial or perennial herb with distinctive, delicate feathery leaves and golden flowers. The essential oilRead More...

Black pepper (Piper nigrum)

Black pepper (Piper nigrum) Family: Piperaceae Description: Black pepper is a perennial, woody vine with heart-shaped leaves and white flowers, which turn into berries or peppercorns. The essential oil is steam-distilled fromRead More...

Sweet Cicely

SWEET CICELY In former times the sweet cicely root was more commonly used than the leaf. It was a popular pot herb, being boiled with other root vegetables and eaten with vinegarRead More...

Bergamot

BERGAMOT Bergamot is a native plant of North America where the wild plant, monarda fistulosa, is also widely used. Bergamot tea was popular with the North American Indians of the Oswego areaRead More...

Sunflower

SUNFLOWER The sunflower originally came from Peru in the sixteenth century where, as in Mexico, a number of different varieties grow in the wild. It was a plant highly prized by theRead More...

Benzoin (Styrax benzoin)

Benzoin (Styrax benzoin) Family: Styracaceae Description: Benzoin is a tropical tree with pale-green leaves and hard-shelled fruit. Incisions into the bark produce a resin that hardens into brown ‘tears’ with reddish streaks.Read More...

Summer Savory

SUMMER SAVORY The name savory is derived from its old name of satureia, which is believed to have meant ‘satyr’ – a reference to the plant’s supposedly aphrodisiacal qualities.   Summer savory,Read More...

Before and After Sun Care

Before-and-after sun-care regime   Currently there are so many warnings about exposure to the sun that knowing how to protect your skin from harmful rays is quite daunting. Despite this mood ofRead More...

Stimulating Scents

Stimulating scents Stimulating essential oils are enlivening for both body and mind, and almost everyone feels they need a little extra stimulus to get going once in a while. Like all stimulants,Read More...

Beauty Body Scrub

Skin brushing and body scrubs   Skin brushing and body scrubs are two exfoliating treatments that are of prime importance in looking after your skin. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and dirtRead More...

Steam Inhalation

Steam inhalation   Steam inhalations have been used for a long time to treat colds, coughs, sore throats, sinusitis, chest infections and any other respiratory problems. Before the widespread availability of essentialRead More...

Bay (Pimenta acris, Pimenta racemosa)

Bay   (Pimenta acris, Pimenta racemosa) Family: Myrtaceae Description: Bay is also known as bay rum tree or West Indian bay. This distinguishes it from the bay laurel, which is generally usedRead More...

St John's Wort

ST JOHN’S WORT St John’s wort has been used to cure many ailments for hundreds of years. ‘Wort’ is an Anglo-Saxon word meaning a medicinal herb. The name St John’s wort cameRead More...

Basil, holy basil (Ocimum sanctum)

Basil, holy basil (Ocimum basilicum, Ocimum sanctum) Family: Labiatae or Lamiaceae Description: Basil is a tender, aromatic annual herb with green leaves and small white or pink flowers. The essential oil isRead More...

Sprain Treatment

Sprains and strains • Make cold compresses of lavender or german chamomile and keep replacing them with fresh ones until the swelling subsides and the initial level of pain has receded. StrapRead More...

Base Oils

Base oils   Base oils are the carrier oils in which the essential oils are diluted before massage. Largely composed of fatty acids, the base oils used in aromatherapy massage are allRead More...

Southernwood

SOUTHERNWOOD Years ago bunches of the strong-smelling southern wood were carried through evil-smelling streets before the days of proper drainage. It was believed to be a protection against infection for the bearer.Read More...

Barberry

BARBERRY Years ago barberry root bark was widely used to dye wool a lovely yellow, but the plant was mainly grown for the berries. Its country name of ‘pipperidge bush’, derived fromRead More...

Solidago

SOLIDAGO The generic name solidago is from the Latin solidare, meaning to join together or make whole — a reference to the healing properties of the plant, which was once carried byRead More...

Atlas cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)

Atlas cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) Family: Pinaceae Description: Atlas cedarwood originated from the famous biblical cedars of Lebanon. It I a tall, majestic evergreen tree that grows to more than 30 m (100Read More...

Soapwort

SOAF WORT Soapwort has been used for its cleansing properties since the time of the Ancient Greeks. It is still occasionally used for washing delicate antique fabrics and tapestries — and alsoRead More...

Athletes Foot Treatment

Athletes foot This irritating fungal infection between the toes responds well to ti-tree, myrrh and lavender. • Mix 3 drops of any of these essential oils into 5 ml (1 tsp) ofRead More...

Skin Toner For Oil Skin

Skin toner for youthful and oily skin   Making your own aromatherapy skin toners is simple and you only use natural ingredients that are kind to your skin. If you have sensitiveRead More...

Asthma Treatment

Asthma • If you suffer an asthma attack, sit down somewhere quiet and sniff lavender, frankincense, bergamot or roman chamomile directly from the bottle or from a tissue with a few dropsRead More...

Skin Toner For Dry Sensitive Skin

Skin toner for dry, sensitive and mature skin   The following toner uses the hydrating, stimulating and anti-inflammatory properties of rose in synergy with rose water. It is especially suited to drRead More...

Arnica

ARNICA Arnica grows wild in the mountains of Europe where the dried leaves used to be smoked as a kind of tobacco. Since early times it has been used in medicines forRead More...

Skin Toner

Skin toner for dry, sensitive and mature skin   The following toner uses the hydrating, stimulating and anti-inflammatory properties of rose in synergy with rose water. It is especially suited to drRead More...

Antiseptic Washes

Antiseptic washes   All essential oils are antiseptic, although this quality is more pronounced in some oils than in others. This means that essential oils make excellent antiseptic washes for cleaning outRead More...

Skin Care

Skin care   The judicious use of essential oils in skin care helps to rejuvenate and beautify the face and body. We can call this cosmetic aromatherapy’ — a natural way toRead More...

Angelica root (Angelica archangehica)

Angelica root (Angelica archangehica, Angelica officinalis) Family: Umbelliferae or Apiaceae Description: Angelica is a biennial or perennial hairy herb with large, ferny leaves, white flowers and a large rhizome (underground stem). TheRead More...

Sinusitis Treatment

Sinusitis • The best remedy is regular steam inhalations, up to five times a day, using one or more of the following essential oils: lavender, ti-tree, benzoin (in the form of Friar’sRead More...

Angelica

ANGELICA In the Middle Ages, when Europe was ravaged by the plague, an angel apparently came to a monk in a vision, telling him this herb would effect a cure — andRead More...

Simple Hand Cream

Simple hand cream   Aromatherapy hand creams moisturize dry skin and help to heal any minor abrasions. This recipe is simple to make because there is no flower water to incorporate. TheRead More...

Ambrette seed (Abelmoschus moschatus)

Ambrette seed (Abelmoschus moschatus)   Ambrette seed is a tropical shrub. The seeds are used as a spice in the East, and the Arabs use them to flavour coffee. Ambrette seed isRead More...

Sensuous Scents

Sensuous scents   Neither hyped up and tense nor so relaxed that you want to fall asleep. If more than one person is involved, you should both like the perfume — otherwiseRead More...

Aloe

ALOE The Greeks and Egyptians knew the value of’ aloe vera juice, using it in their medicines and cosmetic preparations. It is believed to have been used by Cleopatra to keep herRead More...

Selfheal

SELFHEAL Selfheal was once traditionally considered a great healer of wounds, hence the name and variants such as allheal, hockheal and woundwort.   Selfheal, prunella vulgaris, is a low-growing attractive little perennialRead More...

All Purpose Body Lotion

All-purpose body lotion   Body lotions are moisturizers for the body. They are thinner than face creams, so they spread easily over the body and are quickly absorbed by the skin. BodyRead More...

Sandalwood (Santalum album)

Sandalwood (Santalum album) Family: Santalaceae Description: Sandalwood is a small evergreen tree with pinky-purple flowers. Mysore in India is the main producer of sandalwood essential oil, which is steam- or water-distilled fromRead More...

Agrimony

AGRIMONY In ancient Greece, agrimony was believed to have magical powers, including that of healing the eyes. Later it was added to a mixture of herbs to heal wounds and treat snakeRead More...

Salad Burnet

SALAD BURNET   In Tudor times, salad burnet was planted in knot gardens in Britain. Originally a native of the Mediterranean countries, it was later taken to America by the Pilgrim Fathers.Read More...

Acne Treatment

Acne   Refer to the advice on oily skin care, and in addition try the following treatments. • Dab individual spots several times a day with a drop of neat ti-tree oilRead More...

Sage

SAGE The botanical name given to sage comes from the Latin ‘salvere’ meaning to be well and refers to the healing properties of the herb. Sage was widely used to steady theRead More...

Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora)

Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora) Family: Lauraceae Description: Rosewood is also known as bois de rose, and is a tropical, evergreen tree with yellow flowers. The essential oil is steam-distilled and occasionally water-distilled fromRead More...

Rosemary

ROSEMARY Rosemary was believed to stimulate the brain and help the memory and so it came to be associated with remembrance. The old custom of leaving rosemary at the graveside and forRead More...

Romantic Scents

Romantic scents   Romance is a special intimate mood which many people would like more of in their lives. Being romantic is different from feeling sexy and erotic and need not beRead More...

Rock rose (Cistus landaniferus)

Rock rose (Cistus landaniferus) Family: Cistaceae Description: Rock rose is also commonly known as labdanum and cistus. It is a small, sticky shrub with lance-shaped leaves and fragrant white flowers that lastRead More...

Rich Moisturiser For Sensitive Skin

Rich moisturizer for dry, sensitive and mature skin     Here is a recipe for a rich face cream. It is particularly suitable if the face has been exposed to the dryingRead More...

Rich Moisturiser For Normal Skin

Rich moisturizer for normal skin   The following recipe uses a moisturizing base cream, which has no fragrance, colour or other additives. One advantage of using a base cream is that home—madeRead More...

Rejuvenating Hot Oil

Rejuvenating hot-oil treatment   The scalp benefits from aromatherapy massage and treatments just as much as the face. This rejuvenating hot-oil treatment can be given before or after a facial massage, ifRead More...

Refreshing Foot Lotion

Refreshing foot lotion   This stimulating foot lotion revives tired feet and improves their appearance. Apply it after soaking your feet in hot water for ten minutes, then scrubbing off any deadRead More...

Purslane

PURSLANE For centuries purslane has been used in cooking as a flavouring herb. Purslane tea was considered to be good for all pains in the head which resulted from lack of sleep.Read More...

Primrose

PRIMROSE In former times the primrose grew wild in great profusion and the flowers were used in cooking. It was also believed to be a good remedy for rheumatism and for muscularRead More...

PMS and PMT Aids

PMS/PMT Pre-menstrual syndrome (also known as pre-menstrual tension) affects many women to varying degrees. PMS most usually occurs a few days or even a week before your period is due, but occasionallyRead More...

Plantain

PLANTAIN In an old Anglo-Saxon manual of medicinal preparations called the Lacaunga there is a song known as the ‘lay of the nine herbs’. One of the nine magic herbs is givenRead More...

Pine needle (Pinus sylvestris)

Pine needle (Pinus sylvestris) Family: Pinaceae Description: Pine is also known as Scotch pine, and is a tall evergreen tree with distinctive fissured, reddish-brown bark, needle-type leaves and pine cones. The essentialRead More...

Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium subsp. amara)

Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium subsp. amara) Family: Rutaceae Description: Petitgrain is the bitter orange, an evergreen tree with dark-green leaves and fragrant white flowers. The essential oil is steam-distilled from the leaves andRead More...

Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) Family: Labiatae or Lamiaceae Description: Peppermint is a perennial herb with green stems and leaves and white flowers. There are many other types of mint, some of which areRead More...

Peppermint

PEPPERMINT   The Greeks and Romans used peppermint as a flavouring in cooking. It was not until the eighteenth century that peppermint began to be widely used as a medicinal plant.  Read More...

Patchouli (Pogostemom coblin)

Patchouli (Pogostemom coblin) Family: Labiatae or Lamiaceae Description: Patchouli is an aromatic, perennial shrub with large green leaves and white- pink flowers. The essential oil is steam-distilled from the dried, fermented leaves.Read More...

Parsley

PARSLEY In Ancient Greece parsley was a ceremonial plant dedicated to the dead and tombs were festooned with wreaths of parsley. Gradually it was used more both medicinally and in cooking andRead More...

Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii)

Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii) Family: Gramineae Description: Palmarosa is also known as gingergrass, russa grass and East Indian geranium oil. It is a tall, aromatic, perennial free-growing grass. The essential oil is steam-distilledRead More...

Orris

ORRIS Orris root was originally used as a medicinal herb in the treatment of dropsy and bronchial ailments. Always considered to be a noble herb, the iris, from which the root comes,Read More...

Oakmoss (Evernia prunastri)

Oakmoss (Evernia prunastri) Oakmoss is a pate-green lichen that is found growing on oak trees. Oakmoss absolute is obtained by solvent extraction from the lichen after it has been soaked in lukewarmRead More...

Nutmeg (Myristica aromatica)

Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans, Myristica officinalis, Myristica aromatica, Myristica omboinensis) Family: Myristicacese Description: Nutmeg is an aromatic, evergreen tree with dark-green leaves, yellow flowers without petals and yellowish fruits. The essential oil isRead More...

Niaouli (Melaleuca veridiflora)

Niaouli (Melaleuca quinquenervia, Melaleuca veridiflora) Family: Myrtaceae Description: Niaouli is sometimes also called gomenol, and is a small evergreen tree with papery bark, aromatic leaves and yellow flowers. The essential oil isRead More...

Nettle

NETTLE, LESSER Before flax was known and cultivated, nettle fibre was used to weave both coarse and fine cloth. Nettle leaves were used to dye yarn as a good green colour wasRead More...

Nasturtium

NASTURTIUM Nasturtium is a native of South America and was brought to Europe by the Spaniards. Until the eighteenth century nasturtium was used as a salad vegetable and the flowers were usedRead More...

Narcissus (Narcissus poeticus)

Narcissus (Narcissus poeticus) Narcissus is a common spring flower, similar to (but smaller than) the daffodil. Traditionally narcissus was used as a perfume by the Arabs, and it is still used inRead More...

Myrtle (Myrtus communis)

Myrtle (Myrtus communis) Family: Myrtaceae Description: Myrtle is an evergreen shrub with small, pointed leaves and fragrant white or pink flowers. The essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves and twigs,Read More...

Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)

Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) Family: Burseraceae Description: Myrrh is a shrubby bush or small tree with gnarled branches, aromatic leaves and white flowers. Incisions into the bark produce a yellow resin that hardensRead More...

Mullein

MULLEIN One of mullein’s country names was ‘the candlewick plant’, so called because the thick down was rubbed off the plant and used to make the wicks in lamps and candles.  Read More...

Mugwort

MUGWORT Mugwort was always considered to be a good country cure for fatigue and mugwort leaves were put into the shoes when walking to save the feet from getting weary.   Mugwort,Read More...

Motherwort

MOTHERWORT In medieval times motherwort was widely cultivated as a medicinal plant as it was considered to be of value for female complaints – hence the name.   Motherwort, leonurus cardiaca, isRead More...

Moisturiser For Oily Skin

Moisturizer for oily skin   This moisturizer for oily skin uses antiseptic essential oils that help balance and reduce sebum levels.   YOU WILL NEED   150 ml (5 fl oz) ofRead More...

Mimosa (Acacia dealbata)

Mimosa (Acacia dealbata) Mimosa is an attractive ornamental tree and its fluffy, ball-shaped yellow flowers are a familiar sight in France in early spring. The absolute is obtained by solvent extraction fromRead More...

Menstrual Cramp Aids

Menstrual cramps and fluid retention • To relieve the pain and discomfort of menstrual cramps, use repeated hot compresses of marjoram and clary sage over the abdomen. As you lie back andRead More...

Melissa (Melissa officinalis)

Melissa (Melissa officinalis) Family: Labiatae or Lamiaceae Description: Melissa is also called lemon balm or balm, and is a sweet-scented, perennial bushy herb with green serrated leaves and small white or pinkRead More...

Melilot

MELILOT Melilot was widely cultivated as animal fodder; horses, cattle and even deer would reed on it, giving it its country name of hart’s clover.   Melilot, melilotus officinalis, is a tall,Read More...

Meadowseet

MEADOWSWEET   In former times meadowsweet was often used to flavour beers and wine and was known as the honey-wine herb. It was a popular strewing herb laid upon floors and inRead More...

Marsh Mallow

MARSH MALLOW The sweet of this name was once made from the root of this herb. The plants were gathered by fishermen’s wives in the marshes of the East coast.   MarshRead More...

Marigold

MARIGOLD   In the sixteenth century marigold was a common garden plant valued by herbalists for comforting the heart and soothing the spirit. The dried flowers went into the making of brothsRead More...

Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium)

Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) Family; Myrtaceae Description: Manuka is a shrub or small tree, with flowers that strongly attract bees. Manuka honey — as well as being eaten — is also used forRead More...

Making Up Preperations

MAKING UP PREPARATIONS   There are a number of ways to make herb medicines and beauty care preparations. They are all fairly easy processes and most of the equipment required to makeRead More...

Lovage

LOVAGE   In former times, lovage cordial was a popular drink with country people, who took it for sore throats and quinsy. John Gerarde, who wrote his Herball in 1597, considered lovageRead More...

Linden blossom (Tilia vulyciris)

Linden blossom (Tilia vulyciris) Linden blossom is also known as lime blossom. Linden herbal tea is commonly drunk for its relaxing and digestive properties, and the fine honey is used in liqueurs.Read More...

Lime Flower

LIME FL0WER Lime was formerly known as the linden tree, so beloved by poets. Linden tea was a popular digestive tea for many years in France; ‘tilleul’, made with dried lime flowers,Read More...

Lesser Celandine

LESSER CELANDINE The favourite wild flower of the poet Wordsworth, who wrote to the small celandine “Pleasures newly found are sweet / when they lie about our feet’   The lesser celandine,Read More...

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus, Cymbopogon flexuosus) Family: Gramineae or Poaceae Description: Lemongrass is a tall, aromatic, perennial, fast-growing grass. The two varieties are distinct species, but share similar properties. The essential oil isRead More...

Lemon-scented Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora)

Lemon-scented Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora) Family: Myrtaceae Description: Lemon-scented eucalyptus is a tall evergreen tree with attractive pink and grey variegated bark. Although similar to the other eucalyptus species, it is distinguished byRead More...

Lemon Verbena

LEMON VERBENA Originating from Chile, lemon verbena was introduced into Europe in the late eighteenth century and lemon verbena tea has been popular in France and Spain ever since.   Lemon verbena,Read More...

Lemon Balm

LEMON BALM Down the ages lemon balm has been used to cure many ailments including epilepsy and melancholia. Balm tea was also believed to ensure a long and trouble-free life.   LemonRead More...

Lavender

LAVENDER Lavender has been popular for its sweet scent since the time of the Romans when it was added to the bath water for its perfume. Later it was used as aRead More...

Laryngitis and Sore Throat Treatment

Laryngitis and sore throats Laryngitis is an acute inflammation of the larynx, and often occurs after a cold, cough or sore throat. Sore throats can occur as part of a cold orRead More...

Ladies Mantle

LADY’S MANTLE In the Middle Ages the herb came to be known as lady’s mantle because of the scalloped shape of its leaves, which were thought to resemble the mantle of theRead More...

Ladies Bedstraw

LADY’S BEDSTRAW Lady’s bedstraw was once used as a form of bedding, hence its country name. Before rennet was discovered it was widely used to curdle milk and in the making ofRead More...

Juniper berry (Juniperus communis)

Juniper berry (Juniperus communis) Family: Cupressaceae Description: Juniper is a small tree with needle-type leaves, greenish-yellow flowers and small berries. The essential oil is steam-distilled from the crushed and partly dried berries.Read More...

Jonquil (Narcissus Jonquilla)

Jonquil (Narcissus Jonquilla)   Jonquil is a fragrant relative of narcissus and is much used in the perfume industry. The absolute is obtained by solvent extraction from the flowers. Jonquil has heavy,Read More...

Insomnia Aids

Insomnia • To combat insomnia, take a warm, not hot, bath and add up to six drops in total of roman chamomile, neroli, frankincense and clary sage shortly before going to bed.Read More...

Insect Sting Treatment

Insect stings and bites Before treating an insect sling, make sure that you get the sting out if at all possible, using tweezers. • For wasp and bee stings apply repeated coldRead More...

Influenza Treatment

Influenza • Prevention is better than cure and if you feel you are going down with influenza, take a hot bath with 3 drops each of lavender and ti-tree and go toRead More...

Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis decumbens)

Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis var. decumbens) Family: Labiatae or Lamiaceae Description: Hyssop is a perennial aromatic shrub with small lance- shaped green leaves and purple- blue flowers. The essential oil is steam-distilled fromRead More...

Hyssop

HYSSOP In Biblical times hyssop was regarded as the herbal symbol of purification from sin and was used in the cleansing of holy places, though the hyssop that is mentioned in theRead More...

How To Use Oils Safely

How to use essential oils safely   Essential oils are highly concentrated, as you can deduce from the fact that it takes thousands of rose petals to produce a single drop ofRead More...

Horsetail

HORSETAIL In primeval time, the equisetum family of plants grew to the size of our present-day fir tree and there were huge forests full or them. The little horsetail of today isRead More...

Horseradish

HORSERA DISH   In the Middle Ages horseradish was widely used as a medicine in Britain. Not until many years later did it become popular as a sauce or condiment to eatRead More...

Horehound

HOREHOUND Since early times, white horehound has been widely used by country people as a remedy for lung troubles and was taken in the form of a wholesome tea or candy forRead More...

Hops

HOPS   Hops were not allowed to be cultivated on a large scale in Britain until the seventeenth century, but many of the country estates cultivated their own hop gardens, using theRead More...

Honeysuckle

HONEYSUCKLE In years gone by, all parts of the honeysuckle plant were used in herbal medicine for many different complaints. Honeysuckle was traditionally regarded as a sign of true devotion.   TheRead More...

Helichrysum (Helichrysum angustifolium, Helichrysum italicum)

Helichrysum (Helichrysum angustifolium, Helichrysum italicum) Family: Compositae or Asteraceae Description: Helichrysum is also commonly known as immortelle and everlasting. It is an aromatic herb with daisylike flowers, which dry as the plantRead More...

Heartsease

HEARTSEASE In ancient times heartsease was often used in love charms, for it was firmly believed to be a most potent herb. The country name given to it was Love-in-Idleness.   Heartsease,Read More...

Headache and Migraine Treatment

Headaches and migraines • Make a cold compress using lavender and peppermint. Apply the cold compress to your forehead and lie down in a darkened room until the pain eases. Replace theRead More...

Hay Fever Treatment

Hay fever Hay fever is an allergy to pollen and causes a runny nose, streaming eyes and constant sneezing. Try to watch a daily local weather report that includes the pollen countRead More...

Hawthorn

HAWTHORN Traditionally hawthorn was thought to have been used for the Crown of Thorns and country folk believed it to be a sacred herb. They would carry sprigs of the shrub toRead More...

Ginger (Zingiber officinalis)

Ginger (Zingiber officinalis) Family: Zingiberaceae Description: Ginger is a perennial, tropical herb with reedlike leaves, white or yellow flowers and a thick tuberous rhizome or root. The essential oil is steam-distilled fromRead More...

Gentle Preps For The Elderly

Gentle aromatherapy for the elderly   Caring for the elderly can be rewarding and increasing numbers of aromatherapists are working in care and respite homes for the elderly and in associated hospitalRead More...

Gentle Preps For Pregnancy

Gentle aromatherapy for pregnant women   Aromatherapy is nurturing and comforting and promotes a sense of happy wellbeing in pregnant women; it can also help ease some of the discomforts of pregnancy.Read More...

Gentle Preps For Children

Gentle aromatherapy for children   For the purposes of aromatherapy, it is best to categorize children into infants of between one and five years old and older children. After 14 years, theRead More...

Gentle Preps For Babies

Gentle aromatherapy for babies   If you follow the safety guidelines given opposite, alongside the adult safety guidelines, not only is it quite safe to use aromatherapy on babies, but it isRead More...

Garlic (Allium sativum)

Garlic (Allium sativum) Family: Amaryllidaceae or Liliaceae Description: Garlic is a strongly scented perennial herb with long, flat, green leaves, small white flowers and a bulb of compacted cloves. The essential oilRead More...

Garlic

GARLIC Garlic was thought to guard the eater against the plague. In England in the Middle Ages it was also given to those suffering from leprosy in the belief it would cureRead More...

Garden Mint

GARDEN MINT   In the Middle Ages it was called ‘Spere Mynte’ and was used to cure all manner of ills and as a strewing herb, laid on the floors to keepRead More...

Fumitory

FUMITORY Fumitory is said to have got its name from the smoke like appearance of its little grey-green leaves. Seen from a distance and growing in a mass, fumitory gives the appearanceRead More...

Frankincense (Boswellia carteri)

Frankincense (Boswellia carteri, Boswellia serrata) Family: Burseraceae Description: Frankincense is also known as olibanum and is a small, shrubby tree with white flowers. Incisions in the bark produce a milky-white resin thatRead More...

Flax

FLAX   Flax is one of the oldest known plants and flax seeds have been discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs. Pliny, the Roman scholar, wrote in the first century AD ‘What departmentRead More...

Feverfew

FEVERFEW In ancient times feverfew was highly valued as an effective remedy for fevers, as its name suggests. Another popular name is flirtwort, the derivation of which is more obscure!   Feverfew,Read More...

Fennel

FENNEL In ancient times fennel was a popular herb with the Greeks and Romans who ate the young shoots as a vegetable and used the seeds in cooking and for preserving foods.Read More...

Facial Steam For Deep Cleansing

Facial steam for deep cleansing   Facial steaming with essential oils offers an extra dimension to the cleansing process. A facial steam increases perspiration, deeply cleanses the pores and encourages the eliminationRead More...

Evening Primrose

EVENING PRIMROSE The evening primrose is a native of Central America, where it was used for coughs and for healing wounds. In the / 700s the seeds found their way into theRead More...

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus polybractea)

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus radiata, Eucalyptus smithi, Eucalyptus polybractea, etc.) Family: Myrtaceze Description: There are more than 600 species of eucalyptus, of which about 20 are harvested for their essential oils. TheyRead More...

Elecampane

ELECAMPANE Various legends surround the origin of the Latin name of elecampane, inula helenium. One states that it was named after a Greek island where the largest plants grew. Another that itRead More...

Elder

ELDER An elder tree growing near the house was believed to keep witches and bad spirits away. Bad luck was said to dog the footsteps of those who cut down an elderRead More...

Eczema Treatment

Eczema Eczema is usually aggravated by underlying stress and nervous tension which must also be treated. The symptoms of red, itchy, flaky skin are similar to allergic reactions and dermatitis, and theRead More...

Ear Ache Treatment

Earache • Apply hot compresses of lavender and german chamomile to the outside of the ear and its immediate surrounding area. Lie down somewhere quiet and replace the hot compresses when theyRead More...

Dog Rose

DOG ROSE Dog rose is the commonest of all wild roses in Britain and its name is said to derive from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘dagge’ which means a dagger. Whether because ofRead More...

Dill

DILL The name dill is said to have come from the Old Norse word ‘dilla’, meaning to lull, an indication as to the properties of the herb dill water was given toRead More...

Digestion Aids

Digestive problems Mild digestive problems include flatulence, nausea and indigestion. • To treat Ilatulence, try drinking a cupful of fennel tea after meals. Also massage your abdomen gently in a clockwise directionRead More...

Dandruff Treatment

Dandruff There are two types of dandruff: simple dry dandruff, where small particles of dry skin flake off the scalp and get trapped in the hair; and what is known as seborrheicRead More...

Dandelion

DANDELION   The leaves of the dandelion give the appearance of lion’s teeth and this was emphasized in the stylized drawings in the old herbals, Hence it was named by the FrenchRead More...

Damask Rose

DAMASK ROSE The rose has been treasured for its lovely fragrance over many centuries; it was first cultivated in Ancient Greece. The poet Sappho called it the Queen of Flowers.   TheRead More...

Cystitis Treatment

Cystitis • Drink lots of water and chamomile tea at the first signs of cystitis. • Use one garlic capsule as a suppository placed up the rectum. • Make an aromatic washRead More...

Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)

Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) Family: Cupressaceae Description: Cypress is an exceptionally long-lived evergreen tree with needle-type leaves, often grown near cemeteries. The essential oil is steam-distilled from the leaves and twigs. Countries ofRead More...

Cuts and Wound Treatments

Cuts, wounds and grazes • First wash the affected area with an antiseptic wash to remove all dirt. Add 5—6 drops of ti-tree or lemon to a bowl of warm water, andRead More...

Cream For Dry Hands

Cream for rough hands   The following hand cream is excellent for those who work outdoors with their hands, such as gardeners, builders and so on. The skin on the hands canRead More...

Cowslip

COWSLIP In the early herbals cowslip was known as Herb Peter or Keyflower because of the resemblance of the flowerhead to a bunch of keys hanging down — the symbol of StRead More...

Cough Treatment

Coughs Coughs can be either dry and irritable or productive’ (where the coughing gets rid of excess mucus). • Benzoin, bergamot, sandalwood, myrtle and thyme all have expectorant qualities (helping to expelRead More...

Costmary

COSTMARY In the seventeenth century costmary leaves were eaten as a salad vegetable and in soup. Country farmers who brewed their own ale used costmary as a flavouring and it was commonlyRead More...

Cornflower

CORNFLOWER Cornflower was formerly much used for eye complaints. Cornflower water was said to be a remedy for weak eyes and it was claimed to improve the eyesight. Taken in wine, cornflowerRead More...

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) Family: Apiaceae or Umbelliferae Description: Coriander is a fragrant annual herb with delicate white flowers turning into masses of round seeds. The essential oil is steam—distilled from the crushedRead More...

Coriander

CORIANDER Coriander was introduced to the Mediterranean countries from the Middle East. It was used in Egypt and the Bible lands for both its medicinal and culinary values. Coriander, coriandrum sativum, isRead More...

Confidence Booster

Confident scents   Lack of confidence can be extremely debilitating and can manifest either as feelings of inadequacy on a personal level, such as lack of self-worth, or as a lack ofRead More...

Compresses

Compresses Using essential oils to make aromatherapy compresses is easy. Both hot and cold compresses are effective at relieving pain and swelling, and at reducing inflammation. Hot compresses are used to treatRead More...

Comfrey

COMFREY Comfrey’s medieval reputation for knitting broken bones is reflected in its name, which comes from the Latin conferre, meaning to bring together.   The common comfrey, symphytum officinale, is a perennialRead More...

Coltsfoot

COLTSFOOT The coltsfoot takes its name from the appearance of this plant’s leaves. It is also variously called foal’s foot, horsehoof and horsefoot, according to the region in which it is found.Read More...

Colds and Flu Treatment

Colds • To try and prevent a cold before it starts, do steam inhalations with lavender, eucalyptus and ti-tree several times a day. Use these essential oils in the bath as well.Read More...

Cold Sore Treatment

Cold sores Cold sores are caused by the Herpes simplex 1 virus, and tend to appear when you are run down or have a cold or other infection. You may be ableRead More...

Clove bud (Syzygium aromaticum)

Clove bud (Syzygium aromaticum, Eugenia aromatica, Eugenia caryophyllata) Family: Myrtaceae Description: Clove is a long-lived evergreen tree with glossy green leaves and rosy-pink buds, which become fragrant red flowers and purple fruits.Read More...

Cleavers

CLEAVERS Cleavers has always been a versatile herb; it was well known to the ancient Greeks, who used the hairy stems to strain milk and other drinks!   Cleavers, galiurn aparine, isRead More...

Cleanser For Normal to Oily Skin

Cleanser for normal and oily skin   This cleanser uses a lighter cleansing-lotion base, with no perfume, colour or other additives, and is suitable for normal and oily skins.   YOU WILLRead More...

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