Nasturtium

NASTURTIUMNasturtium is Garden Medicine

 By Jeanne Rose 1980 – present

Nasturtium in the garden showing colors and leaves

Introduction ~ The Nasturtium is in full flower in my yard at this time of year (July/August).

 Common Name/Scientific Name & Family ~ The Latin name is Tropaeolum majus, and it is from the Family Tropaeolaceae, the Nasturtium. The name Tropaeolum is from the word trophy. Linnaeus named it from the Latin word, which was defined “as a sign of victory in war helmets from captured warriors who were once hung on posts.” The leaves of the plant climbing posts are compared to the shields and the flowers to the bloodstained helmets.  The plant first arrived in Spain in 1569 thanks to Spanish botanist Nicolás Monardes, who wrote extensively about all the plants and animals he discovered during his trip to South America. The name Tropaeolum majus was given to the plant by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus.

Other Names and background ~ The common name of Indian Cress from its pungent flavor of leaves is like name-related watercress (N. Officinale). These are two different plants from two very separate families.

Chart of the difference between Nasturtium and Watercress
Nasturtium name confusion

General Description of Plant habitat and Growth ~ This plant is native to Peru, South America. It has big edible leaves, brilliant and edible flowers. It is an easy plant to grow and does best if not over-watered or over-fertilized. It will grow in full sun and part-shade and climbs up the nearest fence or plant.  The flowers mature, fall off, and the seed pods form. These pods can be collected and immersed in vinegar and make a tasty substitute for capers.

A single Nasturtium flower peaking through the fence
photo by JeanneRose, 1995

Seeds and Leaves – The seeds yield a high percentage of a drying oil that can be used in making paints, varnish, etc. The growing plant attracts aphids away from other plants. Research indicates that aphids flying over plants with orange or yellow flowers do not stop, nor do they prey on plants growing next to or above the flowers. An insecticide can be made from an infusion of leaves and soap flakes.

Countries of Origin ~ Native to South America

Endangered – Not endangered

PORTION OF PLANT USED IN EXTRACTION – The entire plant can be used: leaves, flowers, seed pods. It is sometimes used as a flower essence remedy and in homeopathy and in various other forms of alternative therapy.

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GENERAL PROPERTIES of Nasturtium

Physical Uses ~ Nasturtium has long been used in Andean herbal medicine as a disinfectant and wound-healing herb and an expectorant to relieve chest conditions.

All parts of the plant appear to be antibiotic; an infusion of the leaves can be drunk to increase resistance to bacterial infections and clear nasal and bronchial catarrh. The remedy seems to both reduce catarrh formation and stimulate the clearing and coughing up of phlegm.

The leaves are antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, aperient, depurative, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, laxative, and stimulant.

Application and Skincare ~ Externally, it makes an effective antiseptic wash and is used to treat baldness, minor injuries, and skin eruptions. Any plant part can be used; it is harvested during the growing season and used fresh. …http://www.pfaf.org/database/

Emotional Use ~ A essence is made of flowers and used as a tonic for the lower body organs to energize and bring hope after a significant loss and life changes. This flower remedy was made in the Spring when it brings forth new life after the Winter season. Nasturtium brings hope after a significant loss, upheaval, or life change. The yellow, orange and red colors of the flowers relate to the three lower chakras. It also reflects the cleansing of the bright inner star that you are, removing the dross accumulating over many lifetimes, so you can shine more brightly. –FlowersforHealing.com

FLOWER REMEDY ~ AS a flower remedy or elixir, “Nasturtium is said to bring in more joy and spontaneity and to be used whenever life starts to feel dull or routine. Nasturtium helps us add more spice to life.” ‑ Lotuswei Nasturtium will enhance a feeling of contentment and happiness. It also helps you see where and how you are unique.

CULINARY OR INGESTION ~ All parts of the plant can be eaten. Nasturtium flowers contain mustard seed oil, so flowers and young fruits can be used for seasoning and pickling, leaves can be used for a peppery taste in salads. These green seeds can also be pickled in vinegar, flowers, and seeds can be mashed into sweet butter for a tasty spread. The flowers can be used as a wrap to roll around small canapes as an appetizer.

Nasturtium growing up  on the fence
Nasturtium on the fence

HERBAL ~ All parts of the plant appear to have antibiotic effects. Nasturtium has long been used in Andean herbal medicine as a disinfectant and wound-healing herb and an expectorant to relieve chest conditions.

The flowers are used in bath herbs mixtures as a colorful astringent, in hair rinses for dark blonde to red hair; the leaves and flowers can be used in bath herbs or teas and salads for a tasty ‘bite.’ I also like to collect and dry the flowers to add color to a potpourri. Hummingbirds sip from the flowers.

An infusion of the leaves can increase resistance to bacterial infections and clear nasal and bronchial catarrh. This remedy seems to both reduce catarrh formation and stimulate the clearing and coughing up of phlegm.

            The seeds yield a high percentage of a drying oil that can be used in making paints, varnish, etc. And Nasturtium can be used as a trap crop for aphids.

HYDROSOL ~ I have never had a hydrosol of Nasturtium flower or leaves and wonder what it might be like.  I think the best use of Nasturtiums is as a garden and culinary plant.

Key Use ~ As a food.

Chemistry and Components ~ A glycoside found in the plant reacts with water to produce an antibiotic. The plant has antibiotic properties towards aerobic spore-forming bacteria. Extracts from the plant have anticancer activity. The plant is taken internally to treat genito-urinary diseases, respiratory infections, scurvy, and poor skin and hair conditions.

INTERESTING/SCIENCE/HISTORICAL ~ Nasturtium is symbolic of patriotism. … The round leaves reminded Linnaeus of the shields of warriors and the flowers of their blood-stained helmets, hence the symbolism of patriotism.

References

http://www.pfaf.org/database/
See FlowersforHealing.com for more flower essence information
Rose, Jeanne. The Herbal Body Book. www.jeannerose.net/books.html
http://www.lotuswei.com
This is an interesting article. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/nasturtium

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Moderation in All Things.

Be moderate in your use of essential oils, as they are just not sustainable for the environment.

Be selective and more moderate in your usage.

Use the herb first as tea or the infusion. —JeanneRose 2014

DISCLAIMER:  This work is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for accurate diagnosis and treatment by a qualified health care professional. Dosages are often not given, as that is a matter between you and your health care provider. The author is neither a chemist nor a medical doctor.  The content herein is the product of research and personal and practical experience. Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies – Jeanne Rose©

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CARNATION (Gillyflower, Clove-pink)

The true pink Carnation (gillyflower or clove-pink) Dianthus caryophyllus was my wedding flower in 1972. It is a flower of fascination, scent, and love. The flower is edible and is used to scent and flavor many foods.

CARNATION, Gillyflower, Clove-pink)

Research by Jeanne Rose 1970 – to the present

A Clove-pink flower with the carnation absolute.
Clove Pink

DIANTHUS CARYOPHYLLUS, CARNATION OR CLOVE PINK

Absolute of Carnation

Carnation absolute is an amber-colored liquid sometimes a greenish-brown viscous liquid with an herbaceous, bitter-honey-like, and spicy back note and a bitter taste. In natural perfumery is used in floral blends (rose, lily, narcissus, jonquil, Cassie, white ginger, honeysuckle), spice accords, etc. There is any intensity of the odor that is best expressed when a drop of spicy clove oil plus a drop or two of sweet cinnamon oils is added and it is diluted with 95% grape spirits and allowed to age for several weeks.

Pinks photographed in golden gate park in 2016
Pinks in the Park

These were photographed in Golden Gate Park in 2016.

Pinks have a sweet and spicy fragrance and charming, frilled flowers.

These are the Organoleptic (Sensory) and Odor Characteristics of Carnation Absolute
(Description of color, clarity, viscosity, taste & intensity of Odor.

ColorDark rich brown, sometimes green
Clarityopaque
Viscosityviscous
Tastebitter
IntensityWorks well with many florals, fruity, citrus and wood scents
TenacityHas a rich tenacity and presence in a perfume
Organoleptics of Carnation absolute 2021

Odor description ~ The odor of Carnation absolute is absolutely unlike any Carnation, gillyflower, or sops-in-wine that I have ever smelled.  It is dark and dank and needs to be fluffed up with spicy clove and sweet cinnamon to work in a perfume.

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CARNATION ABSOLUTE PROFILE

By Jeanne Rose from my original 1969 notes and old books

Carnation – abs … Portion of Plant Used in Distillation, How Distilled, Extraction Methods & Yield ~ Dianthus caryophyllus, the common garden carnation flowers are extracted with solvents and the result is a hard, green concrète then washed in alcohol for the absolute. In France and in many books, it is called ‘absolue d’œillet’. The brown viscous liquid was sweet-scented of honey, spice, and herbs, somewhat like the flower. This scent mixed well with other floral notes and fixatives such as Castoreum and Oakmoss. This product was produced in Europe. My original bottles have a more representative scent of Carnation flowers of old, rather than what is grown today.

Name of Oil ~ Carnation absolute (Dianthus caryophyllus)

Carnation probably comes from the Italian dialectal carnagione (flesh color) from the Late Latin word carnationem. Carnations were mentioned in Greek literature 2,000 years ago. Dianthus was coined by Greek botanist Theophrastus and is derived from the Greek words for divine dios and for flower anthos. Some scholars believe that the name carnation comes from coronation or corone (flower garlands), as it was one of the flowers used in Greek ceremonial crowns. Others think the name stems from the Latin carnis (flesh), which refers to the original color of the flower, or incarnation of God made flesh. In Romanian, the word for carnation is garoafa, it is also surnamed “flower of royalty”.1

            These plants that we love so well are called Pinks, Carnations, Sweet William, or Dianthus.  They vary according to the variety wanted, or the breeder decided to grow.

Countries of Origin ~ Natives of Europe, the absolute produced in France, Egypt, and Holland.

This is an old ‘sops in wine’ from the Fenbow garden of Elizabethan times, as described in the book “Old Carnations and Pinks” by C. Oscar Moreton.

old drawing of Nutmeg Clove
Nutmeg Clove

The Nutmeg Clove Carnation from “Old Carnations and Pinks” by C. Oscar Moreton

GENERAL DESCRIPTION ~ THE BOTANY OF CARNATION

Carnations are flowers that are widely recognized by most people. They are classified as Dianthus caryophyllus, when translated, means “flower of love” or “flower of the gods”. There are approximately 300 species in the genus. They are native to the Eastern Hemisphere and are found naturally in the Mediterranean region, although modern varieties are grown both in greenhouses and in fields around the world. With such widespread commercial production available, there is not a limited season of availability. Because of their long-lasting qualities and fragrance, carnations are often featured in arrangements at holidays celebrated with flowers, at special occasions such as weddings and parties, and in sympathy arrangements.

Essential carnation oil in its absolute form is both rare and expensive. Many varieties produce a clove-like scent, and the aroma is said to be both uplifting and motivating. It was called ‘Clove-Pink”. Carnations and other flowers such as Stocks were also called Gillyflowers and Girofle. Not only are people attracted by their scent, but carnations also have an extended vase life from 7 to 21 days depending on the cultivar, harvest stage and flower food.

>>Many of the commercially produced varieties have flowers up to 3 inches in diameter and have very little odor. Colors especially red colors are on the same chemical pathway as scent. So, the more color or complexity of color often the less scent. Most flowers are double forms with ruffled petals. Remember that the same chemical pathways carry scent and color; if you breed for color and size, you will have less scent.<<<

CHEMICAL COMPONENTS OF THE OIL- ISOEUGENOL ACETATE. Carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus L.) are popular ornamentals and are mainly used as cut flowers. Their scents are composed of benzenoids, terpenoids, fatty acid derivatives, and other minor components (Clery et al., 1999; Hudak and Thompson, 1997; Schade et al., 2001; Zuker et al., 2002). Classical fragrant carnations possess a spicy and clove-like odor caused mainly by benzenoids (Clery et al., 1999).2

400-year-old illustration –

HISTORICAL USES OF THE OIL AND THE HERB

In Odorographia, p. 260 The perfume of cloves blended with a trace of that of methyl-salicylate (wintergreen oil) or a compound organic ether, is conspicuous in several species of Dianthus or ” Pink “: Plants belonging to the extensive order Caryophyllaceae. Most of the species are natives of Europe, temperate Asia, and North Africa. Dianthus Caryophyllus or ” Clove Pink ” is the original of the garden Carnation.

            According to a Christian legend, “Carnations first appeared on Earth as Jesus carried the Cross. The Virgin Mary shed tears at Jesus’ plight, and Carnations sprang up from where her tears fell” pink Carnation becoming the symbol of a mother’s undying love1. The history of the flower is fascinating. It was called ‘sops in wine”

HISTORY ~ Gillyflower. any of several scented flowering plants, especially the carnation, or clove pink (Dianthus caryophyllus), stock (Matthiola incana), and wallflower (Cheiranthus cheiri). However, the gillyflower of Chaucer, Spenser, and Shakespeare was the carnation. Other plants that are types of gillyflower are dame’s gillyflower, also known as dame’s violet (Hesperis matronalis); mock gillyflower, also known as soapwort or bouncing bet (Saponaria officinalis); feathered gillyflower, also known as the grass or garden pink (Dianthus plumarius); and sea gillyflower, also known as the thrift or sea pink (Armeria maritima).

To this day, carnations remain a favorite flower choice for many different occasions. They are immediately recognizable flowers, and they possess a charm and allure that continues to captivate people around the globe. In fact, in many parts of the world, the popularity of carnations surpasses that of any other flower including roses. The powerful sentiments these flowers can express are a perfect complement to their classic beauty and long-lasting freshness. By retaining its status as a floral mainstay for such a long time, the carnation has proven itself to be a lasting flower in more ways than one. – Proflowers.com

Clove Pink

THERAPEUTIC VALUE OF CARNATION ~ Hilda Leyel mentions that the Carnation has cordial properties and enlivens the heart through the senses.  Gerard uses a conserve of the flowers with sugar to comfort the heart. Ms. Leyel continues that the pinks and carnations of all kinds have a cleansing effect on the blood, correct disorders of the head and the heart, and rejoice all the senses by their spicy scent and flavor.  A water distillate from pinks was said to be a cure for epilepsy and another says: ‘if a conserve be composed of them this is the life and the delight of humanity’ [this sounds like Gerard is being consulted again].

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CARNATION … PHYSICAL USES AND HOW USED APPLICATIONS

The pink is an ornamental plant known. As aromatic species, it follows that its composition must find a very fragrant essence, and indeed it can be found, even in small amounts, different for different varieties of carnations that exist. In the herbaceous plant parts it is also possible to find active saponins and some minor. As for its medicinal uses, there is little to say. There is a plant that is characterized by intense possess medicinal properties because its main job rather falls within the field of perfumery. If it is included here because once the water (hydrosol) was used as eye drops – carnation eyewash – for tired or damaged eyes. This application is a clear example of the theory of the sign: in fact, once the flower the carnation compared it with the eyes, because in the center of it appear certain that resemble paint the apple of the eyes of Hence it was proposed to extract the spirit of carnation, to soothe tired eyes or damaged, and began to prepare distilled water garden carnations. “. …http://www.mtplantas.com/eng/plants/E35153.htm

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Emotional/Ritual Uses ~ Clove Pink ~ Dianthus caryophylatta ~ The favorite flower of Henry IV of France and still very much cultivated. This flower was introduced into France by French missionaries and soon assumed a double form in France in 1719. It has a lovely clove-like spicy and floral odor. Pinks and carnations of all kinds can be eaten and have a cleansing effect on the blood, head, and heart. Distill the flowers for a ‘cure’ for epilepsy; the hydrosols and waters can be drunk for nervous disorders. The absolute is a delight when used in small amounts in perfumer. – from Leyel

Interesting Facts ~ So popular were the clove gillyflowers in the 17th and 18th-century that they were used in soup, sauce, syrup, and cordials. The flowers were candied and preserved, made into kinds of vinegar, decorated salads, and always used as sops in wine and floated in the drinks of engaged couples. The actual Carnation known as ‘sops in wine’ or the clove gillyflower was a particular variety sometimes dried and powdered, but more often made into syrups and conserves. – from Leyel

From Victoria in Perfume Notes, 2005 – “Dianthus is derived from Greek, meaning di, Zeus and anthos, flower, “the flower of Zeus,” indicating its importance in the religious context of Ancient Greece. In Italy, Bologna in particular, the plant has been associated with Saint Peter and celebrated widely, with a special day at the end of June dedicated to carnation. In the Middle Ages, it was one of the most popular flowers for fragrance gardens. No monastery herb garden would be complete without carnation, the medicinal uses of which were referenced as early as the Han Dynasty texts (23-206 A.D.). In European herbal medicine tradition, carnation flowers have been prescribed for the nervous and coronary disorders. However, its probably most interesting usage has been recorded in the late 1600s, when the Countess of Dorset, England, made her own love potion, including carnation, lavender, bay leaf and marjoram. It is rather ironic that the flower of the most licentious of all Greek gods is supposed to have powers to cure wayward lovers. Interesting to note is that carnation signified devotion and loyalty in a variety of traditions, from European to Asian.”

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Nerve Tonic made of Clove July flowers in Mountain wine

3 oz. Clove July flowers
Infuse into a quart of Mountain wine for 10 days
Shake every day.
On the 10th day filter through clean white blotting paper.
Drink a wineglassful 3 X/day as a nerve tonic. (a wineglassful is 2 oz)
From a Hilda Leyel book

Dianthus barbata – JeanneRose backyard

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BLENDING & Perfumery ~ Blends well with  Ambrette seed EO, CO2 and abs; Basil EO and abs; Bergamot EO; Buddha wood EO and CO2;  Cassie abs; Champa flower EO and CO2; Clary sage EO and abs; Coconut CO2;  Fir balsam abs; Rose Geranium EO and abs; Genet (Spanish Broom) abs; Hay abs; Jasmine abs; Jonquil abs; Lavender EO, CO2 and abs; Lime EO; Lemon EO; Mandarin and Tangerine EO; Massoia EO and CO2; Neroli EO; Osmanthus abs; Rose abs, CO2 and abs; Sandalwood EO, CO2, and abs; Tonka abs; Vanilla abs and CO2; Ylang EO and abs; Violet leaf abs; and Tuberose abs.

Symbolic Meaning ~ Carnation is love, affection, fascination, and health. I used the Carnation flower on my wedding announcements in 1972.

            Carnation Meaning. The carnation means fascination, distinction, and love. According to a Christian legend, carnations grew from the Virgin Mary’s tears as she watched Jesus carry the cross. This is how they became associated with motherly love.

The meanings of carnations include fascination, distinction, and love. Like many other flowers, different messages can also be expressed with the flower’s different color varieties. Light red carnations, for example, are often used to convey admiration, whereas the dark red version expresses deeper sentiments of love and affection. White carnations are associated with purity and luck, and pink carnations are often given as a sign of gratitude. In the early part of the 20th century, carnations became the official flower of Mother’s Day in addition to finding particular significance in many other cultures worldwide. – Proflowers.com

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KEY USE ~ The absolute for scent and the flower petals in food and drinks.

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•FORMULAS for Perfumes•

Formula for Mock Carnation Scent

Mock Carnation ..

WEST OF MIDWAY

Another formula Using Carnation Absolute

…….Alphabetical order …………….IN DROPS ……………………………. IN NOTES

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Reference

  1. Scientific Papers Series Management, Economic Engineering in Agriculture and Rural Development Vol. 18, Issue 2, 2018 PRINT ISSN 2284-7995, E-ISSN 2285-3952 107 RESEARCH ON THE EUROPEAN FLOWER MARKET AND MAIN SYMBOLIC VALUES OF THE MOST TRADED SPECIES
  2. J. Japan. Soc. Hort. Sci. 82 (2): 145–153. 2013. Available online at http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/browse/jjshs1 JSHS © 2013 Analysis of Scents Emitted from Flowers of Interspecific Hybrids between Carnation and Fragrant Wild Dianthus Species by Kyutaro Kishimoto, et al

Biography:

Leyel, Hilda. Cinquefoil

Leyel, Hilda. Elixirs of Life

Leyel, Hilda. Herbal Delights

Moreton, C. Oscar. Old Carnations and Pinks. Published by George Rainbird with Collins, 1955.

Rose, Jeanne. The Herbal Body Book, p. 63

Rose, Jeanne. Herbs & Things, p. 247

Rose, Jeanne. Natural Perfumery Supplement. P. 132

Clove Pink – Dianthus – in Golden Gate Park Arboretum

WAFT for Scent and Health

RAVINTSARA

Ravintsara

A Study in Identity Confusion and Confliction

By Jeanne Rose – Summer 2021

4 bottles of Ravintsara oil, in the author's possession.  Photo by JeanneRose
several bottles of ravintsara oil – photo by JeanneRose

Introduction ~ Ravintsara #163, Cinnamomum camphora, is organically grown and not to be confused with Ravensara. Ravensara (Ravensara aromatica) and Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora) are two essential oils distilled from 2 very different trees, often misnamed from two separate botanical family, as well as two different countries. The leaves and wood of the tree are used for different essential oils and often also have different names. It is imperative that all who use essential oils, and any company that sells them, begin to label these oils using both common and scientific name, as well as part of the plant used, and country of origin.

NAMING AND DESCRIPTION ARE CONFUSING.

Naming & Background ~ Cinnamomum camphora, the tree, has different oils with different names depending upon whether you are talking about leaves or wood and whether you are discussing the tree from Madagascar or elsewhere.  The leaves of the tree from Madagascar, CT cineole, are called Ravintsara and they are used in products as an application for fatigue, and postpartum infections. The essential oil from the leaves/stem, and bark has different therapeutic benefits. Often, it seems, when using the term C. camphora, camphor laurel, we are talking about the tree that grows in China and whose seeds have been studied as an anti-bacterial and whose wood is distilled and releases a solid, white, waxy substance called ‘camphor’.

Names and part and country as follows:

Cinnamomum camphora, CT cineole, leaves, Madagascar is Ravintsara oil

Cinnamomum camphora, CT linalool, leaves, China is Ho leaf oil.

Cinnamomum camphora, CT linalool, wood, China is Ho Wood oil

Cinnamomum camphora, CT linalool, wood and leaves, China is Shiu oil

Cinnamomum camphora, CT camphor, wood, China is called white camphor, yellow camphor, and other names.

Ravensara aromatica, CT methyl eugenol, leaves, Madagascar is Ravensara or Hazomanitra oil.

Ravensara aromatica, CT methyl chavicol, bark, Madagascar, is Anise wood oil aka Ravensara anisata.

Sometimes the leaves are picked with stems and when distilled, have that anise-scent of R. aromatica type anisata, bark, Madagascar is called Anise wood oil, and called Ravensara anisata. –– this from Material review 2005 [https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hector-

Also, some scientific sources call this tree and another, Ravenala madagascariensis which is family Strelitziaceae, a palm-type tree. There is much confusion and Ravensara aromatica (the old name) is still confusing in the literature.  Ravenala madagascariensis Sonn. (Family STRELITZIACEAE), a palm tree whose leaves are used for asthma and the stem used for hypertension.

I remember these essential oils by scent and even that has changed over the years.

Family ~ Family Lauraceae – Cinnamomum camphora – Ravintsara. The essential oil of leaves, Cineole type, from the Madagascar tree is commercially known as ravintsara. The leaves are steam-distilled and depending upon terroir there are different chemical families represented.  The main ones are linalool and cineole. This tree with a common name of Camphor laurel has different names depending upon the six different chemical variants called chemotypes. These are camphor, linalool, 1,8-cineole, nerolidol, safrole, and borneol.

Countries of Origin ~ Ravintsara is a product of Madagascar.

Endangered – Probably, it depends upon to whom you are speaking and what plant and plant part they are discussing.  Even in the scientific literature, often the plant part being discussed is missing as evidenced from many articles in the literature as well as any book discussing essential oils.

  If you are using the leaves only of the R. aromatica, the tree itself is not endangered; however, if you are using the bark of this same tree [but called R. anisata], this tree is endangered.

General Description of Plant habitat and Growth and Confusion ~ I am unable to provide a proper description of the tree, only that at this writing this essential oil still causes confusion. Obtained from the leaves of a tree (Cinnamomum camphora (L.) J. Presl), which was introduced from Taiwan as an ornamental tree and now grown widely in Madagascar and with increased demand from the international market. This essential oil has often been misreported and traded as ravensara, or Ravensara aromatica. The true ravensara (R. aromatica) essential oil is extracted from the leaves of an endemic species locally known as “havozo,’ or “hazomanitra, which means “aromatic tree” in the Malagasy language.”1

“Another source of confusion with Ravensara species is that R. aromatica and R. anisata (a synonym for R. aromatica) were considered different species producing different essential oils, whereas the plants were one and the same. Both essential oils come from the same plant, but the oil of R. anisata usually refers to the bark oil of R. aromatica (rich in methyl chavicol), while the essential oil of the true R. aromatica is extracted from the leaves. The species that was first described by Sonnerat was further renamed as R. anisata by Danguy.”2

PORTION OF PLANT USED IN EXTRACTION AND YIELDS ~ Ravintsara Essential Oil is steam distilled from leaves of Cinnamomum camphora CT cineole in Madagascar during the months of September through December.  The bark yields another product. Always carefully analyze the odor of the essential oil as there are certainly different grades and scents.  Wood, leaf, bark produce different essential oil by SD. See above.

Yield ~ I was unable to find the specific yield of essential oil of leaf of Cinnamomum camphora from Madagascar.

The chemical composition of R. aromatica bark is in all cases characterized by a high amount of methyl chavicol (83–98%), whatever the chemotype.

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A bottle of  Prima fleur Ravintasara oil showing the color or lack of and the clarity.
Ravintsara showing color/clarity

ORGANOLEPTICS ~ The organoleptic, physical, and chemical profiles of the essential oils of ravintsara (C. camphora) and ravensara (R. aromatica) oils showed that both essential oils can also easily be differentiated using chemical fingerprinting. It has been proposed that new standards for their botanical and essential oil authentication and species identification be written.

Ravintsara – Cinnamomum camphora CT cineole, leaves, Madagascar

Color – colorless
Clarity – clear
Viscosity non-viscous
Scent Intensity – 6
Taste – bitter and aromatic

Tenacity – very good
Description of scent – The leaf oil is herbaceous, woody, spicy, and green and more suitable to therapeutics than perfumery.
Aroma Description – Ravintsara has an odor much like Eucalyptus due to the same chemical component of Cineol. It is pleasant and refreshing, fruity, herbaceous, and spicy. Waft the scent enough times to remember it by its odor.

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GENERAL PROPERTIES of Ravintsara CT cineole

Properties of Ravintsara ~ This essential oil is considered anticatarrhal, decongestant, and expectorant. It is helpful and useful for rhinitis, pharyngitis, bronchitis, and sinusitis (by inhalation).

BLENDING RAVINTSARA FOR PURPOSE ~ This robust and pleasant oil is best used in blends for the respiratory system and in massage blends, to refresh and uplift the body.  It blends well with herbaceous oils such as Rosemary and Marjoram, the citrus oils such as Lemon and Bergamot, and spicy oils. Included in this list are some resins and some grasses such as Frankincense and Palmarosa. Try very tiny amounts in perfumery to make the perfume sparkle.

>Formula for rhinitis ~ For perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR), the essential oils of Ravintsara, Geranium, (Pelargonium graveolens), Eucalyptus and Niaouli, used together, release their decongestant, tonic, and anti-infectious properties, and can be used in a base of saline solution and rosemary hydrosol, and provide great benefits in case of a blocked nose, (loss of sense of smell), and irritation of the ear, nose, throat (ENT) tract.3

Formula:

1 oz Rosemary hydrosol
+  1 oz double strength saline solution*
+ 3 drops Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora, CT cineole, leaves, Madagascar is Ravintsara oil
+ 1 drop each of (Frankincense or Rose Geranium), Niaouli, and Eucalyptus.
Place all in a 2 oz nasal spray bottle, shake vigorously to use.

            *[Double strength saline solution is made by bringing to a boil 1 cup of water covered for 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Add 1 t. salt and a pinch of baking soda. Stir until dissolved. Store in the refrigerator no more than 2-days.]

>Another formula for rhinitis is the inhalation of a combination of EO that include Sandalwood, Ravensara aromatica, and Frankincense.2

>Sore throat Formula ~ For the beginning of a sore throat, I have used Ravintsara, a drop on a sugar cube, to slowly dissolve in my mouth.  I have found this to be very helpful.

HERBAL ~ A tea of the leaves of Cinnamomum camphora in Madagascar is used for fatigue and post-partum infection.

Chemistry and Components ~ We have discussed this in the beginning.  It is important for the consumer to look at the GCMS; if you want Ravintsara it must be from Madagascar and have high levels of cineol, 50-70%.  The scent will help guide you.  I have seen a product called this name (from a well-known essential oil company) that had a high percentage of linalool and that is NOT Ravintsara but Ho Leaf oil.

Key Uses ~ Ravintsara is the oil of the Respiratory system. Just like the citrine in the opening photo, ravintsara is a powerful cleanser.

Ravintsara oil - different sized bottles
Ravintsara oil

References

  1. Searching for the Real Ravensara (Ravensara aromatica Sonn.) Essential Oil. Perfumer & Flavorist, vol. 30, Jan-Feb 2005
  2. “Effect of inhalation of aromatherapy oil on patients with perennial allergic rhinitis: a randomized controlled trial,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2016, Article ID 7896081, 7 pages, 2016.
  3.    Effect of the Use of Intranasal Spray of Essential Oils in Patients with Perennial Allergic Rhinitis: A Prospective Study https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32961531/

This examination of the latest information about the essential oil Ravintsara

was sponsored and supported by Prima Fleur Botanicals.

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Cautions to Remember chart
Cautions

Ravintsara exploration written by Jeanne Rose 2021

Moderation in All Things.

Be moderate in your use of essential oils as they are just not sustainable for the environment.

Be selective and more moderate in your usage.

Use the herb first as tea or the infusion. —JeanneRose 2014

Ravensara aromatica Sonnerat is a tree endemic to Madagascar. The essential oil extracted from the leaves is used in aromatherapy. Previous chemical studies have generated some confusion about the chemical composition of this essential oil. To eliminate this uncertainty, we undertook a systematic evaluation of the chemical composition of essential oils from leaves of this species. The study focused on 28 individual samples formally identified as R. aromatica. The essential oils were obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed by GC and GC–MS. It was possible to distinguish four groups of trees through principal components analysis and agglomerative hierarchical clustering analysis of the seven chief molecules identified in their essential oils. Two groups were characterized by a prevalence of compounds with an aromatic structure: methyl chavicol (representing more than 90% of the essential oil) in the first group and methyl eugenol (74–82%) in the second group. The predominant compounds of the other two groups proved to be of the monoterpene type: α-terpinene (25–28%) and limonene (15–22%) in the third group, while sabinene (25–34%), linalool (7–21%) and terpinen-4-ol (6–12%) were the primary constituents of the essential oils in the fourth group. The importance of these results for the commercial production of the essential oils from this species is discussed. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Intraspecific chemical variability and highlighting of chemotypes of leaf essential oils from Ravensara aromatica Sonnerat, a tree endemic to Madagascar. By Hanitriniaina Sahondra AndrianoelisoaChantal MenutPhilippe Collas de ChatelperronJérôme SaraccoPanja RamanoelinaPascal Danthu

YUZU

Yuzu is a citrus grown in Japan that is used for flavoring and fragrance.  The peel is strongly scented and makes a good addition to any blend and in perfumery. Very refreshing odor and taste.

YUZU for Scent and Savor

By Jeanne Rose

A photo of yuzu fruit and the oil distilled from the peel.
Yuzu fruit and oil

NAME ~ YUZU Citrus x junos ((Citrus ichangensis × C. reticulata, formerly C. junos Siebold ex. Tanaka) Yuzu fruit It is like a Grapefruit.

OTHER NAMES ~ It is called Yuja in Korean cuisine

Family ~ Rutaceae

Countries of Origins ~ Yuzu is believed to have originated in China and grows wild in central China and is well-known in Japan and now grown elsewhere.

General description of Plant habitat and growth ~ Yuzu is believed to be a hybrid of sour mandarin and ichang papeda. The fruit looks like a small rougher-skinned grapefruit (much smaller) with its uneven skin and can be either yellow or green depending on the degree of ripeness. Yuzu fruits, which are very aromatic, typically range between 2+ and 3+ inches in diameter but can be as large as a grapefruit. Yuzu is an acidic citrus from China that is grown as rootstock for other citrus varieties & for its fruit. Fruits are acidic and moderately juicy with pleasant citrus aroma and can be used as a lemon substitute. It is unusual among citrus plants in being relatively frost-hardy, due to its cold-hardy C. ichangensis ancestry, and can be grown in regions with winters at least as low as -9 °C (15 °F) where more sensitive citrus would perish. Harvest fruit when ripe, October through December.

Portion of plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods and yields ~ Yuzu peel is both steam-distilled, solvent extracted for the absolute, and cold-pressed. The oil is traditionally extracted from the peel using the cold press technique and contains limonene (up to 77.0%) as a major constituent. However, the steam-distilled oil has no phototoxicity.

            Yield ~ The overall mean yield is 0.18%.

Picture of various bottles of Yuzu oil and also showing different colors of the oil.
Various bottles of Yuzu oil – Yuzu collection, photo by Jeanne Rose

Organoleptic Characteristics of Yuzu

Color – colorless to pale yellow for the steam-distilled
Clarity – clear
Viscosity – non-viscous
Intensity of odor – 4-5

Taste – sour, umami, citrus

Tenacity –like other citrus and the unique tenacity lasts more than an hour after application.

Odor Assessment – Yuzu has a fine citrus odor, with fruity and floral subsidiary notes. Refrigerate this oil to keep it fresh smelling.

Yuzu fruit
Yuzu fruit

YUZU GENERAL PROPERTIES

Yuzu has radical-scavenging effects, antioxidant properties and is used in aromatherapy for its fine strong citrus scent.

Application/ Skincare ~ The peel is strongly scented and makes a good addition to blends and in perfumery. The scent is very refreshing. www.PrimaFleur.com. Yuzu in a blend treats the roughness of skin and warms the body.

Diffuse/Diffusion ~ It works well in many sorts of blends as it is invigorating and uplifting emotionally, some use Yuzu energetically as a mood-lifter.

CHEMICAL COMPONENTS of Yuzu ~ “Limonene was the most abundant monoterpene hydrocarbon followed by γ-terpinene and β-phellandrene in Yuzu. The volatile components of yuzu (Citrus junos Sieb. ex Tanaka) cold-pressed oil were analyzed by capillary GC and GC–MS, without prior separation, and compared with those of lemon (Citrus limon Burm. f., cv. Lisbon) grown in Japan. p-Mentha-1,4,8-triene, was newly found among the seventy-seven components identified in the yuzu oil.”1

BLENDS BEST WITH ~ Peel is a good addition to blends when you need astringency and in perfumery for its strong citrus scent. Use as a top note with Bergamot and Lemon.

EO and hydrosol of Yuzu

HYDROSOL of Yuzu is a wonderful fragrant and slightly astringent toner/tonic for skincare.  Save it for your facial care and use orange hydrosol for body care. The fragrance is refreshing and relaxing while it adds its astringency to the water.

HERBAL USES ~ YUZU fruit known for its characteristically strong aroma, and the oil from its skin is marketed as a fragrance. In Japan, bathing with yuzu on Tojio, the Winter solstice, is a custom that dates to at least the early 18th century. Whole yuzu fruits are floated in the hot water of the bath, sometimes enclosed in a cloth bag, releasing their aroma. The fruit may also be cut in half, allowing the citrus juice to mingle with the bathwater. The yuzu bath, known commonly as yuzuyu, but also as yuzuburo, is said to guard against colds, treat the roughness of skin, warm the body, and relax the mind. When Yuzu is in season, use it in your bath – 4-5 sliced in half.

CULINARY USE ~ Fruits are acidic and moderately juicy with pleasant citrus aroma and can be used as a lemon substitute. Citrus junos Tanaka (yuzu) has a strong characteristic aroma, and hence, yuzu juice is used in several Japanese foods. It stays tart and sour if cooked with foods. I keep a bottle of Yuzu Essence in my fridge and use a few drops in sauces for the floral scent, the pleasant tartness and to add umami flavor to my food. Yuzu essence is “extracted on-site after the fruit is hand-harvested from wild stock that grows in the Aki region of Koichi prefecture.”2

Historical Uses ~ Ritual use at the winter Solstice.

Key Use ~ Oil of Relaxing Calm

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References ~

1.Volatile components of Japanese yuzu and lemon oils. S.M. Nijoroge, etc., July/August 1994.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ffj.2730090404
2.  www.juapangoldusa.com

Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
Rose, Jeanne.  375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols.  Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne.  The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations.  San Francisco, California:
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose & Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1992

This work is sponsored and supported by Prima Fleur Botanicals.

ROSEMARY

The herbaceous Rosemary oils, have great healing value in skin-and haircare treatments, in a diffuser blend to cleanse the room air and enliven the senses. They are often stimulating, uplifting, and potent. You can use Rosemary oil and the herb as part of a Massage oil, Bath oil, or Skin conditioner.

6 bottles of rosemary oil nestled in a large branch of Rosemary herb
Rosemary herb, essential oil, and CO2 extract

ROSEMARY – plant & Oil Uses

By Jeanne Rose

Introduction ~ Science is an interesting subject and because it is a living study, it often changes, and those changes can be challenging to understand.  In the case of Rosemary, it is the name change that occurred in 2017 that will shake you up.

Common Name/NEW Scientific binomial ~ Salvia rosmarinus (was known as Rosmarinus officinalis) and due to studies done, and DNA analyzed, since 2017 it is a part of the sage genus.

            FAMILY ~ Lamiaceae

Other Names and background ~ The species name, rosmarinus, comes from the Latin words ros (dew) and marinus (sea), or dew of the sea, in probable reference to the ability of this plant to thrive well in coastal areas (sea cliffs) and exposure to ocean mists. 

Countries of Rosemary Origin ~ Salvia rosmarinus (Rosmarinus officinalis) is produced in various countries: the CT camphor is produced in Spain and Croatia; CT verbenone is produced in California, and France; CT cineole is produced in Morocco/US/France.

Endangered ~ Not threatened. This is an introduced plant to the United States and grows well in many areas.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF ROSEMARY HABITAT, GROWTH, USES ~ “Rosemary is a perennial evergreen herb that is irregularly mounded and is valued for its fragrant, ornamental foliage and as an enhancement in cooking. It blooms from fall to spring. Key ID elements are the aromatic linear leaves which are green on top and whitish underneath, and also the axillary flowers.”1 It grows well in full sun where it often produces camphor, and it grows well in cool damp sunny areas where it will produce the cineol or verbenone type.

Showing 2 varieties of Rosemary, the large bush type and the smaller type called prostratus
2 varieties of Rosemary, the usual type
and the prostrate type

PORTION OF Rosemary USED IN DISTILLATION, AND YIELDS ~ The leaves, tops, and flowers are harvested, and steam distilled, and CO2 extracted. “Comminuting the pinene type of Rosemary will cause the bioconversion of alpha-pinene to verbenone. [Some plants need to be distilled fresh, some have to be dried, some semi-dried first, some need to be comminuted, that is, cut into smaller pieces, some need to soak for some hours before distillation. Each plant has different distillation parameter requirements.”2

The Yield: The yield can vary from .4 to .7% but is usually in the range of 1.0-2.0%.                      

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ORGANOLEPTICS of ROSEMARY OIL

Showing the chart of the rosemary oils, the description of color, clarity, viscosity, taste, intensity, and tenacity of 5 different oils.

ROSEMARY Odor Description/ Aroma Assessment /Chemistry ~

Chemistry and Components ~ CT verbenone is a favorite with its Rosemary scent with a hint of fruitiness, CT camphor that has the scent of mothballs and is used for the application to pimples, and CT cineol that smells quite herbaceous is the most often used for applications. All Rosemary is very eponymous in its scent with herbaceous, and woody notes.

showing the color differences of 3 chemotypes of Rosemary oil.

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GENERAL PROPERTIES of the ROSEMARY

Rosemary has three main chemotypes and the CO2. CT verbenone is a favorite in skincare and children’s products, CT camphor for application to pimples, and CT cineol in most other applications for pain or aches.

         The camphor type is a vein decongestant, mucolytic, tonic, and possibly diuretic. This type is used for external applications for acne or skincare. Camphor chemotype is produced where it is hot. The camphor type has neuromuscular action that is variable depending on the dose.  It is a venous decongestant by external application and powerful mucolytic by inhalation. We use it in massage blends for muscle cramps, joint pain, all around aches and pains.

         The cineol type is most often used for Respiratory applications, specific for ear and sinus problems, and general external applications for healing. Inhale and apply.

         The verbenone type is used for skincare, for oily or to regenerate the condition of the skin, and in products for delicate or sensitive skin. Inhale and apply.

CO2 Rosemary type. This CO2 extract acts as an antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent. It is standardized in Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) seed oil. Rosemary Antioxidant CO2 Extract finds application in formulating creams, lotions, salves, balms and water-free products.

APPLICATION/Skincare ~ Rosemary has three main chemotypes. CT verbenone is a favorite for skincare, haircare and children’s products, with its Rosemary scent hint of fruitiness, CT camphor for application to pimples, and CT cineol in most other applications.

Rosemary has several health-boosting benefits aside from boosting prospective memory, it can be used in massage for pain relief, in bathing as it has antiseptic, antioxidant and astringent and anti-aging properties. Rosemary helps with dry and mature skin to produce more natural oils of its own. Rosemary can also help in getting rid of canker sores.

It is helpful to people who are losing hair and have problems with dandruff as it seems to stimulate hair growth and have less dandruff. Historically, Rosemary has been used to stimulate hair growth. There is one well-known study of 84 people with alopecia areata (a disease in which hair falls out, generally in patches), who massaged their scalps with a combination of Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica) Lavender (high elevation), Rosemary (unknown chemotype) and Thyme every day for 7 months experienced significant hair regrowth compared to those who massaged their scalps without the essential oils. But the study was not well designed, and it is impossible to say whether Rosemary caused the hair growth, or it was the combination of oils.

I have made my own shampoo using Rosemary herb (make a standard herbal infusion) as the base with other herbs, calling it “Dark Hair Shampoo” and have been using it and other shampoos that I enhanced with Rosemary herb and sometimes Rosemary oil and 50 years later at 84 my hair is still dark. I give all the credit to Rosemary.

[Herb Infusion: 1 qt. water to a boil, remove from heat, add 1 oz fresh or 1/2 oz dried herb, infuse 20 minutes, then strain. Use the dark liquid as part of your shampoo and herbal rinse.] You can also sip the infusion as an anti-inflammatory and anti-aging substance.

∞        

Diffusion with Rosemary ~ This is a wonderful oil to diffuse, it is spirited, clean-smelling, vibrant, and its effects are stimulating, uplifting and cleansing.  It works in all sorts of blends, particularly herbaceous types and to give sparkling energy to blends with conifers.

Emotional & Energetic ~ Rosemary is feminine in its strength and …” seems to me the wiser, stronger sister of the Lamiaceae family. [Other members are Lavender, Sage and Melissa] Rosemary has spunk and spirit. It is the one to turn to when you feel weak and some stimulation or a strong arm to help you up; it is an oil to remember in the depths of the Canadian winter!” unknown author

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BLENDING FOR A PURPOSE ~ Define your purpose and then choose the Rosemary type that best fits the purpose. In certain perfumery odors, you will probably choose the verbenone type, while in massage you will choose the cineol type. Rosemary mixes well with all citrus and citrus scents, resins, Mediterranean herbal scents almost everything except heavy florals.  It is used in Cologne, some fern scents, conifer and forest blends and fresh summer odors.  Keep the camphor type for therapeutic uses.

Showing another picture of Rosemary with the herb
varieties of Rosemary
(Salvia rosmarinus CT pinene and CT cineol)

Culinary ~ The herb used in all sorts of foods; it is delicious, aids health, is anti-aging, and helps in the production of bile.

HERBAL USE OF ROSEMARY ~ Use this herb in your cooking, in your bath, as part of your shampoo for hair growth, in the rinse waters.  Mix herb Rosemary and Lavender together and put in a silk bag and throw into the dryer with clothes to give a clean and fresh scent. Read my book, The Herbal Body Book, for dozens of formulas for the hair, the skin, and the home. The best use is to bathe and shampoo with herbs. Absolutely my favorite is to use herb Rosemary is mixed with Comfrey or Lemon balm and used in the bath as a bath herb (at least a full ounce by weight of the herb(s).

Hydrosol ~ This should be picked and distilled in full flower or just before full flower. At this time the hydrosol will be sweet while later it may be camphoraceous.  This hydrosol is stimulating both by external application and internal use.  This is the rejuvenating and ‘holding back old age’ hydrosol. It can be taken a teaspoon at a time in a glass of water as a tonic drink, bathed in, used in shampoo or skin care; in other words, submerse yourself in Rosemary herb tea, Rosemary herb and hydrosol baths, and Rosemary essential oil inhalations.  The herbal extract and essential oil (and why not the hydrosol) show some powerful uses in diminishing the effects of Alzheimer’s. It is stimulating and when distilled averages 5.5 pH ± .1 …

HYDROSOL — PLEASE NOTE: A true hydrosol should be specifically distilled for the hydrosol, not as a co-product or even a by-product of essential oil distillation. The plant’s cellular water has many components most are lost under pressurized short steam runs for essential oil, or by using dried material. We recommend that the producers specifically distill for a product by using plant material that is fresh.

a bottle of colorless Rosemary hydrosol and the bush it came from.
Salvia rosmarinus

HISTORY & INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT ROSEMARY ~ French folklore says that combing the hair once a day with a rosemary wood comb would prevent giddiness and modern folklore says use Rosemary in shampoo and hair rinse helps hair to grow.  We also know that it is antioxidant and an anti-aging addition both to the diet and to skincare products.

“For you there’s rosemary and rue; these keep seeming and savour all the winter long: Grace and remembrance be to you….” — W. Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale

Key Use ~ The Herb of Remembrance and the Oil of Anti-Aging and Stimulation

This work is sponsored and supported by Prima Fleur Botanicals.

References

  1. https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/salvia-rosmarinus/
  2. http://jeanne-blog.com/rosemary-chemotypes-and-hydrosol/

Books as Reference

Coombs, Allen J. Dictionary of Plant Names. Timber Press. 1995
Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils. Krieger Publishing. Florida. 1976
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose. San Francisco California, 1992
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols. Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne. The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations. San Francisco, California.
Rose, Jeanne. Herbs & Things. Last Gasp Press (ask them to republish it)

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Some cautions to remember with herbs and essential oils.
CAUTIONS AND THOUGHTS

Moderation in All Things.
Be moderate in your use of essential oils as they are just not sustainable for the environment.
Be selective and more moderate in your usage.
Use the herb first as tea or the infusion. —JeanneRose 2014

Always Look at the color of the essential oils

Another photos of the Rosemary oils and herb.
Beautiful rosemary

LEMON PEEL OIL

LEMON Peel Oil and Uses

By Jeanne Rose

Showing a photo of Lemon peel oil and the fruit
Lemon Peel Oil and Fruit • Photo by JeanneRose 2-25-21

Synopsis ~ LEMON PEEL OIL and juice contains limonene, citral, and some floral linalool, which gives Lemon Peel its appealing fresh fragrance and the terpenes its tartness. Itis one of the most valuable essential oils and is used in food, perfumery, skincare for oily skin, and for many medicinal purposes.

Common Name/Latin binomial ~ Citrus x limon (L.) Osb or Lemon tree or Lemon oil. There are strict rules on naming and citrus has been examined and analyzed for parentage for quite some time. Citrus taxonomy is confusing and often inconsistent. They are all named with common names,  scientific names called Latin binomials based on Latin grammar and not necessarily with Latinized words.

Family ~ Rutaceae

Other Names and background ~ There are at least 25 varieties of the Lemon and it often uses the name Citrus limon as well as several old and new names. Some varieties are Bearss, Eureka, Lisbon, Meyer, and Verna Lemon.

Farmers Market photo of two types of Lemon
2 kinds of Lemon • Eureka and MeyerSF Farmers Market – 2019

Countries of Origin ~ Lemon oil is obtained from several countries and Prima Fleur #0086 is from the USA. The tree was native to SE Asia, mainly India.

Endangered ~ Not currently.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF PLANT HABITAT AND GROWTH ~ Lemon trees are cold- sensitive. Grow in warmth or full sun or the south side of a house. They need well-drained soil, slightly acidic. They can be grown from seed or cuttings.  When I lived in Florida, our citrus tree had many varieties layered upon one trunk and we had oranges, lemons,  and grapefruits from one tree. The fragrance of the blossoms was delightful.

PORTION OF PLANT USED IN EXTRACTION AND YIELDS ~ Lemon peel is either cold-pressed or steam-distilled. Various methods have various yields.

            Yield ~ 0.6-0.8% from the cold expression of the fresh fruit peel.   

ORGANOLEPTICS of LEMON PEEL OIL

Colorcolorless to pale yellow for steam-distilled oil and yellow when  cold-pressed (#086)
Clarityclear
ViscosityNon-viscous
Intensity of Odor2-3 for cold-expressed and 1 for steam-distilled (on a scale of 1-10)
Tastebitter and sour
Tenacity in a BlendLemon peel adds freshness but needs fixatives to hold it in a scent or blend
Organoleptics of Lemon Peel Oil from PrimaFleur Botanicals

Chemistry and Components ~ The varieties of Lemon often have the same parentage but have different physiologic forms or formae often based on terroir (such as Mandarin in Italy and Tangerine from Tangiers) or scent chemistry such as limonene which has a chiral difference — both a left-turning molecule, (S) for sinistral with the sour smell of Lemon or Bitter Orange and a right-turning molecule, ® for right hand or clockwise or dextral, the sweet smell of Oranges. This is the reason we all as lovers of essential oils and aromatherapy need to learn some chemistry along with good taxonomy.

Interesting/Science/Historical ~ There is a study that confirms that the composition of Lemon essential oil undergoes cyclic variations lasting one year1. And that Lemon fruit on the same tree may both smell differently from each other but also have different chemistry.

Two bottles of Lemon oil plus a yellow paperweight and a perfect yellow Lemon.
Lemon Oil and Lemon fruit – Photo by JeanneRose 2-2021

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GENERAL PROPERTIES

Lemon peel constitutes a main valuable source of essential oil that is used in foods and for medicinal purpose. It is used by application in skincare, ingested in medicines and used in blends by inhalation.

APPLICATION AND SKINCARE ~ DO NOT APPLY COLD-PRESSED LEMON OIL TO SKIN PRIOR TO SUN EXPOSURE. It may cause photosensitivity. This means it could cause serious skin damage when exposed to the sun such as redness, itching, burns, blisters, and permanent skin discoloration. Steam-distilled Lemon oil does not contain the plant substance (furanocoumarin) that causes photosensitivity.

 Application ~  The essential oil when applied externally is an antibiotic, antiseptic, astringent, insect repellant, and wound healer. Apply  as an astringent antiseptic on some infections, acne, a cleanser for oily skin, on skin sores, small, infected wounds or insect bites.

            Skincare ~ Lemon peel oil can be used in skincare treatments to balance the pH of the skin, by counteracting acidity on its surface and it acts as a very mild natural bleach or lightener on the skin. It can be used to brighten dull skin color and to calm redness, as well as quell the irritation of inflamed skin. Prima Fleur carries several kinds of Lemon peel oil, organically grown and cold-pressed as well as cultivated and cold-pressed.

The conclusion of one scientific study showed that the scavenging action of lemon essential oil could have a practical application for treating human skin against oxidative damage.2

Ingestion: The Lemon peel essential oil should not be taken internally.  The chemistry and scent of essential oil is different than the chemistry and scent of the juice of the Lemon.
Inhalation: Inhale the crisp cheery scent of Lemon oil as a mildly calming  antidepressant due to the cheery scent, or as a mild stimulant, antiseptic, fever-reducer, and depurative for its purifying and detoxifying effects.

Blending for Purpose ~ Lemon peel oil blends very nicely with Bergamot  as a top note in blends and perfumery and then with most florals and woods to complete the blend.

______Diffuse/Diffusion ~ Lemon oil is a good addition to many other oils in your diffusor. It is uplifting, refreshing, and invigorating. For a quiet clear mind, add Rosemary to the Lemon, add sweet Basil or Spearmint to Lemon oil to uplift the spirit, and for a quiet calmness add Lemon oil to Vetivert.

Ritual/Emotional/Energetic Use: Lemon oil is used by inhalation for general fatigue and depression or physical exhaustion. 

 Culinary/Ingestion ~ Drink  Lemon Juice do not use Lemon oil in water. Tiny amounts of Lemon oil can be used as a flavorant in foods.

Herbal ~ Lemon peel, dried or fresh, can be used in baths, facial steaming herbs, most potpourris and herbal mixtures; it is used as decoction for normal to oily hair or in infused vinegar to use as a hair and skin rinse. Diluted Lemon juice can also be used directly on the hair and skin and it acts to reduce the alkalinity of shampoo and to rid the hair of dandruff and the skin of minor irritations.

Lemon and Cucumber Mask
Mash some Cucumber in a mortar, add some Lemon juice, and
Enough Almond meal to make a paste. Apply to face or knees or elbows.
This is mildly astringent and yet soothing.3.
You can also make this mask with Lemon Hydrosol

Hydrosol ~ I have used Lemon Hydrosol from several companies; they were distilled from whole fruit and rind and were each perfect in their own way. The hydrosol is wonderful for slightly oily skin and very soothing and a refreshing tonic for the skin.

Key Use ~ I like to call Lemon oil “the Oil of slimming” as it is effective in blends for this purpose.

2 bottles of Lemon oil showing color difference in different oils from the fruit peel.
Lemon oil

References ~

1.On the genuineness of citrus essential oils. Part X. Research on the composition of essential oils produced from Sicilian lemons using ‘pelatrice’ and ‘sfumatrice’ extractors during the entire 1983/84 production season. A. Cotroneo et al.  March 1986. https://doi.org/10.1002/ffj.2730010206

2.Antioxidative action of citrus limonum essential Oil on Skin. Bertuzzi, et al., https://www.researchgate.net/publication/233850718_Antioxidative_Action_of_Citrus_limonum_Essential_Oil_on_Skin

3.Rose, Jeanne • The Herbal Body Book • Frog Books, 2000. http://www.jeannerose.net/books.html

This work is sponsored and supported by Prima Fleur Botanicals.

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SOME CAUTIONS TO REMEMBER FOR ALL PLANTS & THEIR PARTS

PATCH TEST:  If applying a new essential oil to your skin always perform a patch test to the inner arm (after you have diluted the EO in a vegetable carrier oil). —Wash an area of your forearm about the size of a quarter and dry carefully. Apply a diluted drop (1 drop EO + 1 drop carrier) to the area. Then apply a loose Band-Aid and wait 24 hours. If there is no reaction, then go ahead and use the oil in your formulas. —The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations, p. 64

HYDROSOL — PLEASE NOTE: A true hydrosol should be specifically distilled for the hydrosol, not as a co-product or even a by-product of essential oil distillation. The plant’s cellular water has many components most are lost under pressurized short steam runs for essential oil, or by using dried material. We recommend that the producers specifically distill for a product by using plant material that is fresh.
DO NOT INGEST ESSENTIAL OILS: Although some oils are important flavoring oils in the flavor industry and thus ingested in very small amounts in many foods, especially meats and sausages, it is not a good idea to use them yourself either in capsules or in honey to take internally.
SAFETY PRECAUTIONS: Do not apply the essential oil neat, especially to the underarms or delicate parts of the body. Most oils are probably not to be used on babies, children or pregnant women. Many aromatherapist suggest that there are some oils not be used at all. However, as with many plants, essential oil chemistry is subject to change depending on species, chemotype, and terroir.
CONTRAINDICATIONS: Be moderate in your use of any essential oil. A little goes a long way. Remember to choose the herbal use over the essential oil use normally; an herb tea is milder than the essential oil. There are always contraindications for the excessive use of some plants and for their essential oils in both perfumery and aromatherapy.

Moderation in All Things.
Be moderate in your use of essential oils as they are just not sustainable for the environment.
Be selective and more moderate in your usage.
Use the herb first as tea or the infusion. —JeanneRose 2014

DISCLAIMER:  This work is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for accurate diagnosis and treatment by a qualified health care professional. Dosages are often not given, as that is a matter between you and your health care provider. The author is neither a chemist nor a medical doctor.  The content herein is the product of research and personal and practical experience. Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies – Jeanne Rose©