Cinnamon Bark & Leaf

Photo by Jeanne Rose of the essential oils of the leaf and bark plus the bark itself, powdered bark and leaves (a tree from the SF Conservatory of Flowers).

CINNAMON BARK & LEAF ~ botany, history, and uses.

Synopsis ~ Cinnamon is a spice, a very fragrant culinary condiment,  obtained from the inner bark of the genus Cinnamomum. Here listed are history, uses, and more.

CINNAMON BARK & LEAF, Hydrosol, Uses

Jeanne Rose – August 2022

COMMON NAME/LATIN BINOMIAL OF CINNAMON ~ Cinnamon bark & leaf, Cinnamomum verum AKA zeylanicum, or Ceylon cinnamon, true Cinnamon; the Cinnamon that is commercially used but is often adulterated.

Family ~ Lauraceae, the same family that includes the true Bay tree, Litsea spp., Sassafras spp., and Cinnamomum cassia.

COUNTRIES OF ORIGINS ~ Cinnamon was a native of Ceylon and is now grown in other areas such as Java, Sumatra, Borneo, South America, the East Indian, and West Indies, among places.

ENDANGERED OR NOT ~ The Cinnamon tree is threatened by human growth into once wild and farming areas T; the Cebu Cinnamon is endangered.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF PLANT HABITAT AND GROWTH ~ CEYLON CINNAMON. -This large, evergreen tree grows in mixed forests and valleys and has glossy,  thick, leathery,  alternate leaves; the entire tree has a distinct odor. The spice is “long, closely rolled quills, composed of 8 or more layers of bark of the thickness of paper; pale yellowish-brown; outer surface smooth, marked with wavy lines of bast-bundles; inner surface striate; fracture short-splintery; odor fragrant; taste sweet and warmly aromatic”-(U. S.).            There are several hundred species of the Cinnamon tree.

photo of Mabberley's Plant Book.

Find a good Field Guide Book and learn how to identify plants by their external and internal look.
Or use Mabberley’s Plant-Book for the correct names, classification, and uses.

PORTION OF Cinnamon USED FOR EXTRACTION, EXTRACTION METHODS; DISTILLATION, HOW DISTILLED, AND YIELDS ~ Distillation is one of the oldest, simplest, and most widespread methods of extracting cinnamon essential oils, especially at commercial levels. In the Cinnamon bark or leaf hydrodistillation process, water vapors at boiling temperature are used to drive out the fragrant components. Supercritical fluid extraction yields Cinnamon CO2 and is one of the techniques used for Cinnamon oil and other essential oil extraction.1

Yield – The steam distillation of the bark is about 4% yield; while the steam distillation of the leaf is about 5%.


•SOURCE ~ Prima Fleur Botanicals is an excellent source of true Cinnamon essential oil

photo of Prima Fleur Cinnamon bark oil and the bark (quill) and powder

Organoleptic or Sensory qualities of the Bark and leaf.

ODOR DESCRIPTION/ AROMA ASSESSMENT ~ Cinnamon bark oil is fruity, floral, and spicy; while the Cinnamon leaf oil is spicy, woody, and vegetative.

CHEMISTRY  OF CINNAMON ~ “Regarding the differences between plant parts, it is known from Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) that the root-, stem-, and leaf oils differ significantly (Wijesekera et al., 1974): only the stem bark contains essential oil with up to 70% cinnamaldehyde, whereas the oil of the root bark consists mainly of camphor and linalool, and the leaves produce oils with eugenol as the main compound. In contrast to it, eugenol is 70–90% of the main compound in the stem, the leaf, and bud oils of cloves (Syzygium aromaticum) (Lawrence, 1978)”. —from Handbook of Essential Oils by Buchbauer.

The essential oil of cinnamon bark (max. 4%) is dominated by the two phenylpropanoids cinnamaldehyde (3-phenyl-acrolein, 65 to 75%) and eugenol (4-(1-propene-3-yl)-2-methoxy-phenol, 5 to 10%).

            Essential oil of cinnamon leaves, another (1%) can be obtained that consists mainly of eugenol (70 to 95%) and can be used as a substitute for clove.

Photo of Cinnamon tree, bark in quills, and dried leaves.



CINNAMON PROPERTIES AND USES ~ Action are stimulant, tonic, stomachic, carminative, and astringent; reputed emmenagogue can diminish milk secretion.

CINNAMON SKIN CARE ~ Add Cinnamon bark oil to your products as an antibacterial and for that delicious spicy scent. Cinnamon oil contains eugenol; it is antispasmodic, anti-infectious, and antifungal and is also indicated for tooth care, respiratory blends, or the herb tea for sleepiness or depression.

This is a skin irritant; use it with moderation and with caution.

APPLICATION/MASSAGE ~ CINNAMON CO2 (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)  Add Cinnamon to your products as an antibacterial stimulant and for that delicious spicy scent. Cinnamon CO2 retains the true scent of dried Cinnamon. You can add it to your products as part of your scent blend.

This is a skin irritant; use it with moderation and with caution.

            CHAI BLEND #6050  ~ This warm, spicey, and energizing blend is used in massage and diffusion to energize the air in a common room. Add the blend to Turmeric oil at  5% with a carrier oil for deep-tissue massage for aching joints or add to an unscented cream and use it as a body massage. The spicy blend “Chai” from Prima Fleur includes Cardamom, Cinnamon leaf, Ginger, Nutmeg, and others. … …… Not for facial skincare

CINNAMON DIFFUSE/DIFFUSION ~ EMOTIONAL/ENERGETIC USE ~ The mystery of aromatherapy is the everchanging scent —Get to know this essence that can create such a variety of emotional and physical changes. Cinnamon first stimulates and then depresses the nervous system. Cinnamon is used in medications to correct the effects and improve the drug’s flavor.


BLENDING & PERFUMERY ~ Always dilute Cinnamon oil (and all the spice oils) very well, as they are skin irritants. Cinnamon bark oil blends well with most odors such as florals, citrus, woods, herbs, spices, and resins.

Here is a perfume formula.

Cinnamon Chypre Perfume formula

HYDROSOL OF CINNAMON ~ I am fortunate to have two bottles of Cinnamon bark hydrosol. I use them in cooking, as a light spray on some desserts and other foods, or as a spray to scent the room. Both these hydrosols taste delicious and can also be used in your tea (up to 1 t./cup) and as a compress for aching muscles or joints.

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 fresh plant material.


HERBAL/USE ~  Culinary uses of Cinnamon include flavoring in many products, spicing up desserts and in candies and other sweets; and eating Cinnamon cassia, which is a different species, 1-2 t./day to improve your glucose (1, 3, or 6 grams – 2 t per day).

Also, Cinnamon bark, crushed, is useful in potpourris to scent a room.

KEY USE ~ The oil of Scent and Taste.

HISTORICAL USES ~ Wiki says, “It was regarded as a suitable gift for Monarchs and for Gods. Ancient Egyptians used Cinnamon as part of their embalming rituals. Physicians from the Middle Ages used Cinnamon to help treat cold and throat ailments such as coughing, hoarseness and sore throats. And “it was the most profitable spice in the Dutch East India Company trade.”2

            It was also used as a preservative in food and adding flavor as long ago as 2000 B.C. The Bible also mentions Cinnamon.


This work is sponsored and supported by Prima Fleur Botanicals.

INTERESTING INFORMATION ON CINNAMON ~ Cinnamon oil from C. zeylanicum has antifungal, antiviral, bactericidal, and larvicidal properties. A liquid carbon dioxide extraction at 0.1% has been demonstrated to suppress the growth of many organisms, including E. coli, S. aureus, and C. albicans.3



Cinnamon so sweet and so nice
For this you may want to pay the price
Use it for scent
But not for rent
And if you want it will kill all your lice. —JeanneRose2016



  1. Cinnamon Oil By Khalid Haddi, Lêda R.A. Faroni, Eugênio E. Oliveira • Green Pesticides Handbook, 1st Edition . 2017 . CRC Press

2. Wikipedia mention

3. PRESERVATIVES | Traditional Preservatives – Vegetable Oils. E.O. Aluyor, I.O. Oboh, in Encyclopedia of Food Microbiology, 2nd Ed., 2014. … Oils from Vegetables as Possible Preservatives


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

SOME CAUTIONS TO REMEMBER for all Plants and their Parts

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©


The Jasmine, an ancient flower, is treasured and known throughout history for over 3000 years.  It is used today mainly for perfumery. Read on!

The Jasmin in my back yard.
Jeanne’s Jasmin

JASMINE Absolute and Uses

By Jeanne Rose

Can I say I love the  Jasmine as it produces blooms sometimes continually here in San Francisco, the most beautiful and treasured of flowers, so highly sought after for scent, emotional medicine, skincare, and love. Known as the ‘king of flowers”.

Jasmine COMMON NAME/LATIN BINOMIAL ~  Jasmine is the common name for the fragrant vine with white, highly fragrant flowers, and Jasminum is the genus. We will discuss three Jasmine species: J. grandiflorum,  J. officinale, and J. sambac.

Other Names and background ~ Jessamine, Yasmin, Jasmine, and more; my favorite is the Pikake of Hawaii, J. sambac. Pikake means “peacock” and was named by Crown Princess Kaiulani, the last princess of the sovereign Hawaiian monarchy because she loved both peacocks and this jasmine! Jasminum sambac,= Arabian jasmine = Hawaiian jasmine or pikake from the olive family (Oleaceae) and is originally a native of India. Pikake is known outside of Hawaii as Arabian or Indian jasmine. In the Philippines, where it is, the national flower is known as Sampaguita. In China, the flower is processed as the primary component for Jasmine tea.

Family ~ Oleaceae

Jasmine flower by Mary Nell Jackson of Jackson farms.
Jasmine flower – Mary Nell Jackson – Jackson Farms

COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN FOR Jasmine ABSOLUTE ~ India, Syria, Morocco, Iran, and more.

ENDANGERED ~ Some Jasmine varieties, types, and cultivars are rare. The genus itself is not endangered. There are about 200 species of this flower around the world, and it seems wherever it is, it is loved for its strong scent.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF Jasmin PLANT HABITAT AND GROWTH ~ An evergreen shrub, vine, or climbing bush that is fragile and grows up to 33 feet high, with dark green leaves and small, white, star-shaped flowers, which grow well on young shoots.   A cultivated ornamental, some species are naturalized in South America and invasive in SE USA, including Hawaii and New Zealand.

            Jasminum grandiflorum = Spanish Jasmine. It originated in the valleys of the lower Himalayas and was brought to Spain by the Moors. The Jasmine absolute is obtained by extraction and is one of perfumery’s most precious materials. It is produced mainly in Egypt (8000 freshly picked flowers to make 1 g of absolute).4

                  Jasminum officinale = common Jasmine or Poet’s Jasmine has a rich scent, is native to the Himalayas, probably originated in China, and is a robust and vigorous climber to 10-15 feet.

            Jasminum sambac = Arabian jasmine = Hawaiian jasmine or Pikake is a native of India. It is a fragrant-flowered shrub, 2–3 feet wide and up to 6 feet tall, used to make fragrant leis.

alchemical symbol of wax or sap

Jasmine ~ PORTION OF PLANT USED IN EXTRACTION AND YIELDS ~ Extraction is by solvent, enfleurage of the flowers, or CO2 with natural solvents.  “1,000 pounds of flowers yield approximately 1 pound of liquid concrète, which yields 0.2% of aromatic molecules.”  Picking and extraction is better and more productive in the morning, at 5 am, than 12 hours later at 5 pm. The Jasmines are grown for perfumery and some medicinal uses.

            • Two main types of Jasmine are used for oil production – Jasminum grandiflorum and Jasminum officinale. Jasmine flower oil extracted from these two species is used in high-grade perfumes and cosmetics, such as creams, oils, soaps, and shampoos.

Jasmine – there are many species and many kinds of the scent for perfume.

Jasmine CO2
Jasmine grandflorum – concrète and Absolute
Jasmine officinale – concrète and Absolute
Jasmine sambac – absolute and Enfleurage


Jasmin grandiflorum plant and Prima Fleur Jasmine absolute.
Jasmin grandiflorum – plant & Prima Fleur Jasmine absolute
Organoleptics of 4 types of Jasmine scent.


                  Jasmine is a classic example of a flower that continues to develop and emit its natural odor up to 24-36 hours after it has been picked; therefore, it is supremely suitable for the enfleurage technique of extracting the scent via maceration in warm fat.

Jasminum grandiflorum absolute is floral with subsidiary notes of fruity, green, woody, and back notes of sweet hay, leather, powder, oily, and honey. See the scent snapshot at the end of this article.

Jasminum sambac absolute is very complex because it has dozens of components.  It can be described as floral, with a green and woody subsidiary note and spicey and sometimes fruity back note. It is an intensely floral, rich, warm, and diffusive odor.  It doesn’t take much to make a lovely positive change in a perfume. Arabian Jasmine is cultivated, solvent-extracted from the flower. The odor-aroma is sweet and tenacious and captures the late evening odors.

Jasmin Limerick
I love the smelly Jasmin
It is not all like the Lavender Tasmin.
White and small
Climbs the wall
It can smell up a deep chasm.

History & Interesting Facts  ~ Because its scent is more pungent after sunset, Jasmine is called the “queen of the night” in India.  “The Hindu god of love, Kama, who, like the Greek Eros and the Roman Cupid, is represented with a bow, had arrows tipped with Jasmine blossoms to pierce the heart with desire. 

            “The Greek physician Dioscorides reported in the 1st century AD that the Persians used jasmine oil to perfume the air at their banquets.  Along with hyacinth and rose, they frequently appeared in Sufi poetry as a symbol of love and spiritual longing.  The plant’s name is derived from the Persian Yasmin, a common name for a girl”5.


CHEMISTRY AND COMPONENTS ~ • Jasmine oil is most extracted via solvents and sometimes CO2, as well as a few other ways. “It is a prevalent fragrant oil that contains benzyl acetate, terpinol, jasmone, benzyl benzoate, linalool, several alcohols, and other compounds”4. It is not steam-distilled except in some instances by private persons experimenting with their stills.

photo of Jasminum officinale on the fence.
Jasminum officinale



The general properties of the Jasmine oil and extracts are relaxing and stimulating, antidepressant, slightly astringent, hypnotic, tonic, and the herb used in tea as a scent additive.

Properties of Jasmine are by IG=ingestion or IN=inhalation or AP=application ~. 

Inhalation –     Antidepressant, nervine, euphoric, aphrodisiac, relaxant, calmative, stimulant, sedative, and a sexual tonic.

Application –   Warming.  Antiseptic.  Antispasmodic.  Cicatrizing.  Urogenital restorative and decongestant.                                                                             

Physical Uses & How used (IG or AP) ~

Application –   Indispensable in perfumery.  Used in skin care for dry, greasy, sensitive, wrinkled, aging, mature, and irritated skin.  Massaged into the pelvis area, Jasmine relieves congestion or any menstrual problems.  It is thought to balance female hormones and regulate the menstrual cycle.  I have used it externally applied on the belly (to have an effect) as a uterine massage oil, and to prevent stretch marks.  It is somewhat antiseptic.

Inhalation –     Used to relieve labor pains and deter impotence and frigidity.

Emotional Uses (AP or IN) ~

Application –   To relieve headaches. Apply a dab around the temples.

Inhalation – To dispel depression, relieve nervous exhaustion and tension, and alleviate stress.  It makes one feel happy.  Aphrodisiac.  It is uplifting yet soothing and overcomes restlessness.

APPLICATIONS IN SKINCARE ~ Jasmine absolute is used for all skin, particularly dry or aging skin. Any blend you make and use on the face with Jasmin will reduce tension and stress in the skin and relax and smooth out wrinkles. Jasmine oil (any kind) can be used with Mandarin oil in a carrier – it is calming and soothing when inhaled and applied externally on the abdomen to prevent stretch marks, as well as in skin care products for smooth skin.

Tropical Skin Blend by Alexandra Avery

 1 oz. Kukui nut oil
 2 oz. Macadamia nut oil
 ½  oz. Aloe vera oil
 6 drops of Ylang essential oil
4 drops of Jasmine essential oil
 5 drops of Sandalwood essential oil

      Combine all ingredients and shake well.  Store in a glass perfume bottle and use over face and body while skin is still damp from bathing.

A small glass perfume bottle

recipe from a 350-year-old book

BLENDING FOR PURPOSE AND PERFUMERY ~ Jasmine absolute uniquely combines well with all floral items. It works well with woods, citrus, florals, spices, resins, and many exotic or amber-style perfumes. Add it to your synergy, drop by drop, until you achieve the scent you like.  Try a Millefeuille Perfume or Huit Fleur of all florals, such as Jasmine, Lavender, Neroli, Osmanthus, Rose, Rose geranium, Tuberose, Ylang-ylang with the green Violet leaf, and Atlas Cedar and Sandalwood as the base note.

Perfume by W. A. Poucher – 1923

Tuberose extract triple =148 cc
Orange flower extract triple = 50 cc
Cassie absolute = 0.1 cc
Ylang-ylang oil – Manila = 0.4 cc
Rose otto – Bulgarian = 1.5 cc
Jonquille extract triple = 300 cc
Jasmin extract triple = 500 cc

Use Jasmine grandiflorum concrète rather than absolute for solids…that little bit of jasmine wax adds to the scent, smoothes out the edges, and makes it more tenacious. A touch of Ylang and a little Blood Orange are also added. Use Labdanum and Tonka lightly as a base note to give depth and support the scent without intruding on the jasmine.

JASMINE Spring – 2017
Bergamot,   20
Green lemon or Grapefruit 5
Tuberose, 10
Bulgarian rose, 15
JASMINE sweet 5 (or more)
Iris (orris),  5
Violet leaf 5-10
Coffee – 5
75-100 drops of Grape spirits (95%)

[a personalized perfume made for Christine Suppes]

INHALATION AND DIFFUSION ~Are you feeling very stressed and overcome by the events of the day? Take out that bottle of Jasmine absolute, mix 10 drops Jasmine plus 10-20 drops carrier oil, and inhale as it is soothing and relaxing. 

RITUAL USE ~ Jasmine oil, either inhaled or applied to the forehead, relieves headache and stress; the oil has a history of positive use in rituals. There are many ways to use the ancient scent.


Jasmine WAX – The floral waxes are a great way to add floral scents to cold-processed soaps, candles, solid perfumes, and more. They are a by-product of the production of absolutes. The petals are put into a vat, and a solvent is added, which extracts the absolute. The solvent is evaporated, and alcohol is added to remove the next phase of the fragrance, a concrète – which has the softer scent of the original plant material. Finally, the alcohol is removed, and the plant waxes that are naturally contained in the petals and still holding some of their scents are left. The waxes fluctuate with every batch.

Jasmine wax photos and descriptions.
Jasmine wax

INGESTION/CULINARY USE OF THE HERB Jasmine. Jasminum is used to scent tea and some other foods.  It is generally not used itself as a tea, as it is the most prized scent of the tea.

• Crepe jasmine, Tabernaemontana divaricate is used medicinally because it contains a natural pain-killing chemical. “Chemists have synthesized a pain-relieving extract from the bark of this tropical shrub in the lab, paving the way for new drugs that lack the unwanted side effects of many opiate-based pain meds. A compound from crepe jasmine (above) that shows promise as a pain reliever has been synthesized in the lab, a feat that should kick off hard-core explorations of the compound’s drug potential.”… Despite its name, the plant isn’t closely related to scented jasmine. Instead, it comes from a plant family rich in alkaloids, compounds that are often poisonous but have been commandeered as medicine for treating malaria, cancer, and other maladies.3 [not a true Jasmine – here is where using a common name can be trouble]

• The nectar of the fragrant flowers of Carolina Jasmine, Gelsemium sempervirens, is poisonous, although its dried roots are used in medicinal preparations as a sedative. [not a true Jasmine]

HERBAL Jasmine~ There is almost nothing more relaxing than an herbal bath scented with real flowers.  Just pick the flowers and strew them in hot water. The heat extracts the fragrance, and the smoothing emollient quality of the petals is released to cleanse and soothe the skin.  Mixtures can include Rose petals, whole Jasmine flowers, chopped and muslin-bagged Comfrey and Marshmallow leaves, and/or others from the garden.

A spray of Jasmin flowers over an old wooden fence.

HYDROSOL OF Jasmine ~ Jasmine has the potential to improve any skincare product. If carefully, gently, and slowly hydro-distilled on low heat, it will keep some of its floral character plus green leaf volatiles (GLV) and can be added to any cream, lotion, tonic, moisturizer, bath, and more. It is always soothing. It can be used with Seaweed extract and other herbs for an AntiAging elixir. Try it. Read any of my (Jeanne Rose) books for many more uses.

Key Use ~ Perfumery and skincare. Oil of Scent©.

Safety Precautions ~ None known.

This work is sponsored and supported by Prima Fleur Botanicals.


A scent snapshop of Jasminum grandiflorum absolute.
Jasminum grandiflorum


1.McGee, Harold. Nose Dive – A Field Guide to the World’s Smells. Penguin Press. 2020
2.Shaath Ph.D., Nadim A. Healing Civilizations, The search for Therapeutic Essential Oils & Nutrients. Cameron + Company, Petaluma, CA. 2017
3. Natural pain-killing chemical synthesized Making conolidine in the lab could further drug research, By Rachel Ehrenberg
5. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, p. 84

Arctander, Steffen. Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin. 1960
Copeland, Dawn. Essential Oil Profiles. 2005
Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils, published by Krieger
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose & Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1992
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
Piesse, Septimus. The Art of Perfumery. Lindsay & Blakiston. 1st edition. 1867
Poucher, W. A. Perfumes and Cosmetics. 1923
Rose, Jeanne.  375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols.  Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne.  The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations.  San Francisco, California
Rose, Jeanne. Natural Botanical Perfumery Workbook.  Available at
Rose, Jeanne. The Herbal Body Book. Frog, Ltd. Berkeley, CA. 2000


photo of perfume bottle, entitled "Rising Up"


Zingiber officinale or Ginger is the Common Name and Latin Binomial known simply as Ginger or Ginger root.  It is known worldwide as a culinary and medicinal spice. Both an essential oil and a CO2 extract are obtained.

photo of ginger root with ginger EO superimposed on it.


By Jeanne Rose ~ 7-02-22

Zingiber officinale is known simply as Ginger or Ginger root.  It is known worldwide as a culinary and medicinal spice. Spice is usually the dried hard parts of aromatic plants such as bark, root, or flower buds (Cloves), or berries (Pepper) as opposed to herbs which are the softer parts such as leaves.  However, both can be defined as herbs (a plant or plant part used for food or medicine).

Family ~ Zingiberaceae which also includes Turmeric, Galangal, and the flowering ‘ginger’ Hedychium spp.

Countries of Origins ~ Native to Asia and is grown and processed in India, Nigeria, China, Nepal, and other countries.

Endangered or Not ~ The plant is more or less extinct in the wild and yet millions of tons are cultivated each year. Ginger is a flowering perennial that grows new stems from its rhizomes each spring. According to Wikipedia it probably originated in the tropical rainforest of the Indian subcontinent.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF GINGER’s HABITAT AND GROWTH ~  An erect perennial herb growing up to three or four feet.  It has long, lance-shaped leaves, which extend from a central stalk, and atop which grow yellow flowers with purple claws.  The stalk grows from a tuber, thick, spreading rhizome/root, which is very strongly fragrant and extends downwards.

PORTION OF PLANT USED IN DISTILLATION, HOW DISTILLED, EXTRACTION METHODS, AND YIELDS ~ The fresh or dried Ginger (“hands”) rhizome is steam distilled.  Yield: 2-4%.

Ginger root CO2 Extract (Total) ~ (Zingiber officinale) This total extract is dark and potent as well and more like the root in nature. The essential oil of Ginger does not have the irritating bite as does the herb itself and can be taken — 1-2 drops in Ginger ale for nausea. It is a pleasant addition to a drink. However, the extract of Ginger does have a ‘bite’. The scent of both is a warm, spicy, green odor and is very good in all sorts of perfume combinations. Wonderful perfumery item. The extract is true to the warmth and spice of fresh ginger root.



            Color – light yellow

            Clarity – clear

            Viscosity – non-viscous

            Taste – spicy, umami (and yes it tastes eponymously like Ginger root)

            Intensity of Odor – 5

             Tenacity – very tenacious in a blend, use by the drop in a perfume

ODOR DESCRIPTION/ AROMA ASSESSMENT – the scent feels warm and is spicy, green, and fruity.

3 bottles of oil, Ginger CO2, wild Ginger EO, and organic Ginger EO
Ginger CO2, wild Ginger EO, and organic Ginger


GENERAL PROPERTIES OF Ginger oil and plant

Ginger oil as well as the herb tea are a stimulant. The essential oil of Ginger (Zingiber officinale), when tasted, does not have the irritating bite as does the herb itself and can be used for nausea  (1-2 drops in Ginger ale ). The scent is warm, spicy, green, and very good in all sorts of therapeutic and perfume combinations. It can also be used in skincare in cleansing creams and cleansing body and skin care products for a spicy scent and stimulating action. 

         Ginger root CO2 Extract (Total) ~ (Zingiber officinale) This total extract is dark and potent as well and more like the root in nature. The extract of Ginger has a ‘bite’ to it as does the herb. The essential oil of Ginger does not have an irritating bite and can be taken — 1-2 drops in Ginger ale for nausea. It is a pleasant addition to a drink. The extract is true to the warmth and spice of fresh ginger root. The scent of both is a warm, spicy, green odor and is very good in all sorts of perfume combinations. Wonderful perfumery items. Ginger oil and extract have many accommodating features for blends and are used in creams and lotions for massage for warm stimulation. Especially good if used in moderation.


PROPERTIES AND USES ~ By Ingestion, this is a powerful tonic for the entire digestive system. The herb tea is Indicated for appetite problems, gut spasms, abdominal distention, stomachache, indigestion, flatulence, diarrhea, and anorexia.  Ginger root and essential oil are widely used for flavoring.  Add 1 drop of Ginger EO to Ginger Ale or carbonated water as an aperitive.

APPLICATION ~  Put a drop or two in your hands and rub them together and then apply to cold hands and feet, on the chest as a tonic for the heart, and on your limbs as a powerful rubefacient for rheumatic pain, arthritis, lower backache, muscle fatigue, chronic bronchitis, chest pains, colds and flu, fever, sore, throat, swollen glands, and numbness.

bottle of Prima Fleur Ginger essential oil
Ginger EO

INHALATION ~ Zingiber cassumunar (Plai) is used for bronchitis and asthma. Zingiber officinale is used for jet lag, motion and travel sickness, seasickness, nausea, morning sickness, as a sexual tonic, heartwarming odor, and to ease confusion. Inhaling Ginger oil may improve circulation and reduce numbness.

Emotional/Energetic Use ~ Use by application as a sexual tonic.

DIFFUSE/DIFFUSION ~ When added to blends it is warming and invigorating and especially pleasant on cold winter days.

BLENDING AND PERFUMERY ~ Blends well with citrus, orange, spices, cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla, benzoin, cedar, sandalwood, and other woods.

A Ginger Perfume

  1. 3 mL (or 0.1 oz.) organic carrier oil.
  2. 4 drops organic fresh ginger essential oil.
  3. 4 drops organic mandarin essential oil.
  4. 6 drops organic lemon essential oil.
  5. 2 drops organic lime peel essential oil.

Mix the oils together and succuss. Add the carrier oil and succuss again.

Label. Let it age and meld for a few weeks before using.

ginger root photo
Ginger root

HYDROSOL ~ Tracy Feldstein mentioned the uses of Ginger hydrosol in the FB group; “Strange things I have done with ginger Hydrosol: 1-used it as an ingredient in carrot soup. 2 – fogged the apartment of a woman who had mold Sensitivity from a previous apartment. (part of a Lyme disease problem) 3- added 3 cups to a hot tub. … (my husband loves doing this it feels really good. ) I have had no negative results from doing this and quite a bit of positive feedback.”

Martin Hardie says that “It grows wild in Timor. The people make a hydrosol with it and he has found it great for itchy scalp and pouring out into a hot bath makes a very relaxing bath that will often put him into a deep sleep.”

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.

Hydrosol sample from Wai'iti
Hydrosol sample from Wai’iti


HERBAL ~ Ginger root herb helps to stimulate digestion and ease flatulence. It has antiseptic qualities. Ginger root herb extracts have been studied for use in fighting bacteria and fungi, treating convulsions, pain, spasms, and allergic reactions.  Animal experiments have shown that fresh ginger relieves pain and inflammation. A Ginger decoction can be used as a cleansing mouthwash; infused in yogurt and eaten helps to stimulate digestion and ease flatulence. It has antiseptic qualities.

            Drinking the tea may help with circulation and improve your immune system.

What is an Herb? [to an herbalist]

Any plant or any plant part is valued for its medicinal, savory, or aromatic qualities.

 [tree, shrub, moss, mold, algae, any plant part]…

            (Our use as well as the old Herbalists).

What is an Herb [to a botanist]?

Botanist: An annual or biannual plant that does not develop persistent woody tissue.

What is an Herb [to a cook]?

Culinary: The top of a plant as opposed to the bottom. 

(Think of Celery: Celery root, Celery seed, Celery leaf, Celery herb.) What is Celery?

CULINARY Uses ~ Ginger is much used in many types of cuisines and in meats, seafood, and vegetarian styles of food.  It is used as a spice in desserts, cookies, bread, preserves, in soft drinks and in tea. Whole pieces of Ginger flavors soups, condiments, stir-fries, rice, marinades and glazes, sauces, and salad dressings.

Ginger recipe that can be used with soda, or tea, to flavor or to ease digestion.

Use 1-2 tablespoons per drink.

 Ginger Syrup is a decoction made from 1-cup thinly sliced Ginger root simmered in 1-cup water for 10 minutes, strained out, and then 1-cup sugar added and gently heated until the sugar is dissolved about another 10-minutes. The strained-out pieces can be added to flavor honey (to just cover) as the Ginger still has taste and aroma.

            Ginger is also used to scent and flavor many foods during holidays, including the Gingerbread house.

Gingerbread House at the Waterbar at Christmas 2018
Gingerbread House at the Waterbar at Christmas 2018


CHEMICAL COMPONENTS ~ Alpha & Beta Zingiberene, ar-curcumene, Camphene, Neral, and B-bisabolene

HISTORICAL USES AND INTERESTING INFORMATION ~  Culinary & medicinal purposes, especially as a digestive stimulant, and as an aphrodisiac. One of the most important and oldest spices, ginger was one of the first spices to travel the “Spice Route” from Asia to Europe.  “Long known as an aphrodisiac in China, India, and elsewhere.  In Senegal, West Africa, the women make belts with the rhizome, in the hope of arousing their partner’s sexual interest” essential aromatherapy, p.136.  When used in perfumery, it creates an oriental-type blend.

Key Use: Digestive problems, nausea, for flavoring, as a rubefacient, expectorant, and as an aphrodisiac.


This work is sponsored and supported by Prima Fleur Botanicals.



Safety Precautions for Ginger: None known.  Non-toxic.  The essential oil is Non-irritant.

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

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©


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

Mojay, Gabriel.  Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit.  Rochester, Vermont:  Healing Arts Press,

Worwood, Susan & Valerie Ann.  essential aromatherapy, Novato, California: New World Library, 2003.


BLUE CHAMOMILE OIL and herb uses

 June 2022

the blue oils are many essential oils from two botanical groups that when distilled produce a blue-colored oil. They are all anti-inflammatory and very helpful to skin health.

bottle of German CHAMOMILE and a scent blotter showing the color of the oil
blue Chamomile ~ PrimaFleur


Three things to learn about blue-colored oils

1. the blue oils are blue in color

2. there is no blue in the plant itself

3. if the color of the EO is turning — brown to yellow it is oxidized, don’t use it.


NAMING ~ The plant we are discussing is Matricaria chamomilla, the German or Sweet Chamomile, an annual plant, from words meaning a low-growing plant (chamo) and mother or uterus (matri) named for the uses that this plant had for women.

            FAMILY ~ Asteraceae. The Asteraceae family includes the Chamaemelum, Matricaria, Artemisia, Tanacetum, and Achillea.

COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN:  Native to Europe, and West Asia, and naturalized worldwide.


GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF PLANT, HABITAT & GROWTH ~ Even experts are confused by the variety of looks that each of the various species of the blue-oil group attains and the physical descriptions have been described in greater detail in more scholarly texts and also more simply in an article I wrote for the Aromatic Plant Project in 1994. See especially the references at the end of the articles numbers 8, 9, 10, and 11.

            A plant grown near water will often be more luxuriant than the same exact plant grown without water. Be aware of the terroir in which a plant does best and if growing it on your own try to imitate the best environment.  Rich soil and abundant water may not be what makes a plant grow to its best.

            “Matricaria chamomilla, Sweet Chamomile,  Sweet Chamomile.  Sweet-scented, much-branched, glabrous annual, to 2 ½ feet; leaves to 2-3/8-inch-long, 2-pinnatifid into linear segments; heads 1 inch across, receptacle conical; disc flowers yellow, 5-lobed, ray flowers 10-20, white, reflexed, achenes 5-ribbed.  Europe to West Asia; naturalized in North America.”11

fresh annual Chamomile flowers. Image 2010
fresh Chamomile flowers


PORTION OF PLANT USED IN DISTILLATION, HOW DISTILLED, EXTRACTION METHODS ~ In the plants that produce blue-colored oil, the flowers are the best part to distill whether by steam or hydro-distillation. They should be picked early in the day for the most abundant matricin and distilled immediately. As an example, for the best German Chamomile EO or hydrosol, only the top flowering parts are harvested. Chamazulene itself does not occur in the plant but is formed from a sesquiterpene lactone called matricin during the steam distillation process. Don’t expect to make herbal remedies with plants that produce blue oils to have a blue product. These plants should be carefully steam-distilled mainly from the flower, the hydrosol immediately frozen (to preserve the blue color) and the essential oil collected and stored in the freezer to preserve it from oxidation.

alchemical symbol for distillation

            “The Magic of Distillation is being able to observe and watch something colorless change into something gorgeously blue. There is pure magic to distillation with the plants that contain matricin – that magical alchemical moment when you are distilling that the matricin dies and becomes something new. It changes within the blink of an eye from the plant’s colorless clear essential oil liquid and turns the perfect blue of the azulene. A different blue for each of the plants. Best observed via a glass receiver or Florentine style filtering flask.”

            Chamomile CO2  is a product that we should mention.  It is a thick, CO2  extracted, solid, unctuous matter from Chamomile flowers (M. chamomilla [recutita]) that contains all the natural herbal parts of the flower plus the essential oil.  It smells just like the fresh flowers and could play an important part in your cosmetics and body-care products, whether they are homemade or for the professional market.  I have made a hand lotion with this, using enough of the Chamomile CO2 to scent the lotion with a delicious apple scent, and then added the essential oil to color it a pale blue.  Altogether a very aesthetically pleasing and beautiful product. 

SUSTAINABILITY ~ It is important that you examine each of the plants you use for their ability to reproduce before you choose to harvest or wildcraft them.  Many plants are in dire straits because of human incursion into their environment.  Best to learn to grow what you want to harvest.

            In my 30  years with the plants that produce a blue oil, I have seen a half dozen farmers learn to grow several of the blue-oiled plants and then pull them from the soil because it took so long for consumers to learn and know them. You cannot expect farmers to grow plants that cannot be sold due to consumer ignorance.

STORAGE ~ All the blue-colored oils are likely to oxidize in time due to the azulenes and they should be stored in the freezer.  With the blue oils, you must be very careful and conscious of their color. If it is oxidizing, it will go from a beautiful blue to a green, greenish-black, and eventually to brown. If brown put it down and do not use it for therapy or medicinal use. The scent will also change and become what can only be described as ‘nasty’ — the scent impossible to wash off your hands. This is why you must always check the organoleptic qualities of your essential oils – there is much to be learned by their color, clarity, viscosity, and intensity.


bottle of German Chamomile oil superimposed on the flowers

organoleptics of blue Chamomile oil
organoleptics of blue Chamomile

ODOR DESCRIPTION ~ •Blue Chamomile, Matricaria chamomilla, has a deep blue color and an aroma of fruit and toasted nuts.
           •Roman Chamomile, Chamaemelum nobile, is pale blue to colorless and fruity, herbaceous and oily-aldehydic.

The left side nostril smells the scent; right side nostril smells the intensity. So, smell on the left side, then smell on the right and then waft back and forth under the nose to get the entire scent experience.

IF ANY OF THESE ODORS are tending to an unpleasant fungal side, they are oxidizing. Remember, that you can know them by their scent. If the scent is changing, also check the color and if moving from a blue to dirty blue or brown, the oil is probably oxidizing and unusable.   Remember to store these oils in the freezer.

TASTE THE OILS. Taste does not mean eating, it only means when you put a sample on a scent strip, that after checking the fragrance you can give a lick to the strip to get the taste of the oil. Steam-distilled oils or CO2 extracts can be tasted this way. You must use all your senses to know your oils. 

SOLUBILITY ~ German Chamomile is soluble in 90-95% alcohol. It helps to always have on hand organic high-proof alcohol in which to dissolve your oils or to use in perfumery. See

CHEMISTRY OF BLUE CHAMOMILE ~ Matricaria chamomilla The main compounds identified were α-bisabolol (56.86%), trans-trans-farnesol (15.64%), cis-β-farnesene (7.12%), guaiazulene (4.24%), α-cubebene (2.69%), α-bisabolol oxide A (2.19%) and chamazulene (2.18%) and in another study In Matricaria recutita major compounds were chamazulene (31.2 %), 1,8-cineole (15.2 %) β-pinene (10.11 %), α-pinene (8.14 %), α-bisabolol (7.45 %) and terpinen-4-ol (4.11 %)



The main property of any of the blue oils is as an anti-inflammatory, to control inflammation, usually of the skin, and on some occasions, when taken internally, to control inner inflammation. The blue oils are anti-inflammatory, generally because of the azulene content, although there are other factors such as bisabolol that is also inflammatory.

         They can be used by AP=application, IG=ingestion or IN=inhalation.

Inhalation ~ The blue oils have many uses in blends and are used via inhalation or in the blends used in inhalers. They can be relaxing and calming.


            APPLICATION ~   The blue Chamomile oil with its component of azulene is anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antibacterial and considered an exceptional plant and oil in skincare. Using a combination of coconut oil and  German Chamomile herb extract or maceration will result in a powerful anti-inflammatory oil that spreads easily across the skin, with no friction, delivering the active constituents to the area where their anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory components can go to work to heal. The results are comparable to any western, medicated, product.

• Blue Chamomile EO from Matricaria chamomilla is mentioned in P. Davis’s book, “use of German Blue Chamomile can be especially helpful where skin conditions may be aggravated by stress, and indeed where stress may be the underlying cause.” The two key constituents, (-)-alpha-bisabolol and chamazulene both of which are anti-inflammatory, account for 50-65 percent of total volatile oil content.

• Blue Chamomile CO2 from Matricaria chamomilla CO2is a dark greenish-brown, an opaque, thick, and viscous product of carbon dioxide extraction. It retains more of the natural floral odor of the flower and is a strong anti-inflammatory when added to any skincare product. Use it by taking a bit and working it well into some of your skin cream or lotion and then add more lotion until all is incorporated. In commercial products when Chamomile CO2 is used it is normally around 0.2±% of the total.

            CO2 extracts are closer in composition to the oil as it occurs in the plant and has better solubility in the product. A wonderful fruity-scented healing addition to any skincare application.

scent blotters dipped in german Chamomile essential oil and CO2 extracted
German Chamomile CO2 – EO ~
color and viscosity

EMOTIONAL/RITUAL USE ~ Many sources list a litany of magical and spiritual traditions for the  Blue Chamomile as well as Roman Chamomile. These sources list its use in spells for peace, love, tranquility, and purification. In ritual, they are used to instill stillness, become spiritually aware, give inner peace, and to become emotionally stable. These are all attributes we can use.

BLENDING ~ The Chamomiles can be blended with just about any herb or citrus or wood or resin. It works well with flowers, barks, and spices.  •Blue Chamomile is used in very small amounts to give a soft blue note to blends and perfumes and warmth and softness.


Rosacea is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that principally affects the face. Rosacea causes facial redness and produces small, red, pus-filled pustules (bumps). Rosacea worsens with time if left untreated.

Skin Care Creme

20 drops Calophyllum inophyllum aka Tamanu or Foraha – cold-pressed oil

10 drops Helichrysum angustifolium aka Everlasting or Immortelle

2 drops Blue Chamomile CO2  or West Coast Blue Artemis

.5 oz aloe vera gel

1 small scoop oat beta glucan

up to 1 oz Calendula-infused oil

Mix the essential oils to create a synergy, then add the carriers and shake vigorously again.  Apply 3 times a day until treatment takes hold, then two times per day until your skin gets sensitive, then 1 time per day, and then weekly.  This treatment plus dietary changes, pure water, and clean and simple soap (handcrafted, there are many choices), will reduce your Rosacea by 60%.

HERBAL USES OF THE ANNUAL CHAMOMILE ~  German chamomile is by far the most popular and widely used variety of chamomile the world over. The herb tea is 
anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, calmative, carminative, digestive, mild bitter, nervine, and sedative. The herb tea is used in shampoo, and for the skin, internally for diarrhea, and colic, and simply to soothe the digestive tract.



            I enjoy telling my stories because it helps people, students, and teachers alike, to understand what sometimes happens when you use essential oils and what is being sold in the retail market. 

            A few years ago, I was in Hopland, CA at a store that sold equipment to save energy in the household. They had a small counter of ‘organic’ skincare and some essential oils. And one of the essential oils was Blue Chamomile in 15 ml-size brown glass bottles and it was listed at a truly small and ridiculous price for the amount of oil. This piqued my interest, and I asked the saleslady if I could smell this oil and look at the color.  The smell was truly awful – like rotten vegetation and spoiled cabbage. The color was even worse a ripening brown that looked like runny feces and together with the scent, one wondered what was in that bottle. A bit had gotten on my fingers, and I was so repulsed at its sticky scent that I ran to their bathroom to wash my hands, but no amount of soap was going to remove that putrid odor. At that moment, I might have chosen to remove the finger to get rid of the scent.

            I informed the salesperson that they were selling a truly awful, out-of-date, old, and rancid, oxidized blue Chamomile. They left it on the shelf. When I got home, I wrote the store manager as well. Their response? “well, the consumer is getting a good price”. Then I found and called the distributor in Florida, and they were very dismissive, saying that they had gotten a really good deal on this oil and were doing the consumer a favor by making it available.

            Truly, those who are reading this — This is NOT a favor to you to save money but to purchase something rotten and loathsome. Would you be pleased to buy an old rotten zucchini if it were a price reduction?  My point is that you should get to know what you want, what it should look like including color, what it should smell like and make sure you do not waste your money on a bad product.

 This is one of the downsides of brown glass bottles. You cannot see what you are purchasing. Color is important – if it is a blue essential oil, it should be a blue color if it is a CO2 extraction it will be greenish-brown . Remember that!

25-gallon still showing with the clear glass receiver filled with the blue-colored hydrosol and some essential oil

Sponsored and supported by Prima Fleur Botanicals.

QUESTIONS THAT WERE ASKED ~ These are the simple answers to certain questions that were asked and answered above in longer terms.

  • Are all blue oils anti-inflammatory? YES because of the content of azulene and bisabolol.
  • Do blue oils oxidize faster than other oils? YES, they seem to – remember to keep them in the freezer.
  • If I am making a blend with blue oils, how should I preserve them? MAKE SMALL AMOUNTS, USE THEM UP, AND THEN MAKE THEM AGAIN.
  • How long before they turn green or brown? DEPENDS ON HOW THEY ARE CARED FOR IN THE BEGINNING
  • Are they still good once they turn green? NO, this means they are oxidizing.
  • Why are some distillations a darker blue than other distillations of the same oil? DEPENDS ON THE ATTENTION OF THE DISTILLER AND HOW CAREFUL THEY ARE WITH THE HARVEST; WHAT PART OF THE PLANT IS HARVESTED AND THE DISTILLING PROCESS. It also depends upon the weight of flowers to green tops.

Distiller = the person doing the distillation; Still = the object used to distill

  • Are blue oils good for compromised skin conditions? DEPENDS ON THE BLUE OIL, SOME HAVE BEEN USED FOR SKIN CANCER such as Artemisia arborescens from Morocco because of the thujone content and A. arborescens from Oregon which has no thujone, it has camphor).
  • Are they safe to use on children? Roman Chamomile can be used, VERY DILUTED IN SMALL AMOUNTS, plant tea recommends being used first.



INTRODUCTION ~ Many of the blue oils with their vivid blue-colored azulene have similar uses as an anti-inflammatory because of their azulene content. There are cases where it is important to know EXACTLY which oil from which plant you have or need.  As with anything, the best way to clarify confusion is to research and experiment using valid informative texts.  Do not purchase these expensive blue oils until you truly know which one you want.

            Remember for each terroir that each year of growth, each harvest and each separate distillation will result in oil with slightly different amounts of chemical components and possibly slightly different colors.  The terroir or environment and individual ecology of a plant are important in the resultant essential oil.  A year or two of great drought may result in a lower yield of essential oil but with improved or “stronger” components. A GC/MS is good but is only one aspect of ‘knowing’ an essential oil. The fragrance of any particular essential oil varies slightly from year to year and is totally dependent on the vagaries of “Mother Nature”7 and even the skill of the distiller.  Always know what part of the plant is being harvested for the oil.

            WHY DO WE CALL THEM THE ‘BLUE OILS  ~ We call them ‘blue oils’ because they are blue in color? Yes, essential oils have color. These colors include a pale sky blue such as in Roman Chamomile (although it seems to quickly lose that color),  ) or the royal, blue-colored oil such as Blue Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) and sapphire-Blue Cypress (Callitris intratropica). Some of these plants are related and some are not.

            COLOR & CHEMISTRY OF THE BLUE OILS ~ By examining these oils one can see which were the old and improperly stored oils and even last year’s distillation by their color. Sometimes it is a disadvantage for the essential oils to be sold in brown bottles because the consumer cannot judge the age and quality of the oil by the color or examine them carefully for color and scent before purchase.

The consumer must take some responsibility and learn the Latin binomial and make sure essential oils are labeled completely before they buy them.   These blue-colored oils will show age and oxidation with a change in color from blue to greenish-black or to green or from pale yellow to yellow-brown. If blackish or brown – put it down.

            The blue Chamazulene itself does not occur in the plant but forms during the distillation process from a sesquiterpene lactone called matricin. Usually, the flowers of these plants are yellow sometimes white. The molecule called azulene is a dark blue color. It is composed of two terpenoids; this molecule is also found in some of the pigments of mushrooms, plants like guaiac wood oil, and also in marine invertebrates, and corals.

The azulene itself, although usually a shade of blue, can also be green, violet, blue/violet, and red/violet.  It is a brilliant rainbow of color due to its chemical structure. 12

            Azulene has a long history, dating back to the 15th century as the azure-blue chromophore obtained by steam distillation of German Chamomile. The chromophore was discovered in Yarrow and Wormwood and named in 1863 by Septimus Piesse.

            THE BENEFITS OF AZULENE IN CHAMOMILE ESSENTIAL OIL. The use of chamomile is increasing as the knowledge of azulene (chamazulene) grows. Azulene occurs in significant amounts in Matricaria chamomilla, (Matricaria recutita) and the use of this herb has surpassed even its cousin Roman Chamomile as the essential oil to use for skincare. Azulene and bisabolol are both in the GCMS of the deep blue essential oil. Both are powerfully anti-inflammatory. ”In one study on albino rats, German Chamomile was found to heal wound burning significantly compared to topical olive oil. Bisabolol itself has been studied and shown to be non-toxic and non-sensitizing, even when taken internally in large doses. The bisabolol offers rosacea sufferers an opportunity to alleviate itching and irritation, but azulene also goes a long way towards reducing rosacea’s redness by soothing inflamed capillaries.”

fresh flowers of German (blue) annual Chamomile
(JR photo 2010)


Arctander, Steffen. . Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin. (Elizabeth, NJ: Steffen Arctander, 1960.)

Harman, Ann. Harvest to Hydrosol

Mabberley, D.J., Mabberley’s Plant Book, 2008 Third Edition with 2014 updates, Cambridge University Press

Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols.

Rose, Jeanne. The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations.

Rose, Jeanne. Hydrosols & Aromatic Waters.

Worwood, Susan & Valerie Ann. Aromatherapy.


1. Parsons, Pamela. “Chamomile”. The Aromatic “Thymes“. (Spring 1994) 2:2.

2. Arctander, Steffen. Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin. (Elizabeth, NJ: Steffen Arctander, 1960.)

3. Franchomme, P. and Penoel, Docteur D. L’Aromatherapie Exactement. (Limoges, France: Roger Jollois Editeur, 1990.)

4. Guenther, Ernest, Ph.D. The Essential Oils.  (Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishing Company 1976.) (original edition 1952.) (in VI volumes)

5. Parry, Ernest J.  Parry’s Cyclopedia of Perfumery. Philadelphia, PA: P. Blakisont’s Son & Co., 1925.) (in II volumes)

6. Rose, Jeanne. The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations.  (Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 3rd edition, 1994.) Available from

7. Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols. (San Francisco, CA: Jeanne Rose Aromatherapy, 3rd edition, 1994.) Available from

8. Tutin, Heywood, Burges, Moore, Valentine, Walters and Webb, Editors.  Flora Europaea, Vol. 4. (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1976.)

9. Mabberley, D.J. The Plant Book. (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, corrected reprint, 1989.)

10. Lewis, Walter H. “Notes on Economic Plants.” Economic Botany. 46(4) pp. 426-430. (1992.)

11. Bailey, L.H., staff of. Hortus Third. (Cornell, New York: Hortorium, Cornell University, 1977.)


13. The Blue Oils. By Jeanne Rose. Published in “The Aromatic Plant Project” from archives •1994


15 Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris, Artemisia douglasiana, Artemisia argyi) in the Treatment of Menopause, Premenstrual Syndrome, Dysmenorrhea and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder by James David Adams, Cecilia Garcia, Garima Garg University of Southern California, School of Pharmacy, Los Angeles, USA, 2012

16. Yield and chemical composition of the essential oil of Moroccan chamomile [Cladanthus mixtus (L.) Chevall.] growing wild at different sites in Morocco. A Elouaddari, A El Amrani, JJ Eddine… – Flavour and …, 2013 – Wiley Online Library

Chart of Safety Issues
Safety Issues
'Rising up"


CARDAMOM  Profile of the Herb and Essential oil

Cardamom seeds and a bottle of Cardamom CO2 showing
Cardamom seeds and oil

A Compilation From Jeanne Rose files

Synopsis ~ Cardamom is such a wonderful-looking plant, with many uses both in culinary,

in Chinese herbal medicine,  and especially in perfumery. It is not much

used in the West but here is an outline of some of its many qualities.

Common Name/Scientific name ~ Cardamom seed (Elettaria cardamomum)

Family ~ Zingiberaceae

Countries of Origins ~ Cardamom is cultivated in Guatemala (the biggest producer and exporter), Malaysia, and Tanzania and is native to India and Indonesia. There is also Black cardamom which is cultivated in Nepal, Sikkim, and parts of India and Bhutan.

Historical Uses ~ Cardamom is used as a spice and as an ingredient in traditional medicine systems of the traditional Chinese herbal medicine. There are two forms of Cardamom, and they are used as flavorings and cooking spices in both food and drink, and medicine. E. cardamomum (green cardamom) is used as a spice, a masticatory and it is also smoked and was reportedly used as an antidote for both snake and scorpion venom.

ENDANGERED OR NOT ~ Cardamom is not an endangered species, although growing it in some areas of Vietnam threatens the native forest and species of animals that live there.


Cardamom is a low-growing, leafy tropical plant, which grows on the jungle floor in the wild. Cardamoms have smooth green leaves on long stalks, spicily scented when bruised. The leaves have a different odor than the seeds. The leaves are used for cooking and to wrap fish, rice, or vegetables for flavor. The cardamom pods sold for cooking are picked when unripe. These seeds will not grow if you try to sow them.

               Grow it, it’s quite easy, but they are fussy and do not like drafts or sudden changes of temperature or direct sunlight. They grow best in a warm, steamy, shady place, like a warm bathroom, and should be misted daily with pure water. Alternatively, stand the pot on a big saucer of pebbles which are kept moist, to encourage a humid atmosphere around the plant. In winter, don’t water as frequently as during the summer. Feed with a foliage house-plant food (high nitrogen, low potash) when the plant is growing.

cardamom leaves
Cardamom leaves

PORTION OF PLANT USED IN DISTILLATION, HOW DISTILLED, EXTRACTION METHODS AND YS ~ Solvent extracted for an absolute. Extraction by CO2 yields a deeper richer product with a more pronounced Cardamom scent. Cardamom seed oil is also extracted by steam distillation from the seeds of the fruit gathered just before they are ripe.

YIELD is 1-5 %.

CHEMISTRY ~ The chemical composition and components of cardamom oil are a-pinene, b-pinene, sabinene, myrcene, a-phellandrene, limonene, 1,8-cineole, y-terpinene, p-cymene, terpinolene, linalool, linalyl acetate, terpinene-4-oil, a-terpineol, a-terpineol acetate, citronellol, nerol, geraniol, methyl eugenol, and trans-nerolidol.


• Color – dark yellow

• Clarity – clear

• Viscosity – not viscous

• Intensity of odor – 4 (scale is 1-10)

• Tenacity in a blend – Can be quite tenacious, use in moderation

Cardamom CO2 total bottle, shows color
Cardamom CO2 total

ODOR DESCRIPTION/ AROMA ASSESSMENT ~ Cardamom is primarily a spicy note, with subsidiary notes of fruity and fatty and the sweet back notes of hay and honey and a bit of a leather harness. One odor snapshot is shown at the end of this article.



The therapeutic properties of Cardamom oil are antiseptic, and stimulant, and the Cardamom seeds when eaten are antispasmodic, carminative, cephalic, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, and tonic.

Properties and Uses ~ Cardamom seeds are used in South Asia to treat infections in teeth and gums, to prevent and treat throat troubles, congestion of the lungs and pulmonary tuberculosis, inflammation of eyelids, and also digestive disorders. It also is used to break up kidney stones and gallstones.

The oil is used with massage oil or diluted in the bath. It can assist with the digestive system (a drop in a cup of tea), coughs  (via inhalation), or as a general tonic. It is excellent in the bath with other sweet oils, leaving you feeling refreshed and stimulated.

APPLICATION/ SKINCARE ~ Cardamom seeds and oil are somewhat antibacterial and can be used in skincare blends, masks, creams, and applications for mild skin breakouts to help clear the skin.  It is often used to lighten the skin or even out the skin tone.

Honey masks are always helpful in this circumstance.  Any honey mixed with a scant teaspoon of ground, powdered cardamom, and applied to the face with a light rub and then rinsed clean with clear water will act as a tonic cleanser.  The essential oil is very intense and can be added only in tiny, less than a drop, amount.

DIFFUSE/DIFFUSION ~ This is a cheerful, spicy oil to use in a blend, in a diffuser, or in massage oil.  Here are two samples of formulas using Cardamom in the blend.

    AMBIANCE BLEND #6044 of Blood Orange, Ylang complete, Cardamom, and other oils,  is used with moisturizing body oil for grounding and calming – in massage oil. Inhale directly for centering and easing your body. This grouping of essential oils is sweet, cheerful, and calming and is a good all-body rub for starting a happy day.

            BAHAMA BLEND #6004 ~  So warming and soothing as a massage, feels tropical and relaxing like you are sitting in your chair on the warm sand. Use as an application in the evening and get that warm spicy Vanilla/Cardamom aphrodisiacal feeling and a delicious floral scent of Jasmine and Mimosa. Use in your room in the diffuser.

EMOTIONAL/ENERGETIC USE ~  There is some material on the internet that attributes many qualities to Cardamom.  Here is one.  Cardamom enables us to balance this part of ourselves and let go of some of the rigidity that a dominant mental body can have on us.”‑1

PERFUMERY with Cardamom ~ Cardamom, Whole seed CO2 Extract (Elettaria cardamomum) via carbon dioxide extraction yields the aroma of fresh cardamom pods. A small amount goes a long way! It is wonderful to use in perfumery as a spicy and woody bridge note between the flowers and the roots of plants such as Jasmine and Vetivert.

            BLENDING with other oils ~ Cardamom is a spicy-smelling seed, and the CO2 extract and essential oil are both excellent to blend with a variety of other scents. Try any of the other spicy oils, most wood oils such as Sandalwood, true Cedar, florals such as Lavender, Neroli, Ylang, and Rose, and especially with the culinary scents such as Coffee, Chocolate, and Ginger.  It works well as a bridge note in most exotic blends.

Blend ~ Besides the two blends listed above, PrimaFleur has another called CHAI BLEND #6050  which is a warm, spicey, and energizing blend that is used in Massage, and also in diffusion to energize the air in a common room. Added to Turmeric oil at  5% with a bland carrier oil it works well for deep-tissue massage for aching joints or to add to an unscented cream and use for a body massage.  This is not for facial skin care. This spicy blend includes Cardamom, Cinnamon leaf, Ginger, Nutmeg, and others.

Simple Food-Scented Perfume

30 drops of Cardamom CO2
 30 drops of Coffee absolute
10 drops of Cocoa absolute
2-3 drops of Cinnamon bark

Mix together in a ½ oz clear glass bottle, succuss vigorously. 
Add Orange spirits*, enough to dilute the blend. 
Smell it, and add more spirits if necessary (I used almost ½ oz.)

Organic spirits are available from They carry a full line of fine high-quality spirits including grape, cane, corn, wheat, coconut, orange, pear, and lychee alcohols.

HYDROSOL ~ I have not had the opportunity to experience a Cardamom 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.


Two Cardamom plants growing in San Francisco

Jeanne Rose Cardamom plants

KEY USE ~ Best used in food, beverage, and in perfumery.

This work is sponsored and supported by Prima Fleur Botanicals.


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




Arctander, Steffen. Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin
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

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©

Odor Snapshot of Cardamom



By Jeanne Rose ~ 4-20-22

photo from the garden of Lemon vebena and Lemon Balm
Lemon Verbena and Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm and Lemon Verbena are from two different genera and family.  They are not the same and yet I am writing about them together because they often have the same properties, in both essential oil and herbal use.

                                                                          COMMON NAME/LATIN BINOMIAL/FAMILY

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) and Family Lamiaceae

Lemon Verbena (Aloysia triphylla) and Family Verbenaceae

                                                        OTHER COMMON NAME/NAMING INFORMATION ~
Lemon Balm is often called  Balm, Balm Mint, Bálsamo de Limón, Common Balm, Cure-All, Dropsy Plant, Honey Plant, Melisa, Melissa, Melissa officinalis, Melissae Folium, Mélisse, Mélisse Citronnelle, Mélisse Officinale, Melissenblatt, Monarde, Sweet Balm, Sweet Mary, Toronjil.


Lemon Verbena has many names and confusing scientific names including Aloysia citrodora, Aloysia triphylla, Lippia citrodora, Lippia triphylla, Zappania citrodora and common names such as Cedrón, Herb Louisa, Hierba Luisa, Lemon-Scented Verbena, Louisa, Verbena Citrodora, Verbena triphylla, Verveine Citronnée, Verveine Citronnelle, Verveine des Indes, Verveine du Chili, Verveine du Pérou, Verveine Odorante.

            So, know these two plants by their physiology and anatomy – look and them and memorize their looks, smell, taste, and touch.

                                                                  COUNTRIES OF ORIGINS & Harvest Locations

Lemon Balm grows easily in many places and is distilled in Bulgaria, France, and Italy.

Lemon Verbena is distilled in Chile, Argentina, and Morocco. I have seen a Lemon Verbena tree here in San Francisco that had grown up to the 2nd story window and the one in the backyard that I grew from a 2-inch baby in 1969, grew to about 12 feet in height with a trunk measurement of 18 inches, even though I distilled the top third of it yearly. A great wind broke one of the main branches – then I duct-taped the broken ends together and it lasted until the duct tape rotted away. I think my tree finally aged out as it fell in another windstorm and now the fallen trunk is a host for various types of mushrooms.


Melissa was called the ‘elixir of life’ by Avicenna, the ancient Roman physician. The herb was associated particularly with nervous disorders, the heart, and emotions. Melissa was used for anxiety, melancholy, and to strengthen and revive the vital spirit.

Lemon verbena or Verveine is the French word for the plant known as Lemon Verbena. The correct Latin binomial for Lemon Verbena is Aloysia triphylla and not anything else. Verbena is a genus of the plant named from the Latin meaning ‘sacred bough of olive etc.’. Vervain is the French word for the same from medieval Latin. It is the Verbena officinalis used by herbalists and they refer to the old spice Vervain.

         Latin is favored in gardening terminology since Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist introduced the plant naming system in use today – a plant family is divided into various genus names and then sub-divided into species and then cultivar.

ENDANGERED OR NOT ~ Neither Lemon balm nor Lemon verbena are endangered or threatened.  Both grow easily in a natural environment or from cuttings.


Melissa/Lemon Balm … this plant naturalizes easily, reproduces by underground stems, and will grow up to 18 inches in height, spreading easily. Melissa grows best in ‘alluvial soil; excess water is harmful, while yields diminish in light and dry soils’ (Guenther). Melissa produces more of the chemical citral (anti-viral) prior to flowering. After flowering, it contains more citronellal.

photo of spring growing Lemon Balm. San Francisco, April 20, 2022
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) April 2022

Lemon Balm

Lemon verbena (Aloysia citriodora) is a woody shrub, and its narrow glossy leaves grow quickly in hot summer weather, replenishing as you harvest throughout the growing season. Pick it before it flowers.

Lemon verbena about 5 feet tall growing in the garden with one trunk,.
Lemon verbena


Melissa -The percentage of citral depends on the seed source and when distilled. Citral has been found to range between 8.8 and 75.0%, with citronellal between 1.0 and 52.0%, citronellol dominating after flowering. The percentage of citral is highest in young leaves and just before flowering, but favorable growing conditions are very important. After a 6 months period of storage, the citral content decreases from 84 to 50%. As the plants become older, the percentage of citral decreases from 37 to 12%, and citronellal increases from 1 to 32%.

            A great deal of the oil sold as Melissa or Lemon Verbena is actually a blend of lemongrass and citronella or May Chang oils – ‘true’ Melissa or Lemon Verbena oil have their own unique aromas and properties.

The high cost of these oils is a result of needing 3.5 to 7.5 tons of plant material to produce 1 pound of essential oil.

Yield – Yields of Melissa are as low as 0.014% for distillation of the fresh herb to 0.112% for dried herb, increasing to 0.13% using cohobation. True oil is extremely expensive.

The yield of Lemon Verbena
is also very low, with 0.1 to 0.7% yield, on average, 20 kilograms of oil, the equivalent of 18 pounds of oil per acre. “Because the oil yields are very low, the leaves are steam-distilled as soon as possible after harvest to minimize vaporization.” –

Name Latin NameChemo-typeComponent Distilled for & YieldWhen to DistillWhyTherapeutic Use
Lemon Verbena Aloysia triphyllaCitral but there are several including thujones, citronella, carvone, and citralCitral   Yield is low less than 0.3 to 0.5%— Distill before it flowers.  The leaves and flower buds are taken, and steam-distilled, the heavier stems discarded, It produces about 2-3cups of hydrosol per pound of fresh leaf distilled. The proportion of essential oil produced is very small about 0.02% or less by weight.Lemon verbena produces more citral before it flowers and more citronellal after it flowers.Citral is an anti-viral. [See also Melissa], as a beverage (1 t. /glass of carbonated, sweetened water)
Melissa Melissa officinalisCitralCitral –also citronellal (23.44%), geranial (16.22%), linalyl acetate (11.65%) and caryophyllene (11.77%).  The yield is low less than 0.05%  — Distill Melissa before it flowers.  The entire above-ground plant is taken, the heavier stems discarded, and steam distilled. It produces about 1 quart of hydrosol per pound of the fresh plant distilled. The proportion of essential oil produced is very small about 0.02% by weight.Melissa produces more citral before it flowers and more citronellal after it flowersCitral is an anti-viral. The essential oil can be applied directly to herpes on the lips and nose. The herb tea is relaxing and helps one to concentrate. The hydrosol is excellent as a wash on wounds, or as a beverage.



Essential OilLemon BalmLemon Verbena
ColorPale yellowPale yellow
Intensity Of Odor (This scale is from 1-10 with 1 being of the least intensity of odor and 10 being very intense)4-54-5


Melissa essential oil has a citrus, herbaceous and somewhat vegetative odor with a bit of fresh fern or green note and back note of wood. If it does not have the vegetative subsidiary note it probably is not true Melissa oil. Melissa oil does not smell like Lemon or May Chang oil.

Lemon Verbena essential oil Scent — Green, vegetative, herbaceous, and floral with a strong citrus character.  Lemon verbena is different from either Melissa or Lemon peel. This scent is strongly citrus with a floral note and a woody finish.  It is expensive and often other oils are substituted for it. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory. 

Lemon verbena picked and fresh photo
Lemon Verbena fresh-picked and still on the tree


GENERAL PROPERTIES of Lemon Balm and Lemon Verbena


Melissa oilThe properties are hypotensive, a calming sedative, and anti-inflammatory. Melissa oil is used for insomnia, hysteria, and irritability by inhalation and will relieve a lip or nose cold sore if applied externally.  

Lemon Verbena – This essential oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory, fever reducer, and sedative. It is generally inhaled for stress, insomnia, depression, nervous fatigue and to help during an asthmatic crisis. Strongly anti-viral, it can be applied directly to a lip or nose cold sore to reduce pain and symptoms.

APPLICATION/ SKINCARELemon Verbena And Melissa Essential Oils are very expensive because not much is produced.  I would suggest that you not use it in skincare as it can be irritating.  Use the herb instead as a tea, compress, hydrosol spray, etc.

EMOTIONAL/ENERGETIC USE – Eden Botanicals suggest Lemon verbena as a vibrant oil and a favorite ally to brighten low moods – perfect to diffuse or include in hand and foot balms, body mists, and massage oils.

DIFFUSE/DIFFUSION – It is wasteful to use these two essential oils in a diffuser. They are expensive and can be irritating.  Use other oils and use these herbs as in a tea blend or bath.

Lemon verbena and Lemon Balm blend best with other lemon-scented herbs but are best used in their original herbal form.

HYDROSOL: These herbs must be picked early in the day; too late in the day and distilled too late in the day and both of these factors change the chemistry of the resulting hydrosol. As the plant ages, citral is reduced and citronella increases. And both decrease as the day wears on. This plant needs to be harvested and distilled in the early morning (about 9 a.m. and in the still by about 10 a.m.) in San Francisco. Maybe even with the dew on it.

            Use of the Hydrosol — MELISSA or Lemon Balm, is one of the most expensive of the essential oils but the hydrosol is affordable. The herb has potent uses in the skin and body care.  The essential oil costs as much as $1 per drop but along with the essential oil is produced a wonderful hydrosol. The hydrosol is available for all your skin needs. This watery distillate, the hydrosol, which is the first 25% of the distillation, contains all the potency of the essential oil as well as the powerful therapeutic effects of the herbal extract. The pH is often a bit higher than other hydrosols because the herb is so light and it is very difficult to pack the still enough to get a good weight and thus a good pH, about 5 or so. Hydrosol has powerful and positive uses for any skincare product.  It is antifungal, relieves skin infection and breakouts, and can cure herpes. This hydrosol is considered useful in tonic drinks for ‘attention deficit disorder’ and dietary uses.  Has a wonderful lemony scent that is attractive to men and women as well as the teenage market.

            Other Uses for Melissa hydrosol – This is a good spray for the face and body for emotional calmness, soothing anger, and relieving insomnia. One teaspoon added to the clay mask for skin healing; add to regular tea for a delicious new taste treat. This hydrosol has powerful and positive uses for any skincare product. 

            More Uses for Melissa hydrosol: Drink the hydrosol by itself, diluted with water or soda, over ice for a wonderful, refreshing tonic drink.

a tin can of picked Lemon verbena stems
a can of picked Lemon Verbena

Lemon verbena (Aloysia triphylla) and Melissa (Melissa officinalis) hydrosol – are mental relaxants when ingested or applied, and a physical relaxant when ingested. Make a warm compress using 3-5 tablespoons of hydrosol per quart of water and apply or sip throughout the day to balance the endocrine system and relax mind and body. Or simply fill a spray bottle and mist away.

Lemon Verbena hydrosol can be applied to relieve PMS or dysmenorrhea.

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.


The herb tea or hydrosol of Lemon verbena is very useful as a tonic beverage to be taken before bed for sleeping. It is a delicious tea and can be drunk anytime as it is relaxing and soothing. It has found use in the treatment of Crohn’s disease which is an anti-inflammatory disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract. If drinking the hydrosol, use 1 T/cup of water or sparkling water. The tea is helpful for sleeping, the hydrosol as a facial spray has the opposite effect and can help to keep you awake on a long drive.

The herb tea of Lemon Balm is a delicious drink or can be used therapeutically for soothing stomach cramps, indigestion, and nausea. It is also lightly stimulating and a good tea to drink when studying. I especially enjoy using a goodly quantity of this herb, as one of my favorite bath herbs. The crushed leaves, when rubbed on the skin, are used as a repellant for mosquitos.


KEY USE ~ Direct application of Melissa EO for herpes around mouth and nose. Hydrosol to calm stomach and nerves. Inhale scent to wake up and be aware.

Lemon verbena tea for soothing the gastrointestinal tract.



            Collections of Lemon Verbena in Argentina evidenced four different chemotypes, named after the dominant component as follows: thujones, citronellal, carvone, and citral(neral + geranial). In the populations of Salta and Catamarca, linalool appeared as a new different chemotype. …

            Chemical components were identified by B. Lawrence as  35-40% citral (a combination of neral and geranial); 13% limonene, 6% citronellol, 6% geraniol, nerol 5%; many other components depending on when harvested. —Essential Oils 1976-1992 by Brian Lawrence.

            A powerful anti-viral. Melissa has many chemotypes and many chemical varieties. Most interesting is that this scent, which is citrus, also has back notes of sweet wood. This is a very expensive oil and not the least like other citrus scents. 

This work is sponsored and supported by Prima Fleur Botanicals.


lists of safety precautions
Safety Precautions


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

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©

waft symbol

ANGELICA ~ Plant & Oil

Introduction ~ An old-time herb that was much used therapeutically but often now forgotten except for the uses of its musky, herbaceous fragrant root, and oil, used for perfumery.


Photo of Angelica leaf with an insert of Angelica root oil
Angelica ~ Plant & Root essential oil

ANGELICA ~ Plant & Oil

By Jeanne Rose

 Name of Oil:  Angelica (root) (leaf) (seed)

COMMON NAME/LATIN BINOMIAL/BOTANICAL Angelica archangelica, L. The essential oil is extracted from both the root, seed, leaf. Other species are also used such as A. sinensis which is called Dong Quai, which is indigenous to China,  and the root used for herbal Chinese medicine ‘to enrich the blood, promote blood circulation and modulate the immune system. It is also used to treat chronic constipation of the elderly and debilitated as well as menstrual disorders.’5

         Family  ~ Apiaceae(Umbelliferae)

OTHER NAMES AND BACKGROUND ~ Angelica was supposedly revealed to the 14th Century physician, Matthaeus Silvaticus, by the archangel Raphael (he who heals) as a medicinal plant, hence the common name of the archangel and subsequent specific epithet archangelica given by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus.1  In the 17th Century the herbalist Nicholas Culpeper wrote ‘…some called this an herb of the Holy Ghost; others more moderate called it Angelica, because of its angelical virtues…’

COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN ~  Native to Europe and Siberia naturalized worldwide.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF PLANT, HABITAT & GROWTH of Angelica ~ A large, biennial herb with large fernlike leaves and flowers borne on compound umbels, cultivated since ancient times. All parts of the plant, root, stem, leaves, fruit, and seed have been used therapeutically and in foods.

ENDANGERED ~ Due to the erosion of its natural environments and over-harvesting as well as the fragmenting of the natural distribution of A. archangelica, Angelica is now considered an endangered species. 

PORTION OF PLANT USED IN DISTILLATION, HOW DISTILLED, EXTRACTION METHODS & YIELD ~ Angelica root and seed are usually steam distilled and sometimes carbon dioxide extracted.     “The essential oils of angelica roots grown in the Auvergne region of France differ from those studied to date in their a-pinene, β-phellandrene, and d-3-carene contents. Extractions performed with the plant out of or in water gave oils with similar compositions irrespective of how the roots had been dried or for how long. The optimal conditions necessary to obtain maximal yields of essential oil were obtained when the reactor was 40% full of plant material in water with a plant: water ratio of 1:4…”2

            Thick and thin roots were found to contain more than 200% oil compared to rhizomes. Thinner roots were measured to have the highest oil content (1.28%), followed by larger roots (1.03%). Stems were found to have the lowest oil content (0.07%). With the grinding intensity of the roots, it was possible to obtain more oil through distillation.3

            The yield of oil from the CO2  of the root obtained by supercritical CO2 extraction at various pressures ranged from 0.13–0.55%. 

A chart showing the organoleptic qualities of Angelica oil from two plant parts.
sensory aspects of the oils

Odor Description ~ The root oil has a predominating vegetative note, with subsidiary notes of herbaceous, fatty, and back notes of fruity, green, woody, mossy, aldehydes, and musk. Inhaling the scent of this essential oil is a revelation as it has such a sensory connection to the scent of some samples of musk deer (Moschus spp.).

[Musk is a heavy base note scent that is usually compared with woodsy and earthy smells. It was originally the name of the odor coming from a male musk deer, Moschus moschiferus, from which it was harvested. – wiki]

These charts showing the scent of the oil in 28 different words is called a "odor snapshot".
Snapshot of the Odor Profile of Angelica

CHEMICAL COMPONENTS:  Angelica archangelica L. (Apiaceae) is one of the important perennial medicinal and aromatic plants.

The root oil contains Lactones, Terpenes, mainly Phellandrene, Pinene, and others.  The essential oil composition of the rhizomes of Angelica archangelica from three different altitudes changes dependent on altitude. In one study it was found that the major compounds identified by GC–MS was α-pinene (21.3%), δ-3-carene (16.5%), limonene (16.4%), and α-phellandrene (8.7%).

         The seed oil contains more terpenes, such as Phellandrene, and others, and is otherwise similar to the root oil. “Seeds (fruits) of Angelica archangelica L. were collected in three habitats of Lithuania. The oils were analyzed by GC and GC/MS. β-Phellandrene (33.6–63.4%) was the dominant constituent in all seed essential oils. α-Pinene (4.2–12.8%) was the second major compound.”

            The leaf oil contained “γ-terpinene (59.2% and 44.3% in the Japanese leaf and flower oils; 68.3% and 62.3% in the North Korean oils), and (Z)-ligustilide (11.9% and 33.6%, 6.4% and 13.6%, respectively”.4

HISTORICAL USES: To stimulate appetite and relieve stomach pains.

INTERESTING FACTS:  The root and seed oils of Angelica are used as a flavoring and contained in liqueurs especially used in Benedictine, and Chartreuse to give that rich characteristic taste, and also used in liquors such as gin as a flavorant. The long green stems are candied and used as sweetmeat.   The oil is called “The Root of the Holy Ghost”.

A. archangelica has long been associated to the magic of protection and healing when tried as a remedy against the Black Plague epidemics (Alonso, 1998). Tea made from roots of A. archangelica has been used as a folk remedy for stomach cancer (Duke, 1987). This plant used as a carminative, a gastric stimulant, rheumatic, and skin disorders (Louis, 2002), treat respiratory problems as well as a tonic to improve disease recovery (Hutchens, 1992).

A picture containing text, plant, vegetable

Description automatically generated4

Angelica leaf and root oil
Angelica leaf and oil


Angelica is a plant. The root, seed, and fruit are used to make medicine. Angelica root tea is used as a blood tonic, to regulate menstruation, pain reliever, and to relax the bowel for better movements. The essential oil is used to relax the nervous system.

Properties (by IG=ingestion or IN=inhalation or AP=application):      
By Application: Stomachic
By Ingestion: Carminative, and stomachic.
By Inhalation: Nervous system sedative, insect attractant, and digestive stimulant.

Angelica roots
Angelica roots


         Application:    Angelica oil has great use as a blender oil in perfumery, used in the bath for fragrance and to stimulate the circulation to ‘remove toxins’, for stomachache, and in lotions for skincare.

           Some people apply Angelica oil directly to the skin for nerve pain (neuralgia), rub on a knee or elbow for joint pain (rheumatism), and apply for skin disorders.6

         Ingestion:   Take for spasms in the gut, stomach ulcers, and anorexia. Root infusion given 3 x/day to create distaste for alcohol.

         Inhalation:   The oil is inhaled for anorexia, asthma, and for detoxifying alcoholics.


         Inhalation:   Anxiety and nervous fatigue.  

CULINARY USES ~ Besides the described therapeutic uses, all parts of A. archangelica have been extensively employed as food flavorings, spices, and condiments. Some species are grown as flavoring agents or for their medicinal properties. Fresh stalks and leaves can be eaten raw in fruit salads or used as a garnish. A. lucida or Seacoast Angelica has been eaten as a wild version of celery. In parts of Japan, the shoots and leaves of A. keiskei called ashitaba are eaten as tempura, particularly in the spring.
                  The essential oil from the root is also an ingredient in liquors and in high-grade perfumery, notably to impart a musky note as well as a fixative (Stanchev et al., 1993).

ANGELICA LIQUEUR for Digestion ~ Chop, very small, 1 oz. of the fresh Angelica stems (before the plant flowers), and steep them in 2-3 cups of brandy or cognac for 5-10 days.  Strain through a fine strainer like a muslin or better yet a fine silk cloth.  Make a supersaturated sugar-water mixture by boiling water gently and adding sugar to it until the sugar will no longer dissolve. Cool this sugar water and add about 1 cup or more of it to the Angelica flavored brandy liqueur.  Add a drop of Bitter Almond essence if you like.  Put away in a fine crystal jar and use 1 teaspoon at a time for digestive upset.

Angelica leaf
Angelica leaf


HERBAL USES ~ Angelica (part not mentioned) is used for heartburn, intestinal gas (flatulence), loss of appetite (anorexia), arthritis, circulation problems, “runny nose” (respiratory catarrh), nervousness, plague, and trouble sleeping (insomnia).6  The root in a tea with other herbs has been used to treat anorexia and asthma.
            Some women use Angelica tea to start their menstrual periods. In combination with other herbs, Angelica herb tea is used for treating premature ejaculation. (can’t find source) “Angelica is also used to increase urine production, improve sex drive, stimulate the production and secretion of phlegm, and kill germs.”6 The boiled roots of Angelica were applied internally and externally to wounds by the Aleut people in Alaska to speed healing.


OTHER USES ~ Two sesquiterpene hydrocarbons, β-copaene, and β-ylangene, were isolated from bioactive fractions of angelica seed oil and were shown by field bioassays to be attractive to the male Mediterranean fruit fly. I also read somewhere that the Sami people of Lapland use the plant to make a traditional reed-type musical instrument called the fadno. A. dawsonii was used by several first nations in North America for ritual purposes. Some species have been smoked by First Nation peoples.

KEY USE:  Digestive stimulant.  



with Rock n’ Roll notes

Years ago, when I lived in Big Sur, in early November or December, I would make Christmas fruit cake for the holidays. But first I had to find and collect all the dried fruits and ingredients.  I quickly found out that I would have to grow some of the plants and candy them myself. The candied fruits were easily obtained.    And yes, I love fruitcake but not the unpleasant lead-heavy kind from the supermarket … but the fruit-filled cake that quality cakemakers bake (such as those in the English Royal family). I learned a lot from growing the biennial Angelica and making crystallized strips of young Angelica stems and midribs. They are green in color and are usually sold as decorative and flavorful cake decoration materials and may also be enjoyed on their own as a sort of candy. The addition of your own home-grown plants that you have candied yourselves makes a big difference in the taste of a fruitcake. Now (2022) the recipes, as well as the specialized ingredients, are very easy to find online.

            In late 1967 or 1968, I invited the rock and roll band, “Country Joe and the Fish”  to my home at the Sun Gallery which was located a few miles south of Gorda on Highway 1.  The members who came set up their equipment on a large sheet of plywood on a gently sloping hillside outside the Gallery. It was misting and raining. The music was loud and fun, and they played for a long time, and then we all, exhausted from the long drive as well as the dancing and the laughing, went to sleep in various parts of the Gallery or in the cars. In the morning, the rain had subsided, and the sun was out, and they all helped me chop the fruits and prepare the ingredients for the cakes.  It was a very special time. I don’t remember what we did after the cakes went into the oven, but I know some of us remember that glorious cool bright day very vividly.

candied Angelica stems


This work is sponsored and supported by Prima Fleur Botanicals.

Science article: ·  Essential oil from Angelica seed, %: 0.5–1.3

·  Components: α-Pinene, β-pinene, camphene, myrcene, ocimene, humulene, α-phellandrene, β-phellandrene, limonene, cineol, γ-terpinene, n-cymol, β-caryophyllene, borneol, carvacrol, and others

·  Oil, %: 18.9–28.4 —


  1. Kew  Royal Botanic Gardens • Angelica
  1. Jean-Claude Chalchat & Raymond-Philippe Garry (1997) Essential Oil of Angelica Roots (Angelica archangelica L.): Optimization of Distillation, Location in Plant and Chemical Composition, Journal of Essential Oil Research, 9:3, 311-319, DOI: 10.1080/10412905.1997.10554250
  2. W. Letchamo, A. Gosselin & J. Hölzl (1995) Growth and Essential Oil Content of Angelica archangelica as Influenced by Light Intensity and Growing Media, Journal of Essential Oil Research, 7:5, 497-504, DOI: 10.1080/10412905.1995.9698573
  3. Nguyêñ Xuân Dũng, Luu Dàm Cu, Lâ Dình Mõi & Piet A. Leclercq (1996) Composition of the Leaf and Flower Oils from Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels Cultivated in Vietnam, Journal of Essential Oil Research, 8:5, 503-506, DOI: 10.1080/10412905.1996.9700676
  4. Pharmacological effects of Radix Angelica Sinensis (Danggui) on cerebral infarction • Yi-Chian Wu1 and Ching-Liang HsiehChin Med. 2011; 6: 32.

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.

Rose, Jeanne. Herbs & Things, Jeanne Rose’s Herbal. San Francisco, CA. 1972


Safety Precautions


botanical illustration of Angelica
botanical illustration of Angelica

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

a kitchen tile
my kitchen tile

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


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
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.



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


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 –


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. –

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].

• • •


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. “. …


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.”


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


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. –


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


•FORMULAS for Perfumes•

Formula for Mock Carnation Scent

Mock Carnation ..


Another formula Using Carnation Absolute

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



  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 JSHS © 2013 Analysis of Scents Emitted from Flowers of Interspecific Hybrids between Carnation and Fragrant Wild Dianthus Species by Kyutaro Kishimoto, et al


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


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%.                      



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.

§ • §


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


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.



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)


Some cautions to remember with herbs and essential oils.

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

Juniper berry oil

JUNIPER plant & Essential Oil Profile

Juniper Berry benefits and uses. This oil come from the female seed cone that produces Juniper “berries”; Juniperus communis L. Juniper berries are used to flavor gin and liqueurs and eaten with meat; there is a French form has rather sweeter (fruitier) berries that I prefer to use to flavor drinks. Berries are diuretic and the oil or CO2 is wonderful in many blends as an anti-inflammatory, to ease pain of aching joints.

By Jeanne Rose ~ May 2021

3 Juniper berry oil, showing colors and types.
3 types of Juniper berry oil

Common  & Scientific Name ~  Juniper tree or Juniper berry oil comes from the berries of  Juniperus communis. Do not confuse this tree and its oil with other trees that have ‘juniper’ in the name.

Other Common Name/Naming Information – There are other trees in this family that are called Juniper but here we are limiting the discussion to Juniperus communis and not to the pencil-cedar called either ‘cedar’ or Juniper, or the Juniper tree that produces Cade oil. 

See a longer article at

_____Family ~ Cupressaceae

Countries of Origins ~ This tree is limited to cool, temperate climates such as areas in India and Bulgaria. Varieties of J. communis and different berry-bearing species also grow on the west coast of the United States and are used in the production of local gin.

Endangered or Not ~ This tree is threatened or endangered in several areas. I have found this species in the local San Francisco Botanical Garden.

General description of Plant habitat and growth of Juniperus communis ~ This conifer belongs to the Cupressaceae family and the leaves are stiff and prickly, needle-like. It grows up to 18-feet but is generally kept pruned closer to the ground for the berries. 1st-year berries are green and have a fresh bright flavor and are usually allowed to mature another year when they turn brown to black before they are harvested to steam-distill or to be carbon dioxide extracted for a flavorant. 

Portion of the plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods and yields: ~ Steam-distilled or COfrom the merged scales of the cone, the berries, are the part that we usually just call Juniper oil. Entire branchlets are harvested for hydro-distillation for hydrosol use.

Yield ~ The 2nd year berries are harvested in the fall and 100 kilos yield 1 kilo of SD essential oil.  0.2 – 2.0% for berry oil.

2nd year black Juniper berries and a trees branch showing 1st year pale blue berries.
Juniper berries and the tree branch

Organoleptic qualities of essential oil and extract of Juniper berrry, showing the color, clarity, viscosity, intensity of scent and tenacity in a blend.

• Odor Description/
Aroma Assessment ~ The steam-distilled essential oil from Bulgaria has a rather intense herbaceous odor with back notes of spicy, wood, and fruit while the CO2 example had a soft spicy, floral, and fruity odor – quite different and would obviously behave differently in a blend when contained other odors. The CO2 most closely resembles the scent of the berry.


GENERAL PROPERTIES of Juniper Berry oil

Properties and Uses ~ Juniper berries can be eaten or taken as a tea; the essential oil and CO2 extract can be used by inhalation and application.

           Juniper berries are a crucial component of gin. The 1st year berries have a much different taste than the mature 2nd year berries.

The properties are antiseptic, diuretic, tonic, and depurative (purifying). The essence by Inhalation is a tonic, brain tonic, and helpful in respiratory complaints as an expectorant. The essence used in blends by application or massage is antiseptic, astringent, skin cleansing for oily skin.

            When I travel, especially by air or even by train, I like to eat a berry or two to alleviate jet lag or for change-of-location.

Application/Skincare ~ Juniper berry oil is a valuable addition to skin and body care products due to its astringent and antiseptic qualities and is a wonderful addition in an astringent cleanser for the skin. It is a wonderful odor and deodorizer in men’s products.

Diffuse/Diffusion ~ Juniper berry oil can be diffused in a blend with other oils that are less intense in scent, such as Rosemary, Lavender, citrus oils. It has a very cleansing effect on the air, and is refreshing

Emotional/Energetic Use: Inhale Juniper berry oil for mental exhaustion, or to visualize being guarded from negative thinking and guard from danger. Be Positive.

A branchlet of Juniper with the berries and the three oils next to it.

Blends Best with most citrus oils, other wood oils such as Atlas Cedar, the Mediterranean herbs such as Clary Sage, Lavender, Rosemary, and the base oils such as Oakmoss, Labdanum, Vetivert and Patchouli.

Green Harmony – An Herbal Perfume
Cedrus atlantica (wd) 3 drops
Citrus aurantium ssp bergamia (pl) 6 drops
Juniperus communis (berr) 3 drops
Ocimum basilicum (lvs) 1 drop
Salvia sclarea (lvs) 5

Sports Blend – Aching Muscles and Joints
5 drops Sage EO
5 drops Basil EO
5 drops Cypress EO (Cupressus sempervirens)
5 drops Juniper Berry EO
5 drops Lemon EO
5 drops Rosemary EO
2 oz carrier oil, especially recommended is Bruise Juice
Vigorously massage aching areas as often as needed 


General All Over Massage Oil for Pain ~ To one ounce of carrier oil, add 3-4 drops each of Rose Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), Juniper berry (Juniperus communis) and Lemon (Citrus limon).

Blending with formula One of my favorite blends is Juniper Berry mixed with Sage, Cypress, Lemon, Basil for the relief of all sports injuries, bruising, aching muscles, and external massage for cellulite and relaxing after exercise.

Chemical Components ~ Alpha-Pinene, Sabinene, Myrcene, Camphene, and Terpineol.

HYDROSOL of Juniper berry ~ A refreshing addition to your skincare routine, especially for troubled, acneic, or oil skin and hair.

________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.

Historical Uses ~ “Common juniper was used by Native Americans of the Great Basin as a blood tonic. Native Americans from the Pacific Northwest used tonics made from the branches to treat colds, flu, arthritis, muscle aches, and kidney problems. Cones were used by the southern Kwakiutl of British Columbia for treating stomach ailments and wood or bark was used to treat respiratory problems. The Interior Salish used cones to make medicines for a variety of ailments. Eurasians made tonics from common juniper for kidney and stomach ailments, and for muscular uses and rheumatism.”1

Key Use ~ The Oil of Edema from Aromatherapy – Home&Family2



  2. Aromatherapy – Home & Family course

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

owner of Prima Fleur in her favorite environment - Nature
Marianne Griffeth in her favorite environment ~ Nature

This article is sponsored and supported by Prima Fleur Botanicals.

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