MASTIC, Frankincense, Galbanum, and more … I love all the resins; I love to burn them as incense
and use their essential oils in healing blends and via inhalation.
MASTIC – an Ancient Resin produced by a tree
By Jeanne Rose ~ 11-30-22
COMMON NAME/LATIN BINOMIAL ~ Gum Mastic / (Pistacia lentiscus L.) is a tear-like oleoresin obtained from a flowering shrub-like tree. When distilled, it has very little oil. It is called Chios Mastic Gum in Greece.
COUNTRIES OF ORIGINS ~ Mastic is known from Greece but grows in Mediterranean Europe and Northern Africa, Algeria, Morocco, and the Canary Islands. Only the true Mastic tree, var. chia, has the proper qualities considered desirable. It is true to its terroir, and this variety grows well only in the specific area with this perfect terroir, the southeast corner of the island of Chios, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF PLANT HABITAT AND GROWTH ~ The Mastic tree, Pistacia lentiscus, is an evergreen, flowering shrub, growing 1 to 5 m high in dry and rocky areas in Mediterranean Europe. It has a vivid fruity smell of resin; it is a dioecious tree with separate male and female plants. The leaves are alternate, leathery, and compound with five or six pairs of deep-green leaflets but no terminal leaflet. It has very small flowers; the male flowers are vivid red with five stamens, and the female green flowers with a 3-part style. The fruit is a drupe (a fleshy fruit with thin skin and a central stone containing the seed). It is at first red and then black when ripe, about 4 mm in diameter. This is edible.
This oleoresin is produced primarily in the secretory tissues of the bark of stems and branches.
“Mastic resin collecting is restricted to the southeastern corner of the island of Chios. Small cuts are made in the bark of the main branches, and the trees drip the sap onto the specially covered ground below, and the resin is collected. The harvesting is done during the summer between July and October. After the Mastic is collected, it is washed manually and is set aside to dry, away from the sun, as it will start melting again.”3 This small bushy tree produces the natural oleoresin from the trunk, obtained by wounding the trunk and larger branches with a gouge-like instrument.
ENDANGERED OR NOT: The Pistacia lentiscus is considered threatened and endangered.
Jeanne Rose collection of Mastic from 1973 to the present.
MASTIC RESIN OF THE PLANT, HOW DISTILLED, EXTRACTION METHODS, AND YIELDS ~ Mastic is a resin, or more correctly, an oleoresin containing a little oil, obtained from an evergreen dioecious shrub, Pistacia lentiscus L. Mastic occurs in yellow or greenish-yellow rounded or pear-shaped tears about 3 mm in diameter. The tears are brittle but become plastic when chewed. The essential oil is produced by steam distillation from the oleoresin or occasionally directly from the leaves and branches. 160-170 tonnes per annum from the male plants on Chios.
THE YIELD is 0.7-1 and occasionally up to 3% EO.
ORGANOLEPTIC CHARACTERISTICS OF MASTIC ~ Mastic oil is a pale yellow, clear, slightly viscous, and with a bitter taste; the intensity of scent is 5-6. Taste ~ Mastic is the world’s first chewing gum. I have been chewing this gum and tasting the sweet for weeks, and the taste is very eponymous. I suggest that you give it a try as it is a very special savory, most memorable taste. It starts out floral and slightly bitter, and then it is herbal and floral. Delicious!
ODOR DESCRIPTION/ AROMA ASSESSMENT: The Mastic odor is earthy and green and woody, with a slightly fungal odor and back notes of fruity and citrus, herbaceous, and hay. It is excellent to use in a fragrance for a man or for a darker-haired woman.
GENERAL PROPERTIES of Mastic
PROPERTIES AND USES ~ Gum Mastic is used in medicine and products like medical creams, dental toothpaste, and cures for ulcers; it is used in the paint industry, cosmetics, paint varnish, and in artist color oil. In the food industry gum Mastic is used in liqueurs, ice cream, pure Mastic gum, chewing gum, and the most precious of all — Mastic EO. After the oil is removed, a small, very durable, and pliable bit of chewing gum is left that lasts for a long time without disintegrating. This is the old Worlde chewing gum, while Spruce and Pine gums were traditionally chewed in the Newe Worlde, USA, and Canada.
Years ago, I would have meetings in my home with my students and friends that I called “Aromatherapy Salons”. We would discuss various aromatic subjects, aromatherapy, essential oils, drink fragrant herbal teas, have tea cookies and sweetmeats. (A sweetmeat is a delicacy, prepared with sugar, honey, as a cake or pastry.) One of my favorites sweetmeats was to use the Mastic from Greece that came as a smooth sweet white cream; a small spoonful on a cookie with tea was delicious and it is especially tasty with bitter coffee.
Mastic cream from Greece
APPLICATION/ SKINCARE: GUM MASTIC (Pistacia lentiscus) is widely used to prepare ointments for skin afflictions like burns and eczema, frostbite, cancers, as well as external skin afflictions, including the manufacture of plasters. Mastic EO is used in products for this effect and scent.
DIFFUSE/DIFFUSION ~ EMOTIONAL/ENERGETIC USE ~ The mystery of aromatherapy is to find that elusive essence that can create various emotional and physical changes. Aleister Crowley considered Mastic a pale yellow color energetically and is clean, and free from prejudice, whether for or against any moral idea.
It is used in any ritual blend to intensify them and quicken their rate of vibration. Mastic is used as an incense for Pisces people.
BLENDING & PERFUMERY ~ Mastic blends best with citrus scents, Lavender-fern combos as a top note, and in floral odors. In perfume, use the tincture as a fixative. I enjoy using Mastic in massage blends. I particularly like to use Mastic EO in my Natural Perfumery class as a tincture and as a fixative where it lends a subtle smoky note.
HYDROSOL ~ I have not as yet had the opportunity to experience Mastic Hydrosol.
CULINARY &HERBAL USE OF MASTIC ~ Mastic is a translucent sticky substance similar to tree sap and, when combined with sugar, lemon juice, and water, is served on a spoon immersed in cold water. This is a special treat called a spoon sweet. In Greece, this ‘spoon sweet’ specialty is called a Submarine. I find it delicious!
Researchers at Nottingham University Hospital and Barnet General Hospital have found that Chios Mastic is an effective treatment for ulcers. The findings showed that even in small doses of one gram a day for two weeks, Mastic gum could cure peptic ulcers. Regular consumption of Mastic resin has been proven to absorb cholesterol, thus easing high blood pressure, and reducing the risk of heart attacks.
In 1993, I had a very formal 8-course meal for friends, and for the 7th course was a cheese course of Roquefort with Aromatherapy sweetmeats of Bergamot candied peels, Bitter Orange candied peels, and Mastic spoon sweet with Lavender Honey Thins and a delicious wine of Muscat de Beaumes de Venise. It was a very successful meal.
KEY USE ~The Olde Worlde gum.
INTERESTING INFORMATION ~ The word “masticate” comes from an ancient Greek word from the Greek practice of chewing this interestingly flavorful resin as a gum to freshen the breath and to fight tooth decay.
JEANNE ROSE’S MASTIC TOMATO TALES
Mastic resin pieces are also delicious when chewed like American chewing gum. It has a mild taste that is not lost after hours of chewing, and it can be chewed for hours. The problem is that Mastic takes a few times to learn how to chew it as a small ball of resin needs to be soaked in the mouth first to get to perfect mastication texture. Then you need to roll it around in the mouth once in a while so that it doesn’t stick to your fillings. In 2018 at a Resin Distillation Conference in Spokane, WA., I asked several well-known gum-chewers [thankyou, Monica, and Kendall] if they wanted to try Mastic. “Yes, of course,” they said, but in fact, they were unable to learn to chew it or even try past 30 minutes. This is great gum and can be chewed for 4 hours without losing its eponymous taste, and it is good for the teeth. And the occasional chewing of a Mastic ball will ease the pain of a tooth caries or cavity, act as a mouth antibacterial, and has in the past been used as a temporary tooth filling. Remember this when you travel out of the country, carry some Mastic resin with you, both to burn as a magical fragrant incense and also as a first aid remedy. Really, we are forgetting some our simplest first-aid skills!
SYNOPSIS ~ Tea Tree and Plai are two essential oils with manyhealing qualities. They are used much in the same way, have the same main component, but yet, smell very different one from the other.
TEA TREE & PLAI HISTORY & USES
By Jeanne Rose ~ 11-12-22
NAME & FAMILY ~ Tea Tree oil is steam-distilled from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, although other Melaleuca species are also called TeaTtree; this one mentioned is the primary tree used to distill Tea tree oil. Melaleuca is a genus of nearly 300 species of plants commonly known as honey myrtles, paperbarks, or tea trees.
…..Family – The Tea tree is a member of the Myrtaceae family, including plants such as Myrtle, Clove, Eucalyptus, and Bay rum.
Plai is distilled from rhizomes of the plant Zingiber cassumunar.Cassumunar ginger or Zingiber cassumunar, now thought to be a synonym of Zingiber montanum Link ex A.Dietr. and is a species of plant in the ginger family and is also a relative of galangal. It is called Plai in Thailand.
….. Family –Plai is a member of the Zingiberaceae family, which also includes Ginger, Galangal, Cardamom, and Hedychium.
COUNTRIES OF ORIGINS ~ Plai originates in India and is often steam-distilled in Thailand. It may have originated in Southeast Asia and was introduced into China, Europe, and the Philippines, as well as the Caribbean Islands and the Americas.
…..Tea Tree is an Australian plant and can grow in many places. It prefers moist but well-drained soil. It grows well in the Botanical Gardens in San Francisco.
ENDANGERED OR INVASIVE ~ Plai is considered to be invasive in the warm, humid countries where it is at home, while Tea Tree is not endangered and in a certain area may also be considered to be invasive.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF PLANT HABITAT AND GROWTH ~ As interesting as these two essential oils are, they come from two different families and two different parts of the plant. Tea tree is a leaf part from a rather large tree with papery bark, while Plai is an underground, branched rhizome from a Ginger type plant. You can refer to botanical texts for descriptions of these two plants.
2. Teatree in San Francisco Botanical Garden and Plai in the botanical collection
PORTION OF PLANT USED FOR EXTRACTION, EXTRACTION METHOD, DISTILLATION, HOW DISTILLED ~
Plai is steam-distilled from the freshly dug rhizome and
…..Yield ~ Plai = 0.5-0.9 % (v/w)
Tea tree is distilled from the leaves of several trees, most often is M. alternifolia and
…..Yield ~ Tea Tree is 1-2%
SOURCE (S) ~ Plai is sourced in Indonesia, and Teatree is from both organic and cultivated trees in Australia.
4. Sensory qualities
CHEMISTRY ~ Both these essential oils and possibly the hydrosol contains terpinene-4-ol. Terpinene-4-ol is an antimicrobial effect; terpinene-4-ol promotes anti-inflammatory cytokine production while inhibiting proinflammatory cytokine expression. Plai also contains sabinene, which contributes to the spiciness of black pepper and is used in the perfume industry for its pleasant odor. Sabinene is also considered to be both anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory.
Tea Tree Oil was found to be composed of approximately 40% terpinene-4-ol, 23% y-terpinene, and 10% a-terpinene plus many other components, and terpinene-4-ol seems to be the most significant regarding the therapeutic values. It should be used freshly distilled and is otherwise is non-allergenic, not an irritant, and only slightly toxic.
Plai was in a 1992 study and discovered zerumbone was contained in the plant’s rhizomes, and it has antifungal properties against pathogenic fungi. It contains about 42% terpinene-4-ol, and that is the very same component that makes Tea Tree so healing. Plai also contains about 27% sabinene. This makes it a very pleasing-smelling essential oil, cool, green, and peppery.1
GENERAL PROPERTIES OF PLAI AND TEA TREE
The plant parts of these different plants, rhizome, and leaf, share terpinene-4-ol and share the properties as pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, with Plai having the addition of sabinene as a potent anti-fungal.
5. Lake Ainsworth
PROPERTIES AND USES OF TEA TREE AND PLAI ~ Plai and Tea Tree oil have many properties, particularlyas an analgesic, anti-neuralgic, and anti-inflammatory. They are useful on sprains and strains, torn muscles, and ligaments.
On inflamed joints, applying Plai, straight on; it has been found to ease the pain for upwards of 18 hours, which is incredible since no other oil has been found to change pain levels so far. On joints that were inflamed due to injury, Plai was best combined with oils such as Black Pepper and Lemon or Neroli, Himalayan Cedar, and Orange. These combinations worked to take the swelling down, calm the pain, and speed up the healing time considerably.
Dilutions were 10% concentration in a vegetable gel or oil or small roller top. A Japanese study from 1991 suggest that sabinene, a terpene, an active ingredient of Z. cassumunar rhizomes, has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, an American study found that Plai oil exhibits antimicrobial activity against a wide range of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, an anti-fungal that require keratin (skin cells) to grow (dermatophytes), and yeasts. A study also showed that the essential oil from Z. cassumunar had anti-microbial activity and worked well with medically useful antibiotics. __ Wikipedia
PLAI – Zingiber cassumunar
Working with Plai that is blended
It is wonderful and very most splendid
With a hidey-high-ho
There it goes on my toe
And thus have a cut that is mended.
APPLICATION/ SKINCARE WITH PLAI AND TEA TREE OIL
Pain relief with Plai and Tea Tree oil – These oils work well for minor pain relief by applying a 2-5% mixture in a carrier oil 2-3 times per day. I personally prefer Plai for this as I prefer the scent, and I think the chemical composition with sabinene is more effective. I usually blend 5% with Marjoram and sometimes high-altitude Lavender.
There are many formulas using these two oils externally in so many different ways, and just too many to list here. You can add to your formulations starting at just 5% and work up or down as you wish.
INTERNAL USES such as pessaries, gels, and douche preparations have been made using these EO as part of the product. However, only Tea tree has extensive published results of the antimicrobial activity. Some of the reports are complicated by the lack of a scientific name or description of the oil discussed and where no data is given on the chemical composition.
“Allergic reactions to Tea Tree Oil occur in predisposed individuals and may be due to the various oxidation products formed by exposure of the oil to light and/or air. Adverse reactions may be minimized by avoiding ingestion, applying only diluted oil topically, and using oil that has been stored correctly.” 4
… “With digestive upsets, Plai, along with Black Pepper, Orange, and Tarragon, has been used to counter irritable bowel syndrome. This blend was used, as a massage blend, across the abdomen after each bowel movement or anytime there was any cramping or pain in the abdominal area.5”
BLENDING & PERFUMERY ~ There is a significant difference in the scent of Tea Tree and Plai, mainly because Plai contains fragrant sabinene and Tea tree does not. I prefer using Plai if I have it, therapeutically, in massage blends, and even in certain perfumes. Tea tree I would only use it as an application in a therapeutic sense.
Blends Best ~ Plai blends best with citrus, spice, and floral scents and, in a small amount in perfumery will lift and brighten any scent made with a mixture of absolutes.
Since I only use Tea Tree in certain therapeutic blends, I really don’t worry too much about the odor profile, only how effective the therapeutics of the blend will be.
Inhalation Blending Formula – 7-16-22 , Anti-inflammatory and inhalation formula. I used this mixture of oils at 15% in an Olive oil and Maqui berry mixture as a carrier oil at 85% (about 85-90 drops): Clove (2 drops), Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Plai (5 drops of each). I wasn’t too concerned about the exact numbers as this was mainly an inhalation. I always mix the essential oils together first and then succuss them, then add the carrier oil, and always label the container immediately with the contents and the use and always list the date as well.
6. both oils
DIFFUSE/DIFFUSION ~ EMOTIONAL/ENERGETIC USE ~ The mystery of aromatherapy is that you get to know these scents that can create a variety of emotional and physical changes. Plai and Tea Tree, these are two powerful healing oils and can be used with care and attention to detail. However, it is not wise to diffuse them, and certainly not with young children and pets nearby.
HYDROSOL ~ Tea Tree DISTILLATION, SUMMER ~ 2000
“ … I should mention that the Tea Tree I distilled was one of two Melaleuca linariifolia that grew in Strybing Arboretum in Golden Gate Park. It was quietly cut down by city gardeners. When I was informed that this magnificent tree which was in full flower at the time, was lying in heaps on the ground, another person and I gathered all that we could and sent 250 lbs. to an Aromatic Plant Project distiller to be distilled. In Australia, the Tea tree is harvested several times per year and thus never is allowed to flower. Our Tea tree was in full flower, and the resulting hydrosol and essential oil were unlike anything I had ever experienced. Instead of the scent being fungal and herbaceous, the scent was highly floral-sweet and with a hint of herbal and some citrus notes.
Tea Tree Hydrosol is used as a wash for any sort of skin infection, fungal or bacterial. It makes a great wash for any deep wound that needs to be bandaged. I used it on my dog, Sumo, who had a 12-inch long cut that was stapled and needed to be washed, and the bandage changed daily.
It is also a useful gargle or mouthwash for a sore throat or daily usage; it can be taken as a drink when you have a cold or flu (1 t/glass of water, 3 x/day) and many other uses.
Since that hydrosol was never analyzed, we only know that the alcohols probably come over into the hydrosol (esters and acids as well); we can assume that some of the terpinene-4-ol is also in the hydrosol and thus has somewhat the same uses as the essential oil.
I obtained both excellent quality hydrosol and essential oil that were authenticated by the Aromatic Plant Project and given its Seal of Authenticity for true essential oil and hydrosol.
It was an excellent summer for distillation. The days were cool, the still worked efficiently, and the plants were perfect.”5
7. Tea tree hydrosol from 2007
HERBAL & CULINARY USES ~ I have used only the freshly picked leaves and flowers of Tea tree in tea to drink, and while not my favorite scent, it tasted okay and was a hot relief to my sinus and throat when I had a cold. I certainly would enjoy trying the Plai rhizome but have not as yet experienced it. They are generally not used in a culinary sense.
These herbs are used in their plant (herbal) form as a compress, macerated in oil for massage oil, and in many other ways. The pulverized rhizome of Plai simmered in water is effective in relieving asthmatic symptoms in children by inhalation and by sipping the tea.
“The herbs Plai, Turmeric, and fresh Ginger rhizomes and plant material are contained in a muslin poultice, which is steamed and rubbed into the body after a deep tissue massage. This tradition dates back over 1000 years.In the 14th century, the Thai developed this form of herbal relief combined with massage to help their soldiers recover after battle. Massage with Thai herbs and rhizomes, like Plai, was used to treat inflammation, sprains, infections, contusions, and other injuries. A poultice was used to treat infection and topical wounds while the massage itself increased blood flow and encouraged the essential oils to penetrate affected areas. . Today, Plai is used in the same way in the form of a balm, oil, or cream.7”
PET CARE ~ Be careful and use only fresh and diluted Tea tree oil on your pet, as it can oxidize and become toxic. Pets sniffing or ingesting Teatree oil can cause a low body temperature, weakness, walking drunk, inability to walk, tremors, coma, increased liver enzymes, and even death. In my personal uses of Tea Tree oil on my dogs, I recommend only using the hydrosol on the skin. See the Tomato Tale that follows.
I do not have any information or personal knowledge on using Plai oil or hydrosol on pets.
Warning -do not trap a pet near a diffuser without a way for it to get away. Some odors are just too strong for a dog’s sensitive sense of smell.
KEY USE ~ Two oils of Healing
HISTORICAL USES ~ Tea tree has been used as a folk medicine treatment among the indigenous Australians of eastern inland areas who use tea tree leaves by inhaling the oils from the crushed leaves to treat coughs and colds. They also sprinkle leaves on wounds, after which a poultice is applied. In addition, tea tree leaves are soaked to make an infusion to treat sore throats or skin ailments. Characteristic of the myrtle family Myrtaceae, it is used to distill Tea Tree essential oil.2
INTERESTING INFORMATION ~ If ingested, tea tree oil is toxic with serious side effects, including coma, and may cause skin irritation if used topically in high concentrations. As of 2006, no deaths were reported in the medical literature.2
Many who have the books of Jeanne Rose, aromatherapist and author of many books concerning herbs and aromatherapy, know the story of her dog, Sumo. Sumo-dog, a full-grown Akita-Shepherd cross with the face of a puppy, was run over by a car and dragged along the pavement on his right side for some distance. The injury to his rear right leg was severe, including severed ligaments and tendons, torn off skin and muscles in a 180-degree rotation around the hock joint!
Veterinarians recommended amputation. Jeanne refused to allow this and treated the dog’s wounds with Tea Tree and Lavender oils and hydrosols. Today there is only an almost unnoticeable scar the length of his leg and a slight limp in Sumo’s happy gait. At the same time, Jeanne used diluted Ylang-Ylang oil in a diffuser to treat her other dog, Wolfie-dog, which was emotionally traumatized by the terrible incident.
Tea Tree oil can be one of the most useful of essential oils for pet care. The only drawback is that cats and dogs usually hate the smell and run, crawl, or hide under the bed when the bottle is opened and give the most heartbreaking sorrowful looks when being treated with it. BUT IT WORKS! “Tea Tree oil is 4-5 times stronger than household antiseptic and must be diluted to 10% or less. And the oil must be fresh. Its bacterial action is increased where blood or pus is present. Externally used in deep wounds or cuts it will remove necrotic tissue and leave a healthy surface”.__ Jeanne Rose’s The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations.
Roman Chamomile, Chamaemelum nobile, one of the nine or more blue essential oils from several botanical groups that, when distilled, produce a blue-colored oil. They are all anti-inflammatory and beneficial to skin health.This article discusses only Roman Chamomile.
ROMAN CHAMOMILE ~ History, Naming, Uses, Skincare
By Jeanne Rose
NAMING AND BACKGROUND of Roman Chamomile ~ two significant types of Chamomiles are used as herbal home remedies and for their essential oils: Chamaemelum nobile or Anthemis nobilis, also known as Roman or English chamomile, Matricaria chamomilla, also known as German or Hungarian chamomile, they are two of the most widely used medicinal herbs and essential oils worldwide.
_____FAMILY ~ These two close herbal relatives are different plants of the same plant family – Asteraceae [Compositae].
•Both have an aromatic scent and bear small, daisy-like blossoms about one inch in diameter. They have similar but different properties and different chemistry, but many herbalists use them interchangeably in herbal remedies. However, they have some distinct differences, as one is a perennial, while the other is an annual.
’ The one that is often most desired as a fragrant lawn substitute is the perennial double Chamomile, Chamaemelum nobile ‘Flore Pleno’. This is an old selection that has been in use for hundreds of years. It forms a low evergreen mat with ferny leaves and fluffy white flowers in early summer. The flowers can be dried and used for tea or mowed, dried, and used for fragrant potpourri.‘ The one most frequently desired as a fragrant lawn substitute is the perennial double Chamomile, Chamaemelum nobile ‘Flore Pleno.’ This is an old selection that has been in use for hundreds of years. It forms a low evergreen mat with ferny leaves and fluffy white flowers in early summer. The flowers can be dried and used for tea or mowed, dried, and used for fragrant potpourri.
COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN for Roman Chamomile ~ The essential oil is most often obtained from Italy. At the same time, the herb is grown throughout Europe and in many other areas, including South America and the USA.
ENDANGERED ~ Roman Chamomile is of the least concern. Wikipedia says, “Chamaemelum nobile is listed as least concern, but the plant population in the UK is decreasing significantly by drainage of wet grasslands, decrease in grazing, and the reduction of pasture that was used as arable fields” .15
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF PLANT HABITAT AND GROWTH ~ Chamaemelum nobile is a perennial, “has daisy-like white flowers and procumbent stems; the leaves are alternate, bipinnate, finely dissected, and downy to glabrous. The solitary, terminal flowerheads, rising 20–30 cm (8–12 in) above the ground, consist of prominent yellow disk flowers and silver-white ray flowers. The flowering time in the Northern Hemisphere is June and July …. Although the plant is often confused with German chamChamomiletricaria chamomilla), its morphology, properties, and chemical composition are markedly different.” 15
PORTION OF PLANT USED IN EXTRACTION AND YIELDS ~ The flowers are steam or hydrodistilled. The color of the essential oil is vital as one of the constituents of the essential oil contains an azulene named chamazulene and a component called bisabolol. Bisabolol and chamazulene occur only in the morning and evening collections of the plant, and the plant must be distilled at this time.
_____YIELD ~ The yield of essential oil from Roman chamomile is greatly influenced by the method of drying the flowers. In Iran, the oil content of the shade-dried ﬂowers was the most prominent (1.9% w/w) compared to sun-drying (0.4% w/w) and oven-drying at 40 °C (0.9% w/w).16
Elsewhere yield has been reported at 0.8% to 1.0%.
STORAGE ~ Store the essential oil in the freezer.
‘ORGANOLEPTICS & CHEMISTRY ~ We call these Chamomile oils ‘blue oils’ because they are blue in color. Yes, essential oils have color. These colors include a pale sky blue such as freshly distilled Roman Chamomile, although it seems to quickly lose that color, and many darker blues as well.
The plant has no azulene, as it is produced during the distillation process. The EO molecule called azulene is a dark blue color. It is composed of two terpenoids; vetivazulene, a derivative of Vetivert, and guaiazulene (also called azulon), mainly from guaiac and chamomile oil. This molecule is also found in some pigments of mushrooms, plants like guaiac wood oil, and marine invertebrates such as jellyfish and corals. Azulenes, although usually shades 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
Please Note ~ that the blue chamazulene itself does not occur in the plant but is formed from a sesquiterpene lactone called matricine during the steam distillation process.
”Roman chamomile EO is insoluble in glycerin ““Upon exposure to air and light and on prolonged standing, the light blue color of the oil changes first to green, to yellow, and later to yellow-brown. This oil presents one of the highest ester values of all essential oils, from 272 to 293.5”World of Aromatherapy, p. 203. Esters are used in skincare.
GENERAL PROPERTIES of Roman Chamomile
A symbol from The Aromatherapy Book by Jeanne Rose – EO can be freely used.
’The main property of any ‘’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. Shirley Price considered Roman Chamomile the best of all essential oils to use. The main property of any ‘blue oils’ is as an anti-inflammatory, to control inflammation, usually of the skin, and on some occasions, when taken internally, to control internal inflammation. Shirley Price considered Roman Chamomile the best of all essential oils to use.
PHYSICAL USES & HOW ROMAN CHAMOMILE IS USED (IG OR AP)
APPLICATION ~ The blue oils with the component of azulene are anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antibacterial and are predominantly considered unusual plants and oil for skincare.
The Benefits ofAzulene in Chamomile Essential Oil. The use of chamChamomileincreasing as the knowledge of azulene (chamazulene) grows. Azulene is significant in Matricaria chamomilla (Matricaria recutita), and this herb has surpassed even its cousin Roman Chamomile as the essential oil for skincare. Both are powerfully anti-inflammatory.
•Rosacea is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that affects the face. Rosacea causes facial redness and produces small, red, pus-filled pustules (bumps). Rosacea worsens with time if left untreated. Add Roman Chamomile in about 5% to any blend used for rosacea.
Make a paste of white clay and water (or flower water). Add 1 drop of Chamaemelum nobile – Roman chamChamomilepply to clean face and let dry for up to 15 minutes. Rinse off carefully and spray with hydrosol of Roman Chamomile, Lavender, or any other you might have.
’• Neuritis and neuralgia and a shingles remedy. – Formula of Essential Oils at 8% includes Helichrysum, Rosemary verbenone, Ravensara, and Roman Chamomile. Add 42% of the total in Calophyllum and Calendula infused oil for the balance of the formula at 50%. If possible, make this formula by weight, not volume. Shingles are very painful, a viral condition from old chicken pox stored in your body. I do not believe essential oils can ‘cure’ it, but they can help ease the pain. There is a long article on my website about this. See http://www.jeannerose.net/articles/shingles.html‘
• Neuritis and neuralgia and a Shingles remedy. – Formula of Essential Oils at 8% includes Helichrysum, Rosemary verbenone, Ravensara, and Roman Chamomile. Add 42% of the total in Calophyllum and Calendula infused oil for the balance of the formula at 50%. If possible, make this formula by weight, not volume. Shingles are very painful, a viral condition from old chicken pox stored in your body. I do not believe essential oils can ‘cure’ it, but they can help ease the pain. There is a long article on my website about this. See http://www.jeannerose.net/articles/shingles.html
A Formula for neuritis. Get a 1-oz bottle, add 30 drops of Roman Chamomile, 20 drops of Rosemary verbenone, and 10 drops of Ravensara. Then fill with carrier oil. I prefer to use a cold-pressed Olive oil that has also been pressed with Lavender flowers [see Sciabica Olive Oil]. Shake vigorously and label and use at will.
INHALATION ~ Any blue oils have many uses in blends and are used via inhalation or in the blends used in inhalers. Roman Chamomile is most easily obtainable and can be used in an inhaler, salt inhaler, or mixed with Eucalyptus radiata and rubbed on the chest for inhalation, and used to relieve breathing.
DIFFUSE/DIFFUSION ~ Use these rare blue oils in moderation. If the herb works, use that first before the essential oil. They can be blended with just about any selection of oil to suit your purposes. I have a favorite at my desk of Eucalyptus smithii + Chamaemelum nobile in a small bottle that I use to inhale periodically when I am working at the computer.
EMOTIONAL/RITUAL/ENERGETIC USES ~ Inhalation of Roman Chamomile may help with nervous tics, asthma, insomnia, headache, depression, and nervousness. It is very useful for hysteria, anger, and child tantrums.
” Many sources list a litany of magical and spiritual traditions for the Roman Chamomile. These sources list its use in spells for peace, love, tranquility, and purification. Teddy Fearnhamm, an aromatherapy teacher, says,““a cascade of Roman Chamomile and you immediately feel loved.” In ritual, it is used to instill stillness, become spiritually aware, give inner peace, and become emotionally stable. These are all attributes we can use.“ Many sources list a litany of magical and spiritual traditions for the Roman Chamomile. These sources list its use in spells for peace, love, tranquility, and purification. Teddy Fearnhamm, an aromatherapy teacher, says, “a cascade of Roman Chamomile and you immediately feel loved.” In ritual, it is used to instill stillness, become spiritually aware, give inner peace, and become emotionally stable. These are all attributes we can use.
A MINOR CHAMOMILE TOMATO TALE
Years ago, when my boy was about 8 years old, we were all gathered together around the dining room table, friends and family, having a glass of wine and chatting. I live in the city and up two flights of stairs from the street. The boys, my son, and his friend were on their BMX bikes, riding up and down the length of the 15-foot hall and creating a tremendous cacophony. It was very noisy. I quietly got up, put some Roman Chamomile into a diffuser, aimed the nozzle towards the hall, and diffused this essential oil into the atmosphere. It was only minutes before the noise died off, and quiet reigned in the house. Too quiet, actually. I got up and went into the bedroom, and now the boys were having a great time smoothing Vaseline into their hair and trying to get it to stand up in greasy peaks for that fashionable punk look. My son was laughing and enjoying the mess. Getting that Vaseline out of the hair is another story.
BLENDING ~ Chamomile oils can be blended with just about any herb or citrus or wood, or resin. It works well with flowers, bark, and spices. Arctander states that Roman Chamomile is used as a trace additive [and] imparts a warm yet fresh note and a natural depth that is difficult to obtain by other means.
Roman Chamomile has little chamazulene and thus has gentler anti-inflammatory properties. It also has a higher alcohol content than its cousin, German Chamomile is the better choice for skin conditions and other topical applications. It is used for skin diseases, acne, chilblains (painfully inflamed skin patches from the cold), and all skin irritations; applied as a compress for menstrual problems, neuritis (pins and needles in the limbs), neuralgia (sharp nerve pain), surgical intervention and pain relief, and used in perfumery. I have used it in massage blends for relaxation. Rub a bit on the gums for teething pain.
HERBAL USES OF ROMAN CHAMOMILE flowers ~ Roman chamomile flower teais anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, a bitter tonic tea, carminative tea, digestive tea, emmenagogue tea (lightly promotes menstrual flow), nervine, and it is calming and stomachic. Roman chamomile oil is used as a tea for its internal and external properties, as an antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory, and to relieve gastrointestinal issues.
Flowers and essential oil are used in skincare formulas as an anti-inflammatory. The EO is inhaled for asthma, used orally, and is best for all uses.
Please Note ~ that the blue chamazulene itself does not occur in the plant but is formed from a sesquiterpene lactone called matricine during the steam distillation process.
So, don’t expect to make herbal remedies with plants that produce blue oils and have a blue-colored product. These plants should be freshly picked in the morning and carefully distilled from the flowering tops, and the hydrosol is immediately frozen (to preserve the light blue color). The essential oil is collected and stored in the freezer to preserve it from oxidation.
KEY USE ~ Use Roman Chamomile and any of the other Blue Oils to relieve inflammation and inhale to relieve asthma.
HYDROSOL ~ Any hydrosols obtained while distilling plants will be acidic in nature and skin-loving for you. In particular, Roman Chamomile produces quite effective hydrosols. The EO is only blue if the plants are picked in the morning ‘when the dew is dry but the sun not yet high‘, and if mature flowers rather than leaves are picked. The hydrosol waters are anti-inflammatory and can be added to any lotion or cream. If you add them when the blue is still in the waters, the essential oil has not quite settled. These products need to be refrigerated.
Roman Chamomile ~ I adore Roman Chamomile hydrosol. I use it in the bath, as a facial toner, and to spray my sheets for sleeping. Ann Harman found that in testing Roman Chamomile hydrosol, there was 0.0042% of EO in it. The hydrosol comprised 61 components, mainly sorbic acid, trans-pinocarveol, and lesser amounts of ketones, acids, and other components.
INTERESTING/SCIENCE/HISTORICAL USES ~ Historically, the Noble Chamomile called the Roman Chamomile, is often a double flower. It was grown interspersed with lawn plants as a ground cover that provided fragrance when being walked upon. Wet laundry, especially sheets, was laid down to dry on this fragrant cover plant, and while drying, they would pick up the sweet apple scent of the plants. In the past, when I could grow large amounts of this plant, I could place my clean, washed cashmere sweaters out to dry, and they would come back to me with the calming scent of chamomile.
This work is sponsored and supported by Prima Fleur Botanicals
A CHART OF ALL THE BLUE OILS AND HOW THEY ARE USED
The blue color is the sesquiterpene AZULENE. All essential oils containing azulene are anti-inflammatory as a property both by inhalation and by application and occur in EO only, not in the plant (matricine).
**Oxidation changes the chemical composition of the essential oil. If any of these oils are greenish-black or brown when they should be light blue to deep blue, it indicates oxidation, age, and the existence of free radicals, and they should not be used for therapy. Furthermore, if the clear-to-yellow oils appear deep yellow to deep brown, they, too, have oxidized and are too old to use therapeutically.
NOTES TO TEXT & BIBLIOGRAPHY
”1. Parsons, Pamela.“Chamomile”. The Aromatic““Thymes“. (Spring 1994) 2:2.“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. Blakiston’s Son & Co., 1925.) (in II volumes)
Synopsis ~ We are discussing the high carvacrol culinary Oregano called ‘Greek or Italian Oregano’. Many different members of this grouping are called Oregano. To get what you want, know the difference, the correct name, and the uses of each.
OREGANO/MARJORAM – the names of confusion
By Jeanne Rose ~ 10-2022
COMMON NAME/LATIN BINOMIAL ~ OREGANO IS ORIGANUM VULGARE, and it has many varieties and chemotypes. The word Oregano is also used for like-named cousins and even other genera, such as some types of Marjoram and Thyme.
OTHER COMMON NAME/NAMING INFORMATION – Oregano ~
Many of the Oregano and Marjoram types were in a kit I once made to help people to learn the difference between the Oregano, Thyme, and Marjoram types. Here are some of the most well-known.
_____1. OREGANO OR WILD MARJORAM, Origanum vulgare. This one is simple, not as flavorful or pungent as the Greek Oregano variety called hirtum.
_____2. OREGANO OR GREEK OREGANO, ORIGANUM VULGARE subsp. HIRTUM and usually CT (chemotype carvacrol), aka O. vulgare heracleoticum. Formerly listed botanically as Origanum heracleoticum, it has a strong herbaceous scent, and the taste burns the mucous membrane from the strongly tasting and scented phenol, carvacrol. The main component is up to 75% carvacrol from the leaves, stems, and flowers. This signature chemical is responsible for the sharp, pungent flavor of the culinary Oregano. [Organoleptically, this particular Oregano is light gold to red in color, clear, non-viscous, with a scent intensity of 6-8, and has an irritating taste].
This variety acts as a disinfectant, preservative, and anti-bacterial; infusions made from Greek Oregano have a wide range of purposes, from a simple cleansing mouthwash to reducing bloat, stomach cramps, and coughs.
Greek Oregano is a very spicy herb. [Its parent, Origanum vulgare, has little flavor and no taste in culinary preparations and is often commercially grown and offered incorrectly as Greek Oregano. This plant is often also known as Wild Marjoram and is a highly invasive plant with a pink flower.] Origanum vulgare hirtum is the true Greek Oregano with a very intense bite that can numb the end of your tongue when fresh. Like all culinary Oreganos, the flower of Greek Oregano is white.
_____3. OREGANO, ORIGANUM VULGARE VAR.COMPACTUMis a small compact mound of leaves with an appreciated flavor, white to pinkish flower, and is steam-distilled for its essential oil [pale yellow to gold, clear, non-viscous, 5-8 intensity, depending upon the amount of carvacrol].
MARJORAM is in several genera, including Origanum and Thymus
____ 4. Marjoram, Origanum majorana [the oil has very little color, clear, non-viscous, 6, herbaceous]
_____ 6. Sweet Marjoram CO2, Origanum majorana, is reddish, with a stronger, more definitive odor.
_____ 7. Pot Marjoram or Cretan Oregano, Origanum onites. I love this plant for its scent.
_____ 8. Spanish Marjoram, Thymus mastichina. See the entry above. This is also called ‘sweet Marjoram’. This oil is herbaceous (no camphor note) with a sweetness of fruit and some citrus [very little color, clear, non-viscous, the intensity of 4. Components are 50% cineole, camphor & camphene.
_____ 9. Spanish Oregano. Thymus capitatus. This oil is vegetative, fungal, herbaceous, and spicey. Also sometimes called Turkish Oregano, which adds to the confusion of these like-named plants and oils. The components are thymol, alpha-amyrin, carvacrol + beta-Caryophyllene. Thymus essential oil inhibits the growth of both Botrytis cinerea and Penicillium italicum. SEM observations also indicated that the mycelia of both fungi were severely injured by applying T. capitatus essential oil. It kills mosquitoes. [SEM = Scanning Electron Microscopy]
THYME called Thymus.
_____ 10. Spanish Oregano and also called Spanish Thyme, Thymus nummularius is called pizza Thyme.
_____ 11. Sweet Thyme, French White Thyme, Thymus vulgaris, also Thyme English Red Thyme has a fruity, green, herbaceous, spicy scent; the oil is very light gold, clear, non-viscous, 4 in intensity.
_____ 12.Thyme Spanish Red Thyme, Thymus vulgaris, has a spicy, herbaceous, green, hot dark red, clear, non-viscous, and strong intensity.
_____ 13. Thyme CT Borneol, Thymus satureioides. The scent is green, herbaceous, and woody, and the oil is red, clear, and non-viscous, 6, with a vegetative taste.
_____ 14. Thyme CT linalool, Thymus vulgaris CT linalool. The scent is herbaceous (no camphor note) and with floral and fruity notes. The essential oil is steam-distilled from the clover-dried herb, and the herb originates in either Hungary or France. It is produced with minimal pesticides or organically grown. The scent is of the oil strongly sweet-herbaceous, and fresh. Thyme linalool is regulating and a tonic, so useful for mood swings, mental inconsistency, and energy fluctuations and is used like Tea Tree. This oil is versatile, and when used in dilution, it helps to cleanse and disinfect the skin for those prone to frequent or recurring infections.
_____ 17. Spain White Serpolet, Wild Thyme, Thymus serpyllum
_____ 18. Mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens) was one of the herbs listed in the Aztec herbal of 1552, written in the Aztec language Nahuatl. The Nahuatl name for the herb was ahuiyac-xihuitl, which means “fragrant, savory herb.” In one formula, it was included with other herbs and fluid of choice in a hot foot bath to be used “against lassitude.”
Traditionally Mexican oregano was used for digestive issues such as colic, indigestion, and flatulence, for motion sickness, for menstrual cramps, to induce menstruation, for earaches and toothaches, and for upper respiratory infections and coughs. It’s also used as a common culinary spice. A common Latin American spice blend, adobo, usually includes oregano. – Bevin Clare
FAMILY ~ Lamiaceae, also called the Mint family, has fragrant and flavorful leaves and flowering tops.
COUNTRIES OF ORIGINS ~ Oregano, called Turkish, Greek, or Italian Oregano, is native to the hills of the Mediterranean countries and western Asia and has naturalized in many parts of Mexico and the United States.
HARVEST LOCATION ~ Prima Fleur carries Origanum compactum, organically grown in France.
ENDANGERED OR NOT ~ “Wild Oregano is a perennial plant of the Lamiaceae family and is native to the Mediterranean Basin; it grows naturally only in southern Spain and northern Morocco, where it can be found on rocky hillsides. Due to overharvesting, the species is severely endangered in its native regions” and habitat. ‑‑ Biolandes, an essential oil and perfumery company.
Origanum compactum L. (Lamiaceae) is one of the most important medicinal species in terms of ethnobotany in Morocco. It is considered a very threatened species as it is heavily exploited. Its domestication remains the most efficient way to safeguard it for future generations.7
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF PLANT HABITAT AND GROWTH ~ The true culinary Oregano, aka Greek or Italian Oregano, Origanum vulgaris hirtum is a woody perennial flowering herb, with white flowers, vigorous and very hardy, with hairy foliage. Other types of Oregano with less intense flavor have pink flowers and are not so hairy.
Greek Oregano is a very spicy herb. The parent, Origanum vulgare, has little flavor and is a culinary zero but is often grown commercially and incorrectly offered as Greek Oregano. This plant is also often known as Wild Marjoram and is an extremely invasive plant with a pink flower. Origanum vulgaris hirtum is the true Greek Oregano with a flavor so intense it numbs the end of your tongue when fresh. Like all culinary Oreganos, the flower of Greek Oregano is white and with an “excellent reputation for flavor and pungency, as well as medicinal uses, strong, archetypal oregano flavor (Greek kaliteri: the best).”1
The Oregano used in aromatherapy, body care, and in diffusers is usually Origanum vulgare var compactum. It is grown in France and Morocco, where it is called Zaatar, and it is used as an aromatic medicinal plant. This is a compact, bushy perennial that forms a low mound (10 inches wide by six inches high) of soft leaves and attractive sprays of white to pinkish-white flowers. It grows well in full sun in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils. These tasty leaves love heat and are drought-tolerant. It does not do well in areas of high humidity. Cut back in the spring to encourage new growth. Apparently, the leaves are toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.
[Oregano is not safe for cats, (dogs, or horses), according to the ASPCA. This herb, unlike basil, sage, and thyme, should not be administered to cats orally or topically. It doesn’t matter if the plant is fresh or dried; it’s toxic. Phenols and terpenoids are poisonous essential oils for cats found in oregano.3]
PORTION OF PLANT USED IN DISTILLATION, HOW DISTILLED, EXTRACTION METHODS
~ There is a solvent-extracted absolute and a CO2 produced scent from the leaves. The leaves are usually either steam-distilled or solvent extracted. The steam-distillate is the usual product.
YIELD of Steam Distillate ~ is 1.2%
CHEMISTRY OF SAMPLES OF OREGANUM VULGARE Hirtum6
For this purpose, a wide evaluation of the existing variability all over the Moroccan territory was tested. The essential oils of 527 individual plants belonging to 88 populations collected from the whole distribution area of the species in Morocco were analyzed by GC/MS. The dominant constituents were carvacrol (0 – 96.3%), thymol (0 – 80.7%), p-cymene (0.2 – 58.6%), γ-terpinene (0 – 35.2%), carvacryl methyl ether (0 – 36.2%), and α-terpineol (0 – 25.8%).4
As you can see, there is a significant chemistry variation in this native environment.
GENERAL PROPERTIES ~ OREGANO
PROPERTIES AND USES ARE LISTED IN THE CHART BELOW for OREGANO types
CHEMISTRY OF OREGANO/MARJORAM ~ Chart
Environmental factors, the terroir, plays a huge role in the chemistry of Oregano. Within varieties on various islands, chemistry can change significantly. Temperature, humidity, soil type, day length, climate, altitude, amount of available water, etc. The chemical composition also depends on the season and vegetative period of the plant.4 These all make up the terroir.
Let us start out with the fact all plants called Oregano are in the Origanum genus and that most plants called Marjoram are either in the Thymus or Origanum genus. In the past, Marjoram used to have its own genus. Now Oregano is the genus, and Marjoram or Sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana) is only one variety or species of over fifty types of the genus Oregano. Pot marjoram (Origanum onites) is another species, but even this causes confusion, sometimes being called Cretan Oregano because of its place of origin. In Spain, there is Thymus nummularius, and in Mexico, there are Lippia graveolens (see photo above of page from Badianus manuscript); both are sold as Oregano and used in place of Oregano. One last example of how it all is jumbled: Origanum vulgare, or what is taken for common Oregano, is also known as wild Marjoram or Thyme.
Yes, it is confusing, and in this group of plants, it is very helpful to also know the place of origin and the chemotype as well as the scientific name.
Both Marjoram and Oregano are steam inhalants to clear the sinuses and relieve laryngitis. “The combination of carvacrol and cymene in this oil results in an increased antibacterial effect on the growth and a synergistic effect on the viability of Listeria. There is monocytogenes in low concentrations. It can be used to preserve foods or cosmetics. … “Know the Latin binomial – to be assured”2
For more information on the uses of the Marjoram/Oregano/Thyme essential oil and Hydrosols,
see 375 Essential Oils & Hydrosols by Jeanne Rose.
Oregano has been used for a long time by the Moroccan population for medicinal properties and food preparation purposes. This application is not wide because of its bitterness, despite the pleasant odor. The taste is very intense, quite unpleasant, and intensely bitter, so its culinary application is limited to the region of origin, such as Morocco, where It is mainly used as a culinary condiment and primarily employed in popular medicine for the treatment of ailments such as dysentery, colitis, bronco-pulmonary issues, gastric acidity, and gastrointestinal diseases. O. compactum is also used as a preservative for the melted butter item called (smen).6 Smen is salted aged and fermented butter that is made in Morocco.
APPLICATION/ SKINCARE ~ I only use the high carvacrol-containing Oregano oil for the skin in a preservative formula for lotions and creams. Here, it is in a low enough percentage that it will not cause irritation.
Preserve Formula The following formula should be used at 1.5%, that is, 1.5 ml to a 4 oz. jar: Too much Cinnamon? – Reduce the amount 2 ml Oregano CT carvacrol 2 ml Palmarosa with geraniol 1.5 ml Cinnamon leaf 2 ml Thyme [50% paracymene and 50% Thymus vulgaris with thymol]
A formula to preserve cosmetics
DIFFUSE/DIFFUSION for Oregano ~ I strongly suggest that you do not diffuse this high carvacrol oil into your home. Save it for its strong medicinal properties.
A TOMATO TALE OF CHAMPAGNE AND OREGANO
EMOTIONAL/ENERGETIC USE ~ Saturday, October 1, was a special day for me. The previous Tuesday, I had been introduced to a new bottle of sparkling wine/champagne that was delicious and new to my tastebuds, and it came from a winery in my state called Lichen Estate. This champagne (it’s California, so it is really sparkling wine) stunned me with its deliciousness. I tried it first at Waterbar in San Francisco. I came home and got on the phone and called Lichen Estate, and had an informative discussion with Doug, the owner. This call initiated a long conversation about this and that and an order from me to obtain some of their delicious wine. It arrived in record time, and I invited a journalist from the S.F. Chronicle, Tony Bravo, to share a bottle with me. I chilled the 2013 Cuvée. When he arrived on Saturday, we had to mask up as I had just inhaled and dropped some of the Oregano oil with high carvacrol all over me and the house. This essential oil filled my house with its odor and my nose with pungency, and the intensity of the carvacrol made me slightly delirious. I started to speak very loudly and laughed rather insanely. The champagne? Well, I had chilled the Cuvée, and we decided to taste it in different types of Riedel glassware and plain wine glasses and pulled out six to taste from. We also closed ourselves into the kitchen, which speaks well for not having an open floor plan, as the Oregano scent was exuberantly manifesting itself in the rest of the house. The champagne had a pleasing and attractive odor and a fine and delicious taste. But both together? It was like drinking champagne in a pizza oven.
Emotionally – the wine was delicious, and when we finished the bottle, the scent in the house was calmer and more of the culinary plant odor rather than the intensity of the essential oil. I felt happy, and the scent was very homely, as if I was back in the home of my Italian godmother and eating some of her delicious homemade pasta.
HYDROSOL & another Oregano Tomato Tale ~ I have had the opportunity to distill Oregano, and not knowing the extreme variability of this plant at the time, I was amazed at the dark red hydrosol that was obtained. This was in Grand Rapids, MI, in 2009 with my Distillation class at the home of Linda Beyer. This hydrosol was intensely pungent, tasting and smelling. I took an 8 oz. bottle home with me and used it over the next few years as a cold and flu preventative and a therapeutic treatment. Of course, it has to be diluted with water or juice, about 1 teaspoon of hydrosol per glass of liquid or juice; this dilution is best to soften the pungency of the Oregano hydrosol. This would be taken 4-6 daily at 4-hour intervals while awake. It certainly worked very well, indeed.
PLEASE NOTE: A true hydrosol should be distilled explicitly for the hydrosol, not as a co-product or 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 precisely distill a product using fresh plant material.
CULINARY USE of Oregano ~ Oregano is used in cooking to flavor soups and sauces, pizza, meatballs, and many other foods. Cultivars traded as Italian, Sicilian, etc., are often a hardy sweet marjoram hybrid (O. majorana or O. majoricum), and the southern strongly Adriatic, O. v. subsp. hirtum and sweet marjoram (O. majorana). They have a reputation for sweet and spicy tones with slight bitterness and are prized for their flavor and compatibility with various recipes and sauces.5
HISTORICAL USES ~ Use of Greek oregano dates back to ancient Greece, where it was said that it was created by the love goddess Aphrodite, who grew it in her garden atop Mount Olympus as a symbol of joy. It was commonly planted around homes to ward off evil spirits.
Despite the heavy association of Oregano with Italy, Oregano likely originated in Greece. Ancient Greeks used to let their cattle graze on fields of Oregano in the belief that it produced tastier meat. Even the name Oregano comes from the Greek, meaning “joy of the mountain.”
Origanum compactum Benth: A Review on Phytochemistry and Pharmacological Properties • Abdelhakim Bouyahya1,etc.• Biochemistry-Immunology Laboratory, Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco
The Perfumery, botany, cultivation, history, and distillation of the flowers for essential oil,
With odor snapshots and the uses of the oil.
YLANG-YLANG ~ Powerful Perfumery Flower
By Jeanne Rose ~ 09-20-22
YLANG-YLANG BOTANICAL & LATIN BINOMIAL ~ Cananga odorata Hook. F. & Thomson. “The species and its genus have a long and rather confusing nomenclatural history that has yet to be resolved completely.”3 —Turner and Veldkamp
Ylang has other common names, such as Macassar-oil plant or perfume tree. Ylang-Ylang is said to mean ‘flower of flowers’ in the Philippines. Another book I read said that it means ‘wild’. Wikipedia says it means ‘wilderness.’ However, I was not able to confirm either. The Tagalog name is ilang-ilang.
It is interesting to know that an antimacassar was a doily (decorative crocheted mat) designed for the back of a chair to protect it from the grease and dirt of a head that had been smoothed and scented with Macassar oil, that is, coconut or other solid oil plus Ylang as a scent.
Naming ~ There are two forms of the plant, called Cananga odorata forma macrophylla which produces the oil called Cananga, and the more well-known Cananga odorata forma genuina which is the oil we will be discussing. They are considered different trees with different plant descriptions, forma macrophylla from Java and other islands, while forma genuina is best from Madagascar.
I have been fortunate to have seen and smelled both types, although at the time (1990), I was not aware of a difference.
[Cananga odorata • Variety: forma macrophylla steenis • Common Name: Ylang ylang]
Family ~ Annonaceae
COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN ~ Native to India, Indonesia, and the Macassar Islands, and the Philippines, and it grows well in the Comoros Islands of Madagascar, Réunion, as well as Haiti, and Zanzibar. The Fairchild Tropical Gardens in Coral Gables, Florida have trees, as do the Palm Beach Garden Club (I believe that was the name of the place where I spoke about 20 years ago). Palm Beach Garden Club had the Cananga trees.
ENDANGERED OR NOT ~ Ylang-ylang is not currently considered endangered. However, it is a high-risk invasive species and is listed as invasive to many parts of the Pacific.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF PLANT, HABITAT & GROWTH ~ Ylang is a tall tropical tree growing over 60 feet high with large, up to six inches wide, drooping yellow flowers. The flowers first appear green and are without fragrance and covered in white hairs, then, roughly twenty days later, change to white, then to yellow and become very fragrant. Even the dried flowers will scent a room for up six weeks.
PORTION OF PLANT USED IN DISTILLATION, HOW DISTILLED, EXTRACTION METHODS ~ The flowers are harvested fresh and hydro- or steam-distilled. In 375 Essential Oils & Hydrosols, explicit instruction is given on how to distill Ylang-Ylang flowers. See p. 159.4
1) all parts of the still must be immaculate.
2) the flowers should be fully mature, not damaged, and harvested early in the morning.
3) flowers must be taken immediately to the distillery and distilled immediately.
4) the stills are direct fired, and the water should be almost boiling when the flowers are added.
5) proceed smoothly, quickly, and uniformly with supervised eyes on distillation.
6) condensation must be efficient, and the fractions sharply cut off.
7) complete notes should be taken on all parts of the growing, harvesting, and distillation, including information on the distillation weather, water, equipment, wind, and temperature during the distillation.
“The flowers of the tree are steam-distilled. “The first part of the distillation produced within the first 45 minutes produces the finest oil, the fraction known as “Extra” and the receiver is then removed, and another receiver put in its place. The “Extra” is used mainly in perfumery. The same flowers continue to be distilled for several more hours, and in 2 ½ hours, another receiver, when removed is called the 1st fraction, as the distillation continues for several more hours and the receiver is removed again and this is called the 2nd fraction, distillation will continue for up to 10-14 hours, and finally the end result is called the 3rd fraction. This last fraction is often used for removing varnishes. Sometimes the total distillation time for a ‘complete’ will take 6-8 hours. And often the entire process can take up to fourteen hours.
Ylang-Ylang oil can also be produced by solvent extraction, forming a concrète and absolute.4”
Yield ~ 1.5-2%. A mature tree gives 9 kilograms of fresh flowers yielding 30 grams of oil annually.
Study and work is being conducted on capturing Ylang-Ylang scent by headspace technology. This is a process used to capture the odor compounds present in the air that surround an object. Once the scent is captured and analyzed, perfumers can try to recreate it using what they have available.
ODOR DESCRIPTION ~ There is more descriptive odor information in the Blending portion of this blog post and odor snapshots at the end. I am particularly fond of the Absolute of Ylang-Ylang and the Extra I have from 1995 and 2005. These two types of Ylang-ylang are so rich and floral, fruity with powder and honey back notes.
The absolute and the extra have deep rich colors and have a very satisfying and rich fatty, floral, a fruity odor that has great tenacity in a scent. The complete and the fine organic are also enjoyable with very special uses in blending and perfumery. In a blend, these top fractions have unusual power in the top note, and the fragrance fades out very slowly and elegantly in a long-lasting, floral-spicy, and very sweet way that is truly reminiscent of the fragrance of the flower.
NOSE DIVE, a book by Harold McGee, describes the scent of Ylang as as “has balsamic and wintergreen qualities from several benzenoid-ring volatiles, and a leathery variation on cresol.” This is a wonderful book for all scents, from the cosmos to the planet to cooked and fermented foods.
I have been able to enjoy many of the different variations of scents of Ylang: my first experience was a cheap reproduction that made me nauseous and years later, the flowers from the Cananga tree in West Palm Beach to the picked fresh off the tree flowers from the Fairchild Tropical Garden to the many fractions of the oil that were distilled in Madagascar, to the present day as shown below. My favorite of the modern lot is the organically grown essential oil from Madagascar, #234 as sold by Prima Fleur Botanicals.
SOLUBILITY ~ Years ago, I had a phone call from a student that the Ylang she was using was milky and not clear when she added alcohol as a diluent. She thought she had been sold adulterated Ylang. I went to my Guenther books and read all about Ylang and found that it is not soluble in certain amounts of alcohol. As an experiment in July of 2002, I decided to do various dilutions for my own knowledge and experimentation.
As follows: Ylang-Ylang is not soluble in 2 volumes of 95% alcohol. That means if you add 1-volume of Ylang-Ylang to 2-volumes of alcohol, it will be milky and not clear. You have to add enough alcohol as a diluent so it is not milky.
In September 2002, I mixed 20 drops of each of the four types of Ylang -Ylang with 10 or fewer drops of each with the two percentages of the alcohol and found that the color stayed golden color and that the mixtures were clear. However, 18 hours later, at 10 am on 9/7/02 – I looked at the mixtures and found that the Ylang-Ylang had settled out of the 85% EtOH and was still turbid in 95% grain EtOH.
Then I reread Guenther, If your Ylang -Ylang gets milky and opalesces in alcohol, it only means that you added too little or too much alcohol – it is supposed to get milky (up to 10 volumes), and if it doesn’t get milky then you have an adulterated Ylang -Ylang. In other words, the more alcohol you add, the milkier and cloudier it gets until up to 10 volumes of 90% EtOH, and it will begin to clear — See pages 267-316 in volume 5 of Guenther’s The Essential Oils.
This was a great experiment.
Ylang is so soothing and nice –
it makes up in scent with its price –
Add to perfume –
romance will loom –
And you may end up married with rice. —JeanneRose2017
YLANG-YLANG GENERAL PROPERTIES
If you apply Ylang-Ylang externally, it is antiseptic, with the “second” and “third” fractions being antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and antiparasitic. If you use the oil by inhalation, it is somewhat aphrodisiac, calming, and acts as a nervine and a sedative, antidepressant, calmative, cardiotonic, and euphoric.
YLANG-YLANG PHYSICAL USES & HOW USED ~
Application: Add a few drops in skin care products and use them to soothe the skin, and ease light pain; it is used externally in the bath or on the body or used in perfumery. Fraction #1 has often been recommended to be added to a blend to treat scabies and mange, although I had never had the opportunity to try this, and years later when I did, it was ineffective.
Inhalation of Ylang-Ylang: RELAX! Ylang-Ylang, inhale to soothe anger, relieve pain, for insomnia, a euphoric that serves as an aphrodisiac, and to treat impotence.
Add it to Lemon oil and Lavender oil to relax your blood pressure, as studies have shown that this is a very effective formula. This mixture was found to be effective in lowering systolic blood pressure and sympathetic nerve system activity. The blend was 2•2•1 (Lemon/Lavender/Ylang complete); you can read about it here. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21157172
It is so good in perfumery and is used in soothing skin care, and by inhalation, in dilution, it eases depression and soothes anger.
Ingestion: Ylang-Ylang has been taken in the past for PMS, to regulate circulation, as a uterine tonic, aphrodisiac, and cardiotonic. However, I am not sure that the appropriate way to use these flowers is by taking the oil, as it can cause extreme tiredness. The oil has devolved over the years. From my own personal exploration and knowledge and my uses of over 45 years, the best way to use Ylang oil is simply by inhalation for relaxation and emotional soothing and in perfumery.
Read Tomato tale #2 at the end of this article for a story about taking this oil.
Inhalation of Ylang #1 oil as an aphrodisiac and for insomnia, to soothe aggression and very useful in a man’s product for stress.
Valerie Worwood suggests that Ylang-Ylang (fraction used unknown) be used to counteract anxiety, tension, stress, and shyness, among other things, and it can assist self-confidence and warmth. She says the “Ylang-Ylang personality is intensely feminine. — The Fragrant Mind, p. 398.
DIFFUSE/DIFFUSION ~ All fractions of Ylang oil can be used with other oils and used in the diffusor. It seems especially lovely to mix with Lemon and true Lavender oil to soothe the atmosphere of a room.
Contra-Indications & Personal Note: In my experience, most fractions of Ylang-Ylang are not cardiotonic but an accelerator of heart rhythm. Please be extra careful with this lovely perfumery oil.
Do not use on children or the elderly.
BLENDING and PERFUMERY ~ “The top note, the first impression of the scent as it is applied to the skin, is rather fleeting and ephemeral but richly sweet and powerful. The middle and bottom notes are most lasting, fading out slowly over the course of a day.”5
All fractions of Ylang-Ylang blend well with an enormous variety of oils and resins and scents from all parts of plants, such as the seeds (Cardamom), roots (Vetivert), stems (Lavender), flowers (Jasmin), barks (Cedrus), and herbs such as Spearmint. It would do you well to know what fraction you have and try some blends before deciding on your favorite.
Ylang, most fractions and the complete, are so good in that its unusual top note, “a fragrance that fades out very slowly and most elegantly in a long-lasting, floral-spicy and very sweet note, truly reminiscent of the fragrance of the flower” and used in perfumery and in soothing skincare and also by inhalation (in dilution) as it eases depression cools anger.
I have physical issues with my heart, so I cannot use the fractions of Ylang-Ylang called I, II, or III individually. They actually make me nauseous. So, I choose the absolute or extra in my perfumery of choice.
HYDROSOL ~ I am very fond of Ylang hydrosol and have it from several sources.Ylang-ylang hydrosol is quite lovely as a spray on the face and body. With a wee bit (1%) of Spearmint, it will bring joy and peacefulness. Spray this combination on pillows and bed linens for sweet sleep. By itself, it is a calming floral aroma; added to a toner, it will help combination skin or oily skin. . I would use it every day if it were available. It makes a sweet soothing spray after a warm bath and excellent facial skin toner. It can also be sprayed on the hair for a light aroma. Use it after you have shampooed and rinsed as a spray mist, and then comb it through.
I have used Ylang hydrosol myself many times and have always loved this particular hydrosol.
PLEASE NOTE: A true hydrosol should be distilled explicitly for the hydrosol, not as a co-product or 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 precisely distill for a product by using fresh plant material.
HERBAL USE ~ These flowers can be worn in the hair, and the scent will relax the body. The flowers can also be dried and used in citrus potpourris. They will last for months, and then the entire potpourri can be added to water on the boil, infused, and used in the bath as a relaxant.
KEY USE ~ The Oil of Perfumery
SUSTAINABILITY ~ Ylang-ylang seems to be sustainable at this point, and several large commercial companies are working with planters and growers to maintain the healthy population of these tree flowers. They work to champion responsible sourcing and support the farming community. I hope that this is true going forward.
“Many who have the books of Jeanne Rose, aromatherapist and author of many books concerning herbs and aromatherapy, know the story of Sumo and Wolfie. Sumo-dog was a full-grown Akita-Shepherd cross with the face of a puppy. Sumo was run over by a car and dragged along the pavement on his right side for some distance. The injury to his rear right leg was severe, including severed ligaments and tendons, torn off skin, and muscles in a 180-degree rotation around the hock joint! Veterinarians recommended amputation. Jeanne refused to allow this and treated the dog’s wounds with Tea Tree and Lavender oils as well asTea Tree water washes, and hydrosol. Months later, there was only an almost unnoticeable scar on the length of his leg and a slight limp in Sumo’s happy gait.
At the same time, Jeanne used Ylang-Ylang oil-#1 in a diffuser to treat her other dog, Wolfie-dog, the beautiful blue-eyed Siberian Husky. Wolfie was emotionally traumatized by the terrible incident”5 as she was also thrown by the car and then returned home refused to leave her bed while Sumo was in the hospital. She also would not go outside unless attended. Jeanne would add Ylang-Ylang #1 essential oil to the diffuser and noticed that Wolfie would get up and lie down nearer to the diffuser at times during the day and then return to her bed. When Sumo came home, she was much more at ease”. ………… (these words have been slightly altered from my book, The Aromatherapy Book” to bring them up to date.
Warning -do not trap a dog near a diffuser without a way for it to get away. Some odors are just too strong for a dog’s sensitive sense of smell.
YLANG-YLANG TOMATO TALES -2
Gio Costanzo, Ylang, and Champagne – Gio is a really lovely friend who happens to have just become single again. Geo is just learning about essential oils and became very intrigued when another friend of ours mentioned that they could act as ‘aphrodisiacs.’ “HOW?” was the first question asked? “Well, you can use them to make things smell really fragrant like you can put a drop or two of Eucalyptus in your sauna to make the place smell better; you could put a drop of Ylang-Ylang in your champagne and drink it with your girlfriend; you can add essential oils to the last rinse of your laundry to make your bedding smell really sweet,” was our collective response.
Several months later, I found myself on a plane with him, flying to Texas for a football game, and asked about the aphrodisiac and if he had used it and here is his story.
He had grabbed hold of the Ylang-Ylang in the champagne answer but hadn’t listened to the part about “a drop” and had added something like 1-drop to each glass poured from his expensive bottle of champagne. He told me that he and his girlfriend had spent the evening together and had several glasses each of the bubbles but didn’t much like the taste and so went to bed, where they promptly fell asleep. “I didn’t like it, and It didn’t work very well as an aphrodisiac, but it did work to put us to sleep.”
He also told me that I had forgotten the most important part of his story that the Ylang-ylang did not make them smell good. “I thought we were going to smell good but after drinking the champagne, we smelled so bad we couldn’t stand each other in the same bed. That was the worst part of it, and you can mention that. Jeanne what we did was put a drop in every glass of champagne until we had used up all the Ylang. We hopped into bed, started getting hot sweats, and then the pungent smell overcame us. It was a horrid smell, and we could not wash it away. We slept in different rooms that night because of the smell. There went that romantic night! Also bad for me on the plane the next day. That’s the way my first experience with Ylang went.”
1Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils. Volume 5, pages 267-316.
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.
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•
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.
GENERAL PROPERTIES of Cinnamon
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.
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.
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
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.
Bay, an ancient tree with a long history of uses; folklore; and modern use
BAY LEAF & OIL
By Jeanne Rose
COMMON NAME/LATIN BINOMIAL ~ Bay or Mediterranean Bay, Laurus nobilis. Other names include Bay Laurel, Sweet Bay, True Laurel, or Grecian Laurel.
Family ~ Lauraceae
The California Bay, Umbellularia californica, in Family Lauraceae, has common names, including California Laurel, Pepperwood bay tree, and Oregon Myrtle.
To be clear, this is why you have to learn the scientific name of any plant to truly convey who/what you are talking about.
COUNTRIES OF ORIGINS ~ The Mediterranean Basin is the home of the Bay tree and once contained widespread forests when the climate was more humid. Some remnant forests remain in the area, including southern Spain and Turkey and northern Syria, parts of Morocco, and the Canary Islands. Bay trees of this species grow in many places, including my area (California).
Today Bay Laurel essential oil comes from several areas, including Albania, Spain, Turkey, and Bosnia.
ENDANGERED OR NOT ~ The Bay Laurel is considered a threatened plant.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF PLANT HABITAT AND GROWTH ~ The Laurus nobilis species is dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female), with star-shaped male and female flowers on separate plants. This means that only one sex is to be found on any plant, so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). It is pollinated by bees. The plant is not self-fertile.1
In the past, even when following a text that gave me the information on how to separate plants based on their structure and using a plant ID book, I have been slow to learn the difference between the California Bay and the Mediterranean Bay. Ann Harman gave me a quick lesson once and suggested I concentrate on the difference in the flowers; as the Noble Bay is dioecious, in that male and female flowers are on separate plants, while the California Bay is monoecious, has perfect flowers in that the males and female parts are in the same flower.
I feel that you can also tell the difference between the Bays by looking at the leaves. Mediterranean Bay leaves are more ovate, with a slight wave to their edges. California Bay has longer, slimmer, more lance-like leaves. And when shopping for true Bay, in the herb or grocery store, you will note on the label that they usually come from Italy, Greece, or somewhere else in the Mediterranean. The taste and smell are also different – Noble Bay’s scent and taste are more delicate and refined, while California Bay’s scent and taste are stronger, more pungent, and spicier.
Find a good Field Guide Book and learn how to identify plants by their external and internal look.
PORTION OF PLANT USED FOR EXTRACTION, EXTRACTION METHODS; DISTILLATION, HOW DISTILLED, AND YIELDS of Bay Tree ~
Three different trees are called Bay Laurel; in this article, we will concentrate on the Mediterranean Bay Laurel, Laurus nobilis. The other trees mistaken for this tree and also called Bay Laurel are the Umbellularia californica from California; the Haitian Bay, native to the Caribbean and used in cooking, and a cologne called Bay Rum, whose common name is also Bay rum, Pimenta racemosa. Here is a comparison photo of the leaves and flowers taken by Jeanne Rose.
The Bay leaves are extracted by hydro-distillation and are best done in copper or stainless steel. No considerable variations were observed in the chemical composition of the oils throughout the year. Moreover, and due to the good energy and values obtained, our results showed that the exhausted plant material obtained after distillation could be a putative fibrous feed for ruminants.2
Yield ~ Essential oil yields were 0.9 ± 0.5% (v/w) of dry weight and decreased to 0.3% (v/w) when flowers or fruits were present. 2 In Bulgaria, these are the results of GC/MS.: The oil yield was 0.78%, 0.80%, and 3.25% in the fruits, twigs, and leaves, respectively.3
• SOURCE (S) ~ Prima Fleur Botanicals is an excellent source of true Bay laurel essential oil.
• Bay leaf oil
ODOR DESCRIPTION/ AROMA ASSESSMENT ~ Laurel Bay has predominant notes of herbs and florals with subsidiary notes of fruity and spicy, and Bay rum is predominantly spicy with fruity notes and back notes that include herbaceous and camphoraceous.
CHEMICAL COMPONENTS OF BAY LAUREL ~ The most abundant component found in Bay Laurel essential oils is 1,8-cineole, also called eucalyptol. The leaves contain about 1.3% essential oils (ol. lauri folii), consisting of 45% 1, 8-cineole, 12% other terpenes, 8–12% terpinyl acetate, 3–4% sesquiterpenes, 3% methyl eugenol, and other α- and β-pinenes, phellandrene, linalool, geraniol, and terpineol.
In Bulgaria, these are the results of GC/MS.: The oil yield was 0.78%, 0.80%, and 3.25% in the fruits, twigs, and leaves, respectively.
The main constituents in the fruit EO were 1,8-cineole (33.3%), α-terpinyl acetate (10.3%), α-pinene (11.0%), β-elemene (7.5%), sabinene (6.3%), β-phellandrene (5.2%), bornyl acetate (4.4%), and camphene (4.3%).
The components in the twig EO were 1,8-cineole (48.5%), α-terpinyl acetate (13.1%), methyl eugenol (6.6%), β-linalool (3.8%), β-pinene (3.4%), sabinene (3.3%) and terpinene-4-ol (3.3%).
The components in the leaf EO were 1,8-cineole (41.0%), α-terpinyl acetate (14.4%), sabinene (8.8%), methyl eugenol (6.0%), β-linalool (4.9%), and α-terpineol (3.1%)3
Here in California, we have a tall local tree with fragrant and spicy leaves called Bay Laurel, Umbellularia californica. The physical difference between the two species is not that obvious. The essential oil separates the gentle Bay Laurel from the toxic California Bay. This difference in chemistry is an important indicator of the difference between Noble Bay and California Bay with its toxic component called umbellulone.
GENERAL PROPERTIES of Bay Laurel
In general, the Bay tree oil is used in cosmetics for soap and aroma, in perfumery,
And the leaves used in food as a spice.
PROPERTIES AND USES ~ The Bay Laurel has many properties, including abortifacient, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, culinary appetizer, aromatic, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue, narcotic, parasiticide, stimulant, and stomachic. The leaves have been used in the treatment of cancer of the uterus and in the treatment of a variety of respiratory issues such as bronchitis and flu or in drops for earache; in the treatment of hysteria; to stimulate the appetite; relieve the pain of aching joints. Some of these uses date back to Roman times.
Laurel fruit has been used in carminative medicines and, in the past, used to promote abortion4. How this came about is unknown. The fixed oil from the fruit is used externally to treat sprains, bruises, etc., (as an application) and is sometimes used as ear drops to relieve pain4. The essential oil from the leaves has antibacterial and fungicidal properties.
BAY OIL USED EXTERNALLY IN SKIN CARE ~ Bay oil has a pleasant scent, more herbaceous and floral than Bay Rum oil. It has use in external products as an after-shave, in body scrubs or oils, in soaps, and for use in the shower or bath. Be wary of what you purchase as Bay Laurel, as I have seen in products by major companies using Bay rum as a substitute. Know the difference by their scent.
DIFFUSE/DIFFUSION ~ EMOTIONAL/ENERGETIC USE ~ The mystery of aromatherapy —Get to know the subtle scents of these oils and be able to create a variety of emotional and physical changes by inhalation. Bay Laurel by inhalation is soothing to the respiratory system and is useful for colds and virus infections. Many oils can be used for the respiratory system, so choose one that you know and choose one to learn from. This will expand your knowledge of essential oils.
BLENDING & PERFUMERY
It Blends Best with citrus, herb, and resinous oils. If you get a Laurel oil with a floral odor, use it in a skin care product.
Blending with formula – Here is an idea for using Bay leaf oil in a perfume. The Noir 29 by Le Labo is an aromatic fragrance for women and men. This scent was launched in 2015. The nose behind this fragrance is Frank Voelkl. The top notes are Fig, Bay Leaf, and Bergamot; the middle notes are Cedar (not identified which cedar), Vetiver and Musk; the base notes are Tobacco and Hay.
BAY LEAF HYDROSOL ~ The Bay in my yard is usually distilled twice a year, and 1.5 gallons of the wondrous hydrosol will be collected each time. It is drunk as a tonic (1 t. per 1 glass of water) for your entire female needs, especially when they are serious such as with uterine fibroids or breasts that ache and are tender.
This hydrosol stimulates lymph and circulation, tones the intestine, and relieves gas. It can be externally applied and will act as a broad-acting antiseptic. It can be gargled as a mouthwash to relieve the pain of sore throat or tonsillitis and for dental hygiene. Add this hydrosol to all sorts of foods or steaming vegetables for a great taste.
Several kinds of trees are called Bay. The Mediterranean or Grecian Bay Laurel, Laurus nobilis, is the tree most often associated with the name Bay, which this article references.
PLEASE NOTE: A true hydrosol should be specifically distilled for the hydrosol, not as a co-product or 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 ~ The leaves can be used in a compress or for any type of bath and is especially useful in a foot bath for aching feet or aching muscles. And the true use of the leaves is a bouquet garni or in the seasoning of foods and sauces. The hydrosol and the whole herb infusion can be used in veterinary care for farm animals and your dogs.
KEY USE ~ The oil an expectorant or mucolytic.
HISTORICAL USES/INTERESTING INFORMATION ~ The plant was called daphne, after the mythic mountain nymph in ancient Greece. In the myth of Apollo and Daphne, the god Apollo fell in love with Daphne, a priestess of Gaia (Mother Earth), and when he tried to seduce her, she pleaded for help and called to Gaia, who transported her to Crete. In Daphne’s place, Gaia left a laurel tree, from which Apollo fashioned wreaths to console himself. Other versions of the myth, including that of the Roman poet Ovid, state that Daphne was transformed directly into a laurel tree.4.
The bays tree has a long history of folk use in treating many ailments, particularly as an aid to digestion and in treating bronchitis and influenza.
The Jasmine, an ancient flower, is treasured and known throughout history for over 3000 years. It is used today mainly for perfumery. Read on!
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
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.
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
SCENT DESCRIPTIONS of Jasmine ~
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.
GENERAL PROPERTIES of Jasmine
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 4. http://www.bojensen.net/EssentialOilsEng/EssentialOils.htm 5. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, p. 84
Bibliography 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 http://www.jeannerose.net/books.html Rose, Jeanne. The Herbal Body Book. Frog, Ltd. Berkeley, CA. 2000
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.
GINGER EO & PLANT USES
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.
ORGANOLEPTIC CHARACTERISTICS OF GINGER ROOT OIL FROM MADAGASCAR (2022)
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.
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.
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 withcitrus, orange, spices, cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla, benzoin, cedar, sandalwood, and other woods.
A Ginger Perfume
3 mL (or 0.1 oz.) organic carrier oil.
4 drops organic fresh ginger essential oil.
4 drops organic mandarin essential oil.
6 drops organic lemon essential oil.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
“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.
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 https://organicalcohol.com/
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 %)
GENERAL PROPERTIES OF BLUE Chamomile
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.
PHYSICAL USES & HOW USED (IG OR AP)
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 CO2from Matricaria chamomillaCO2is 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.
EMOTIONAL/RITUAL USE ~ Many sources list a litany of magical and spiritual traditions for the BlueChamomile 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.
SKIN FORMULA FOR ROSACEA
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.
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.
THE NASTY TOMATO TALE OF OXIDIZED BLUE CHAMOMILE
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!
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
Can there be allergic or skin reactions to chamazulene? THERE HAVE BEEN SOME REPORTS OF ALLERGIC RESPONSES TO AZULENE AND TO PLANTS CONTAINING MATRICIN
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.
ESSAY ON BLUE OILS AND AZULENE
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 OFAZULENE 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.”
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.
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