Author - Kathi Keville

Kathi Keville has studied herbs since 1969. Her attraction to fragrant plants led to an involvement in aromatherapy. Her other books include Herbs for Health and Healing; The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs; and Herbs: American Country Living. Keville is editor of the American Herb Association Quarterly, an honorary life member of the American Aromatherapy Association, a member of the National Institute of Holistic Aromatherapy, and a founding professional member of the American Herbalist Guild. She travels throughout North America teaching seminars.

Angelica

Thought to have originated in Syria, angelica was one of the few aromatics exported to the Orient. The oil was a common flavoring and apothecary drug, and magical powers were attributed to it as the “root of the Holy Ghost.” The way...

Tuberose

One of the most expensive of the flower oils, this intensely fragrant Mexican flower has found international fame in perfumes such as White Shoulders and Chloe. The Aztecs prized tuberose for medicine. Hawaiian leis are often made with it. The name...

Achillea millefolium

Yarrow

This common herb is found in temperate climates around the world. The blue calming azulene is created during distillation, although some yarrow oils lack azulene and, therefore, the color. Family: Asteraceae (Compositae) Extraction: Distilled from...

Ylang-Ylang

Ylang-ylang means “flower of flowers.” The trees, bearing fragrant drooping yellow flowers, are grown for the perfume trade in R‚union. The oil varies greatly because of climatic and botanical differences. The four commercial grades are:...

Vanilla

This tropical flower, an orchid, is a Mexican native grown in Tahiti, Java and Madagascar. Orchids are considered the most highly evolved flowers, and this is the only one with an edible fruit. When first transplanted in R‚union, vanilla...

Orange

The familiar sweet orange comes from Sicily, Israel, Spain and the United States, each offering a slightly different characteristic. Chu-lu, the first monograph describing the various citruses, was written in China in 1178. Extraction: Cold-pressed...

Myrtle

The Biblical Queen Esther changed her name to Hadassah, after the Hebrew word hadas, for “myrtle.” This small, attractive North African tree now makes itself at home throughout the Mediterranean, and was a favorite in the ancient gardens...

Patchouli

Because the scent is developed by oxidation, the succulent leaves of this pretty East Indian bush carry little indication of their potential. The leaves are aged before being distilled, which takes up to 24 hours. Even then, the oil is harsh. As it...

Myrrh

This small, scrubby tree from the Middle East and northeast Africa isn’t very handsome, but it makes up for its lackluster looks with the precious gum it exudes. An important trade item for more than a thousand years, myrrh was a primary...

Orange Blossom

One of the many stories about this plant is that neroli was named after the 16th-century Italian princess of Nerola, who loved its scent. The oil comes from the blossom of the bitter orange, not the sweet orange that produces orange oil. An...

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