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.

Rosewood

The French call this South American rain forest tree bois de rose, or “wood of rose.” Rosewood was first distilled in 1875 in French Guiana, but became so popular that the trees were all cut. It is one of the many plants that make the...

Rose

The fragrance of rose has inspired poets and lovers throughout the ages. The Greek poetess Sappho christened it “queen of flowers” in 600 BC. Although originally distilled in Asia Minor, today Bulgaria is the world’s largest...

Melissa

Well-known to herbalists as “lemon balm,” melissa is a southern European native. A medieval favorite, it was the main ingredient in “Carmelite Water,” along with lemon peel, nutmeg, coriander and angelica. It was used for...

Mimosa

A common Australian tree-also called by the less poetic name “black wattle”-mimosa is grown in Africa, Europe and warmer sections of the United States. It is used mostly in perfume. Family: Mimosaceae Extraction: Absolute, concrete. The...

Oakmoss

This lichen (a combination of a fungus and algae), which hangs from trees like Spanish moss, was found in Egyptian royal tombs. It is a fixative in chypre-type perfumes (named after Cyprus, the home of this moss) and was a popular 16th-century...

Zingiber officinale

Ginger

Native to the tropics, ginger’s thin, broad leaves are attached to a surprisingly succulent, spicy rhizome. The herb originated near the Indian Ocean, but it is now grown throughout the tropics. Family: Zingiberaceae Extraction: Distilled from...

Geranium

Seventeenth-century Europeans took a fancy to this tender African perennial, also known as “rose geranium,” and propagated it in their greenhouses. The resulting hybridization increased the species to more than 600, which includes many...

Galbanum

Resembling a giant fennel plant, galbanum was used in the ancient world as incense. Native to the Middle East and West Asia, it is cultivated today in Iran, Turkey, Lebanon and Afghanistan. It was used in pharmaceuticals, but now it is mostly known...

Frankincense

An important incense since ancient times. It is also known as olibanum or “oil of Lebanon” (oleum libanum). This small tree grows on rocky hillsides in Yemen and Oman, although the finest quality still comes from North Africa, with some...

Helichrysum

This flower, sometimes called “everlast” or “immortelle,” is native to the Mediterranean and North Africa and is cultivated in Spain, Italy and Yugoslavia. A related species, H. orientale, is also grown for oil, while H...

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