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.

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...

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...

Bergamot

The small green fruit produced by this Mediterranean citrus tree aren’t edible or pretty, but the smell they emit is wonderful! Unfortunately, you must live in a warm climate like California to grow them. First mentioned in the 17th century En...

Matricaria recutita

Chamomile (German)

German chamomile oil contains green-blue chamazulene (azul means blue), a potent anti-inflammatory constituent produced during distillation. In 1664, when chamomile was first distilled in glass, the distillers were surprised to see the blue color...

Celery

Celery extensively flavors food, as well as alcoholic and soft drinks. It also scents soaps and some cosmetics. Family: Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) Extraction: Distilled from flower heads, celery’s scent is warm, spicy and sweet. The absolute is...

Cedarwood

This North American tree scents soap and cologne, although it has lost popularity since the 19th century, when even cedarwood “matches” were burned for their scent. The oil makes the wood resistant to wool moths and other insects...

Spikenard

Mentioned in the Bible in the Song of Solomon, spikenard was used by the ancient Egyptians and the Romans for nardinum ointment. Spikenard is the same heady oil lavishly poured over the feet of Christ by Mary Magdalene. It remains very expensive...

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