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.
Cardamom

Cardamom

Cardamom is a relative of ginger from the Middle and Far East, where it flavors Turkish coffee and East Indian chai tea. The seeds were a valued export item in ancient Greece. Family: Zingiberaceae Extraction: Distilled from the seed. Oleoresin. The...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Matricaria recutita

Chamomile (Roman)

This short-growing perennial produces very little chamazulene, so the resulting oil is pale yellow, not blue. It is a digestive stimulant and antispasmodic used for constipation and insomnia. Its applelike fragrance gives chamomile the Spanish name...

Cinnamon

In India and Europe, cinnamon was a popular aphrodisiac and antiseptic. Often fought over, it was the reason for the Portuguese seizing Ceylon in 1505, the Dutch later taking the country from them, and the British grabbing it next. Today, cinnamon...

Clary Sage

Clary sage was mixed with ambergris, cinnamon, brandy and sugar into a popular European cordial for digestive problems and to improve the complexion. It still flavors muscatel wine and tobacco; the largest U.S. grower is the tobacco company R. J...

Vetiver

Not a picturesque plant with its grasslike leaves, vetiver’s (or vetivert) thin, aromatic roots are its treasure. They are distilled in Java, R‚union, Haiti, Brazil and India. Door and window screens (called tatties) and fans are woven in East...

Bay

Also called “laurel,” bay leaves were once placed on the heads of headache sufferers and Greek scholars. Today, we still confer a baccalaureate degree, which means “noble berry tree” in French. Crush a leaf and the smell is...

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