Aromatherapy Materia Medica

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...

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...

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:...

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...

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...

Pepper (Black)

Pepper is a semitropical climbing shrub from India, where most oil and peppercorns for seasoning are produced. Some also comes from Indonesia and the Orient. Family: Piperacea Extraction: Distilled from partially dried, unripe fruit. The scent is...

Mentha pulegium

Peppermint

Peppermint self-hybridized, probably in the 17th century. It now grows wild throughout Europe, North America and Australia. After the British Medical Journal noted in 1879 that menthol relieves headaches and neuralgia, menthol cones (which evaporate...

Lauraceae

Ravensare

A large tree from Madagascar, where the seeds are a popular spice, ravensare is a personal favorite of ours for any infection. Family: Lauraceae Extraction: Distilled from leaves and sometimes from fruit and bark. The scent is similar to eucalyptus...

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...

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