Damiana

Turnera diffusa, known as damiana, is a shrub native to southern Texas in the United States, Central America, Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean. It belongs to the family Passifloraceae. Damiana is a relatively small, woody shrub that produces small, aromatic flowers. It blossoms in early to late summer and is followed by fruits that taste similar to figs. Continue reading “Damiana”

Dammar

Dammar is the resin of deciduous trees from the family of the wing crops that grow in India and on the Sunda Islands in the Malay Archipelago. Dammar is also produced in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines. Continue reading “Dammar”

Elemi

Elemi – Canarium is a genus of about 100 species of tropical and subtropical trees, in the family Burseraceae. They grow naturally across tropical Africa, south and southeast Asia, Indochina, Malesia, Australia and western Pacific Islands; including from southern Nigeria east to Madagascar, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and India; Continue reading “Elemi”

Galbanum

Galbanum is an aromatic gum resin and a product of certain umbelliferous Persian plant species in the genus Ferula, chiefly Ferula gummosa (synonym F. galbaniflua) and Ferula rubricaulis. Galbanum-yielding plants grow plentifully on the slopes of the mountain ranges of northern Iran. Continue reading “Galbanum”

Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)

The grapefruit (Citrus × paradisi) is a subtropical citrus tree known for its relatively large sour to semi-sweet, somewhat bitter fruit. Grapefruit is a citrus hybrid originating in Barbados as an accidental cross between two introduced species – sweet orange (C. sinensis), and pomelo (or shaddock) (C. maxima) – both of which were introduced from Asia in the seventeenth century. Continue reading “Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)”

Guaiacum

Guaiacum denotes a genus of the zygomatic family (Zygophyllaceae). It contains six to eight tree species from tropical and subtropical America. Guaiacum species are trees or shrubs with very hard, resin-rich wood. There are six to eight species in the genus of guaiac trees (Guaiacum) in tropical and warmer America: Guaiacum angustifolium – Mexico and Texas; Guaiacum coulteri – Mexico; Guaiacum unijungum – Baja California in Mexico; Guaiacum officinale L. – Antilles and the north coast of South America. Continue reading “Guaiacum”

Hieracium

Hieracium , known by the common name hawkweed and classically as hierakion (from ancient Greek ιεράξ, hierax ‘hawk’), is a genus of the sunflower (Helianthus) family Asteraceae), and closely related to dandelion (Taraxacum), chicory (Cichorium), prickly lettuce (Lactuca) and sow thistle (Sonchus), which are part of the tribe Cichorieae. Hawkweeds, with their 10,000+ recorded species and subspecies, do their part to make Asteraceae the second largest family of flowers. Some botanists group all these species or subspecies into approximately 800 accepted species, while others prefer to accept several thousand species. Hieracium species are native to Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Central America and South America.

Juniperus communis

Juniperus communis is a species in the genus Juniperus, in the family Cupressaceae. It has the largest range of any woody plant, throughout the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere from the Arctic south in mountains to around 30°N latitude in North America, Europe and Asia. Continue reading “Juniperus communis”

Labdanum

Labdanum, also called ladanum, laudanum, ladan or ladanon, is a sticky brown resin obtained from the shrubs Cistus ladanifer (western Mediterranean) and Cistus creticus (eastern Mediterranean), species of rockrose. It has a long history of use in herbal medicine and as a perfume ingredient. Continue reading “Labdanum”

Laurus nobilis

Laurus nobilis or laurel is an aromatic evergreen with green, glossy leaves, native to the Mediterranean region. Laurel can vary greatly in size and height, sometimes reaching 10 to 18 metres. It is widely used in a wide variety of recipes, particularly in the Mediterranean kitchen, and for medical treatments.  In ancient Greece (Daphne is the Greek name for the tree) and Roman culture it was a symbol of victory and highest status, today it gives still the name to an academical degree. In the Bible laurel is often an emblem of prosperity and fame, in Christian tradition, it symbolizes the resurrection of Christ. Continue reading “Laurus nobilis”

Lemon

The lemon, Citrus limon, is a species of small evergreen tree in the flowering plant family Rutaceae, native to South Asia, primarily North eastern India. The tree’s ellipsoidal yellow fruit is used for culinary and non-culinary purposes throughout the world, primarily for its juice, which has both culinary and cleaning uses. Continue reading “Lemon”

Myrrh

Myrrh is a natural gum or resin extracted from a number of small, thorny tree species of the genus Commiphora. Myrrh resin has been used throughout history as a perfume, incense, and medicine. Myrrh mixed with wine can also be ingested. Commiphora myrrha is native to Somalia, Oman, Yemen, Eritrea, (Somali Region) of Ethiopia and parts of Saudi Arabia. Continue reading “Myrrh”

Lavandula

Lavandula (common name lavender) is a genus of 39 known species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is native to the Old World and is found from Capo Verde and the Canary Islands, Europe across to northern and eastern Africa, the Mediterranean, southwest Asia to southeast India. Many members of the genus are cultivated extensively in temperate climates as ornamental plants and landscape use, for use as culinary herbs, and also commercially for the extraction of essential oil. The English word lavender is generally thought to be derived from Old French lavandre, ultimately from the Latin lavare (to wash), referring to the use of infusions of the plants. The most common form in cultivation is the common or English lavender Lavandula angustifolia. Lavenders flourish best in dry, well-drained, sandy or gravelly soils in full sun. All types need little or no fertilizer and good air circulation. English lavender yields an essential oil with sweet overtones, and can be used in balms, salves, prfumes, cosmetics, and topical applications. The plant is as well used as a condiment in the kitchen and as a herb in medical treatments having an anxiolytic effect and influence in sleep quality. Lavender was one of the holy herbs used in the biblical Temple to prepare the holy essence, and nard (‘nerd’ in Hebrew) is mentioned in the Song of Solomon (4,14).

Lavdendelfeld in Sutton

Lavandula Angustifolia, der Echte Lavendel oder Schmalblättrige Lavendel (Lavandula officinalis, Lavandula vera) ist eine Pflanzenart aus der Gattung Lavendel (Lavandula) innerhalb der Familie der Lippenblütler (Lamiaceae). Der mittellateinische Name “Lavandula” gehört zum lateinischen lavare = waschen, weil man das aromatische Kraut gern dem Waschwasser oder den Bädern zusetzte. Lavendel ist ein Lehnwort aus dem lateinischen “lavandula”. Die Heimat des Lavendel sind ursprünglich die Küstenregionen des Mittelmeers. Dort kommt er an trockenen, warmen Hängen bis Dalmatien und Griechenland sowie in der Toskana in Italien weit verbreitet vor. Benediktiner-Mönche führten ihn nördlich der Alpen ein. Der Echte Lavendel gehört zu denjenigen Arten, die als winterhart gelten und daher im Freien den in Mitteleuropa üblichen Winter gut überstehen. Eingebürgert ist er bei Jena, Rudolstadt und Bad Blankenburg. Aktuell wird in Deutschland ein bescheidener Lavendelanbau in der Nähe von Detmold betrieben. Der Gebrauch des Lavendels auf den britischen Inseln geht weit zurück, denn er ist schon unter den Arzneien der Physicians of Myddvai (13. Jahrhundert) angeführt. Allerdings gilt: je kälter die Gegend, desto geruchsärmer der Lavendel. Dem Echten Lavendel wird ein breites therapeutisches Spektrum zugeschrieben. In seinem Lehrbuch der Biologischen Heilmittel (1938) sagt Gerhard Madaus: „Lavandula ist ein mildes Nervinum, das besonders bei Migräne gern gegeben wird. Man verordnet es bei Neurasthenie, Vertigo, nervösem Herzklopfen, allgemeinen nervösen Aufregungszuständen, Hysterie, Krämpfen, Ohnmachten und Schlaflosigkeit.“ Matthiolus nennt in seinem Kräuterbuch die Lavandula ein “köstlich Kraut wider alle kalten Gebresten des Hirns und der Senader/  als da ist der Schwindel/  gantze und halbe Schlag/  der fallend Siechtag/  die Schlafsucht/  Krampff/  Zittern/ Contract und Lähme”.

Neroli

Neroli oil is an essential oil produced from the blossom of the bitter orange tree (Citrus aurantium subsp. amara or Bigaradia). Its scent is sweet, honeyed and somewhat metallic with green and spicy facets. Orange blossom is also extracted from the same blossom and both extracts are extensively used in perfumery. Orange blossom can be described as smelling sweeter, warmer and more floral than neroli. The difference between how neroli and orange blossom smell and why they are referred to with different names, is a result of the process of extraction that is used to obtain the oil from the blooms. Continue reading “Neroli”