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HERBAL DEFINITIONS
Look up Herbal definitions and uses
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | W | Z

 

A

 

ALLSPICE BERRY (Pimenta officinalis)
Excellent for baking. It's fragrance provides a spicy scent in potpourris. The oil is also used to flavor beverages, candy, condiments and baked goods.
Aromatherapy: warming, cheering, sense-enhancing
Usage Warning: Avoid use in sun.
 
ALMOND, BITTER (Prunus armeniaca)
The source of natural cherry and amaretto flavors. Almond Bitter is the most potent of all flavors; use one drop per pint. 
Aromatherapy: strengthening, sense-enhancing
Usage Warning: Dilute well, skin irritant. Avoid use in sun.
 
ANGELICA ROOT (Angelica archangelica)
A warm, musky, earthy aroma with excellent staying power. Only small quantities are needed to create an effect in a perfume. The flavor is bitter and reminiscent of a blend of parsley and celery. Aromatherapy: anchoring, restorative, strengthening
Usage Warning: Avoid use in sun.
 
ANISE (Pimpinella anisum)
Gives licorice candy and chewing gum their distinct flavor. Anise is also added to perfumes for a rich, sweet fragrance.
Aromatherapy: cheering, sense-enhancing, mildly euphoric
 

B

 

BALSAM PERU (Myroxylon pererae)
May be used to soothe chafed skin and impart a rich, earthy scent to perfumery.
Aromatherapy: exotic, anchoring, strengthening
 
BASIL (Ocimum basilicum)
Wide range of culinary uses. Basil's floral, spicy odor is also excellent for use in perfumes.
Aromatherapy: clarifying, uplifting, energizing, strengthening, refreshing

Usage Warning: Avoid if pregnant. Avoid use in sun.
 
BAY (Pimenta racemosa)
Often used in hair treatments to stimulate the scalp. It has a powerful, spicy, sweet aroma and is used to produce bay rum fragrance.
Aromatherapy: relaxing, warming
 
BERGAMOT, BERGAPTENE FREE (Citrus bergamia)
From an uncommon citrus fruit. Its fruity, floral scent is excellent when used as a room spray.
Aromatherapy: uplifting, normalizing, confidence-building

Usage Warning: Avoid use in sun.

 

BLACK PEPPER (Piper nigrum)
One of the oldest known spices, primarily used in flavoring. Particularly interesting effects are obtained when it is used sparingly
in perfume blends, especially with rose.
Aromatherapy: warming, vitalizing, invigorating.
 

C

 

CAMPHOR, WHITE (Cinnamomum camphora)
Commonly used in scenting detergents, soaps, disinfectants, deodorants, room sprays and other household products.
Aromatherapy: clarifying, energizing

Usage Warning: Not approved by the FDA for internal consumption.

 

CARDAMOM SEED (Elettaria cardamomum)
Appropriate (in very small quantities) for a wide variety of culinary uses. The oil has a spicy aroma with floral undertones and can be
used in masculine and floral perfumes.
Aromatherapy: sense enhancing, warming, exotic
 
CARROT SEED (Daucus carota)
Used to provide a spicy-sweet aroma for exotic and natural-type perfumes. In skin care, carrot seed oil is used to tone and stimulate elasticity and for cleansing purposes (should be diluted 1 part carrot seed to 10 parts carrier oil).
Aromatherapy: replenishing, nourishing, restoring
 
CASSIA (Cinnamon) (Cinnamomum cassia)
The distinct spicy flavor of cinnamon bark. It is used to flavor every kind of food as well as toothpaste, mouthwash and chewing gum.
Aromatherapy: euphoric, energizing, warming.

Usage Warning: Cinnamon is very irritating to the skin and can cause an allergic reaction with repeated use.
 
CEDARWOOD (Juniperus mexicana scheide)
A woody balsamic aroma. It is used in perfumery to add body and a warm note to any blend. Cedarwood can also be applied to the inside of a wood chest for a cedarwood scent.
Aromatherapy: harmonizing, relaxing, anxiety-reducing
 
CELERY SEED (Apium graveolens)
A spicy, warm flavor used to enhance flavor in soups, sauces, vegetable juices, meats and pickles. This oil can also be used in minute quantities in perfumery.
Aromatherapy: nourishing, warming
 
CHAMOMILE, GERMAN (Matricaria chamomilla)
Oil of German chamomile (also known as blue chamomile). The blue color comes from the component azulene which is formed during the distillation of the oil. The odor is sweet and apple-like and adds a warm, long-lasting undertone in elegant perfumes. Chamomile is used in massage oils and other herbal preparations. Aromatherapy: relaxing, soothing, nourishing
 
CHAMOMILE, ROMAN (Anthemis nobilis)
Often used in perfumery. It blends well with bergamot, jasmine, neroli, and clary sage, lending a warm, fresh note when added in small quantities.
Aromatherapy: relaxing, replenishing

 

CHAMOMILE, WILD - See ORMENIS.

CINNAMON LEAF (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
Used to flavor spiced fruits, baked goods, pickles and candy. The flavor and aroma are more reminiscent of cloves than cinnamon. It provides a hot, spicy and somewhat bitter flavor.
Aromatherapy: refreshing, vitalizing
 
CITRONELLA (Cymbopogon nardus)
Lemony, grassy aroma. It is used for scenting room and outdoor sprays, as well as household products.
Aromatherapy: purifying, vitalizing
 
CLARY SAGE (Salvia sclarea)
Blends well with a wide variety of essential oils for perfumery with a sweet, spicy scent. Aromatherapy: centering, euphoric, visualizing
Usage Warning: Avoid if pregnant.
 
CLOVE BUD (Eugenia caryophyllata)
Used in mouthwash, toothpaste, chewing gum and dental preparations. It is useful in the kitchen for both sweet and savory dishes. The oil has a powerful, spicy-fruity aroma.
Aromatherapy: warming, sense-enhancing

Usage Warning: Clove oil is highly irritating, avoid contact with skin. Avoid if pregnant.

 

CORIANDER SEED (Coriandrum sativum)
Wonderfully mild, sweet taste. It can be combined with bergamot for a popular candy flavor. The fragrance of the oil is spicy, aromatic and pleasantly sweet.
Aromatherapy: relaxing, gently clarifying

 

CYPRESS (Cupressus sempervirens)
Has a refreshing, spicy and pine needle-like aroma often used as a modifier in pine fragrances.
Aromatherapy: purifying, balancing

Usage Warning: Not approved by the FDA for internal consumption.
 

E

 

EUCALYPTUS (Eucalyptus globulus)
Commonly used to scent topical preparations such as liniments and salves. It also serves as a flavoring in cold and cough products such as inhalants, cough drops and syrups.
Aromatherapy: purifying, invigorating, cooling

Usage Warning: Not approved by the FDA for internal consumption.

 

F

 

FENNEL, SWEET (Foeniculum vulgare)
Sweet, warm-spicy, aromatic oil for both flavoring and fragrance. Fennel is used extensively in imitation maple extracts, candy, anisette liqueur, baked goods and desserts.
Aromatherapy: restorative, warming, invigorating
Usage Warning: Dilute well, skin irritant. Avoid if pregnant. Avoid use in sun.
 
FIR NEEDLE (Abies alba)
Fresh spicy scent. A few drops on a light bulb, in the carpet, or through a diffuser will evoke the thick fir forests of the high country. During the holidays, this oil will fill a room with the festive aroma of a freshly cut Christmas tree.
Aromatherapy: centering, refreshing, harmonizing

Usage Warning: Not approved by the FDA for internal consumption. Dilute well, skin irritant.
 
FRANKINCENSE (Boswellia carteri)
Sweet-woody, peppery fragrance. Frankincense is used extensively for incense and fine perfumery.
Aromatherapy: relaxing, restorative, gently clarifying, visualizing, meditative 

Usage Warning: Not approved by the FDA for internal consumption.

 

G

 

GERANIUM (Pelargonium graveolens)
Delightfully sweet scent. An important ingredient in all types of fragrances, it has a powerful, leafy-rose aroma with minty undertones. It is also used in skin care products for both its fragrance and astringent cleansing properties.
Aromatherapy: balancing, normalizing
 
GINGER (Zingiber officinale)
China, Jamaica
An important culinary oil with a spicy-woody flavor. It is used to flavor fruit dishes, cookies, cakes, condiments, meats, liqueurs and soft drinks -- especially ginger ale.
Aromatherapy: warming, strengthening, anchoring
 
GRAPEFRUIT (Citrus paradisi)
Citrus aroma and flavor. It can be used as a flavoring in candy, frozen desserts, baked goods and carbonated beverages.
Aromatherapy: balancing, refreshing, cheering

Usage Warning: Avoid use in sun.

 

H

 

HYSSOP (Hyssopus officinalis)
A spicy, camphor-like strong scent. Hyssop blends well with clove, lavender, rosemary, sage, clary sage and other citrus oils.
Aromatherapy: refreshing, cleansing

Usage Warning: Avoid if pregnant. People with high blood presure should avoid. People with epilepsy should avoid.

 

J

 

JASMINE ABSOLUTE (Jasminum grandiflorum)
A very powerful fragrance with a full, rich, honey-like sweetness. The fragrance of jasmine is a component in so many perfumes that there is an old saying "No perfume without jasmine." A tiny amount will go a long way.
Aromatherapy: relaxing, sensual, exotic, romantic
 
JUNIPER BERRY (Juniperus communis)
A balsamic, woody, pine-needle scent. It is used with citrus oils in room sprays, and in masculine perfumes, aftershaves and spicy colognes. Juniper is also used as an ingredient in gin, and for flavoring bitters, liqueurs, meats and baked goods.
Aromatherapy: strengthening, refreshing, restoring

Usage Warning: Avoid if pregnant.

 

L

 

LAVENDER (Lavendula angustifolia)
A classic scent for perfume and a wide array of skin and hair products. It has a sweet, balsamic, floral aroma. It is occasionally used as a flavoring in chewing gum, fruit flavors, candy and beverages.
Aromatherapy: balancing, soothing, gently clarifying, normalizing
 
LEMON (Citrus limomum)
Widely used in beauty care. This oil is cold pressed from the rind; three dozen lemons are used to produce each 1/2 ounce.
Aromatherapy: energizing, uplifting, refreshing, cheering

Usage Warning: Avoid use in sun. Dilute well, skin irritant.
 
LEMONGRASS (Cymbopogon citratus)
A cleanser for oily skin and used in shampoo to add luster to the hair. It has a powerful, citrus aroma and is a preferred fragrance in room and outdoor sprays, soaps and detergents. Lemongrass is widely used in perfumes and in the production of vitamin A.
Aromatherapy: vitalizing, cleansing

Usage Warning: Dilute well, skin irritant.
 
LIME (Citrus aurantifolia)
Dozens of limes are needed to produce 1/2 oz. of oil. Uses of the oil include beverages, sherbet and hard candy.
Aromatherapy: equalizing, refreshing, cheering

Usage Warning: Avoid use in sun.

 

M

 

MARJORAM, WILD (Thymus masticina)
Useful in massage oil for sensitive skin. (Marjoram hortensis, called sweet marjoram, is the commonly used cooking spice -- wild marjoram is used in aromatherapy and body care.)
Aromatherapy: purifying, clearing, strengthening

Usage Warning: Not approved by the FDA for internal consumption. Avoid use if pregnant.

 

MELISSA (Melissa officinalis)
Produced from the herb lemon balm. It takes up to 600 pounds of fresh lemon balm plants to yield one ounce of oil. The oil has a lemony aroma and sharp, floral-lemon flavor.
Aromatherapy: relaxing

Usage Warning: dilute well, skin irritant.
 
MYRRH (Commiphora molmol)
One of the oldest-known perfume materials. Mentioned 3,700 years ago, myrrh has a long history of use as incense, especially with frankincense, during the Christmas season.
Aromatherapy: centering, visualizing, meditative

Usage Warning: Not approved by the FDA for internal consumption. Avoid use if pregnant.

 

N

 

NEROLI (Citrus aurantium)
Distilled from the flowers of the bitter orange tree. Neroli has a refreshing, spicy, aroma. It is one of the most widely used floral oils in perfumery. Neroli is also used in preparations such as a massage oils, skin creams, and bath oils.
Aromatherapy: centering, relaxing, soothing, exotic, sensual
 
NUTMEG (Myristica fragrans)
Contains the characteristic flavor and fragrance of nutmeg spice. It is used in cooking as a replacement for the spice. One or two drops are sufficient in most recipes. It is also used in men's fragrances and spicy perfumes.
Aromatherapy: rejuvenating, uplifting, energizing

 

O

 

ORANGE, SWEET (Citrus sinensis)
One of the most popular flavors in the world. Orange is widely used in foods of all types. In perfumery sweet orange is often used as the heart of floral blend.
Aromatherapy: cheering, refreshing, uplifting

Usage Warning: Avoid use in sun.
 
ORMENIS (Ormenis mixta)
Used diluted in vegetable oil to condition and bring out highlights in blond hair. In perfumes it provides a long-lasting sweet undertone.
Aromatherapy: soothing, nurturing, relaxing

Usage Warning: Not approved by the FDA for internal consumption.

 

P

 

PATCHOULI (Pogostemon cablin)
A widely used fixative in perfumes. The very intense aroma is described as earthy, rich, sweet, balsamic, woody and spicy.
Aromatherapy: romantic, soothing, exotic, sensual

Usage Warning: Not approved by the FDA for internal consumption.
 
PEPPERMINT (Mentha piperita)
A strong, cool, minty flavor. Peppermint oil is refreshing in both taste and aroma. A popular flavor in breath lozenges, toothpaste and mouthwash.
Aromatherapy: vitalizing, refreshing, cooling

Usage Warning: Dilute well, skin irritant. Avoid use if pregnant.

 

PETITGRAIN (Citrus aurantium)
Made from the leaves and twigs of the bitter orange tree. This oil has a fresh and sweet fragrance with a woody undertone. It is added to massage and bath oils and hair care products.
Aromatherapy: relaxing, soothing, stabilizing

 

R

 

ROSE, ABSOLUTE (Rosa centifolia)
A sweet, deep, long-lasting aroma. Rose absolute is an economical alternative fragrance to rose otto essential oil. It is used extensively in medium and high-priced perfumes of all types for its aroma and fixative qualities.
Aromatherapy: romantic, creative, gently uplifting

Usage Warning: Avoid if pregnant.
 
ROSE OTTO (Rosa damascena)
A warm, intense, immensely rich fragrance. Rose oil is one of the oldest and best known of all essential oils. It is used in all types of perfumes to lend beauty and depth to the aroma. A drop or two in a massage, facial, or bath oil creates a luxurious, soothing experience. The oil is also used in skin creams, powders, and lotions.
Aromatherapy: romantic, creative, gently cheering
Usage Warning: Avoid if pregnant.
 
ROSEMARY (Rosemarinus officinalis)
Used in hair care, fragrance, cooking and cosmetics. Brush on or wash into dark hair to condition and bring out color highlights. Aromatherapy: clarifying, warming, invigorating
Usage Warning: Avoid if pregnant. People with high blood pressure or epilepsy should avoid.
 
ROSEWOOD (Aniba rosaeodora)
Also known as Bois De Rose. Rosewood is a spicy oil used to enliven the scent of dried flowers, soaps, lotions, and massage oils.
Aromatherapy: gently strengthening, relaxing

Usage Warning: Not approved by the FDA for internal consumption.

 

S

 

SAGE (Salvia officinalis)
Used in cooking and scented products. There are many types of this common garden herb, all closely related. Spanish sage grows wild throughout Spain.
Aromatherapy: warm, soothing, cheering

Usage Warning: Avoid if pregnant. People with high blood pressure or epilepsy should avoid.
 
SANDALWOOD (Santalum album)
Rare perfume used in ancient rituals as a spiritually purifying ointment. Sandalwood is a valuable fixative which blends well with other oils. It is a very mild oil suitable for dry skin.
Aromatherapy: relaxing, centering, exotic, sensual

 

SPEARMINT (Mentha spicata)
Energizing to the mind and body. Use in bath water for its refreshing effect. Make a facial steam of spearmint oil in a pot of boiling water to help cleanse and refine pores.
Aromatherapy: refreshing, cooling, gently vitalizing

 

T

 

TANGERINE (Citrus reticulata)
Great astringent (must be properly diluted) for oily skin. Tangerine is also a tasty addition to beverages and desserts.
Aromatherapy: cheering, uplifting

Usage Warning: Avoid use in sun.
 
TEA TREE (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Delivers a warm, spicy, medicinal aroma. It is used in colognes and aftershaves and as a scent in room sprays, antiseptics, gargles, shampoo, acne creams, soaps and other skin care products.
Aromatherapy: cleansing, purifying, uplifting

Usage Warning: Not approved by the FDA for internal consumption. Dilute well, skin irritant.
 
THYME, RED (Thymus vulgaris)
An intense, herbaceous aroma and flavor. Thyme is used to scent soaps, colognes and aftershaves and for cooking meats, vegetables and soups.
Aromatherapy: cleansing, purifying.

Usage Warning: Dilute well, skin irritant. Avoid if pregnant. People with high blood pressure should avoid.

 

V

 

VETIVER (Vetiveria zizanoides)
A rich, woody scent. It is used as a perfume fixative, like sandalwood.
Aromatherapy: soothing, relaxing, anchoring

Usage Warning: Not approved by the FDA for internal consumption.

 

W

 

WINTERGREEN (Gualtheria promcumbens)
Fresh, cleansing mint flavor.
Aromatherapy: refreshing, bracing,invigorating.

Usage Warning: Harmful or fatal if taken internally. As little as one teaspoon can be fatal if ingested by a child. Not approved by the FDA for internal consumption. Dilute well, skin irritant. Avoid if pregnant.

 

Y

 

YLANG YLANG III (Cananga odorata)
Means "flower of flowers." Ylang Ylang is a richly fragrant oil, best used for body perfume and massage oil.
Aromatherapy: sensual, euphoric
 
YLANG YLANG EXTRA (Cananga odorata)
Distilled from the early-morning-picked flowers of the cananga tree. The first oil drawn off is the highest quality and is graded "Extra." Ylang Ylang Extra has an intense, floral, jasmine-like aroma. It is used in exotic and floral perfumes.
Aromatherapy: romantic, alluring, exotic
 

 

Essential Oil Definitions and uses

Commonly used Herbal Terms

Herbal Spells


The following statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration.   They are not intended to diagnose, treat or suggest a cure or prevention of any disease or other ailment or condition.  However, many experts around the World and in America believe strongly in the value of Alternative Therapies and specifically Herbal Therapy.