THE HERBS AND SPICES

Basil Linalol (Ocimum basilicum)
N.B. Avoid during pregnancy.

Basil Linalol is non-toxic, non-irritant and there is possibility of sensitisation in some individuals.

Actions: Antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cephalic, digestive, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, galactagogue, nervine, prophylactic, restorative, stomachic, tonic.

Basil linalol is an uplifting oil, being a top note, with a green, herby scent.

Basil blends well with Bergamot, Clary Sage, Lime, Geranium.

Black Pepper (Piper niger)
N.B. Not to be used with homeopathic remedies or in pregnancy.

High concentrations can over stimulate the kidneys. Black pepper is a rubefacient i.e. it warms the skin, and you need to be careful when using it, as it can cause skin irritation if used in high concentration. It is otherwise non-toxic and non-sensitising.

Actions: Analgesic, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aperatif, bactericidal, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, febrifuge, laxative, rubefacient, stomachic, stimulant (nervous, circulatory, digestive), stomachic and tonic.

The oil is made from the crushed, dried black peppercorns.

Black Pepper blends well with Frankincense, Sandalwood, Lavender, Rosemary, Sweet Marjoram.

Cardomon (Elettaria cardamomum)
It is non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitising.

Actions: Antiseptic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, carminative, cephalic, digestive, diuretic, stimulant, stomachic, tonic (nerve).

Cardamon oil is made by steam distillation from the dried ripe seeds.

It blends well with Rose, Orange, Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Cedarwood Atlas and Neroli.

Clove Bud (Syzgium aromaticum)
Only ever use Clove Bud oil, never Clove Leaf or Stem.

N.B. Not to be used in pregnancy.

Generaly not recommended for use on the skin, as it is an irritant to the skin and mucous membranes of the body. It can be used as part of a blend for burning on festive occasions, in low concentration.

Coriander (Coriandum sativum)
Generally non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitising. It is stupefying in large doses, use in low dose and for short periods of time (4-6 weeks).

N.B. Not to be used in pregnancy.

Coriander can be stupefying if used in large doeses, so use in moderation.

Actions: Analgesic, aperatif, aphrodisiac, antioxidant, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, bactericidal, carminative, depurative, digestive, fungicidal, larvicidal, revitalizing, stimulant (cardiac, circulatory, nervous system) and stomachic.

Coriander blends well with Clary Sage, Bergamot, Jasmine, Neroli, Petitgrain, Sandalwood, Cypress, Pine, Ginger and other spice oils.

Lemongrass (Cymbogopon citratus)
N.B. Do not use during pregnancy.

Use this oil in moderation, as it can cause dermal irritation / sensitisation.

Actions: Analgesic, anti-depressant, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antipyretic, antiseptic, astringent, bactericidl, carminative, deodorant, febrifuge, fungicial, galactagogue, insecticidal, nervine, sedative (nervous) and tonic.

Lemongrass is made from the leaves of the plant and it is native to Asia. There are two types, one called West Indian and the other East Indian. The East Indian oil is lighter. It has a light, lemony scent.

Modern research in India shows that Lemongrass acts as a sedative on the central nervous system.

Marjoram, Sweet (Origanum majorana)
For safety reasons, only use Sweet Marjoram as an essential oil. There is confusion over the different marjorams and oreganums.

N.B. Do not use during pregnancy or if you suffer from hypotension (low blood pressure).

Sweet Marjoram is an anaphrodisiac i.e. it can reduce the sex drive, so if you notice any change, stop using immediately. Prolonged use also causes drowsiness. This oil should only be used in the short term i.e. up to 6 weeks, then change it for something else.

Actions: Analgesic, anaphrodisiac, antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, bactericidal, carminative, cephalic, cordial, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, fungicidal, hypotensive, laxative, nervine, sedative, stomachic, tonic, vasodilator and vulnerary.

Sweet Marjoram blends well with Lavender, Chamomile, Cypress, Cedarwood Atlas and Tea Tree.

Melissa (Lemon Balm) (Melissa officinalis)
N.B. Not to be used in pregnancy.

Available information indicates that it is non-toxic and possibly sensitising. It can be a skin irritant, so use in low dilution only (1%).

Actions: Anti-allergenic, antidepressant, antihistaminic, antispasmodic, bactericidal, carminative, cordial, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, hypotensive, insect repellant, nervine, sedative, stomachic, sudorific, tonic, uterine and vermifuge.

Melissa is one of the oils that is likely to be adulterated with other oils, such as Lemon, Lemongrass and Citronella, so if itís not expensive, itís not real Melissa!

Melissa is made from the leaves of lemon balm and huge quantities of leaves are needed to make a small amount of the oil, thus the cost. It is a top note oil and its scent has an uplifting quality.

Melissa has a lovely lemony scent, you donít need a lot of it in a blend as it has a powerful scent and will overwhelm other oils.

Melissa blends well with German Chamomile, Lavender, Geranium and citrus oils.

Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
Patchouli is non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitising.

Actions: Antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, anti-emetic, antimicrobial, antiphlogistic, antiseptic, antitoxic, antiviral, aphrodisiac, astringent, bactericidal, carminative, cicatrisant, deodorant, digestive, diuretic, febrifuge, fungicidal, nervine, prophylactic, stimulant (nervous), stomachic and tonic.

Patchouli blends well with Vetiver, Sandalwood, Cedarwood Atlas, Geranium, Lavender, Rose, Neroli, Bergamot, Myrrh, Clary Sage.

Peppermint (Piper mentha)
N.B. Peppermint has a high menthone content and should not be used if you have epilepsy.

Avoid during pregnancy.

As an oil, it is non-toxic. It can be an irritant if used in concentration and there is the possibility of skin sensitisation due to the menthol content. Use in moderation and not on irritated or inflamed skin.

Actions: Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiphlogistic, antipruritic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, astringent, carminative, cephalic, cholagogue, cordial, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, hepatic, nervine, stomachic, sudorific, vasoconstrictor and vermifuge.

Peppermint blends well with Lavender, Benzoin, Rosemary, Lemon, Sweet Marjoram.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
N.B. Do not use Rosemary if you have hypertension (high blood pressure) or epilepsy, if you use homeopathic remedies or are pregnant.

Use in low dilution, as it can be a skin irritant. Otherwise it is non-toxic and non-sensitising.

Actions: Analgesic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antirheumatic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, astringent, carminative, cephalic, cholagogue, choleretic, cicatrisant, cordial, cytophylactic, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, fungicidal, hepatic, hypertensive, nervine, parasiticide, restorative, rubefacient, stimulant (circulatory, adrenal, cortex, hepatobiliary), stomachic, sudorific, tonic (nervous, general) and vulnerary.

Rosemary is a herb commonly grown in herb gardens, with its blue flowers and aromatic, slender leaves. It is a warming oil, stimulating and traditionally known for its use in skin and hair care.

Rosemary blends well with Lavender, Sweet Thyme, Pine, Peppermint, Cedarwood Atlas, Petitgrain and other spice oils.

Clary Sage (Salvea sclerea)
N.B. Do not use Clary Sage if you have drunk alcohol prior to treatment, and do not drink any alcohol for 24 hours following its use. Clary Sage has a narcotic effect and can make you feel very drunk with only a small amount of alcohol and cause bad hangover effects, such as headache.

Not to be used in pregnancy.

It is non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitising.

Actions: Anticonvulsive, antidepressant, antiphlogistic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, astringent, bactericidal, carminative, cicatrisant, deodorant, digestive, emmenagogue, hypotensive, nervine, regulator (of seborrhoea), sedative, stomachic, tonic and uterine.

The oil is made from the flowering tops and leaves of the herb.

Clary Sage blends well with Lavender, Rose, Jasmine, Geranium, Juniper, Cedarwood Atlas, Scotch Pine and Frankincense.

Spanish Sage (Salvia lavendulaefolia)
N.B. Avoid in pregnancy and epilepsy. Use in moderation.

The oil is relatively non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitising.

Actions: Antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, deodorant, depurative, digestive, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, hypotensive, nervine, regulator (of seborrhoea), stimulant (adrenocortical glands, circulation), stomachic and tonic (nerve and general).

Spanish Sage is made by steam distillation of the leaves.

Spanish Sage blends well with Rosemary, Clary Sage, Lavender, Pine, Cedarwood Atlas, Juniper, Eucalyptus.

Sweet Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Only ever use Sweet Fennel oil. Do not use if you are epileptic or pregnant. Use in moderation. It is narcotic in large doses.

Actions: Aperatif, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, depurative, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, galactagogue, laxative, orexigenic, stimulant (circulatory), splenic, stomachic, tonic and vermifuge.

Sweet Fennel is made by steam distillation of the crushed seeds of the plant with an earthy, aniseed-like scent.

Sweet Fennel blends well with Geranium, Lavender, Rose and Sandalwood.

Sweet Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
N.B. Not to be used during pregnancy or if you have high blood pressure (hypertension)

Sweet thyme is non-toxic, non-irritant and there is risk of sensitisation.

Actions: Anthelmintic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiputrescent, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, antitussive, antitoxic, aperatif, astringent, aphrodisiac, bactericidal, balsamic, carminative, cicatrisant, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, fungicidal, hypertensive, nervine, revulsive, rubefacient, stimulant (immune system, circulation), sudorific, tonic and vermifuge.

Sweet Thyme blends well with Lavender, Bergamot, Lemon, Rosemary, Melissa, Sweet Marjoram and Pine.