New Jersy Tea

New Jersey Tea

Latin Name: ceanothus americanus
Alternative Name: red root, ceanote, wild snowball
Forms Available: root, root-bark, tea

New Jersey Tea – ceanothus americanus – This herb does make a refreshing tea, it is a stimulating replacement for black tea although it contains no caffeine. The herb is astringent, expectorant, haemostatic, antispasmodic and sedative. It is used to treat chest problems such as bronchitis, asthma, and whooping cough. It stimulates the lymphatic system to remove excess fluid build up, loosens phlegm, soothes sore throats. It has been used in preparations to aid the prevention of hemorrhage after surgery.

Aromatherapy & Health Uses: The root is astringent, antispasmodic and expectorant. It is used to treat asthma, whooping cough, sore throat, and tonsillitis. It also stimulates the lymphatic system, aiding in the removal of fluids built up in the tissue.

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Latin Name: melaleuca quinquenervia viridiflora

Forms Available: essential oil

Niaouli – melaleuca quinquenervia veridiflora – From areas including Spain and Madagascar. Slightly sweet, fresh, camphoraceous aroma. It is analgesic, antiseptic, bactericide, cicatrisant, insecticide, decongestant and vermifuge. Stimulating, uplifting, clears the head and may aid in concentration. Niaouli is considered an excellent antiseptic for treating pulmonary infections such as bronchitis and sinus. Excellent for chest infections, bronchitis, asthma and sinusitis. May be used in place of Tea Tree when the smell of Tea Tree is found objectionable. For respiratory problems blends well with peppermint, eucalyptus, pine and myrtle. For other blends, try any of these: coriander, fennel, juniper, orange and peppermint.

Aromatherapy & Health Uses: Niaouli is considered an excellent antiseptic for treating pulmonary infections such as bronchitis and sinus. Excellent for chest infections, bronchitis, asthma and sinusitis. May be used in place of Tea Tree when the smell of Tea Tree is not liked.

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Latin Name: nigella sativa
Alternative Name: black cumin
Forms Available: seed

Nigella – nigella sativa – Used both as a culinary herb and medicinal herb. Nigella is beneficial to the digestive system: calming, easing stomach pains and flatulence. The seeds are also used to promote lactation. Externally, this herb is used to relieve eczema, wounds, bites, stings, abscesses, and hemorrhoids.
The oil in the seeds is a natural insect repellent.

Aromatherapy & Health Uses: A digestive herb – easing stomach pain and flatulence. Also used to increase lacation. Antiseptic – used on external abscesses, wounds, hemorrhoids, eczema.

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Nightshade, Black

Nightshade, Black

Latin Name: solanum nigrum
Alternative Name: common nightshade, lanman
Forms Available: leaf, root

Nightshade, Black – solanum nigrum – This plant has many properties but is mostly used externally. Poultices or washes are used to treat boils, sores, and wounds. Also, the plant is antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic making it an ingredient used in analgesic ointments and creams.

Aromatherapy & Health Uses: Can be applied, externally, in a poultice to relieve boils, wounds, sores. An ingredient in analgesic ointments.

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Latin Name: myristica fragrans. myristica offinalis
Alternative Name: nux moschata, myristica, yristica aromata
Forms Available: essential oil, ground

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Nutmeg – Myristica fragrans – Spicy, warm and sweet odor. Considered analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, emmenagogue, parturient, and tonic.  Invigorates and stimulates the mind. Indicated for extreme tiredness and used in massage blends for aching joints because of its warming property. Not recommended for skin care. Should not be used during pregnancy at all.  Inhalation may cause nausea.  One drop of Nutmeg with 20-40 drops of Orange is wonderful for the home.  Very strong, can be irritating.  Blends well with citrus oils.

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Aromatherapy & Health Uses: Arthritis; Gout; Muscular Aches and Pains; Poor circulation; Rheumatism; Flatulence; Indigestion; Nausea; Sluggish Digestion; Bacterial Infection; Frigidity in Women; Impotence in Men; Neuralgia; Nervous Fatigue. Key Qualities: Aphrodisiac; Analgesic.

Other Uses: Nutmegs have long been carried as good luck charms, and are strung with star anise and tonka beans for a potent herbal necklace. Burn for prosperity., luck, psychic awareness, fortune, clairvoyance, divination, justice, and meditation.

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Aromatherapy101: 24 common aromatherapy terms you MUST know

Aromatherapy is a vast medicinal system comprising of many terminologies, extraction procedures and blending methodologies. Though not everyone can know everything about aromatherapy (but for an expert and licensed aromatherapist), as a beginner, you may need to know certain things about the science. This article will explain in brief the common terms used in the world of aromatherapy and essential oils.

Aromatherapy is a science of essential oils. As you know, there are many different kinds of essential oils in vogue right from the ancient times. Most of these oils are extracted by several types of methods. Some oils are called by unique names based on their properties or components. Here’s a glimpse of all of them:

1. Absolutes or concretes: Absolutes are essential oils in their pure form. They have strong aromas and are highly concentrated.

2. Botanical Names: A botanical name is the Latin name given to a plant species. Since there are  millions of species, botanists use botanical names to identify one species from another.

3. Common Name: The name in which an oil is addressed in common practice. Lavender, Basil, Bay, Hyssop etc. are common names.

4. Carrier Oils: Carrier oils or base oils or fixed oils are vegetable or plant oils that are used to dilute pure essential oils.

5. Hydrosols or Flora waters: These are by-products during extraction of essential oils. They too have medicinal properties and are used for general, less-severe treatments.

6. Dram: Unit of measurement which equals 1/8 of an ounce, used in aromatherapy.

7. Fragrance oils: Called perfume or potpourri oils, Fragrance Oils contain artificial fragrant substances, whereas essential oils contain only the pure essences of plants.

8. Infused oils: Carrier oils into which few medicinal herbs are infused (for extra therapeutic effects) are called infused oils.

9. CO2s: Oils which are extracted by using carbon dioxide are called CO2s.

10. Orifice reducer: A small, clear insert-like dropper used in essential oil bottles for easy dispensation of oil.

Essential oils are often referred to as stimulants, analgesic agents and ones with diuretic properties. Though these are medicinal terms and can be guessed by most of you, when it comes to aromatherapy, it is better not to make assumptions. Here are a few terms that describe the properties of essential oils:

11. Abortifacient: An oil which can cause abortion in a pregnant woman. Toxic oils are often abortifacients.

12. Analgesic: Oils that relieve pain and cause a soothing effect are analgesic

13. Anodyne: Oils that calm restless mind and iron out disturbed feelings or emotions and also offer pain relief are said to have anodyne properties.

14. Aphrodisiacs: Certain oils are used to arouse sexual desires. Such oils are referred to as aphrodisiacs.

15. Carminative: Carminative oils relieve gas in the digestive tract and also reduce bloating of stomach

16. Cicatrisant: Is an agent for healing wounds, cuts, gashes etc.

17. Depurative:
Depurative oils are highly efficient in cleansing the blood. They combat and eliminate impure elements and toxins in the blood.

18. Diuretics: Used in people who have problems with urination. Diuretic essential oils increase discharge of urine.

19. Emmenagogue: Essential oils that assist with PMS, menstruation or menopausal symptoms are referred this way.

20. Expectorant: These expel phlegm and mucous from the body

21. Febrifuge: Some oils are successful in combating fevers and are referred to have febrifuge properties.

22. Parturients: Oils which ease symptoms of pain in pregnant mothers and also aid in childbirth are said to have parturient properties.

23. Stimulants:
Essential oils that invigorate or energize a body are called as stimulants.

24. Tonics:
Essential oils which have a restorative and replenishing effect on the body are called tonics.

Left-over miracle waters: 9 healing benefits of Hydrosols

When aromatherapy was in its nascent stages (as a science of healing in ancient civilizations), floral waters were in vogue. The Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans were known to have used hydrosols extensively for their healing and aesthetic properties. Since essential oils were produced only by the methods of solvent extraction, the Middle Ages paid little attention to essential oils and revered the hydrosols more. With the advent of the science of essential oils and aromatherapy, the floral waters suffered a backlash again. Only in the early 20th century, the aromatic pendulum shifted and hydrosols came to be recognized for their therapeutic properties.

What are hydrosols? Hydrosols are derived from the terms “hydro” (meaning water) and “sol” (meaning solution). These are left-over waters that remain in the extraction container after the steam-distillation of a plant. Hydrosols or hydrolates or hydrolats, by whatever terms the waters be called,  they mean the same.  These condensate waters contain everything that was in the plant and are often more aromatic than even the essential oils. When essential oils are produced using steam distillation, not all the healing and aromatic principles of the plant are captured. But the waters contain the condensate of whatever the plant had when it was alive and growing.

It is wrong to call hydrosols as floral waters as such waters are not just extracted from the flowers. They are extracted from almost everything – herbs, needles, roots, woods, plants, barks, seeds etc. Hydrosols retain the healing properties of plants or herbs in their most pristine form. Even essential oils may contain a residue of solvents in them, with hydrosols you need not have any such worry. They are always pure and 100% natural.

Healing Hydrosols: Hydrosols were not used in the Middle Ages owing to problems with logistics of transportation. Since their healing properties were too less known, people preferred using the smart and neatly-packed essential oils (which work by drops) to the heavy waters of hydrosols. But the 20th century saw hydrosols in a new light and started using it in aromatherapy and general, day-to-day use. Hydrosols are affected by weather changes, climate and soil conditions as a plant’s internal chemistry changes with respect to everything in its environment. So, if you find difference between hydrosols of a same plant, don’t blame it on the manufacturer, but the country and region in which the plants were grown.

Hydrosols are versatile healing waters. They can be used in a multitude of ways – from personal care and general hygiene to skin and hair care. Below are a few uses of hydrosols:

1. Skin care:
Use hydrosols of rose, orange blossom (neroli) and lavender to hydrate skin and cool dry or sensitive skin conditions. Sun-burns can be soothed and cured by these hydrosols.

2. Dark circles: Nothing works miraculously on dark circles like chamomile hydrosols. Just place two cotton wool pads soaked in chamomile waters on your eyes regularly around for 10 minutes and see your dark circles disappear.

3. Body coolant: Peppermint is the ultimate body coolant on sultry summers. They do not just hydrate you, but also offer a calm effect.

4. Washing/Laundry: Use a few drops of rose or neroli waters in the final rinse water of your washing cycle to get a hygienic and aromatic wash. You can even use them as a fragrant to perfume your linen while ironing.

5. Babies: Hydrosols of lavender or chamomile can be added to baby’s bathwater, used in treatment of eczema, diaper rashes and to calm restlessness.

Apart from these, you can use hydrosols in the following situations also:

6. Use hydrosols as a facial mist or toner to cleanse the dirt in your face.

7. Add hydrosols in your bathwater for a natural, aromatic and homeopathic bath experience.

8. Use hydrosols in hair care to treat damaged hair or  as a wonderful conditioner that makes hair grow healthy and strong.

9. You can use hydrosols to treat wounds, open cuts, bruises and many types of injuries. They are harmless and do not cause any serious irritations or side effects.



Latin Name: quercus alba, quercus spp.
Alternative Name: tanner’s bark, white oak, common oak
Forms Available: Inner bark, leaf

Oak – quercus alba or spp. – Also known as Tanner’s Bark, White Oak, and Common Oak. A Druid Holy tree, the oak was the King of trees in a grove. Oak bark and galls are astringent and antiseptic. Oak bark provides tannin and as leather tanners seemed immune to tuberculosis, the bark was used for treatment of the disease.
The white oak, Q. alba, is the best for internal use. Infuse the inner bark or young leaf, before Midsummer, for douches and enemas. Internal rectal problems, hemorrhoids, leukorrhea, menstrual irregularities, and bloody urine are also benefitted. Take internally as a tea. The tea brings down fevers, treats diarrhea, and makes a wash for sores. Up to three cups a day may be safely taken. As a gargle, it treats mouth sores and sore throats. Being an astringent, it stops internal bleeding. Black oak -Q. tinctoria- and red oak -Q. rubra- can be used externally. English oak -Q. robur- can be used both externally and internally.
Oak leaves are prepared in infusion for douches to treat vaginal infections; gather them before Midsummer. To prepare, steep one tablespoon per quart of water for thirty minutes. A tea of the buds is a valuable tonic for the liver; steep two teaspoons per cup of water for twenty minutes. Simmer the bark in salves to make a remedy for hemorrhoids.

Aromatherapy & Health Uses: The tea brings down fevers, treats diarrhea, and makes a wash for sores. Up to three cups a day may be safely taken. As a gargle, it treats mouth sores and sore throats.

Other Uses: Symbolizes abundance, fertility, longevity, protection, and the ability to withstand the lightening blasts of spiritual awareness while remaning firmly rooted in the material. All oak tree parts are powerful protective charms, which bring healing.

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Latin Name: pseudevernia prunastri

Forms Available: essential oil, absolute

Oakmoss – pseudevernia prunastri – Oak Moss is a whitish blue to green, shrubby lichen. A lichen is an alga,which photosynthesizes, and a fungus operating together in a symbiotic relationship. The Arabs use ground Oak Moss to leaven bread. It is collected as a violet-scented fixative and an oleo-resin, extracted for perfumes and soap. Native Americans used it when binding wounds; it is a stomach tonic and an expectorant, and soothes coughs. Oak Moss yields a purple wool dye, but air pollution has made it scarce.

Aromatherapy & Health Uses: Native Americans used it when binding wounds; it is a stomach tonic and an expectorant, and soothes coughs.

Other Uses: Use to attract money.

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Healing aromas and olfactory nerves: Aromatherapy as alternative medicine

Years ago, alternative medicine meant something that was below-the-average, that was not-that-effective and that which was crippled all over. It was something that was frowned upon by traditional practitioners and their loyal followers. Only a few innovators were interested and only a very few knew the benefits of alternative medicinal systems. But things have changed now. Alternative medicine is no more looked down upon. Alternative medicinal systems have evolved as full-fledged systems with capabilities to operate on their own. Aromatherapy is an alternative system of health care which uses essential oils in curing ailments, skin disorders and other ill-health conditions.

What is aromatherapy, what are essential oils: Aromatherapy is all about essential oils or plant oils extracted from various plants or parts of a plant – from bark, stem, wood, resin, spices, herbs, seeds, kernels, flowers etc. The life-blood of plants, essential oils are the immune-shields which protect plant life from all types of infections. When extracted and used, they do the offer the same protection in human beings. Essential oils have a strong aroma and are often inhaled through the nose in aromatherapy. Sometimes, they are mixed with carrier or base oils and used for massaging or other topical applications.

Do essential oils work? Yes, they do. They have been in practice for 4000 years though only in the 20th century, the term aromatherapy came into being. Essential oils work because they contact the brain directly. The aromas inhaled by the nose reach the limbic system of the brain through the olfactory nerves. Since the limbic system is directly connected to parts of the brain which control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels and blood circulation, the aroma of essential oils affect all these parts to a great extent. Scientists have discovered that essential oils are the easiest and quickest ways to galvanize physical and psychological changes in the body. For instance, oils of lavender, rose, orange and jasmine have a tranquillizing effect (as they regulate the brain waves to form a rhythm), while that of basil, peppermint and cardamom yield a heightened energy response.

Aromatherapy origin and existence:
Essential oils existed right from the ancient times. It is considered as the first of medicines, and was prevalent even before the use of herbs. The French chemist Rene Gattefosse was the first one to coin the term ‘Aromatherapy’ in the 20th century. The medicinal practice was widely used in ancient civilizations like Egypt, Greece, Rome, India, Persia and China.

Types of aromatherapy: There are no distinct types, but commercialization and modernization has brought in two different kinds of aromatherapy – essential oils for therapeutic purposes and essential oils for fragrance, pleasure, recreation or hygiene. Essential oils can be fragrances or perfumes and still lack in therapeutic value. For an essential oil to be therapeutic, it has to be within the therapeutic grade of aromatherapy. Also, an essential oil has to be extracted, prepared and stored well to be therapeutic.

Uses of aromatherapy: Aromatherapy has emerged from a fledgling science to a fully-developed system of alternative medicine. Essential oils are used in pain relief, as stress de-busters, in treating skin infections, in hair care, in several ailments and inflammatory conditions, as antivirals and in reducing symptoms of chronic diseases. Since the work of any aromatherapeutic product depends on the molecular structures of the oil used and its absorption into the body cells, aromatherapy works only if you use the right oils in the right measures. The whole science of aromatherapy is natural and herbal, hence, side effects are out of question.

What can ruin aromatherapy? Aromatherapy is a complementary form of medicinal system that treats symptoms of diseases. It cannot cure major illnesses like cancer or AIDS. Commercialization of all fragrant products as aromatherapeutic is abuse of the very term of aromatherapy. Any practitioner or user of aromatherapy should understand the limitations of the system of medicine and act accordingly, instead of being carried away by false promises of companies.