Lavender – Lavandula vera, Lavandula angustifolia, Lavandula officinalis
Healing Properties: sedative, calming, alleviate anger, fear, frustration & stress, antidepressant, muscle relaxant, balancing
For: insomnia, treat cold & flu, relieves headaches, mood swings, PMS, depression, arthritis, rheumatism, dizziness, promotes sleep
Contraindications: Avoid in early pregnancy
In History: During Elizabethan Era the oil was rubbed into oak furniture to give it gloss.
Plant part used: Flower buds
German Chamomile – Matricaria recutia, matricaria chamomilla
Healing Properties: anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antiallergenic, antiseptic, digestive, sedative, soothing, calming, balancing
For: cystitis, calm nerves of anxiety, eczema, depression, speeds healing, earaches, insomnia, relaxing, digestion
Contraindications: Avoid in early pregnancy, especially if there is a history of miscarriage
In History: The Egyptian priests dedicated the plant to Ra, their sun god, and India’s Ayurvedic physicians also used it for digestive upsets, cramps, and fever.
Plant part used: daisy like flower top and leaves
Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus globules, Eucalyptus radiata, Eucalyptus smithi, Eucalyptus polybractea
Healing Properties: antiviral, decongestant, disinfectant, respiratory, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial
For: headaches, neuralgia, stimulating, clearing, shingles, relieves fever, colds, coughs, bronchitis, and rheumatism
Contraindications: Do not use if you have inflammatory gastrointestinal or gallbladder disorders or liver problems. It is too strong for children under 2 years. It may reduce the effectiveness of medications.
In History: Eucalyptus was dubbed the “fever tree” because the strong balsamic odors were supposed to increase the healthfulness of the swampy areas.Plant part used: leaf
Rosemary – Rosmarinus officinalis, Rosmarinus coronarium
Healing Properties: anti-inflammatory, calming, clarify mind, detoxifying, circulation & lymph stimulant, respiratory, uplifting
For: Liver tonic, headache, hangover, prevent dandruff, anger confusion, alleviate fear and grief, depression, quickens the memory, migraines, fatigue
Contraindications: Avoid throughout pregnancy. Do not use if you suffer from epilepsy. It dries up breast milk.
In History: In England, in the past it symbolized remembrance, love and loyalty. In classical times, it became known as the herb of fidelity, love and abiding friendship. In WWII, the leaves were burned in field army hospitals for their antiseptic and purifying effect. Plant part used: Leaf and twigs
Yarrow – Achillea millefolium
Healing properties: Anti-inflammatory, release, rid germs, digestion, hypotensive, and antiseptic
For: fevers, lower blood pressure, gas pain, reduce fever, sooth cramps, strengthen the immune system, calm nervous system, circulation
In History: Fossils of yarrow pollen in Neanderthal cave indicate the herb has been used more than 60,000 years. Many groups including the Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Native Americans, Europeans used yarrow because its ability to stanch bleeding. It was one of the herbs dedicated to the Evil One, in earlier days, being sometimes known as Devil’s Nettle, Devil’s Plaything, Bad Man’s Plaything, and was used for divination in spells.
Contraindications: Prolonged use of high concentrations can cause allergic rashes in some people and make the skin hyper photosensitive. Prolonged use could cause headaches
Plant part used: the whole plant
Clary Sage – Salvia sclaria
Healing Properties: Anti-inflammatory, pain killer, release healing, increase circulation, antidepressant, sedative, euphoric, calming, balancing, soothing
For: Anxiety, stress, menstrual cramps, menopausal, symptoms, asthma, calm fevers, mood swings, and confusion
In History: Clary is condensed from “clear eye”, the Old English name for this plant that was used safely and effectively to heal eye problems. In the Middle Ages, herbalist Hildegard von Bingen recommended sage for sleeplessness and poor respiration.
Contraidications: Avoid through pregnancy. Do not use before or after drinking alcohol
Plant part used: flowering tops and foliage
Melissa (lemon balm) – Melissa officinalis
Healing properties: antispasmodic, antiseptic, calming antidepressant, sedative, anti-inflammatory
For: shock, depression, grief, anxiety, lower high blood pressure, regulates digestion, reduces cramps, insomnia, headaches, vertigo, fevers
In History: It is often referred to as the “elixir of life” and people who have drunk Melissa tea every day have been found to have lived longer and healthier lives.
Contraindications: Avoid if you have very sensitive skin
Plant part used: dried aerial parts
Peppermint – Mentha piperita
Healing properties: anti-inflammatory, breaks fever, soothing, decongestant, relaxing, digestive
For: shock, alleviates anger and guilt, headaches, sciatica, IBS, bronchitis, aids memory vertigo, relieves travel sickness, flatulence, cramps, and nausea
In History: Ending a meal with a sprig of mint to help the digestion and sweeten the breath is a very ancient custom. Mints are recorded in the Ebers papyrus, the world’s oldest surviving medical text
Contraindications: Avoid use with homeopathic remedies. If used in pregnancy, very small amounts should be used. It’s fragrance can induce gagging in children, and menthol can be highly toxic even fatal to infants. Plant part used: leaf
It is the extraction and distillation of essences of plants. Scientists have discovered that your nose-your olfactory system, relay-has a direct passageway to your brain. When you inhale the fragrance of a plant or its essential oil, you take in the gaseous molecules of that plant, and that causes a series of reaction in the brain, which in turn stimulate a series of reactions throughout the body. When the molecules are inhaled or massaged in to the body, they enter the bloodstream, therapeutically affecting the organs and glands of the body. Breathing in the essence of a flower or plant, you expose your brain to information that causes it to release endorphins and pheromones, which cause the rest of the body to be relaxed or stimulated, cooled or heated.
~Spa Magic by Mary Muryn
Peppermint Travel Pillow
– Eases apprehension and motion sickness
¼ c peppermint
1 T min scented pelargonium
¼ c lemon verbena
¼ c lavender
1 T crushed lemon zest
Information collected from:
The Art of Aromatherapy by Pamela Allardice
The Aromatherapy Bible by Gill Farrer-Halls
Spa Magic – Mary Muryn
Aromatherapy and Your Emotions by Shirley Price
The complete Guide to Natural Healing