Posts tagged ‘Lamiaceae’

July 15, 2013

Keep Cool in the Summer Heat with Herbs and Essential Oils

imageThere are many essential oils and herbs that help to cool the body down when feeling too hot and sweaty, but the best known one is peppermint.

See my blog about the many medicinal uses and cautions of peppermint -

http://earthelixir.ca/2013/06/06/healing-properties-of-peppermint-herb/

The mint family lowers body temperature which is good to help cool off in the summer heat, but there are other essential oils and herbs besides peppermint that lower body temperature including spearmint, lemon balm, lavender, eucalyptus, chamomile, geranium, rose, frankincense, comfrey and borage to name a few.

image

Ways to Keep Cool with Herbs

1. Drink iced herbal infusions. Use peppermint, chamomile iced tea or use flavours of your choice to create your own recipes that help cool the body.
I love mints like peppermint, spearmint, lemon balm, bee balm mixed with rose petals.

See my blog about herbal infusions and floral waters -

http://earthelixir.ca/2012/07/19/diy-floral-waters/

Put a drop of organic peppermint essential oil in drinks

2. Eat mints and cooling herbs as food.
Experiment with many culinary herbal delights incorporating these cooling herbs as delicious food.

3. Make an essential oil spray or spritzer to cool down your body, and spray linens and rooms as well. See my blog on how to make DIY body spray and there is a cooling peppermint spray recipe here->

http://earthelixir.ca/2013/07/15/diy-aromatherapy-body-spray/

4. Soak your feet and ankles or hands and wrists in cool herbal infused water or add your choice of cooling Essential oils
See my blog about Bath Recipes -

http://earthelixir.ca/2013/04/10/diy-aromatherapy-bath-recipes/

Soak a cloth or bandana in a cool herbal infusion and wear around your neck, this will cool main arteries and veins.

5. Make a massage oil blend using a carrier oil and some cooling essential oils. Use coconut oil it lowers body temperature and cools the body as well and is great to quench dryness.

Peppermint is so cooling it may cause hypothermia in the bath so caution is advised using that method to cool off. See more of the uses and cautions of peppermint essential oil here -

http://earthelixir.ca/2013/06/06/do-not-use-peppermint-essential-oil-in-the-bath/

Enjoy the summer here in the North!

20130716-120555.jpg

June 6, 2013

Healing Properties of Peppermint Herb

Peppermint

Peppermint

Peppermint is best known for its beneficial effects on the digestive system and strengthening action on the stomach and liver.

It calms and relaxes smooth muscles and eases stomach pain, indigestion and nausea.

Its analgesic properties bring pain relief to headaches and all kinds of cramps.

Peppermint is widely used as a flavouring agent in food and cosmetics like shampoo.

Peppermint is a hybrid perennial herb which grows up to 30-90 cm tall. The stems are erect and square-shaped like most mint plants, and it has creeping root stocks called ‘stolons’ that grow rapidly. The leaves are sharply toothed, pointed, and in midsummer dense clusters of tiny pink-purple flowers appear. Mints prefer moist shade with partial sun.

It is invasive and spreads quickly so it is best grown in pots if you don’t want it taking over.

Common Name

Peppermint herb

 

Latin Name

Mentha x piperita
Family Lamiaceae(Mint Family)
Parts Used Perennial- herb picked all season
Target Organs Digestion, Nervous System, Liver/gallbladder, Stomach, Respiratory, Muscular
Common Uses Digestion: Fortifies liver, stomach, and intestines. Stomach upset, gastritis, indigestion, nausea, colitis, Crohn’s, relaxing digestive, infection, inflammation

Respiratory: infections, bronchitis, sinusitis, cooling, colds, flu, coughs, nasal catarrh, pain,

Nervous: migraines, headaches, stress tension, itching,

Muscular: relaxes smooth muscle, arthritis, neuralgia, aches and pain, sciatica, bruises, inflammation

Properties Analgesic, antiallergenic, antibacterial, anticatarrhal, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, anti-emetic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory (local, systemic), antiseptic, anti-galactagogue antispasmodic (digestive, general, respiratory), antiviral, anxiolytic, appetite stimulant, carminative, cholagogue, choleretic, decongestant, diaphoretic, relaxing expectorant, febrifuge, nervine relaxant, stomachic, tonic tranquilizer, vasodilator, vulnerary.

 

Constituents Essential Oil: 2%

Monoterpene alcohol: Menthol 30-70%,

Ketone: menthone,

Aldehydes:

Esters: methyl acetate,

Oxide: 1, 8 cineole

Monoterpenes: menthene, phellandrene, azulene, limonene, pinene

Other: tannins, bitter

Cautions Medium strength: Do not use with epilepsy, convulsions, during pregnancy, breastfeeding, dry conditions, gastric hyperacidity or with children under the age of two. Older children, seniors take breaks. Essential oil: Do not store with homeopathic remedies. Do not use in a bath, it may cause hypothermia.
Dosage Tincture: 1-4ml

Tea: 1-2 tsp. infuse 10-15 minutes

January 7, 2013

Basil Herb

Basil is an annual herb that likes full sun.  It is best known for being used in Italian cooking and making pesto

basil docBasil is easy to grow in the summertime either from seed or seedlings. Do not store basil in the fridge it does not like the cold and will turn an off colour. Trim the stalks and store in a pint glass with water on the counter which makes it easier to use in cuisine.

Common Name  Basil herb
Latin Name  Ocimum basilicum
Family Lamiaceae (Mint)
Parts Used annual herb picked all through summer
Target Organs digestion, nerves, respiratory, urinary, reproductive system
Common Uses Digestive conditions: digestive upset, gas, bloating, inflammation, liver congestioninfections, digestive, IBS, mucus colitis, nausea, pain,

Nervous system: tension, stress, nervousness,   fever, headache, exhaustion, depression,  fatigue(mental, physical)

Respiratory: flu, congestion, coughs, colds,  sinusitis, asthma

Reproductive system: infertility, Nutritive

Head: headaches, earache (external use only with essential oil), migraines

Used as insect repellent and for treating insect stings and bites.

Properties Anti-inflammatory, anticatarrhal, antispasmodic, antiseptic, anti-depressant, antimicrobial, antibacterial, astringent, emmenagogue, expectorant, digestive, relaxant, nervine, nutritive, hepatic, carminative, stimulant, warming, tonic,
Constituents Phenylpropanoids: eugenol, trans methyl isoeugenol,Monoterpene alcohols: linalool, geraniol,

Oxide: cineole

Phenol: methyl chavicol-40-50% Methyl ester: methyl cinnamate,

Monoterpenes: pinene, camphor, ocimene, mycrene, terpinolene,

Sesquiterpenes: caryophyllene, terpinolene;

Tannins 5%, saponins, flavones, ursolic acid

Cautions Mild remedy. Do not use during pregnancy
Dosage Tincture: 2-4ml               Tea: 2 tsp steep 10 min

 

January 7, 2013

Basil Essential Oil

There are many flavours of basil and it comes in purple or green varieties. There are many chemotypes of basil, depending on where it is grown, the chemical constituents are different, but they are all used the same way. In India it is called Holy basil.

basil doc (2)

Basil  is a nerve tonic relieving mental fatigue while sharpening the senses, it gives the mind clarity and focus for concentration. The clarifying effects are like rosemary, and it is good to use with rosemary for headaches along with lavender and peppermint. The antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties of basil treat digestive and respiratory conditions.

COMMON NAME BASIL
Latin Name Ocimum basilicum
Family Lamiaceae
Country of Origin Europe, Asia, Middle East, North America
Volatility Top note
Extraction Steam distilled from leaves
Colour colourless, pale amber
Aroma liquorice, sweet,
Caution Contraindications Do not use during pregnancy. May cause skin irritation.
Primary Uses Digestion: digestive upset, gas, bloating, inflammation, liver congestionRespiratory: sinus, flu, congestion, coughs, colds,Nervous: Stress, fatigue, mental, physical.Head: headaches, earache(external use only), migraines

Used as insect repellent and for treating insect stings and bites.

 

Properties Anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, anticatarrhal, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cephalic, digestive, expectorant, emmenagogue, relaxant, stimulating/relaxing nervine, hepatic, stimulant, warming, tonic
Constituents Methyl ester: methyl cinnamate,Monoterpene alcohols: linalool, geraniol, Oxide: cineoleSesquiterpenes: caryophyllene, terpinolene,Phenol: methyl chavicol-40-50%

Phenylpropanoids: eugenol, trans methyl isoeugenol,

Monoterpenes: pinene, camphor, ocimene, mycrene, terpinolene,

 

September 4, 2012

Bee-balm ~ Oswego Tea

Bee-balm or Monarda is a beautiful wildflower native to North east North America. It is known for the popular beverage Natives call Oswego tea, and is also cooked in stews, and used to flavour salads. Being aromatic the essential oil makes great perfume and keeps insects and flies away.

Monarda fistulosa has beautiful tubular lavender-purple pinkish flowers.  The common name is known as Wild Bergamot, not to be confused with the citrus bergamot orange – Citrus bergamia L. used in EARL GREY tea, but it smells similar and is now sometimes combined. English Settlers that came to North America named it that because they thought it smelled just like earl grey tea and introduced it to England in 1744. Having a high geraniol content it smells like geranium flowers mixed with citrus and mint.

Monarda fistulosa

Monarda didyma has showy red flowers that smell like citrus and mint. The leaves make a wonderful tea dried or fresh. The common name is Bee-balm because it attracts bees, along with hummingbirds and butterflies. It is also called Scarlet bee-balm because of the colour of the flowers. The M. didyma species has a higher thymol content that makes it smell more like citrus thyme.

Monarda didyma

The stems are square with paired grey green leaves and rough on both sides. It prefers moist, light soil. Being a mint family member it likes some shade from the hot afternoon sun.  Use all Monarda species the same way. Enjoy!

Common Name  Bee balm/  Wild Bergamot
Latin Name  Monarda didyma (Bee balm) Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot)
Family Lamiaceae (Mint Family)
Parts Used Perennial- pick herb from spring until it flowers in July-August
Target Organs circulatory, digestion, respiratory, nerves, lymphatic, skin, urinary, reproductive
Common Uses Respiratory: infections, colds, flu, nasal congestion, coughs, fever, swollen lymph

Digestion: digestive catarrh, indigestion,  constipation, gas, bloating,

Urinary: UTI,  incontinence, infection

Female reproductive: spasms, cramps, PMS, balancing

Nervous system: relaxant, stress, depression

External: wounds, inflammation,

Properties antimicrobial, antibacterial, anticatarrhal, antidepressant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic (digestive, general, respiratory, uterine,) antiviral, anxiolytic, appetite stimulant, astringent, warming carminative, cholagogue, circulatory stimulant, decongestant, diaphoretic, diuretic, digestive stimulant, stimulating emmenagogue, relaxing, secretolytic, stimulating expectorant, febrifuge,  nervine, rubefacient, relaxant, stomachic, tranquilizer, uterine relaxant, (neural, peripheral vasodilator), vulnerary
Constituents Essential Oil Yield: 0.4%-0.6%

Monoterpenes

Monoterpene  alcohols: geraniol 90% 

Phenol: thymol(found in M. didyma)50%

Cautions Mild remedy. Do not use during pregnancy or consult with a professional.
Dosage Tincture: 2-4ml                Tea: 2 tsp. infuse 5-10 minutes

 

June 1, 2012

Oregano herb

Oregano is a perennial herb but in colder climates it may become an annual, but it might come back every year. Oregano is native to the Mediterranean region and warm temperate western and south-western Eurasia parts so it likes it hot and sunny.

Oregano grows from 20–80 cm tall, with opposite leaves 1–4 cm long. The tiny purple or white flowers 3–4 mm long grow in erect spikes and in clusters around the stem.

Oregano about to flower surrounded by Viola flowers

Fresh or dried Oregano is used in Italian cooking and it is stronger than Marjoram.

Consider Marjoram Origanum majorana Oregano’s sister.

Common Name Oregano herb
Latin Name Origanum vulgare
Family Lamiaceae (Mint Family)
Parts Used Perennial- herb picked in spring/summer growing season
Target Organs Digestion, stomach, respiratory, nervous system, musculo-skeletal, female reproductive
Common Uses Digestion:digestive stomach upset, gas, bloating, indigestion,  inflammation, liver congestion, infections

Respiratory:sinus congestion, infections, coughs, colds, flu, sore throat, bronchitis

Nervous system: Stress, fatigue, mental, physical

Musculo-skeletal: Arthritis, aches, stiffness, pain,

Female Reproductive: balancing, spasms

Culinary medicinal

Properties Antibacterial, anticatarrhal, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory (general, local) antioxidant, antiprotozoal, antirheumatic, antispasmodic(digestive, respiratory, uterine) antiviral, anxiolytic, appetite stimulant, astringent, warming carminative, circulatory stimulant, decongestant, diaphoretic, stimulating emmenagogue, expectorant, nervine, rubefacient, stomachic, uterine relaxing/stimulating, vasodilator,
Constituents Essential Oil Yield: .2%  Esters: linalyl/geranyl acetatePhenols:63% carvacrol, thymol,Monterpene alcohols:50% borneol

Monoterpenes:10-40%, paracymene, terpinenes, cymene, caryophyllene, pinene,

Oxides: 1, 8 cineole,

Other: coffeic/ursolic/rosmarinic acids, gum, tannins, bitter, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron

Cautions Mild remedy in tincture form
Dosage Tincture: 1-4ml Tea: 1-2 tsp essential oil always dilute
June 1, 2012

Oregano essential oil

Oregano oil is best known for treating colds, coughs and flu. The  powerful constituents phenols are responsible for its antibiotic properties. Oregano essential oil is very strong to take internally and externally, and dilution is always recommended. I prefer to take Oregano herb in tincture form whole, because the whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts and it is safer to take internally this way. Depending on my symptoms sometimes I don’t use Oregano to treat a cold or cough.

Directions: If you are going to take Oregano essential oil internally buy a diluted form and dilute it further with olive oil. Put 1 drop of diluted oregano in 1 teaspoon of olive oil and consume. Follow this with liquids it is strong! Caution is advised! Oregano is hot and irritating.

COMMON NAME OREGANO
Latin Name Origanum vulgare
Family Lamiaceae
Country of Origin Mediterranean, Eurasia
Volatility Middle note
Extraction Steam distilled from herb
Colour clear, pale
Aroma warm, spicy, camphor
Caution Do not use during pregnancy. Hot stimulant! May cause skin irritation.
Primary Uses Digestion:digestive upset, gas, bloating, inflammation, liver congestion, infectionsRespiratory:sinus congestion, coughs, colds, flu, sore throat, infections

Nervous system: Stress, fatigue, mental, physical

Musculo-skeletal: Arthritis, aches, stiffness, pain,

Properties Antibacterial, antibiotic, anticatarrhal, antiseptic, anticonvulsant,  astringent, antidepressant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory antirheumatic,  antiviral, antispasmodic (digestive, respiratory, uterine) anxiolytic, appetite stimulant, warming carminative, circulatory stimulant, decongestant, diaphoretic, stimulating emmenagogue, expectorant, nervine, rubefacient, stomachic, uterine tonic relaxing/stimulating,
June 1, 2012

Thyme essential oil

There are many varieties, species, and chemotypes of thyme which all vary in chemical composition. 

CT is short for Chemotypes which are plants that share the same Latin name but have different constituents and chemical make-up due to various factors such as where it is grown, soil, altitude and nutrients.

Thyme has a long history of use being one of the most powerful natural antiseptics known mainly due to the phenol action of thymol. Just like oregano it is powerful antibiotic, having similar phenol constituents, and is a pulmonary and digestive disinfectant.

Thyme stimulates production of white corpuscles which helps fight off potentially harmful microbes and strengthens the immune system.

Thyme

COMMON NAME THYME
Latin Name Thymus spp. vulgaris, sateriodes CT geraniol, linalool, paracymene, thujanol, thymol
Family Lamiaceae
Country of Origin France, Europe, Spain, Israel, North America
Volatility Top/middle note
Extraction steam distilled from leaves and flowering tops
Colour pale yellow
Aroma strong herb,
Caution Contraindications Do not use during pregnancy, or with high blood pressure. Very HOT and may irritate skin.
Primary Uses Digestion: gastritis, colitis, infections Respiratory: bronchitis, pleurisy, TB, whooping spasmodic cough

Immune: stimulant, colds, flu, strep, staph, tonsillitis, infections, fever

Skin: warts, lice, scalp infections;

 

Muscular: analgesic pain relief, arthritis, sprains, strains

Properties antibacterial, anticatarrhal, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory antimicrobial, antispasmodic (general, digestive, respiratory), anxiolytic, appetite stimulant, astringent, warming carminative, cholagogue, decongestant, diaphoretic, relaxing secretolytic expectorant, febrifuge, stimulating nervine relaxant, stomachic, vasodilator, vulnerary
Constituents Monoterpene: p-cyamene aka paracymene;  

Phenol: Thymol 45% Thujanol 

 

Monoterpene alcohol: Geraniol, linalool

May 29, 2012

Thyme time

Time for Thyme herb!

There are many varieties of thyme and they are all hardy and easy to grow. Thyme is grown in pots year round for culinary, medicinal or ornamental purposes or grown directly in the ground, where it comes back bigger and better every year. There are creeping varieties that grow close to the ground or hanging varieties that hang over and trail down the sides of pots. Thyme is a sturdy sub-shrub and the creeping varieties are a great alternative to lawn grass or to put under other bigger shrubs. Put thyme around walkways or in cracks to keep other weeds out.

Common Name  Thyme herb
Latin Name  Thymus vulgaris spp.
Family Lamiaceae (Mint Family)
Parts Used Perennial- herb picked in spring and summer growing season
Target Organs Digestion, Respiratory, Immune, Central Nervous System, Skin, Muscular
Common Uses Digestion: infections, gastritis, colitis, parasites, diarrhoea, worms,Respiratory: bronchitis, pleurisy, TB, whooping cough infections, cough, bronchitis, colds, flu, gargle sore throats, Immune: stimulant, colds, flu, strep, staph, tonsillitis, infections, fever,

Nervous system: stimulating, depression

Skin: warts, lice, scalp infections;

Muscular: analgesic pain relief, arthritis, sprains, strains

External: wounds, astringent stops bleeding

Culinary fresh or dried

Essential oil use diluted-very hot

Properties Anthelmintic, antibacterial, anticatarrhal, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory (local, systemic) antimicrobial, antioxidant, antispasmodic (general, digestive, respiratory), anxiolytic, appetite stimulant, astringent, warming carminative, cholagogue, decongestant, diaphoretic, relaxing secretolytic expectorant, febrifuge, stimulating nervine relaxant, stomachic, vasodilator, vulnerary
Constituents Essential Oil: 1%   Monoterpene: p-cyamene aka paracymene; Phenol: Thymol 45% thujanol, carvacrol,Monoterpene alcohol: Geraniol, linalool

borneol;

Other:  bitter, tannin, flavonoids, triterpenoids

Cautions Essential oil use diluted very hot and stimulating. May irritate sensitive skin.
Dosage Tincture: 1-4ml  
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,101 other followers

%d bloggers like this: