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Oil Encyclopedia

German Chamomile Oil, Some Uses

German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is distilled from the dried flowers of the plant. It’s actually rather fascinating. The flowers are harvested just as they begin to bloom and then dried to preserve the active ingredients. Only then are they distilled. Like Blue Tansy and Yarrow, German Chamomile also contains the compound azulene, which makes the oil blue in color. German Chamomile has a pungent ... Read More »

Roman Chamomile Oil, Some Uses

Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) was regularly used by ancient Egyptians and the Moors, as well as being one of the Saxons’ nine sacred herbs (maythen). It was called the “plant’s physician” because it also promoted the health of nearby plants. Roman Chamomile is distilled from the daisy-like flowers of the plant, harvested just as they bloom. While it is usually slightly yellow, sometimes ... Read More »

Yarrow Oil, Some Uses

I looked forward to researching this article because I’ve always liked the Yarrow plant, and not just because it’s a good bee and butterfly plant. To many it’s a weed but to me, it is quite lovely and I have quite a few plants in my flower and herb beds; ones with white, purple, and pink flowers. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) used to ... Read More »

Spikenard Oil, Some Uses

Spikenard oil (Nardostachys jatamansi) has a long history of use as a perfume as well as for its healing properties. In the Bible, Mary Magdalene anointed the feet of Christ with Spikenard and its fragrance filled the house. And because I keep playing around with it so I can describe it for you, the scent has now permeated throughout my house. ... Read More »

Myrtle Oil, Some Uses

In ancient times, Greeks and Romans honored poets with leaves of Myrtle, to suggest their fame would never die. (9)  Myrtle oil (Myrtus communis) was also the main ingredient in a 16th century skin-care remedy called “Angel’s Water.” In our day and age, it is still used in perfume. The scent is light and refreshing. It has Lemony, Eucalyptus-like overtones that ... Read More »

Spruce Oil, Some Uses

Spruce oil (Tsuga canadensis) comes from trees native to Canada and has a long history of use for respiratory issues. Native American Indians also used to smear the resin on their bodies as an insect repellant. The oil is distilled from the needles. The scent has sparkly top notes and makes you think of Christmas trees and rainy forests. Aromatic influences: ... Read More »

Lemongrass Oil, Some Uses

Lemongrass oil (Cymbopogon citratus) comes from a fast growing grass. It looks like the same plant that Citronella comes from, which is not surprising since they come from the same genus. Lemongrass grows to be about 3 feet tall and the stalk is used to produce the oil. It has a deep, intense, sweet, lemony scent without the tart overtones of ... Read More »

Elemi Oil, Some Uses

Elemi (Canarium iuzonicum) trees are native to the Philippines. The oil comes from the gum of the tree and is distantly related to Frankincense and Myrrh. It has a long history of use by the ancient Egyptians in embalming.  The scent of the oil has a light woody, slightly citrusy feel to it. Aromatic influences: Grounding and joyous, instills peace, centering, balances ... Read More »

Cypress Oil, Some Uses

Cypress oil (Cupressus sempervirens) has been used for centuries in medicine as well as sacred incense. In the folklore of many countries, the Cypress tree is seen as the gateway to the afterlife, which is why it is often seen in churchyards. The aroma of the oil is deep and earthy, has a fresh tone that sharpens as it evaporates. Aromatic ... Read More »

Marjoram Oil, Some Uses

Marjoram (Origanum marjorana L.), also called Sweet marjoram, is a traditional culinary herb. It is thought that a species of marjoram is the biblical herb “hyssop.” The oil has a spicy, woody scent to it and when you breathe it in deeply, you feel your face relax just a little bit. Aromatic influences: Peace and sleep. May calm emotions, provide comfort during ... Read More »