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Mentha cervina

Botanical Name : Mentha cervina
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Mentha
Species: M. cervina
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names : Hart’s Pennyroyal

Habitat :Native to  S.W. Europe.Grows in Damp places.

Description:
Mentha cervina is a Perennial, sprawling herb growing up to .3m tall.
It  is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. It is noted for attracting wildlife.  It is very closely related to the “real” pennyroyal. It has very fragrant leaves and foliage. Its essential oils are high in pulegone, a natural abortifacient.

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The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils and situations so long as the soil is not too dry. Prefers a slightly acid soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A sunny position is best for production of essential oils, but it succeeds in partial shade. Most mints have fairly aggressive spreading roots and, unless you have the space to let them roam, they need to be restrained by some means such as planting them in containers that are buried in the soil. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. The leaves have a strong peppermint smell. The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies. A good companion plant for growing near cabbages and tomatoes, helping to deter insect pests. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Mentha species are very prone to hybridisation and so the seed cannot be relied on to breed true. Even without hybridisation, seedlings will not be uniform and so the content of medicinal oils etc will vary. When growing plants with a particular aroma it is best to propagate them by division. Division can be easily carried out at almost any time of the year, though it is probably best done in the spring or autumn to allow the plant to establish more quickly. Virtually any part of the root is capable of growing into a new plant. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. However, for maximum increase it is possible to divide the roots up into sections no more than 3cm long and pot these up in light shade in a cold frame. They will quickly become established and can be planted out in the summer.

Medicinal Uses:
Antiseptic; Carminative; Febrifuge.

A tea made from the leaves of most mint species has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses.

Other Uses
Essential; Repellent; Strewing.

An essential oil is obtained from the whole plant. Rats and mice intensely dislike the smell of mint. The plant was therefore used in homes as a strewing herb and has also been spread in granaries to keep the rodents off the grain[

Scented Plants
Leaves: Crushed Dried
The leaves have a strong peppermint smell.

Known Hazards :  Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, large quantities of some members of this genus, especially when taken in the form of the extracted essential oil, can cause abortions so some caution is advised.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentha_cervina
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Mentha+cervina
http://www.gardening.eu/plants/Aquatic-plants/Mentha-cervina/3879/
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Mentha+cervina

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Aromatherapy

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Aromatherapy is the ancient science of healing, relaxing and energizing by the use of plants and their parts. The roots, barks, flowers, fruits, seeds and nuts play a crucial part in this science. It is one of the more popular branches of alternative medicines. The word aromatherapy is derived from two words aroma which means smell and therapy which stands for healing.

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Little to no significant scientific research has proven any combination of cause/effect solutions from aromatherapy aside from relaxation and clarity of mind, all considered similar to that of a nap or pause in conscious thought. Aromatherapy is also associated with astrological pseudoscience, and bases its medicinal beliefs on the alignment of stars, among many other aspects, to prescribe certain olfactory therapies. In truth, any odour can be considered a therapy by aroma, or aromatherapy.So in my openion, this type of Therapy should always be applied alongwith the modern scientific medication for curing a desies. This might speed up healing effect.
Some of the materials employed include:

Essential oils: Fragrant oils extracted from plants chiefly through distillation (e.g. eucalyptus oil) or expression (grapefruit oil). However, the term is also occasionally used to describe fragrant oils extracted from plant material by any solvent extraction.
Absolutes: Fragrant oils extracted primarily from flowers or delicate plant tissues through solvent or supercritical fluid extraction (e.g. rose absolute). The term is also used to describe oils extracted from fragrant butters, concretes, and enfleurage pommades using ethanol.
Phytoncides: Various volatile organic compounds from plants that kill microbes. Many terpene-based fragrant oils and sulfuric compounds from plants in the genus “Allium” are Phytoncides, though the latter are likely less commonly used in aromatherapy due to their disagreeable smells.
Hydrosols: The aqueous by-products of the distillation process (e.g. rosewater). Hydrosol used are limited to plants such as rose and chamomile since most hydrosols have unpleasant smells.
Infusions: Aqueous extracts of various plant material (e.g. infusion of chamomile)
Carrier oils: Typically oily plant base triacylglycerides that are used to dilute essential oils for use on the skin (e.g. sweet almond oil)

The basis of aromatherapy is the Essential oil Oils extracted from different plants and their barks and flowers.. These oils are the extracts of plants and their parts and form their life force. These oils are extracted by the means of steam distillation, cold expression, or fixed oil or alcohol extraction. They are highly concentrated and should not be used directly. These oils can be blended together and this blend is called synergy. The synergy is more potent than the individual oils combined. To reduce the potency of these oils, you can dilute them by mixing them with carrier oils.

These oils affect your mood. They enter through our olfactory system and affect the nervous system, thus improving mood and relaxing or energizing us. This helps is alleviating stress and speeding up healing. Most of these oils also have cosmetic properties and can be used in skincare and hair care products. Many of these oils have known anti-viral, antifungal and antiseptic properties. They are also used in household products for cleaning and antiseptic uses. These oils can be inhaled, massaged onto your body, added to the bath or shower or sprayed in the room.

When aromatherapy is used for the treatment or prevention of disease, a precise knowledge of the bioactivity and synergy of the essential oils used, knowledge of the dosage and duration of application, as well as, naturally, a medical diagnosis, are required.

In the Anglo-Saxon world, among alternative practitioners such as herbalists or naturopaths, aromatherapy is regarded as a complementary modality by some and a pseudoscientific belief by most others.

On the continent, especially in France, where it originated, aromatherapy is incorporated into mainstream medicine. There, the use of the anti-septic properties of oils in the control of infections is emphasized over the more “touchy feely” approaches familiar to English speakers. In France some essential oils are regulated as prescription drugs, and thus administered by a physician. In many countries they are included in the national pharmacopeia, but up to the present moment aromatherapy as science has never been recognized as a valid branch of medicine in the United States, Russia, Germany, or Japan.

Essential oils, phytoncides and other natural VOCs work in different ways. At the scent level they activate the limbic system and emotional centers of the brain. When applied to the skin (commonly in form of “massage oils” i.e. 1-10% solutions of EO in carrier oil) they activate thermal receptors, and kill microbes and fungi. Internal application of essential oil preparations (mainly in pharmacological drugs; generally not recommended for home use apart from dilution – 1-5% in fats or mineral oils, or hydrosoles) may stimulate the immune system.
(Help taken from:……http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aromatherapy and http://www.aromatherapies.net/)