Tag Archives: Aromatherapy

Mentha requienii

Botanical Name: Mentha requienii
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Mentha
Species: M. requienii
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Common Names: Corsican Mint, Mint

Habitat :Mentha requienii is native to Corsica, Sardinia, and mainland Italy, and naturalized in Portugal and in the British Isles. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Description:
Mentha requienii is a perennial herb. It is a very low-growing species with bright green leaves and a strong minty aroma and is one of the smallest members of the mint family. It grows to 3–10 cm tall, with small oval leaves 2–7 mm long and tiny mauve flowers in July and August that are insect pollinated. It has a strong aroma of peppermint.

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It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils and situations so long as the soil is not too dry. This species of mint will grow in drier soils than the other mints. It also grows well in heavy clay soils. A sunny position is best for production of essential oils, but it also succeeds in partial shade. Prefers a shady position. Fairly tolerant of being walked on, it grows well in the cracks of paving stones and also as a lawn with thyme and camomile. This species is not hardy in all areas of Britain. However, the plant usually self-sows even when the parent plant is killed by frost. The whole plant is strongly aromatic with a peppermint aroma. The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies. A good companion plant for growing near cabbages and tomatoes, helping to keep them free of 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.
Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. A very strong peppermint-like aroma is used as a flavouring in salads, cooked foods and liqueurs. It is most famously as the flavoring in crème de menthe. It is sometimes said to have a scent similar to pennyroyal. A herb tea is made from the leaves.
Medicinal Uses:
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:
An essential oil with a strong peppermint scent 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.

Use in the garden:
Mentha requienii can be used in landscaping as a bedding plant, giving out a desirable mint smell when trodden on. Because it can indeed be walked upon without dying, it is sometimes used to line walkways, growing between stepping stones. Unlike most other cultivated mints, this plant stays diminutive and thrives in shady garden areas. However, if given too much moisture the leaves will rot. The best way to avoid this is to let the plant dry out between waterings, but not too much, because it is drought-sensitive. Baby’s tears is used as a substitute in areas where Corsican mint is too fragile.
Mentha requienii, along with pennyroyal, is thought to be one of the best mints to grow as a companion to brassica plants like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, et cetera. It repels certain pest insects, in part by obscuring the smell of the crop to be protected, and may also enhance flavor.

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 supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentha_requienii
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Mentha+requienii

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Jessamine

Botanical Name :Jasminum officinale
Family: Oleaceae
Genus: Jasminum
Species: J. officinale
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names:common jasmine or just jasmine poet’s jasmine or jessamine

Habitat :Jasmine is native to the Caucasus, northern Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Himalayas and western China. It is also the national flower of Pakistan.It grows in Valleys, ravines, thickets, woods, along rivers, meadows; 1800 – 4000 metres in W. China

in the olive family Oleaceae,  It is also known as poet’s jasmine or jessamine, and is particularly valued by gardeners throughout the temperate world for the intense fragrance of its flowers in summer.

Description:
Jasmine is a species of deciduous climber  flowering plant  with sharply pointed pinnate leaves and clusters of starry, pure white flowers in summer, which are the source of its heady scent.It is a vigorous twining type plant.It grows to 10 m (32ft) by 10 m (32ft) at a fast rate.
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It is hardy to zone 7. It is in flower from Jun to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation :   
Succeeds in a good well-drained loam, preferring a sunny position. Very shade tolerant, it succeeds on a north facing wall. Plants are hardy to about -15°c. They require the protection of a wall in northern Britain but are fully hardy in the south. Another report says that they are hardy to about -10°c, and that the stem tips are often killed back in the winter though the plant soon recovers. Climbs by means of twining. It is self-supporting and fast-growing. Any pruning is best carried out in late winter and early spring. A very ornamental plant, there are some named varieties. The flowers are very fragrant and the plant is sometimes cultivated for the essential oil in its flowers, the sub-species J. officinale grandiflorum . Kobuski. is used. Flowers are produced on the current year’s growth and also on older wood. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.

Propagation:           
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Very easy. Cuttings of mature wood in November. Layering

Edible Uses           
Edible Parts: Flowers.
Edible Uses: Condiment;  Tea.

Flowers – fragrant. Eaten or used to flavour or scent tea. The dried flowers are a tea substitute. An essential oil from the flowers is used as a condiment in various foods, especially Maraschino cherries but also baked goods, ice cream, sweets, chewing gum etc. It imparts a bitter-sweet floral tone.

Medicinal Uses:

Antiseptic;  Antispasmodic;  Aphrodisiac;  Aromatherapy;  Galactogogue;  Parasiticide;  Tonic.

The leaf juice is applied to corns and ear discharges. The leaves contain salicylic acid (found also in the bark of Salix species and used as an analgesic, febrifuge etc). The root is used in the treatment of ringworm. The flowers are aphrodisiac, antiseptic, antispasmodic, galactogogue and tonic. They are mainly used in aromatherapy . The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is ‘Aphrodisiac’. It is used in the treatment of depression, nervous tension, impotence, frigidity, menstrual disorders and weak digestion.
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It is specifically used in dermatology as either an antiseptic or anti-inflammatory agent.  Jasminum officinale L. var. grandiflorum is a folk medicine used for the treatment of hepatitis in south of China. It has shown anti-viral activity in vitro.[11] The effect of an aqueous extract of fresh floral buds of Jasminum officinale var. grandiflorum Linn. has been studied on female fertility in rats. The extract produced a significant decrease in serum progesterone levels.

Jasmine absolute is known as the ‘King of Oils’, and its heavy, sweet scent is loved by most people. The flowers release their perfume at dusk, so flowers are picked at night and a tiny amount of oil is obtained by solvent extraction. The result is a very expensive oil, but it can be used in low concentrations so it is not that uneconomic to use it in products.

The aroma of jasmine is described as calming and soothing without being soporific, and is indicated for depression and stress – as well as some respiratory conditions. It is indicated for sensitive skin conditions too. But mostly jasmine has a reputation as an aphrodisiac and used for all kinds of sexual problems.

Legendary jasmine is a sensual delight, and is one of the principle oils used in perfumes and ointments for dry sensitive skin. In aromatherapy, jasmine absolute oil in used to uplift the spirits in cases of apathy, depression, menopausal disorders, and lack of confidence. A legendary aphrodisiac, jasmine’s sweet scent has a profound effect on frigidity and impotence.It can relax the mother and help relieve the pain of childbirth and is thought to increase breastmilk.

Other Uses :
Essential;  Parasiticide.

An essential oil from the flowers is used in perfumery. The flowers are picked soon after opening each morning and used fresh for oil extraction.

Known Hazards:
Safety: This oil can cause irritation in some people if used too frequently or in high concentrations, so use with caution, preferably in low concentrations. A major component of jasmine is benzyl acetate (~25%) which is known to be absorbed through the skin and known to be an allergic sensitiser. Those who show allergies to spicy food, perfumes and cosmetics are most likely to react. However, the power of the scent is such that only tiny amounts are required anyway.

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://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Jasminum+officinale
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasminum_officinale
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail29.php

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Lavender.

Botanical Name :Lavandula spp
Family: Lamiaceae
Subfamily: Nepetoideae
Tribe: Lavanduleae
Genus: Lavandula
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Syn.  : Lavandula angustifolia,   :Lavandula  officinalis

Common name : Lavender.

L. stoechas, L. pedunculata and L. dentata were known in Roman times. From the Middle Ages onwards, the European species were considered two separate groups or genera, Stoechas (L. stoechas, L. pedunculata, L. dentata) and Lavandula (L. spica and L. latifolia), until Linnaeus combined them. He only recognised five species in Species Plantarum (1753), L. multifida and L. dentata (Spain) and L. stoechas and L. spica from Southern Europe. L. pedunculata was included within L. stoechas.

By 1790 L. pinnata and L. carnosa were recognised. The latter was subsequently transferred to Anisochilus. By 1826 Frédéric Charles Jean Gingins de la Sarraz listed 12 species in three sections, and by 1848 eighteen species were known.

One of the first modern major classifications was that of Dorothy Chaytor in 1937 at Kew. The six sections she proposed for 28 species still left many intermediates that could not easily be assigned. Her sections included Stoechas, Spica, Subnudae, Pterostoechas, Chaetostachys and Dentatae. However all the major cultivated and commercial forms resided in the Stoechas and Spica sections. There were four species within Stoechas (Lavandula stoechas, L. dentata, L. viridis and L. pedunculata) while Spica had three (L. officinalis (now L. angustifolia), L. latifolia and L. lanata). She believed that the garden varieties were hybrids between true lavender L. angustifolia and spike lavender (L. latifolia).

More recently work has been done by Upson and Andrews, and currently Lavandula is considered to have three subgenera.
Subgenus Lavandula is mainly of woody shrubs with entire leaves. It contains the principal species grown as ornamental plants and for oils. They are found across the Mediterranean region to northeast Africa and western Arabia.
Subgenus Fabricia consists of shrubs and herbs, and it has a wide distribution from the Atlantic to India. It contains some ornamental plants.
Subgenus Sabaudia constitutes two species in the southwest Arabian peninsula and Eritrea, which are rather distinct from the other species, and are sometimes placed in their own genus Sabaudia.

In addition there are numerous hybrids and cultivars in commercial and horticultural usage

Habitat :Lavender is native to the Old World and is found from Cape Verde and the Canary Islands, southern Europe across to northern and eastern Africa, the Mediterranean, southwest Asia to southeast India. Many members of the genus are cultivated extensively in temperate climates as ornamental plants for garden and landscape use, for use as culinary herbs, and also commercially for the extraction of essential oils. The most widely cultivated species, Lavandula angustifolia is often referred to as lavender, and there is a colour named for the shade of the flowers of this species.

Description:
Lavender is an annual or short-lived herbaceous perennial plant, and suffrutescent perennials, subshrubs or small shrubs.

Leaf shape is diverse across the genus. They are simple in some commonly cultivated species; in others they are pinnately toothed, or pinnate, sometimes multiple pinnate and dissected. In most species the leaves are covered in fine hairs or indumentum, which normally contain the essential oils.

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Flowers are borne in whorls, held on spikes rising above the foliage, the spikes being branched in some species. Some species produce coloured bracts at the apices. The flowers may be blue, violet or lilac in the wild species, occasionally blackish purple or yellowish. The calyx is tubular. The corolla is also tubular, usually with five lobes (the upper lip often cleft, and the lower lip has two clefts).

Cultivation:
The most common form in cultivation is the common or English lavender Lavandula angustifolia (formerly named L. officinalis). A wide range of cultivars can be found. Other commonly grown ornamental species are L. stoechas, L. dentata, and L. multifida (Egyptian lavender).

Because the cultivated forms are planted in gardens worldwide, they are occasionally found growing wild as garden escapes, well beyond their natural range. Commonly such adventitious establishment is apparently harmless at best, but in some cases Lavandula species have become invasive; for example, in Australia Lavandula stoechas has become a cause for concern; it occurs widely throughout the continent, and has been declared a noxious weed in Victoria since 1920.  It also is regarded as a weed in parts of Spain.

Lavenders flourish best in dry, well-drained, sandy or gravelly soils in full sun.[10] All types need little or no fertilizer and good air circulation. In areas of high humidity, root rot due to fungus infection can be a problem. Organic mulches can trap moisture around the plants’ bases, encouraging root rot. Gravelly materials such as crushed rocks give better results

Edible Uses:
It is grown as a condiment and used in salads and dressings.  Flowers yield abundant nectar from which bees make a high-quality honey. Monofloral honey is produced primarily around the Mediterranean, and is marketed worldwide as a premium product. Flowers can be candied and are sometimes used as cake decorations. Lavender flavours baked goods and desserts (it pairs especially well with chocolate), and is also used to make “lavender sugar”. Lavender flowers are occasionally blended with black or green teas, or made into tisanes.

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Though it has many other traditional uses in southern France, lavender is not used in traditional southern French cooking. It does not appear at all in the best-known compendium of Provençal cooking, J.-B. Reboul’s Cuisinière Provençale In the 1970s, a herb blend called herbes de Provence usually including lavender was invented by spice wholesalers, and lavender has more recently become popular in cookery.

Lavender lends a floral and slightly sweet flavour to most dishes, and is sometimes paired with sheep’s-milk and goat’s-milk cheeses. For most cooking applications the dried buds (also referred to as flowers) are used, though some chefs experiment with the leaves as well. Only the buds contain the essential oil of lavender, from which the scent and flavour of lavender are best derived.

In the United States, both lavender syrup and dried lavender buds are used to make lavender scones and marshmallows.

Parts Used: Flowers, leaves and stems

Constituents:  volatile oil (up to 1.5%, containing linabol, linalyl acetate, lavendulyl acetate, terpinenol, cineole, camphor, borneol, pinene, limonene), tannins, coumarins (coumarin, umbelliferone, hemiarin), flavonoids, triterpenoids, rosmarinic acid

Medicinal Uses:
Acne * Air Fresheners * Anxiety * Aromatherapy * Beauty * Burns * Candida/yeast * Children * Colds * Culinary/Kitchen * Cuts & Wounds * Depression * Ear * Facial Care * Fibromyalgia * Headache/Migraine * Hypertension * IBS * Insect Repellent * Insect/flea Bites * Lice * Lupus * Nausea * Pet * Pregnancy/Childbirth * Skin Care * Sleep/Insomnia

Properties: * Analgesic * AntiCancer * Antifungal * Antioxidant * Antiperspirant/Deodorants * Antirheumatic * AntiViral * Aromatic * Cardiac tonic Cordial * Cholagogue * Cicatrisant * Cytophylactic * Diaphoretic/sudorific * Diuretic * Emmenagogue * Hypotensive * Insect repellents * Muscle Relaxant * Nervine * Parturient * Sedative * Splenic * Vermifuge * Vulnerary

The essential oil was used in hospitals during World War I.

Lavender has some powerful properties for such a gentle, sweet smelling flower. Lavender can lift your spirits, help you sleep, relieve pain, kill germs, heal burns and rashes, and help keep annoying insects at bay.

In the evening lavender comes into its own, the relaxing and sedative aroma of lavender has an almost immediate effect as soon as it hits the sensitive membranes inside your nose.  Duke, 138-139  Soaking in a lavender scented bath relaxes away mild depression and anxiety and may even lower high blood pressure.  129  Regular lavender baths are recommended throughout a woman’s pregnancy.  Gladstar, 36

Clinical trials confirm the conventional wisdom that lavender relaxes the body in the presence of pain, most likely by reducing anxiety levels. A calm mental state makes pain more bearable, lessening it’s impact by reducing the perception of pain. 130,131 Massage with lavender oil at tender trigger points reduces the pain and tension of fibromyalgia in long term sufferers. Weed 51  Lavender combines well with the analgesic power of rosemary to relieve all types of pain: arthritis, sore muscles, and nerve pain. Lavender can also be used in a massage oil to relieve the pain and arthritic stiffness older dogs, (but not cats). Worwood 173

Lavender is well regarded for it’s skin healing properties as well. It’s effectiveness in treating burns was first discovered by French biochemist René Gattefossé when he cooled his hand in a handy vat of lavender after burning it in a lab accident. This storied burn healed so quickly, and without scarring, that it is often cited as a seminal event in the birth a modern aromatherapy.  Balch 89  To make a all purpose remedy for scalds, burns, and sunburns: apply a cloth wet with witch hazel, then apply a few drops of lavender essential oil directly to the burn.

A recent clinical study investigated anxiolytic effects and influence on sleep quality. Lavender oil with a high percentage of linalool and linalyl acetate, in the form of capsules, was generally well tolerated. It showed meaningful efficacy in alleviating anxiety and related sleep disturbances.

Lavender may be very effective with wounds; however, Lavender Honey (created from bees feeding on lavender plants), instead of lavender essential oil has the best effects of uninfected wounds.

Other Uses:
Flower spikes are used for dried flower arrangements. The fragrant, pale purple flowers and flower buds are used in potpourris. Lavender is also used extensively as herbal filler inside sachets used to freshen linens. Dried and sealed in pouches, lavender flowers are placed among stored items of clothing to give a fresh fragrance and to deter moths. Dried lavender flowers have become recently popular for wedding confetti. Lavender is also popular in scented waters and sachets.

The ancient Greeks called the lavender herb nardus, after the Syrian city of Naarda (possibly the modern town of Dohuk, Iraq). It was also commonly called nard. The species originally grown was L. stoechas.

Lavender was one of the holy herbs used in the biblical Temple to prepare the holy essence, and nard is mentioned in the Song of Solomon

*nard and saffron,
*calamus and cinnamon,
*with every kind of incense tree,
*with myrrh and aloes,
*and all the finest spices.

During Roman times, flowers were sold for 100 denarii per pound, which was about the same as a month’s wages for a farm laborer, or fifty haircuts from the local barber. Its late Latin name was lavand?rius, from lavanda (things to be washed), from the verb lav?re (to wash). The Greeks discovered early on that lavender if crushed and treated correctly would release a relaxing fume when burned.

In medieval times powdered lavender was used as a condiment.

In the past, lavender has been used as a folk remedy for numerous conditions, including acne, cancer, colic, faintness, flatulence, giddiness, migraine, nausea, neuralgia, nervous headache, nervous palpitations, poor appetite, pimples, rheumatism, sores, spasms, sprains, toothache, vomiting and worms.  Lavender salts have been employed for centuries as a stimulant to prevent fainting; lavender oil vapor is traditionally inhaled to prevent vertigo and fainting. A compound tincture of lavender (also known as Palsy Drops) was officially recognized by the British Pharmacopoeia for over 200 years, until the 1940s.  Used to relieve muscle spasms, nervousness, and headaches, it originally contained over 30 ingredients.  Tests show that lavender’s essential oil is a potent ally in destroying a wide range of bacterial infections, including staph, strep, pneumonia, and most flu viruses. It is also strongly anti-fungal.  A lavender-flower douche is an effective treatment for vaginal infections, especially candida-type yeast infections.  Lavender ointments are rubbed into burns, bruises, varicose veins, and other skin injuries.  The straight oil is dabbed on stops the itching of insect bites.

Known Hazards:
Lavender oil can be a powerful allergen, and it is also recommended that it should not be ingested during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

The volatile oils in lavender can be very hard on the liver and kidneys of cats and dogs so no internal use of the herb is suggested for our animal friends.

In vitro, lavender oil is cytotoxic. It increases photosensitivity as well. Lavender oil is cytotoxic to human skin cells in vitro (endothelial cells and fibroblasts) at a concentration of 0.25%. Linalool, a component of lavender oil, may be its active component. Aqueous extracts reduced mitotic index, but induced chromosomal aberrations and mitotic aberrations in comparison with control, significantly. Aqueous extracts induced breaks, stickiness, pole deviations and micronuclei. These effects were related to extract concentrations.

However, according to a 2005 study “although it was recently reported that lavender oil, and its major constituent linalyl acetate, are toxic to human skin cells in vitro, contact dermatitis to lavender oil appears to occur at only a very low frequency. The relevance of this in vitro toxicity to dermatological application of lavender oils remains unclear.”

In terms of phototoxicity, a 2007 investigative report from European researchers stated that, “Lavender oil and sandalwood oil did not induce photohaemolysis in our test system. However, a few reports on photosensitivity reactions due to these substances have been published, e.g. one patient with persistent light reaction and a positive photo-patch test to sandalwood oil.”

In 2007, a study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine which indicated that studies in human cell lines indicated that both lavender oil and tea tree oil had estrogenic and antiandrogenic activities. They concluded that repeated topical exposure to lavender and tea tree oils probably caused prepubertal gynaecomastia in some boys.[28] The Aromatherapy Trade Council of the UK has issued a rebuttal, and it is also disputed by the Australian Tea Tree Association, a group that promotes the interests of Australian tea tree industry

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/Lavandula
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail31.php

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

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Ravensara aromatica

Botanical Name : Ravensara aromatica
Family: Lauraceae
Genus: Ravensara
Species: R. aromatica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Laurales

Synonimes:Rosa damascena

Common Names:clove nutmeg,Ravensara Oil , ravensare, havozo, hazomanitra

Habitat :Ravensara aromatica is native to  Madagascar.

Description:
Ravensara aromatica is a n evergreen tree of about  20 meters high with several buttress roots at the base.The bark is deep rich redish brown and  is very aromatic( similar to eucalyptus.) with small green elliptical leaves. (click to see )

click to see the pictures

The essential oil of R. aromatica is used as a fragrance material in the perfumery industry, and as an antiseptic, anti-viral, antibacterial, expectorant, anti-infective in natural and folk medicine.

Common Uses: Ravensara Essential Oil may assist with respiratory problems, colds and flu, canker and cold sores, cuts, wounds, burns, anti-biotic, liver, lung infections, flu, sinusitis, viral hepatitis, cholera, infectious mononucleosis, insomnia, and muscle fatigue. It is also viewed as an excellent treatment for athlete’s foot.

Chemical Constituents:Terpenic Oxide(70%):1,8cineol.
Terpenic alchol:Alpha terpineol (10%)
Terpenes:Alpha pinene,beta pinene (20%)
Methyl chasvicol

Medicinal Uses:
Nerve/Back Pain
Properties: * Antibacterial * Antifungal * Antiperspirant/Deodorants * AntiViral
Parts Used: Essential oil from leaves and bark

Essential oil made from the leaves of Ravensara aromatica is referred to as aromatic ravensare, to distinguish it from oil distilled from the bark, havozo. The oils have a faint, aniseed, or licorice odor that is slightly herbaceous.

The essential oil is referred to as “the oil that heals” and is is obtained by steam distillation from the leaf. It’s fresh scent is smooth, slightly spicy, and earthy

The oil  is used as antiviral,antifungal,energizer and nerve tonic.

Precautions: It is not to be used on pregnent nursing women  and children.

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/Ravensara_aromatica
http://www.bulkapothecary.com/product/essential-oils/ravensara-wild-essential-oil/?gclid=CPvQtICV1bgCFSVgMgodk2oACQ
http://www.sunrosearomatics.com/catalog/shop/shopexd.asp?id=937
http://www.globinmed.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=82354:ravensara

Backhousia citriodora

Botanical Name :Backhousia citriodora
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Backhousia
Species: B. citriodora
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Common names : Lemon myrtle, Lemon scented myrtle, Lemon scented ironwood,Sweet verbena tree, Sweet verbena myrtle, Lemon scented verbena, and Lemon scented backhousia.

Habitat:Backhousia citriodora is native to  coastal rainforest areas of New South Wales and Queensland.

Description:
Backhousia citriodora is a medium-sized shrub or tree,It can reach 20 m (66 ft) in height, but is often smaller. The leaves are evergreen, opposite, lanceolate, 5–12 cm (2.0–4.7 in) long and 1.5–2.5 cm (0.59–0.98 in) broad, glossy green, with an entire margin. The flowers are creamy-white, 5–7 mm diameter, produced in clusters at the ends of the branches from summer through to autumn, after petal fall the calyx is persistent.

You may click to see the pictures:

Cultivation:
Backhousia citriodora is a cultivated ornamental plant. It can be grown from tropical to warm temperate climates, and may handle cooler districts provided it can be protected from frost when young. In cultivation it rarely exceeds about 5 metres (16 ft) and usually has a dense canopy. The principal attraction to gardeners is the lemon smell which perfumes both the leaves and flowers of the tree. Lemon myrtle is a hardy plant which tolerates all but the poorest drained soils. It can be slow growing but responds well to slow release fertilisers.

Seedling Backhousia citriodora go through a shrubby, slow juvenile growth stage, before developing a dominant trunk. Backhousia citriodora can also be propagated from cutting, but is slow to strike. Growing cuttings from mature trees bypasses the shrubby juvenile stage. Cutting propagation is also used to provide a consistent product in commercial production.

In plantation cultivation the tree is typically maintained as a shrub by regular harvesting from the top and sides. Mechanical harvesting is used in commercial plantations. It is important to retain some lower branches when pruning for plant health. The harvested leaves are dried for leaf spice, or distilled for the essential oil.

The majority of commercial lemon myrtle is grown in Queensland and the north coast of New South Wales, Australia.

Edible Uses;
Backhousia citriodora is one of the well known bushfood flavours and is sometimes referred to as the “Queen of the lemon herbs”. The leaf is often used as dried flakes, or in the form of an encapsulated flavour essence for enhanced shelf-life. It has a range of uses, such as lemon myrtle flakes in shortbread; flavouring in pasta; whole leaf with baked fish; infused in macadamia or vegetable oils; and made into tea, including tea blends. It can also be used as a lemon flavour replacement in milk-based foods, such as cheesecake, lemon flavoured ice-cream and sorbet without the curdling problem associated with lemon fruit acidity.

The dried leaf has free radical scavenging ability

Medicinal Uses;
AntimicrobialLemon myrtle essential oil possesses antimicrobial properties; however the undiluted essential oil is toxic to human cells in vitro. When diluted to approximately 1%, absorption through the skin and subsequent damage is thought to be minimal. Lemon myrtle oil has a high Rideal-Walker coefficient, a measure of antimicrobial potency. Use of lemon myrtle oil as a treatment for skin lesions caused by molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV), a disease affecting children and immuno-compromised patients, has been investigated. Nine of sixteen patients who were treated with 10% strength lemon myrtle oil showed a significant improvement, compared to none in the control group. The oil is a popular ingredient in health care and cleaning products, especially soaps, lotions and shampoos.

Made as a tea for coughs, colds and other respiratory ailments, sinus and stress. Lemon myrtle tea is used for free blood flow and to make the blood less sticky.  Singers have also told us lemon myrtle tea is a good tonic for their throats.

Other Uses:
Essential oils ……..B.citriodora has two essential oil chemotypes:

The citral chemotype is more prevalent and is cultivated in Australia for flavouring and essential oil. Citral as an isolate in steam distilled lemon myrtle oil is typically 90–98%, and oil yield 1–3% from fresh leaf. It is the highest natural source of citral.
The citronellal chemotype is uncommon, and can be used as an insect repellent

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

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backhousia_citriodora
http://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/gnp14/backhousia-citriodora.html
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm
http://www.bullockcreeknursery.com.au/lemon-myrtle.htm