Tag Archives: Tea Tree Oil

Thymus vulgaris

Botanical Name ; Thymus vulgaris
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Thymus
Species: T. vulgaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms : Origanum thymus Kuntze. Thymus collinus Salisb. [Illegitimate] .

Common Names: Common thyme, German thyme, Wild Thyme , Garden thyme or Just thyme

Habitat: Thymus vulgaris is native to southern Europe from the western Mediterranean to southern Italy. It grows in dry slopes, rocks and maquis. Always found on clay or limestone soils

Description:
Thymus vulgaris is an evergreen Shrub growing to 15–30 cm (6–12 in) tall by 40 cm (16 in) wide, it is a bushy, woody-based with small, highly aromatic, grey-green leaves and clusters of purple or pink flowers.

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It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jun to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, lepidoptera.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Ground cover, Rock garden. Prefers a light, dry calcareous soil and a sunny position. Succeeds in dry soils, poor soils and tolerates drought once it is established. Plants can be grown on old walls. Thymes dislike wet conditions, especially in the winter. A layer of gravel on the soil around them will help protect the foliage from wet soils. Thyme is hardy to about -15°c, though it is even hardier when grown on old walls are in well-drained poor light soils[4]. Thyme is commonly grown in the herb garden, there are many named varieties. It is also harvested commercially for its essential oil. The leaves are very aromatic. It is sometimes grown as an annual from seed when used for culinary purposes. The flowers are rich in nectar and are very attractive to honey bees. Thyme is a good companion for most plants, it is said to repel cabbage root flies when grown near brassicas. This is a very difficult genus taxonomically, the species hybridize freely with each other and often intergrade into each other. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Edible, Fragrant foliage, Not North American native.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Seed can also be sown in autumn in a greenhouse. Surface sow or barely cover the seed. Germination can be erratic. 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. The seed can keep for three years in normal storage[4]. Division in spring or autumn. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring. Cuttings of young shoots, 5 – 8cm with a heel, May/June in a frame. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Layering.

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

Leaves and flowering tops – raw in salads, used as a garnish or added as a flavouring to cooked foods, going especially well with mushrooms and courgettes.   It is an essential ingredient of the herb mix ‘bouquet garni’. It retains its flavour well in long slow cooking. The leaves can be used either fresh or dried. If the leaves are to be dried, the plants should be harvested in early and late summer just before the flowers open and the leaves should be dried quickly. A nutritional analysis is available. An aromatic tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves. Pungent and spicy.

Constituents:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Dry weight)

•276 Calories per 100g
•Water : 7.8%
•Protein: 9.1g; Fat: 7.4g; Carbohydrate: 63.9g; Fibre: 18.6g; Ash: 11.7g;
•Minerals – Calcium: 1890mg; Phosphorus: 201mg; Iron: 123.6mg; Magnesium: 220mg; Sodium: 55mg; Potassium: 814mg; Zinc: 6.2mg;
•Vitamins – A: 3800mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.51mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.4mg; Niacin: 4.94mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Medicinal Uses :

Common thyme has a very long history of folk use for a wide range of ailments. It is very rich in essential oils and these are the active ingredients responsible for most of the medicinal properties. In particular, thyme is valued for its antiseptic and antioxidant properties, it is an excellent tonic and is used in treating respiratory diseases and a variety of other ailments. The flowering tops are anthelmintic, strongly antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, deodorant, diaphoretic, disinfectant, expectorant, sedative and tonic. The plant is used internally in the treatment of dry coughs, whooping cough, bronchitis, bronchial catarrh, asthma, laryngitis, indigestion, gastritis and diarrhoea and enuresis in children. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women. Externally, it is used in the treatment of tonsillitis, gum diseases, rheumatism, arthritis and fungal infections. The plant can be used fresh at any time of the year, or it can be harvested as it comes into flower and either be distilled for the oil or dried for later use. Thyme has an antioxidant effect, thus regular use of this herb improves the health and longevity of individual body cells and therefore prolongs the life of the body. The essential oil is strongly antiseptic. The whole herb is used in the treatment of digestive disorders, sore throats, fevers etc. The essential oil is one of the most important oils used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is ‘Bacterial’. It is used especially in cases of exhaustion, depression, upper respiratory tract infections, skin and scalp complaints etc. The oil can cause allergic reactions and irritation to the skin and mucous membranes.

Other Uses:
Deodorant; Disinfectant; Essential; Fungicide; Pot-pourri; Repellent.

An essential oil from the leaves is frequently used in perfumery, soaps, toothpastes, mouthwashes, medicinally etc. It has fungicidal properties and is also used to prevent mildew. The leaves are dried and used in pot-pourri. The plant makes an attractive ground cover for a sunny position. Plants are best spaced about 30cm apart each way. The dried flowers are used to repel moths from clothing whilst the growing plant is said to repel cabbage root fly

Known Hazards: A comment has been made in one report on medicinal uses that the plant should be used with caution. No explanation was given. It quite possibly refers to overuse of the essential oil. All essential oils, since they are so concentrated, can be harmful in large doses. Avoid if inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract. Internal use contraindicated especially in pregnancy. Caution if sensitive to grasses . Dilute oil in carrier oil before topical use.

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/Thymus_vulgaris
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Thymus+vulgaris

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Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)

Botanical Name : Melaleuca alternifolia/Melaleuca leucadendron, M. leucadendra
Family: Myrtaceae
Subfamily: Myrtoideae
Genus: Melaleuca
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Myrtales
Tribe: Melaleuceae
Syn.  : Melaleuca minor
Common Names : Tea Tree , ti tree,Narrow-leaved Paperbark, Narrow-leaved Tea-tree, Narrow-leaved Ti-tree, or Snow-in-summer,
Cajeput Oil , Weeping tea tree, weeping paperbark

Habitat : There are well over 200 recognised species, most of which are endemic to Australia. A few species occur in Malesia and 7 species are endemic to New Caledonia.

Description:
The species are shrubs and trees growing (depending on species) to 2–30 m (6.6–98 ft) tall, often with flaky, exfoliating bark. The leaves are evergreen, alternately arranged, ovate to lanceolate, 1–25 cm (0.39–9.8 in) long and 0.5–7 cm (0.20–2.8 in) broad, with an entire margin, dark green to grey-green in colour. The flowers are produced in dense clusters along the stems, each flower with fine small petals and a tight bundle of stamens; flower colour varies from white to pink, red, pale yellow or greenish. The fruit is a small capsule containing numerous minute seeds.Leaves are linear, 10-35 mm long and 1 mm wide. White flowers occur in spikes 3-5 cm long. Small woody, cup-shaped fruit are 2-3 mm in diameter.

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Melaleuca is closely related to Callistemon, the main difference between the genera being that the stamens are generally free in Callistemon but grouped into bundles in Melaleuca.

In the wild, Melaleuca plants are generally found in open forest, woodland or shrubland, particularly along watercourses and the edges of swamps.

The best-accepted common name for Melaleuca is simply melaleuca; however most of the larger species are also known as paperbarks, and the smaller types as honey myrtles. They are also sometimes referred to as punk trees.

One well-known melaleuca, the Ti tree (aka tea tree), Melaleuca alternifolia, is notable for its essential oil which is both anti-fungal, and antibiotic, while safely usable for topical applications. This is produced on a commercial scale, and marketed as Tea Tree Oil. The Ti tree is presumably named for the brown colouration of many water courses caused by leaves shed from trees of this and similar species (for a famous example see Brown Lake (Stradbroke Island)). The name “tea tree” is also used for a related genus, Leptospermum. Both Leptospermum and Melaleuca are myrtles of the family, Myrtaceae.

In Australia, Melaleuca species are sometimes used as food plants by the larvae of hepialid moths of the genus Aenetus including A. ligniveren. These burrow horizontally into the trunk then vertically down.

Melaleucas are popular garden plants, both in Australia and other tropical areas worldwide. In Hawai?i and the Florida Everglades, Melaleuca quinquenervia (Broad-leaved Paperbark) was introduced in order to help drain low-lying swampy areas. It has since gone on to become a serious invasive weed with potentially very serious consequences being that the plants are highly flammable and spread aggressively. Melaleuca populations have nearly quadrupled in southern Florida over the past decade, as can be noted on IFAS’s SRFer Mapserver

The genus Callistemon was recently placed into Melaleuca.

Weeds
Melaleucas were introduced to Florida in the United States in the early 20th century to assist in drying out swampy land and as garden plants. Once widely planted in Florida, it formed dense thickets and displaced native vegetation on 391,000 acres (1,580 km2) of wet pine flatwoods, sawgrass marshes, and cypress swamps in the southern part of the state. [It is prohibited by DEP and listed as a noxious weed by FDACS.]

Melaleucas became an invasive species that raised serious environmental issues in Florida’s Everglades and damaged the surrounding economy. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists from the Australian Biological Control Laboratory assisted in solving the problem by releasing biological controls in the form of insects that feed on Melaleuca. These insects are natural predators of Melaleuca in Australia and help control the spread of the weed in the U.S.

Medicinal uses:
Common Uses: Abrasions/Cuts * Abscess/Boil * Acne * Burns/SunBurn * Candida/Yeast Infection * Fungus Infections * Herpes * Insect Bites/Rashes * Insect Repellent * Scabies *

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Properties:  Analgesic* Antibacterial* Vulnerary* Antifungal* AntiViral* Aromatic*
Parts Used: essential oil distilled from leaves
Constituents: pinene, cymene, cineole, terpenes, terpinene, alcohols .

Traditional Aboriginal uses
Australian Aborigines used the leaves traditionally for many medicinal purposes, including chewing the young leaves to alleviate headache and for other ailments.

The softness and flexibility of the paperbark itself made it an extremely useful tree to aboriginal people. It was used to line coolamons when used as cradles, as a bandage, as a sleeping mat, and as material for building humpies. It was also used for wrapping food for cooking (in the same way aluminium foil is today), as a disposable raincoat, and for tamping holes in canoes. In the Gadigal language, it is called Bujor

Modern Uses:
Scientific studies have shown that tea tree oil made from Melaleuca alternifolia is a highly effective topical antibacterial and antifungal, although it may be toxic when ingested internally in large doses or by children. In rare cases, topical products can be absorbed by the skin and result in toxicity.

The oils of Melaleuca can be found in organic solutions of medication that claims to eliminate warts, including the Human papillomavirus. No scientific evidence proves this claim (reference: “Forces of Nature: Warts No More”).

Melaleuca oils are the active ingredient in Burn-Aid, a popular minor burn first aid treatment (an offshoot of the brandname Band-Aid).

Melaleuca oils (tea tree oil) is also used in many pet fish remedies (such as Melafix and Bettafix) to treat bacterial and fungal infections.[citation needed] Bettafix is a lighter dilution of tea tree oil while Melafix is a stronger dilution. It is most commonly used to promote fin and tissue regrowth. The remedies are often associated with Betta fish (Siamese Fighting Fish) but are also used with other fish.

It is the primary species for commercial production of Tea tree oil (melaleuca oil), a topical antibacterial and antifungal used in a range of products including antiseptics, deodorants, shampoos, soaps and lotions.

The essential oil is distilled from the feathery, narrow bright green leaves. Tea tree’s major contribution to the herbal pharmacy is its broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity. Often called a “first aid kit in a bottle”, it is ideal to take along on camping trip or anytime you are traveling. Tea tree is also an all purpose remedy for respiratory infections, acting as an anti-infective agent and strongly stimulating the body’s own.

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.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail56.php#7
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melaleuca
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melaleuca_alternifolia

http://www.wildcrafted.com.au/Tea_Tree_Oil_(Melaleuca_alternifolia).html

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Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)

Botanical Name: Pelargonium graveolens
Family :Geraniaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Geraniales
Genus: Pelargonium
Species: P. graveolens
Common Names :  Geranium

Synonym
Common names include rose geranium, old fashion rose geranium, and rose-scent geranium. Pelargonium graveolens is also known by taxonomic synonyms “Geranium terebinthinaceum Cav.” and Pelargonium terebinthinaceum (Cav.) Desf.” “Rose geranium” is sometimes used to refer to “Pelargonium incrassatum (Andrews) Sims” or its synonym “Pelargonium roseum – the herbal name- (Andrews) DC.” Commercial vendors often list the source of geranium or rose geranium essential oil as Pelargonium graveolens regardless of its herbal botanical name.


Habitat
:Pelargonium genus, is indigenous to various parts of southern Africa, and in particular South Africa.This specific species has great importance in the perfume industry. It is cultivated on a large scale and its foliage is distilled for its scent. P. graveolens cultivars have a wide variety of smells, including rose, citrus, mint, coconut and nutmeg, as well as various fruits. However, the most commercially important varieties are those that have rose scents.

Description
Pelargonium graveolens is an erect, much-branched shrub, that can reach a height of up to 1,3 m and a spread of 1 m. The hairy stems are herbaceous when young, becoming woody with age. The deeply incised leaves are velvety and soft to the touch due to the presence of numerous glandular hairs. The leaves are strongly rose-scented. The showy white to pinkish flowers are borne in an umbel-like inflorescence and are present from late winter to summer (August – January) peaking in spring (September – October).Mint Scented Rose Geranium is one of the best all around Scented Geraniums. It has great variegation, good size, nice pink flowers and a great fragrance.

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Cultivation :
Pelargonium graveolens grows very well in moist, semi-shaded positions in the garden where it can be used as filler. Its velvety leaves add texture to the planting. This species also makes a good container or hanging basket subject, provided it is kept in a semi shade position. Pelargonium graveolens responds well to feeding with liquid organic fertilizers. Use a suitable systemic insecticide if whiteflies are observed feeding on the plants.

This plant can be propagated by means of stem and tip cuttings, or seed. Cuttings root well when dipped into a suitable rooting hormone and then placed in trays filled with coarse river sand. The trays should be kept in coldframes. Optimum rooting time is autumn (March-May) and spring (September-November). Seed can be sown in spring, summer or autumn.

Uses:
Pelargonium distillates and absolutes, commonly known as “geranium oil,” is sold for aromatherapy and massage therapy applications is sometimes used to supplement or adulterate more expensive rose oils. Other applications include

*Natural insect repellent
*Cake ingredient (flowers and leaves)
*Jam and jellies ingredient (flowers and leaves)
*Ice creams and Sorbets ingredient (flowers and leaves)
*Salad ingredient (flowers)
*Sugar flavouring (leaves)

Medicinal  Uses:
Abrasions/Cuts * Burns/SunBurn * Depression * Diarrhea * Facial and Skin care * Fungus Infections * Insect Repellent * Scabies * Stress *
Properties: Astringent* Cisatrisant* Diuretic* Hemostatic* Sedative* Skin tonic* Vulnerary* Analgesic* Anti-inflammatory* Insect repellents* Stimulant* Antifungal*
Parts Used: Leaves

Pelargoniums were used in South African cultures as a traditional medicine for healing wounds, abscesses, cold sores, sore throats and infections, and continue to have a wide array of uses in the garden, kitchen and medicine cabinet.

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.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail26.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelargonium_graveolens
http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantnop/pelarggrav.htm
http://www.mountainvalleygrowers.com/pelgraveolensmintrose.htm

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Cuts and Scrapes

Though often just an annoyance, these everyday injuries can become serious, especially if they are neglected. Basic hygiene, prompt first aid, and some of nature’s own remedies can help prevent infections and speed healing.

Symptoms
Narrow slices through the skin that usually bleed.
Superficial skin abrasions that show redness or some bleeding.
Punctures or holes that may penetrate deep into the skin...click & see

When to Call Your Doctor
If a cut or scrape is dirty and can’t be cleaned at home.
If the cut will not close.
If blood spurts out or bleeding can’t be stopped.
If signs of infection appear (pus in a cut or scrape, red streaks spreading from the injury, or an unusual discharge or fever).
If you get a dirty cut or scrape or any puncture wound and haven’t had (or can’t recall) a tetanus shot for 10 years.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

What It Is
Cuts and scrapes are injuries that break the outer protective layer of skin. A cut occurs when the skin is pierced or sliced; a scrape, when the skin is visibly abraded or roughed up.

What Causes It
A cut results from an encounter with a sharp implement, such as a knife, a razor blade, the edge of a piece of paper, or a jagged piece of glass or metal. When the skin is penetrated by an instrument with a sharp point such as a pin, nail, or pencil point, however, it causes a puncture wound. And a scrape occurs when the skin is literally rubbed away by a rough surface such as pebbles or a concrete pavement.

How Supplements Can Help
Many topical supplements can ease or relieve pain, promote healing, prevent infection, and reduce the risk of scarring. They should be used only for minor cuts and scrapes. Gaping wounds that won’t close or injuries that become infected require medical attention.

What Else You Can Do
Stop any bleeding by applying steady pressure to the wound for a few minutes with a clean tissue or cloth. If the injury is a puncture wound, let it bleed for several minutes first to help flush out any embedded germs.
Thoroughly clean the skin around the cut or scrape. Bandage the wound, especially if it’s in an area likely to get dirty, such as a finger or knee. Antibiotics are not necessary unless signs of infection appear.
To help clean and disinfect a wound, add a few drops of tea tree oil to a bowl of water. Soak a clean cloth in the mixture and use it to swab the injury. Or, hold the wound under running water for several minutes. Don’t use hydrogen peroxide; it can damage the outer skin layer and slow healing.
An aloe vera plant is easily grown on a windowsill and makes an invaluable first-aid lotion for minor skin injuries. Break off one of the plumper leaves, slice it open lengthwise, and scrape or squeeze out the clear gel.

Supplement Recommendations

Lavender Oil
Aloe Vera Gel
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
Tea Tree Oil
Echinacea
Calendula
Bromelain

Lavender Oil
Dosage: Apply 1 or 2 drops of oil to wound after cleansing.
Comments: Dab directly on any superficial wound.
Warnings: Do not take internally.

Aloe Vera Gel
Dosage: Apply gel liberally to wound 3 or 4 times a day.
Comments: Use fresh aloe leaf or store-bought gel.
Warnings: In rare cases, some people develop a mild allergic skin reaction to aloe; if this happens, simply discontinue use.

Vitamin A
Dosage: 50,000 IU twice a day for 5 days.
Comments: Women who are pregnant or considering pregnancy should not exceed 5,000 IU a day.
Warnings: When taken together with isotretinoin or other acne drugs, may cause high blood levels of vitamin A, increasing the chance of side effects.

Vitamin C
Dosage: 1,000 mg 3 times a day for 5 days.
Comments: Reduce dose if diarrhea develops.
Warnings: Don’t take more than 500 mg a day if you have kidney stones, kidney disease, or hemochromatosis, a genetic tendency to store excess iron (vitamin C enhances iron absorption). Also, vitamin C can distort the accuracy of medical tests for diabetes, colon cancer, and hemoglobin levels, so let your doctor know if you’re taking it.

Tea Tree Oil
Dosage: Apply 1 or 2 drops of oil to wound after cleansing.
Comments: Can be used in place of lavender oil.
Warnings: Consult your doctor before applying to deep, open wounds. For topical use only; do not ingest, as tea tree oil can be toxic.

Echinacea
Dosage: Add 3 drops tincture to 1 tsp. water; apply to wound.
Comments: A substitute for tea tree oil. In addition, drink 1 cup of echinacea-goldenseal tea 3 times a day until wound heals.
Warnings: If you’re taking antibiotics or other drugs for an infection, use echinacea as an addition to, not as a replacement for, those medications. Echinacea can overstimulate the immune system and may worsen symptoms of lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other autoimmune disorders. It may also be counterproductive in progressive infections such as tuberculosis. People who are allergic to flowers in the daisy family may also be sensitive to echinacea. If you develop a skin rash or have trouble breathing, call your doctor right away.

Calendula

Dosage: Apply cream to wound 3 times a day in place of aloe.
Comments: Goldenseal cream or a combination of calendula and goldenseal is also effective; available at health-food stores.
Warnings: People who are allergic to flowers in the daisy family may also be sensitive to calendula.

Bromelain
Dosage: 500 mg 3 times a day on an empty stomach, for 5 days.
Comments: Should provide 6,000 GDU or 9,000 MCU daily.
Warnings: Do not take bromelain if you have an ulcer.

CLICK & SEE  :Cuts and scrapes: First aid

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Source:Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs