Survivor of the Ice Ages

Pine belongs to a genus of more than 100 species of evergreen, coniferous trees.

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A Wonder of Nature

Roses have been prized throughout history, and al lover the world, for the sweetness and the soothing nature of their scent, and for the colour and shape of their blooms.

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Rosemary

Rosemary is probably one of the best known and most used of aromatic herbs.

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Santalum Album

Sandalwood has a long history. It is mentioned in old Sanskrit and Chinese manuscripts: the oil was used in religious ritual, and many deities and temples were carved from its wood.

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Artemisia

True tarragon has leaves which are bright green, narrow, lance-shaped and undivided. They have a unique, pleasant, aromatic taste.

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Tea tree

The tea tree oil is one of the most useful in holistic healing arts.

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Thyme

Thyme oil is steam-distilled from the leaves and flower tops. It is fatty and thick, and the smell is pleasant.

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Verbena

Like lemongrass, lemon verbena has a high citral content, which makes it a very good antiseptic and bactericide.

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Wintergreen

In America, wintergreen is also known as the partridge berry and checkerberry, and has been used for centuries by the Indians for its remarkable therapeutic properties.

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Ylang-Ylang

Ylang-ylang oil is produced by the distillation of the fresh flowers, a process which has to be completed very quickly.

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Lemongrass

Lemongrass is a fragrant tropical grass closely related to palmarosa and citronella.

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Lemon

Like bergamot, lemon oil is obtained from the oily rind of the fruit.

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Lavender

Lavender has been used since ancient times as much for its delicate perfume as for its medicinal properties.

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Laurel

The Greek name of laurel – Daphne – salutes the nymph who, on being pursued by Apollo, asked the other gods to help.

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Jasmine

Jasmine is one of the most important plants for perfumery (it forms the middle notes), and it is cultivated in many countries

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Horseradish

The horseradish plant has been known since the time of the Ancients. Young horseradish leaves were one of the five bitter herbs Jews were enjoined to eat at the Passover.

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Ginger

The ginger plant is thought to have originated in India, and was one of the first spices to reach Europe from Asia.

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Geranium

Geranium oil is one of the most important oils in aromatherapy and almost a first-aid kit in itself.

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Galbanum

Galbanum was used in religious ceremonies by the Ancient Egyptians and in embalming – traces of it have been isolated from the bandages of mummies.

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Frankincense

Frankincense has been used since ancient times in religious ritual and, indeed, is still used today, as a major ingredient of church incense. It was very highly valued by many early cultures.

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Fennel

The herb fennel has been known since the very earliest days, the Chinese, Indians and Egyptians all using it both as condiment and medicine.

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Eucalyptus

All the eucalyptus trees – of which there are 600 or so species originate from Australia.

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Elemi

Elemi became popular as a medicine in Europe around the sixteenth century, and was referred to as ‘resina elemnia’.

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Cypress

Cupressus sempervirens – the Mediterranean or Italian cedar – is native to Mediterranean Europe, although cypress trees are now cultivated in much of temperate Europe and North America.

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Cumin

There are two types of cumin spice, which are most clearly defined in Indian culinary terminology. Kala or shah zeera is the ‘true’ or black cumin, and this is quite rare and expensive.

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Coriander

Coriander, both spice and herb, can be traced back over many centuries, and it could be one of the oldest flavourings in the world.

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Cloves

Cloves grow best near the sea, thus the preponderance of island cultivation.

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Cinnamon and Cassia

Cinnamon and cassia come from the bark of trees or bushes belonging to the laurel family.

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Chamomile

Chamaemelum comes from the Greek for ‘apples on the ground’ because the plant is low and mat-forming, and leaves and flowers have an apple fragrance.

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Celery

Also known as ‘smallage’ and ‘ache’, Apium graveolens is a wild celery native to European salt marshes.

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Cedar or cedrus

Cedrus, or true cedar, is a genus of four species of evergreen coniferous, hardy and long-lived trees.

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Cardamom

There are several botanical varieties of cardamom, a tall herbaceous perennial native to India and Sri Lanka.

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Caraway

Caraway is a biennial plant, native to south-eastern Europe, and now grows in the wild and in cultivation all over Europe and temperate Asia.

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Calendula / Marigold

Calendula oil is distilled from the petals of the pot marigold (Calendula Officinalis), a species of flower native to southern Europe, but which grows well further north in even the poorest of soils.

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Juniper

Juniperus oxycedrus is the Mediterranean equivalent of the common juniper.

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Bois de rose

Bois de rose – literally ‘wood of rose’ – is given the French name to prevent confusion with actual rosewood.

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