Botanical Glossary


botanical glossary pic4 copyALLSPICE: This sharp yet spicy sweet cinnamon & clove like essential oil is good for stiff muscles. When applied to the skin, it has a numbing effect that does not affect the central nervous system. It has great antioxidant properties, stimulates blood circulation, and has antiseptic properties.

ALOE VERA: Encourage skin rejuvenation, anti inflammatory, reduce scarring, soothing, reparative,

APRICOT OIL: Smooth, lightweight and high in Vitamin A and minerals. Very nice texture and good for all skin types, but preferred by many practitioners for prematurely aged skin, delicate skin, and skin that is dry and irritated. Properties: Pore cleaner, oil remover, softening, high in Vitamin A.

ASCORBYL PALMITATE: This is the oil soluble version of Vitamin C. It stays stable longer, does not oxidize as fast, is great for sensitive skin, and research shows it is as beneficial to the skin as the water soluble version, ascorbic acid.

ASCORBIC ACID: This is the water soluble version of Vitamin C.  A potent, naturally occurring antioxidant. It plays a pivotal role in the prevention of dry skin and wrinkles, collagen synthesis and skin regeneration.  Cutaneous levels of Vitamin C cannot be achieved well by ingestion, hence topical application is essential for preventing oxidative damage resulting from pollution, smoke and sunlight.

AVOCADO OIL: Technically, the avocado is a fruit; and the oil is mechanically pressed out of the dehydrated, thinly sliced fruit. Avocado Oil, if unrefined, is a pale or olive green. Clear Avocado Oil has been bleached; pale yellow Avocado Oil has been refined. Unrefined Avocado Oil will have a strong, green aroma and is rich in Vitamin A and D as well as lecithin, potassium, and chlorophyll. Avocado Oil is one of the most penetrating oils. Luxuriously smooth, this oil contains Vitamins A, D and E, proteins, lecithin, fatty acids and antioxidants. It’s a superb emollient and despite its thickness, it has the ability to penetrate the upper layers of the skin, moisturizing and soothing. Properties:
Rich in lecithin, vitamin A, D, E, and protein. Tones and moisturizes dry, parched, aging, and mature skin. Found to significantly increase the water-soluble collagen content in the dermis. It is an antioxidant, is nourishing and regenerates cells. Also softens tissue and heals scaly skin and scalp.

BASIL: “Oil of Basil is an excellent, indeed perhaps the best aromatic nerve tonic. It clears the head, relieves intellectual fatigue, and gives the mind strength and clarity” (Tisserand, R. The Art of Aromatherapy, p. 183.) It is said that basil essential oil will stimulate sensuality.  Properties: muscular aches and pains, infectious disease, depression, fatigue, insomnia, and nervous tension.

BENZOIN: It is a resin derived from a tree, which grows in Thailand and adjacent islands. Benzoin is used as a fixative and to help heal cuts, chapped skin, inflamed and irritated skin.  soothes and heals cuts, wounds, inflammation, and oily skin.

BENTONITE CLAY: A popular detoxifying and healing clay that comes from naturally occurring volcanic ash sediments.   Bentonite Clay carries a strong negative charge which bonds to the positive charge in many toxins. When it comes in contact with a toxin, chemical, or heavy metal, the clay will absorb the toxin and release it’s minerals for the body to use. Bentonite also helps carry oxygen to cells as it pulls excess hydrogen and allows the cells to replace it with oxygen instead.

BERGAMOT: The bergamot tree was named after the Italian city of Bergamo in Lombardy, were the oil was first sold. (Lawless, J. The Illustrated encyclopedia of Essential oils, p. 119).  This citrus fruit resembles a miniature orange in appearance. Properties: 
help combat acne, eczema, oily complexion, psoriasis, and spots. May relieve anxiety and depression. Its aroma properties are refreshing and uplifting.

BLUEBERRY: Is a potent source of tocopherols, carotenoids and natural antioxidants. With its’ free radical fighting properties, it is high in essential Omega 3 fatty acids, containing a high percentage of alpha linolenic acid.

CACOA NIBS: Cacao beans and nibs have a long history, beginning in Central and South America before 1500 BC.  The entire cacao fruit was used medicinally by the Mayan, Olmec and Aztec civilizations. The cacoa beans are rich in magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese and potassium, and are a good source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, E and pantothenic acid.  Cacao contains up to four times as much antioxidants as green tea, and some of the most flavonoid antioxidants than other vegetables and fruits.  

CAFFEINE: A powerful antioxidant, constricts the blood vessels to help reduce swelling and inflammation.

CALENDULA: This extract has long been used topically to treat skin ulcers, infected wounds, diaper rash, eczema, varicose veins and much more. It has moisturizing properties making it ideal in formulations for dry, irritated or delicate skin, as well as wound healing, anti aging, soothing and anti inflammatory propeties.  According to ESCOP, calendula (flower) is recommended for the local treatment of skin inflammation, as a co-adjuvant in wound-healing processes and to treat contusions and skin burns.

CARROT SEED:  This essential oil is know to help with wrinkles and have skin rejuvenating properties. Carrot seed oil is rich in Carotene and Vitamin-A, both of which are very effective antioxidants.

CHAMOMILE: A particularly soothing, calming, and anti-inflammatory oil due to its high chamazulene constituent. Properties:
treating acne, allergies, cuts, inflammation, sensitive skin, wounds, insomnia, and headaches. It is also antiseptic, bactericidal, and a natural tonic for the skin and body.

CLOVE: Savor this sweet-spicy odor with a fruity-fresh top note. Properties include wound healing, minor infections, athlete’s foot, and an anti-oxidant. Warm and inviting.

COCOA BUTTER: Cocoa butter is the edible vegetable fat from cocoa beans, extracted from the cocoa beans during the process of making chocolate and cocoa powder. Cocoa butter has only a mild chocolate flavor and aroma. Good for normal to dry skin. Provides skin conditioning and thickening attributes. Softens skin and moisturizes. It has long been used as a skin softener and protectant. Non drying, will not clog pores.

CRANBERRY:  Cranberry Seed Oil has a natural balance of omega 3, 6 & 9 fatty acids.  It is also rich in tocotrienols (Vitamin E) and other natural antioxidants. With its one to one ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids, it is an exceptional oil for absorption and utilization of essential fatty acids in the skin. Cranberries help to rejuvenate the skin and are rich in antocianos and caroteinoids, vitamin A, which are the pigments responsible for its color and antioxidant properties. They are also rich in Vitamin C, helping with collagen production, Cranberries may also help to delay aging skin.

ELEMI: Has wonderful regenerative properties, making it great for anti aging and toning. The Egyptians used the resin of Elemi  during the embalming process!

EPSOM SALT:  Epsom salt, made of the mineral magnesium sulfate, draws toxins from the body, reduces swelling, sedates the nervous system, is a natural emollient and relaxes muscles. Since magnesium and sulfate are both easily absorbed through the skin. Soaking in a bath with Epsom Salt is  one of the easiest ways to incease your magnesium levels.

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS: EFA’s help maintain the suppleness and elasticity of the skin. These fats have long been known to be necessary for the body’s functioning, their deficiency results in the skin losing moisture and leading to hardening and drying. Essential Fatty Acids along with Ceramides, Oxidants, Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Vitamin A & E work harmoniously to ensure that the skin is nourished from deep within.

EUCALYPTUS: This essential oil is derived from the leaves of an Australian tree. It has a strong camphoric odor with woody undertones. It 
is known to heal cuts, skin infections, and wounds.  Also excellent for muscular aches and pains, poor circulation, colds, flu’s, and headaches.

EVENING PRIMROSE OIL: The small yellow wildflower that blooms in the evening is rich in Gamma Linoleic Acid, an essential fatty acid (EFA) that your body needs. Gamma Linoleic Acid is important in processes such as controlling inflammation and clotting the blood.

Helps prevent premature ageing.
Help treat acne and rosacea.
By working to dilute sebum, a thick oily substance that is over secreted in some people with acne, evening primrose oil may reduce the risk of pores becoming clogged. The oil’s Essential Fatty Acids help treat rosacea by reducing inflammation, controlling cells’ use of nutrients and by producing prostaglandins, which stimulate the contraction of blood vessels.

Reduce symptoms of eczema.
In some cases, eczema develops when the body has problems converting dietary fats into Gamma Linoleic Acids. Some studies indicate that evening primrose oil can relieve eczema-related inflammation, as well as the itching, oozing, and flaking associated with this condition.
Nourish nails, scalp, and hair.
The high stores of essential fatty acids in evening primrose oil not only prevent nails from cracking but also help to keep them generally healthy. In addition, the essential fatty acids nourish the scalp, making the oil potentially valuable in treating a variety of hair problems.
Alleviate Raynaud’s disease symptoms.
One study found a benefit in gently rubbing evening primrose oil directly into fingertips numbed by this circulatory disorder. The oil’s GLA content is thought to be responsible for the improvement.

GALBANUM: This oil was used by the Egyptians in the embalming process as well.  Is great for dry and mature skin and has good circulation properties and wound healing properties.

GINGER: Ginger is an ancient medicinal tool and has been used for thousands of years for healing.  It can be effective for arthritis, fatigue, muscular aches and pains, poor circulation, and nervous exhaustion. Its’ actions include antiseptic, anti-oxidant, stimulant and tonic.

GERANIUM: This oil has a Rosy-sweet mint scent. Stimulates the lymphatic system and helps clear the body of toxins. Used in anti-cellulite treatments to draw toxins from adipose tissue. It is an excellent oil to be used in products made for mature skin as it helps with broken capillaries, congested skin, poor circulation, and oily complexions.

GRAPEFRUIT: This citrus essential oil is high in Vitamin C and has anti-oxidant properties to fight free radicals in the body. Great for 
acne, congested and oily skin, tones skin and tissue, combats water retention, depression, and performance stress.

GRAPE SEED OIL: Grape seed oil is a non- greasy oil that is rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, GLA, and a small amount of vitamin E. It is also rich in oleic, linolenic, and linoleic acid, essential fatty acids quite important for the skin and the cell membranes. Grape seed oil has excellent skin moisturizing properties and is reported to have regenerative and restructuring virtues. It is good for skin that does not seem to absorb easily; mature, damaged and stressed skin; notably for use around the eyes and neck. Will not aggravate acne.

GREEN CLAY: Powdered rock containing silica, aluminum, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and potassium. Draws out impurities, toxins, cellular debris, and dirt.

GREEN TEA EXTRACT: It is derived from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant and has antioxidant, anti aging, and anti inflammatory properties. Contains the Methylxanthines that stimulates skin microcirculation.

HELICHRYSIUM: Also known as Immortel, it has been studied in Europe for regeneration of nerves, improving skin conditions, and reducing inflammation while speeding healing.

JOJOBA OIL: Jojoba oil is not really an oil, but is a wax in a liquid state. It originates from the beans of a shrub like desert plant, simmondsia chinensis. Jojoba oil almost exactly resembles our own skins’ natural oil, sebum. Sebum is the oil found in the sebaceous glands, which are found through out the body. Therefore, Jojoba oil is key in regulating the skins natural sebum flow! Regenerative for the skin. This oil is ideal for inflamed skin, psoriasis, eczema, acne, and hair care. Jojoba is rich in Vitamin E. Jojoba Oil is naturally moisturizing, healing, and beneficial for all skin types; it is an excellent scalp treatment.

JUNIPER BERRY: Helps with oily complexions, skin toner, detoxifies, anxiety, antiseptic.

LAVENDER: I like to refer to this oil as the wonder oil. Its properties are nearly endless. When blended with other oils the many chemical constituents act together synergistically to give it a number of healing properties. Great for 
acne, athletes foot, bruises, dermatitis, eczema, inflammations, psoriasis, spots, sunburn, muscular pains and aches, depression, PMS, sciatica, vertigo, insomnia, nervous tension, bactericidal, soothing, healing, promotes growth of new skin.

LEMON & LIME: A cure all in European countries. 
Naturally high in Vitamin A, B, and C. These oils help strengthen brittle nails. Fights acne, infections, greasy hair, spots, and varicose veins.

LEMONGRASS: Acts as a sedative on the central nervous system as shown in modern research carried out in India. Good for acne, open pores, a tissue and muscle toner, slack tissue, poor circulation, headaches, stress related conditions,

LYCOPENE: An extract high in vitamin A; protects and strengthens skin.

MARSH MALLOW: Draws out toxins and heal skin eruptions; extremely moisturizing.

NETTLE: Toxin releaser, muscle and joint pains, eczema,

OATS: Soothing and softening of the skin, relives itchy dry skin.

OLIVE OIL: Olive oil is known in Mediterranean countries as the “healing oil,” both for internal and external use.  
It enhances and promotes skin healing and aids in damaged tissue repair.
It is an excellent moisturizer because it attracts external moisture, holds the moisture close to the skin, and forms a breathable film to prevent loss of internal moisture.

ORANGE BLOSSOM: The oil was named after a princess of Nerola in Italy, who wore it as a perfume. Orange flowers were used in bridal bouquets to calm nervous apprehension before the couple retired to the marriage bed. Good for Dull and oily skin, mature and sensitive skin, scars, and stretch marks, water retention, nervous tension. Tones complexion and wrinkles. Helps with poor circulation and stress-related conditions. This oil is naturally high in Vitamin A, B, and C.

PEPPERMINT: Excellent for 
muscular aches and pains, increases circulation, mental fatigue, migraine, stress, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antimicrobial, vasoconstrictor, antiviral.

PUMPKIN: Is known to smooth the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles, and improve skin vitality, elasticity, firmness and tone. It may prove useful in preventing and attenuating the appearance of stretch marks. Has wonderful Anti-aging & Anti-oxidant benefits.  Deeply exfoliates skin cells while promoting increased cellular turnover.  Stimulates collagen production.  Refines & evens skin tone, and helps with pigmentation issues.  High in Vitamin C, A, E, and B.  Pumpkin also decreases oxidation and free radical stress in the skin. It is extraordinarily  effective for dull, sluggish smoker’s skin as it stimulates circulation, promotes healing, and provides vitamin nutrition leaving skin glowing and healthy looking.

RHASSOUL: An excellent clay for dry mature skin.  SStudies have shown that it increased skin hydration, smoothness, elasticity. The mineral properties of Rhassoul Clay were studied extensively and presented at the 12th meeting of the National Institute of Phytotherapy in Paris in 1985. Rhassoul Clay contains a high percentage of silica, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.

ROCKROSE: This warming and restorative essential oil comes from a small sticky shrub native to the Mediteranean and Middle East.  It is popular for its’  skin rejuvenation properties, and tightening, firming and toning properties.

ROSEMARY: Sprigs of rosemary were burned at shrines in ancient Greece, to drive away evil spirits.

Antimicrobial, anti-oxidant, antiseptic, astringent, fungicidal, circulatory stimulant, nervous tonic, acne, eczema, stimulates scalp. Helps to combat varicose veins, fluid retention, poor circulation, infection, exhaustion, and mental fatigue. Stimulates the lymphatic system and helps clear the body of toxins. Used in anti-cellulite treatments because it draws toxins from the adipose tissue.

ROSEHIP: Cell regenerating action; diminishes fine lines. Softens skin and helps to maintain smooth skin texture. High in Vitamin C & E; Anti-oxidant.

ROSEMARY OLEORESIN: Anti-oxidant, free radical agent; a natural preservative that prevents rancidity in fixed and carrier oils.

SAGE: This essential oil helps to manage dermatitis, psoriasis, depression, sciatica, and alertness. It has antifungal, antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and antibacterial properties.

SEA KELP: Skin balancing, tones, natural source of iodine.

SEA SALT: Extremely high mineral content, soothes and heals, draws out toxins, soothes aching muscles.

SHEA BUTTER: This butter is known in Africa as karite butter. It has clinically proven anti-aging properties. Shea butter provides the skin with all the essential elements it needs for its good balance. Helps minimize and prevent stretch marks and scarring, psoriasis, and arthritis. Treats and protects against inflammation, dry skin, and skin discoloration. Softens and smoothes. Vitamin A in Shea Butter is important for improving wrinkles, blemishes, and eczema. Vitamin E in Shea Butter is important for anti-aging, anti-free radical agent (preventing the effects of sun and environmental exposure), and increasing the microcirculation to the skin. In addition, a good relaxer for stiff muscles and is a natural sunscreen. Moisturizes and retains the elasticity of the skin.

SPEARMINT: Greeks used to scent their bath water with this warm, spicy, minty essential oil. Good for 
acne, congested skin, fatigue, astringent, tonic.

SWEET ALMOND OIL: Almond is the symbol of hope in Greece.  
Almond oil is usually used to relieve itching, dryness and inflammation of the skin. It contains Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and Vitamin E, and is perfect oil for all skin types. Is non greasy, easily absorbed, and leaves the skin silky smooth.

TEA TREE: Used by aboriginal people of Australia. Scientific research has resulted in two important facts. 1. This oil is unusual in that it is active against all three varieties of infectious organisms: bacteria, fungi, and viruses. 2. It is a very powerful immune-stimulant, so when the body is threatened by any of these organisms ti-tree increases its ability to respond. Excellent for acne, athlete’s foot, oily skin, infection, antiviral, fungicidal, anti-inflammatory, anti-infectious, antiseptic, and bactericidal.

TANGERINE: The name comes form the fruit that was a traditional gift to the Mandarins of China. Great for helping diminish stretch marks, spots, scars, oily, acne, congested skin, tissue toner, insomnia, nervous tension.

TURBINADO SUGAR: This is a raw, natural  sugar that has been steam-cleaned, made from the first crystallization of cane juice and retaining some molasses.

VITAMIN E: Is a natural preservative, helping to prevent the plant based oils from oxidizing and going rancid.  Has high antioxidant properties, and is know to help heal wounds faster.

WHEAT GERM OIL: This amber oil has a nutty aroma and is extracted by pressing or solvent extraction from the wheat “germ.” Wheat germ oil is very rich in lecithin, minerals, proteins, and vitamins A, D, and E. This oil is especially high in vitamin E, an antioxidant long used to help skin tissue rejuvenate itself.  Wheat germ oil stimulates tissue regeneration to minimize wrinkling, scarring, and stretch marks. Good for aging skin, promotes skin cell formation, improves blood circulation, softens and rejuvenates the skin, speeds up healing of cuts and wounds. Also good for psoriasis and eczema.

WITCH HAZEL: Extracted from the Hamamelis plant, is a soothing and mild astringent that helps shrink pores making it an ideal natural astringent, especially for oily or blemished skin.

YARROW: Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, acne, scars, and tones the skin; sores, rashes, wounds. The Ute Indians’ name for milfoil means wound healer. Improves circulation and aids in elimination of toxins.

YLANG YLANG: The name means “flower of flowers”. The antidepressant aroma is heavy and sweet. It has a balancing action on the secretion of sebum, therefore is suitable for both oily and dry skin. Good for acne, general skin care, irritated and oily skin, regulates sebum flow, aphrodisiac, antidepressant, sedative,


This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

This information shall not be interpreted as specific prescription or usage advice and is published as a general guideline only.



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