There are many wonderful aromatic plants that are easy to grow either in containers or in a garden. These herbs can be used in many ways, which can include distilling hydrosols and essential oils.
We have been cultivating amazing aromatic gardens for many years. What a pleasure it has been to be so connected to the plants used for our health, beauty and vitality.
We would like to share a few of the plants that are growing and thriving in our botanical garden:
Cilantro/ Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) - Did you know that these two herbs come from the same plant? Cilantro is from the leaves and coriander is from the seeds.
Cilantro herb is a wonderful addition in soups and salads, or blended into salad dressings. It is very cleansing and beneficial to the internal organs. The essential oil however is not recommended for children or during pregnancy and nursing.
Coriander seed is used to relieve mental fatigue. It has a warming effect on the digestive and glandular systems. It is a warm and soothing essential oil and hydrosol.
It also acts as a general cleanser of the body, to rid it of toxins and fluid wastes. This herb is excellent for adding the leaves to soups, Chinese food dishes and tea.
German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) - has a calming effect on the mind and body and is excellent in easing any type of inflammation.
The essential oil contains azulene, a powerful anti-inflammatory chemical component. This blue chemical is not actually present in the plant, but forms in the oil and only a small quantity is needed to be effective. The dried flower is excellent as a nighttime tea as an insomnia remedy.
This herb is also an ingredient in “Sleepy Time Tea” from Celestial Seasonings. The hydrosol is very soothing for skin care and for use with children.
Precautions: Best to avoid during 1st trimester of pregnancy. Possible sensitivity when used undiluted on the face or sensitive skin. There may be sensitivity to chamomile if a person has a ragweed allergy. Avoid the use of German chamomile (Matricaria recutita a.k.a Matricaria chamomilla) orally and with anti-coagulant medications.
Melissa a.k.a Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) – has a very sedative effect that helps in cases of hysteria and panic, assists to slow the heartbeat, eases high blood pressure and is a tonic to the heart while regulating the menstrual cycle. It also settles the digestive system, and has an overall cooling effect.
Melissa herb is wonderful as a tea, added to iced tea, and a very soothing hydrosol or essential oil when distilled.
Precautions: The essential oil is both skin sensitive and photosensitive. Not for use in the bath.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) - is excellent to use for mental fatigue, refreshing to the spirit and stimulating mental agility and improving concentration. Peppermint is effective for a range of ailments like digestive upset, respiratory congestion, and muscular pains.
On the skin, peppermint essential oil or hydrosol is used to relieve skin irritation and itchiness and also helps to reduce skin redness, inflammation of the skin, while at the same time it has a cooling action.
Peppermint hydrosol is the best in the summer! It is fantastic to add to ice teas, put into ice cube trays to add to other drinks, or use as a cooling facial spritzer.
Precautions: Peppermint is an adrenal stimulant and should not be applied as an essential oil after 6pm at night to encourage a restful nights sleep.
Avoid during pregnancy. Not for children under 5. Not for use in the bath. Possible skin sensitivity due to the high menthol content. Use in moderation and with a carrier oil or lotion for sensitive skin areas or the face. Not compatible with homeopathic remedies or certain medications. Not for those with a G6PD Deficiency: which is a hereditary abnormality in the activity of an erythrocyte (red blood cell) enzyme.
Rose Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) - has a balancing effect on the nervous system, uplifting the spirit and making the world an easier place to live in. It has a balancing effect on the adrenal cortex and the hormonal system of the body. For the lymphatic system it has a stimulating effect and helps with detoxifying. It is a general diuretic and balances the water systems in the body, correcting any poor elimination of water and waste material.
Rose geranium essential oil and/or hydrosol assists in balancing the secretion of sebum and clears sluggish and oily skin. This oil and/or hydrosol is also an effective aid to assist with burns, wounds, ulcers and other skin problems.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) - offers a pronounced action on stimulating the brain and the central nervous system and is wonderful for clearing the mind and mental awareness, as well as improving memory.
The dried herb, essential oil, and hydrosol all assist to uplift with mental fatigue and nervous exhaustion. The antiseptic action of rosemary oil is especially suitable for the digestive, muscular, circulatory and the respiratory systems.
Rosemary's stimulating action also benefits scalp disorders and encourages hair growth.
For the skin, it helps to ease congestion, puffiness and swelling and can also be used in hair care products, as it has a pronounced positive effect on the health of the hair and scalp. It increases the circulation to the scalp and is therefore also effective for promoting hair growth.
Precautions: Avoid during pregnancy. Not for children under 5. Do not use with those who have epilepsy or seizures (chemotypes- camphor CT and verbenone CT). Do not use with homeopathic remedies. Rosemary is an adrenal stimulant and should not be applied as an essential oil after 6pm at night to encourage a restful nights sleep.
We hope you enjoy growing your own summer aromatic garden!
What about distilling hydrosols with your fresh and dried herbs? See our BLOG All About Hydrosols