Our Ingredients

Our Ingredients

The essence of nature. Derived from monastic herbal remedies, TINCTURE uses the power of nature to clean and restore your home without the use of artificial or synthetic ingredients.

All our products are 100% natural and made from essential oils, botanical extracts and active silver.

Bay

Laurus nobilis

Family
Lauraceae
Properties
Antibacterial, Antiseptic, Antifungal
Main Active Constituents
Geraniol, Linalool, Terpeneol, 1,8-cineole, Eugenol, Phellandrene, Pinene

History and Traditions

In herbal history this was the plant in which the victor’s crown of laurels was made - laurus ‘praise’, nobilis ‘noble’ and dedicated to Apollo, Greek god of music, light and healing. As such, many superstitions arose around the powers of bay. Apart from its symbolic and mythological significance, bay has been used for centuries for its medicinal, antiseptic properties. Whether to soothe coughs or calm the restless spirit; bay leaves were strewn on the floors of monasteries and hospitals and burned in a room once sickness had passed to remove traces of infectious microbes from the air. Bay was introduced to Britain from the Mediterranean in the 17th century together with its reputation ‘Neither witch nor devil, thunder nor lightning, will hurt a man in the place where a bay-tree is.’ Nicolas Culpeper, botanist 1616-1654.

Research Studies

Laurus nobilis was found to exhibit strong antibacterial activity against Salmonella, E-Coli, Listeria and Staphylococcus (Dadalioglu, 2004). In a 2006 laboratory study essential oils of Laurus nobilis was found to have antifungal effects (Soylu, 2006).

Bergamot

Citrus bergamia

Family
Rutaceae
Properties
Antiseptic, Antibacterial, Antidepressant, Deodorising
Main Active Constituents
Linalool, Nerol, Terpeneol, Limonene, Linalyl Acetate, Bergaptene, Dipentene

History and Traditions

The botanical and geographical origin of bergamot is still uncertain; it may be native of the Calabria region (Italy) or Antilles, Greece or the Canary Islands from where Christopher Columbus imported it. The name bergamot could also be derived from Berga, a Spanish city that later transported the trees to Calabria (Italy) where more than 90% of the world's bergamot production comes from. Italian folklore details its primary uses for fever, skin and respiratory infections as well as an aid for healing minor wounds.

Research Studies

The chemical composition of bergamot essential oils has been widely investigated due to its bioactive molecules and health benefits. A 2007 study found bergamot to have both antibacterial and antifungal activity against Campylobacter, E-Coli, Listeria and Staphylococcus (Karaca, 2007). Scientific studies looking at alleviating symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression and chronic pain are supported both physiologically and psychologically (Bagetta., 2010).

References

Bagetta, G. et al, 2010
Karaca M., Özbek H., Him A., Tütüncü M., Akkan H. A., Kaplanoğlu V. (2007). Investigation of anti-inflammatory activity of bergamot oil. Eur. J. Gen. Med. 4 176–179.
Citrus bergamia essential oil: from basic research to clinical application (2015)

Black Pepper

Piper nigrum

Family
Piperaceae
Properties
Antibacterial, Antiviral, Anti-inflammatory
Main Active Constituents
Germacrene, Limonene, Pinene, Piperine, Alkamides, β-caryophyllene, Dipiperamide

History and Traditions

The most widely consumed spice in the world, black pepper has been a valuable trading commodity since 400AD. Native to southern India and Sri Lanka, and cultivated in Indonesia, Malaysia and Brazil, pepper has a long tradition of medicinal use in Ayurvedic and Chinese healings for coughs, colds, and as a nerve tonic. Since the 15th century, pepper was a highly guarded commodity and often cause for war amongst great trading nations, such as the Dutch or the Portuguese who maintained a monopoly over the pepper trade right up to the 19th century.

Research Studies

A 2006 study has shown Piper nigrum to exhibit 75% antibacterial activity against 12 different types of bacteria (Chaudhry, 2006). The antioxidant effects of a polyherbal formulation – a combination of seven medicinal herbs including Piper nigrum, found it to have potential benefits against the effects of the common inflammatory response against pollen, dust, mites and mold (Pratibha, 2004).

Camphor

Cinnamomum camphora

Family
Lauraceae
Properties
Antiseptic, Antidepressant, Insecticide, Stimulant
Main Active Constituents
Camphor, Safrole, Borneol, Camphene, Limonene, Linalool

History and Traditions

This long-lived tree, often up to 1000 years old, is not utilised until it is at least 50 years of age. Camphor, a colourless crystalline mass, takes many years to form, but once in process, it appears in every part of the tree. Camphor is native to Borneo, China, Madagascar and Sumatra. Some Far Eastern monks saw it as a plant sacred to the gods and it was often used for ceremonial purposes. The Chinese used it to build temples and the Persians used it in great places of gathering to shield from diseases, such as the plague, for which it became a powerful remedy. The Persian King Chosroes II, esteemed it highly enough to preserve it among the treasures at his palace in Babylon.

Research Studies

Field studies were carried out to determine the relative efficacy of repellant action of vegetable, essential and chemical base oils against vector mosquitoes. Camphor oil showed repellent action and provided 97.6% protection against Anopheles culicifacies and 80.7% against Culex. quinquefasciatus (Malariol, 1995). Studies have also demonstrated Camphor has antiseptic, anti-cold properties (Liu, 2006).

References

Malariol, I.J, Ansari, M.A., Razdan, R.K., 1995
1995 Sep;32(3):104-11.
Relative efficacy of various oils in repelling mosquitoes.

Liu, C.H. et al., 2006:
Liu CH, Mishra AK, Tan RX, et al. Repellent and insecticidal activities of essential oils from Artemisia princeps and Cinnamomum camphora and their effect on seed germination of wheat and broad bean. Bioresour Technol. 2006;97:1969–73.

Chamomile

Anthemis nobilis

Family
Compositae
Properties
Anti-inflammatory, Antibacterial, Antiseptic
Main Active Constituents
Geraniol, Citonellol, Limonene, Linalool, Angelic, Methacrylic

History and Traditions

Indigenous to Europe, it is also widely grown in many other regions including North America. Detailed in William Turner’s 1551 “Newe Herball”, chamomile was believed to be the only remedy for all illness and fever. Over the centuries chamomile has been celebrated for its soothing and anti-stress properties; to promote sleep and relieve bites, stings and skin irritations, as well as being used in steam inhalation to aid asthma and sinusitis.

Research Studies

Chamomile has shown to be effective against bacteria’s such as Staphylococcus aureus and inhibit the growth of several strains of fungi (Margo, 2006).

Cinnamon

Cinnamomum zeylanicum

Family
Lauracea
Properties
Antibacterial, Antifungal, Insecticide, Antiparasitic
Main Active Constituents
Linalool, Benzyl benzoate, Cinnamal, Cinnamaldehyde, Eugenol, Pinene

History and Traditions

Cinnamon is the inner bark of trees native to areas around the Indian Ocean. This ingredient has been an important aromatic spice since biblical times, being used in ointments made by Moses. Cinnamon has been cited as one of the most expensive items available in Babylon and was considered more valuable than gold, often prized as a gift fit for Kings! During the 18th century, cinnamon became such a valuable commodity that the Dutch took control of Sri Lanka and set up a trading monopoly. Traditional Chinese medicine uses cinnamon as a neuroprotective agent and treatment of diabetes. Medicinal uses, amongst others, include treatment for inflammation, respiratory infections and tooth ache.

Research Studies

Studies have shown the antibacterial activity of cinnamon is due to its active constituents of cinnamaldehyde and eugenol. There have been some indications to suggest cinnamon could be an alternative to synthetic antibiotics, especially for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, however, further studies are needed (Nabavi et al., 2015).

Clove

Syzygium aromaricum

Family
Myrtaceae
Properties
Antibacterial, Antiseptic, Antifungal, Anti-inflammatory, Disinfectant, Insecticide
Main Active Constituents
Eugenol, Isoeugenol, Furfurol, Pinene

History and Traditions

Cloves originate from a group of islands in Indonesia and were brought to the Mediterranean by Persian and Arab traders. Widely used since the 4th century, cloves were included in pomanders to prevent against infection and plague. In the present day, apart from being used as a flavouring in cooking, clove oil brings its familiar smell into sick rooms and dental surgeries. Medicinal uses include the treatment of nausea and prevention of intestinal parasites, dental antiseptic, disinfecting food, as well as effectively shielding from insects. The large scale pharmaceutical use today recognises its antiseptic and bactericidal properties.

Research Studies

Studies have shown clove to have antimicrobial activity and be effective against a wide selection of bacteria, fungi and germs (Briozzo, 1989). There has also been some evidence to support cloves anesthetic properties, however more research is needed (Alqareer, 2006).

Coconut

Coos nucifera

Family
Arecaceae
Properties

Main Active Constituents

History and Traditions

Research Studies

References

Coriander

Coriandrum sativum

Family
Umbellifers
Properties
Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antioxidant
Main Active Constituents
Linalool, Geraniol, Camphor, Limonene, Pinene

History and Traditions

Coriander is one of the world’s most useful essential oil-bearing plant. Not only known for its distinctive taste and used in food preparation. Seeds were found in the tomb of Tutankhamun (1325BC). Coriander has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties, the leaves and seeds have digestive properties and stimulate appetite. The essential oils have fungicidal and antibacterial properties.

Research Studies

The essential oil is shown to maintain shelf-life of foods and prevent spoilage (Mandal and Mandal, 2015).

Cypress

Cupressus

Family
Cupressaceae
Properties
Antiseptic, Sedative, Vasoconstrictor
Main Active Constituents
α-pinene, β-pinene, Camphene, Bornyl Acetate, Cedrol, Linalool

History and Traditions

Research Studies

References

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus globulus

Family
Myrtaceae
Properties
Antiseptic, Anti-inflammatory, Antiviral, Decongestant, Insecticide
Main Active Constituents
Citronellal, 1,8-cineole, Camphene, Limonene, α-pinene, β-pinene

History and Traditions

Native to Australia, there are more than 500 species of eucalyptus, all containing antiseptic oils. Widely adopted by other countries, it has been used for timber, shade and for drying out malaria-inducing swaps. It was not until the 19th century, when commercial production of eucalyptus essential oil began. Eucalyptus is used as a decongestant to ease symptoms of respiratory infection and reduce fever.

Research Studies

Extracts have shown to demonstrate antimicrobial activity against a wide number of bacteria (Sartorelli, 2007). Eucalyptus has been tested for its repellent properties against several mosquito species, results show eucalyptus (@15%) gave protection to humans for at least three hours, this was extended to 5hrs after adding 5% vanillin (Zhu, 2006).

Fennel

Foeniculum vulgare

Family
Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)
Properties
Antiseptic, Insecticide, Detoxicant
Main Active Constituents
Limonene, Anisic, Camphene, dipentene, α-pinene, β-pinene, phellandrene, β-mycrene

History and Traditions

Fennel derives from the Latin work ‘foenum’ meaning ‘hay’, it is native to Asia and the Mediterranean and occurs in much of Europe. Romans enjoyed the plant for both culinary purposes and its medicinal uses, noting it as a remedy for no fewer than 22 complaints. During the 10th century fennel was associated with magic and spells and would be hung up on doors to deter witches and evil spirits. Traditional uses include fennel as an effective body cleanser, ridding the system of poisonous toxins resulting from excess food and alcohol. Fennel acts as a tonic to liver and kidney, but is also known to calm nerves.

Research Studies

Fennel oil has showed inhibition against E-coli and several strains of the gram-positive bacteria Bacillus (Gulfraz, 2008).

Fir

Abies balsamea, Abies sibirica

Family
Pinaceae
Properties
Antiseptic
Main Active Constituents
Bornyl acetate, Terpinyl acetate Camphene, α-pinene, β-pinene

History and Traditions

There are many species of fir, growing mainly in colder Northern climes, producing a resin type oil from the needles, cones and bark. Abies sibirica, also known as the Siberian fir tree offers the highest amount of fir oil through distillation of its mature long needles.
The Biblical “Balm of Gilead” is Abies balsamea and was a tree much treasured for its durability as well as medicinal and disinfectant properties.
Fir oil has been much used in the past centuries for is beneficial action on the respiratory system, dealing with shortness of breath and asthma sufferers. Fir oil relieves tiredness and aching limbs which often accompany colds and influenza.
Many hundred years ago, fir and pine trees were brought into homes during the dark and cold days of winter to infuse the air with antiseptic, antiscorbutic properties and to shield from bacteria. The decorative evergreen herring-bone shaped branches would bear resinous cones and needles that would keep the rooms cleansed and refreshed. Today we continue this ancient ritual through our traditional “Christmas Tree”.

Research Studies

The antibacterial activity of the essential oil of Abies balsamea (balsam fir) was found to be active against Staphylococcus aureus through three active constituents of alpha-pinene, beta-caryophyllene and alpha-humulene (Pichette, 2006).

References

Phytother Res. 2006 May; 20(5):371-3. Composition and antibacterial activity of Abies balsamea essesntial oil. Pichette A, Larouche PL, Lebrun M, Legault J

Frankincense

Boswellia sacra

Family
Burseracea
Properties
Antibacterial, Anti-inflammatory, Antiseptic
Main Active Constituents
α-pinene, Diptenene, Phellandrene, Camphene, Cadinene, Olibanol

History and Traditions

Since ancient times frankincense has been an ingredient used in spiritual ceremonies of many religions and beliefs across the world and is still in use today. Boswellia sacra is native to Oman and Yemen. During early civilizations frankincense was highly valued and considered worth its weight in gold. The resinous gift was amongst those offered to Jesus at his birth by one of the wise men. Today, as many thousands of years ago, the resins continue to be used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for their antiseptic properties and calming effects on treating anxiety.

Research Studies

Antibacterial activity of Boswellia species has been shown to be effective against Staphylococcus strains (Mothana, 2005).

Ginger

Zingiber officinale

Family
Zingiberacea
Properties
Antiseptic, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant
Main Active Constituents
Citral, 1,8 cineole, Zingiberene Camphene, Limonene, Linalool

History and Traditions

Native to Southeast Asia, ginger has been known to China and India since earliest times, valued for its medicinal properties and culinary flavouring. During the 13th and 14th centuries ginger was second only to pepper as an imported spice. An important ingredient in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, known as ‘mahu-aushadi’ meaning ‘the great medicine’. Medicinal uses include the treatment of colds, chills and fevers where it promotes sweating.

Research Studies

Ginger contains more than 477 constituents. Within ginger, there are over 100 ingredients that are referred to as “synergists” – these interact to make the plant as a whole a powerful healer. 1 gram of zinginain or (6)-gingerol can tenderise as much as 20 pounds of meat and can enhance effectiveness of other antibacterial elements as much as 50. Ginger acts as an antioxidant with more than 12 constituents, superior to Vitamin E. This power helps ginger to eliminate free radicals which are widely recognized as being responsible for the inflammation process.

For the past 25 years, laboratory studies have provided scientific support for ginger’s anti-inflammatory activity (Grzanna, 2005).

References

Govindarajan, V.S. “Ginger –Chemistry, technology, and quality evaluation: Part 2.: Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 17, no. 8 (1082): 189-258 (p. 230), citing Hirahara, F. “Antioxidative activity of various spices on oils and fatrs. Antioxidative activity towards oxidation on strorage and heating.,: Japanese Journal of Nutrition 32, no. 1 (1974): 1; Food Sci Technol Abstr. 7, nol. 3 (1975): T 126.   b-j listed in Notes and References chapter 3 #20 page 131 of GINGER Common Spice & Wonder Drug by Paul Sdchulick
Grzanna, R., Lindmar, L., Frondoza, C.G., 2005

Grapefruit

Citrus paradisi

Family
Rutaceae
Properties
Antiseptic, Antidepressant, Disinfectant
Main Active Constituents
α-pinene, Sabinene, Myrcene, Limonene, Geraniol, Citronellal

History and Traditions

Research Studies

References

Hyssop

Hyssop officinalis

Family
Lamiaceae
Properties
Anti-inflammatory, Antiviral
Main Active Constituents
Geraniol, Pinene, Borneol, Camphene, Limonene

History and Traditions

Research Studies

References

Immortelle

Helichrysum italicum

Family
Asteraceae
Properties
Antiseptic, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant
Main Active Constituents
Citral, 1,8 cineole, Zingiberene Camphene, Limonene, Linalool

History and Traditions

Research Studies

References

Juniper

Juniperus communis

Family
Cupressaceae
Properties
Antiseptic, Anti-inflammatory, Insecticide, Disinfectant
Main Active Constituents
Terpineol, Cadinene, Cedrene, Camphene, Camphor, Linalool, Limonene, Mercene, α-pinene, β-pinene

History and Traditions

Common to the northern hemisphere and growing on moors, heaths and mountains since biblical times, juniper has been a symbol of protection. In medieval Europe a fire of juniper wood was burned to protect against evil spirits and the plague. Ancient Greek and Roman physicians recorded its medicinal properties with Culpeper (Botanist, 1616-1654) recommending (among other uses), juniper as a ‘counter-poison, excellent against biting and venomous beasts’.

Research Studies

A 2005 study screening for antimicrobial activity against many oils found Juniperus communis to have strong levels of antibacterial and antifungal activity (Pepeljnjak, 2005).

Lavender

Lavendula angustifolia

Family
Labiatae
Properties
Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antioxidant, Antianxiety, Antiviral, Insecticide
Main Active Constituents
Geraniol, Borneol, Lavandulol, Linalool, Lavanulyl Acetate, 1,8- cineole, Limonene, Pinene Camphor

History and Traditions

Native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East, it is now widely grown. Derived from the Latin ‘lavare’ to wash, Romans were said to have scented their bathwater with lavender. In 1387 the court of Charles VI of France stuffed all cushions with lavender for both the pleasant smell and to deter moths. Rene Gattefosse famously discovered the antiseptic properties of lavender when his badly burnt hand was healed through lavender oil.

Research Studies

There are over 100 constituents in lavender. Studies have shown that in men and women the presence of lavender resulted in lower tension and anxiety following anxiety-inducing tasks (Dimpfel, 2004). Research has established antibacterial (Nelson, 1997 and Gabbrielli, 1988), antifungal (D’Auria, 2005) and antioxidant effects of lavender (Hohmann, 1999). A 2005 study has shown lavender to be a mild sedative and sleep aid, resulting in healthy individuals experiencing an increased percentage of deep sleep and changes in the brain, indicating a more relaxed and attentive state (Goel, 2005).

Lemon

Citrus lmonum

Family
Rutaceae
Properties
Antiseptic, Antibacterial, Anti-inflammatory, Insecticide, Deodorising
Main Active Constituents
Linalool, Citral, Citronellol Geraniol, Limonene

History and Traditions

The citrus fruits were unknown to the Greeks and Romans, originating in China and first recorded as an ornamental plant in literature, they were thought to be introduced to Europe by Arab traders.
Italy was the first to become an important lemon and citrus fruit producing country in Europe and trade flourished over the centuries. Lemon was introduced to the Americas in 1490s when Christopher Columbus took the seeds on his voyages. Lemon’s therapeutic properties have been known for generations, the fruit’s flavonoids contain antioxidant and cancer fighting properties and strengthen the immune system, cleanse and are considered a blood purifier.
Lemons contain natural acidity which have made them a popular ingredient for cleaning, removing stains, whilst the essential oils naturally deodorise and repel insects.

Research Studies

Citrus fruits are rich in active flavanones. A 2006 study reported citrus flavonoids to have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral activities (Ortuno, 2006; Burt, 2004). More recently, the peel of lemons has shown to exhibit good antimicrobial activity (Dhanavade, 2011).For the past 25 years, laboratory studies have provided scientific support for ginger’s anti-inflammatory activity (Grzanna, 2005).

References

Ortuno, A.A. et al, 2006, Citrus paradisi and Citrus sinensis flavonoids: Their influence in the defence mechanism against Penicillium digitatum. Food Chem., 98(2): 351-358.
Burt, S.A., 2004. Essential oils: Their antibacterial properties and potential applications in foods: A review. Inter. J. Food Microbiol., 94: 223-253.
Dhanavade, M.J. et al, 2011Grzanna, R., Lindmar, L., Frondoza, C.G., 2005

Millefolium (yarrow)

Achillea millefolium

Family
Asteraceae
Properties
Anti-inflammatory, Antimicrobial
Main Active Constituents
α-pinene, β-pinene, 1,8 cineole, Chamazulene

History and Traditions

Also known as yarrow, millefolium is a widespread, invasive plant often found in wasteland and grasslands across Europe, Asia, N. America, Australia and New Zealand. Millefolium is named after the Greek warrior Achilles who carried the herb with him to treat his soldiers’ battle wounds. Over the centuries, it was widely used in charms, spells and turned into amulets to protect against evil forces. A bunch hung on a baby’s cradle on Midsummer’s Eve was hoped to ensure an illness free year ahead.

Research Studies

A laboratory study has shown millefolium to have antibacterial effects against Staphylococcus aureus (Molochko, 1990). Research in 2007 into the traditional use of millefolium does show it has anti-inflammatory properties (Benedek, 2007).

Myrrh

Commiphora myrrha

Family
Burseraceae
Properties
Anti-inflammatory, Antimicrobial, Anti-fungal
Main Active Constituents
α-pinene, Eugenol, Acetic Acid, Limonene, Cadinene

History and Traditions

Research Studies

References

Myrtle

Myrtus communis

Family
Myrtaceae  
Properties
Antiseptic, Antibacterial, Insecticide
Main Active Constituents
Courmarin, Eugenol, Geraniol, Citronellol, Linalool, Limonene

History and Traditions

This small evergreen with glossy green/blue leaves, white flowers and black berries is native to North Africa and Iran, but has been planted by monks in Europe through the 10th - 12th century and today grows in abundance in Mediterranean regions, as well as in Austria. In ancient Greek times, myrtle was held to be a symbol of immortality and love. Victors at the Olympic games were often crowned with myrtle leaves to symbolise eternal triumph. It’s biblical connotations, Nehemiah 8,15 and Zecharia 1,8 and 11 are connected to ‘peace’, indeed myrtle is said to soothe feelings of anger and cleanse due to its high proportion of antiseptic and astringent properties.

Research Studies

Myrtle has shown to have antimicrobial properties against E-coli and Staphylococcus aureus (Yadegarinia, 2006). This finding is further supported by a laboratory study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Biology evaluated Myrtus communis against 10 strains of microorganisms, all bar one (Campylobacter jejuni) were inhibited (Mansouri, 2008).

Neroli

Citrus aurantium

Family
Rutaceae
Properties
Antiseptic, Antidepressant, Antibacterial, Sedative
Main Active Constituents
Linalool, Limonnene, Linalyl Acetate, β-pinene, Geranyl Acetate, Geraniol

History and Traditions

Research Studies

References

Nutmeg

Myristica fragrans

Family
Myristicaceae
Properties
Antiseptic
Main Active Constituents
α-pinene, β-pinene, Camphene, Methyl Eugenol, Terpinene, Limonene, Linalool

History and Traditions

Research Studies

References

Olive

Olea europoea

Family
Oleaceae  
Properties
Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory
Main Active Constituents
Oleuropein, Hydroxytyrosol, Tyrosol, Luteolin, Rutin, Caffeic Acid, Olecanthal, Elenolic Acid

History and Traditions

Olive oil has long been considered sacred and used in many religious ceremonies as a symbol of wisdom, peace, glory, fertility, power and purity. The olive tree grows very slowly but steadily; disease resistant and hardy, it can live to a great age; some trees in Mediterranean groves have been verified to be over 2,000 years old and still produce olives! Olive oil leaf extract is known to protect the immune system and defend against pathogens. It also helps maintain healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Olive leaf extracts are often used in skin creams and other cosmetics where it provides antibacterial effects as well as prolonging shelf life.

Research Studies

With over 100 phytochemicals, of which 12 are showing antioxidant properties, olive leaf extract has proven to be a potent antioxidant: According to scientists “liquid extract made directly from fresh olive leaves gained showed antioxidant capacity, almost double green tea extract and 400% higher than vitamin C, this is due to the active components oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol (Stevenson, 2005).
Olive oil leaf extract has also been shown to be active against Campylobacter jejuni and Staphylococcus aureus, including MRSA strains (Sudjana, 2009). Published findings in the Journal of Food Processing and Preservation suggests olive oil leaf extracts have potential to act as a natural antibacterial substance in food preservation (Korukluoglu, 2010).

References

Dr Stevenson, L,. et al. Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) Report on Olive Leaf Australia’s Olive Leaf Extracts, Southern Cross University, 2005. (2) http://www.oliveleafextract.us/scientific-info

Sudjana, A.N. et al., 2008
Korukluoglu, M. et al., 2010

Orange

Citrus aurantium

Family
Rutaceae
Properties
Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antiseptic, Antidepressant, Sedative
Main Active Constituents
Nero, Linalool, Citronellal, Citral, α-pinene, Limonene Methyl Anthranilate

History and Traditions

The citrus fruits were unknown to the Greeks and Romans, originating in Asia, India and China they were thought to be bought over by Arab traders via North Africa and Spain. The Arabic “Narandj” is the root word for orange and it is possible that the crusaders brought the fruit to Europe. Certainly it was known in England around the early 16th century. Orange oil contains flavonoids and pectin, which are responsible for their antibacterial and antifungal properties. The oil is rich in antioxidants, therefore strengthens the immune system. It has been used traditionally to treat colds and flu.

Research Studies

Amongst others, the essential oil of orange, was tested for antibacterial activity against 22 bacteria, including gram-positive cocci and rods and gram-negative rods, and twelve fungi. Orange oils were effective against all the 22 bacterial strains and all twelve fungi were inhibited (Pattnaik, 1996).

References

Pattnaik, S.I., Subramanyam, V.R., Kole, C., 1996
“Antibacterial and antifungal activity of ten essential oils in vitro. Pattnaik S1”, Subramanyam VR, Kole C 1996

Patchouli

Pogostemon cablin

Family
Lamiaceae
Properties
Antiseptic, Antidepressant, Antifungal, Anti-inflammatory, Deodorising, Insecticide
Main Active Constituents
Patchoulol, Benzoic, Cinnamic, Eugenol

History and Traditions

Patchouli oil is extracted from the dry leaves and young twigs of the Pogostemon cablin (Blanco) Benth. The typically bushy herb of the mint family is native to tropical regions of Southeast Asia. Since the 5th century A.D., its characteristic scent of earthy, woody, camphor odour, has been used for medicinal and healing purposes in China and India. One of the most important properties of the oil is its ability to protect wounds from developing infections. Along the great ancient trading routes, silk merchants used dried patchouli leaves to effectively prevent female moths from laying their eggs on the cloth. During the 18th and 19th centuries, opulent fabrics of velvet and silk were infused with the scent of heavy patchouli – it is speculated that the association with opulence and richness of eastern goods is why patchouli was considered a luxurious scent during the era of Queen Victoria.

Research Studies

Antimicrobial tests of patchouli oil were studied by using molecular docking technology and antimicrobial test in vitro. The antibacterial effects of 31 chemical compounds were investigated, patchouli oil exhibited strong antimicrobial activity (Yang, 2013). When tested against a panel of ten human pathogenic bacteria and eight human pathogenic fungi, patchouli oil demonstrated significant antimicrobial activity against all tested organisms compared to standard antibiotic Ampicillin. (Das, 2012)

Peppermint

Mentha piperita

Family
Lamiaceae  
Properties
Antiseptic, Decongestant, Vasoconstrictor
Main Active Constituents
Menthol, Menthone, 1,3-cineole, Methyl Acetate, Limonene

History and Traditions

Research Studies

References

Pine

Pinus sylvestris

Family
Pinaceae
Properties
Antiseptic, Deodoriser, Disinfectant, Stimulant
Main Active Constituents
Borneol, Bornyl Acetate, Terpinyl Acetate, Camphene, Dipenten, Phellandrene, α-pinene, β-pinene, Sylvestrene

History and Traditions

Pine, a large conifer, is found mainly in Northern Europe, North East Russia and Scandinavia. There are about 80 species of this magnificent tree. Its strong curative properties were well known by the Egyptians, Greek and Arabians and was used for pulmonary infection like bronchitis and pneumonia. Inhalations were the primary method of use to counteract such diseases. Its deodorising and disinfectant properties were much treasured in monasteries' sick rooms and during early religious ceremonies. Pine oil eases breathlessness and helps clear the sinuses. Pine has proven effective, amongst others, against fungi Candida albicans, several forms of household germs, odour-causing germs, mold and mildew and many more

Research Studies

Pine heartwood, sapwood, and spruce extracts were tested against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin- resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRE), Escherichia coli and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Both pine extracts had a clear antibacterial effect on MRSA, VRE and S. pneumoniae (Vainio-Kaila, 2015).

References

Vainio-Kaila, T., et al, 2015:
Vainio-Kaila et al. (2015). “Antibacterial extracts,” BioResources 10(4), 7763-7771.

Rose Geranium

Pelargonium graveolens

Family
Geraniaceae
Properties
Antidepressant , Antiseptic
Main Active Constituents
Mycrene, Menthone, Linalool, Geraniol, Citronellol, α-pinene

History and Traditions

Research Studies

References

 

 

Rosemary

Rosmarinus officinalis

Family
Labiatae  
Properties
Antiseptic, Antidepressant, Stimulant
Main Active Constituents
Borneol, Cuminic, Bornyl Acetate, Camphor, 1,8-cineole, Caryophyllene, Camphene, α-pinene

History and Traditions

Rosemary has been well known since ancient Greek times and comes from the Latin name ‘Rosmarinus’ meaning ‘dew of the sea’, as reference to its native coastal habitat. Its reputation for improving mood and memory has been noted in many herbals dating back to the 1500s. In Spanish folklore it is believed that rosemary provided protection from the evil eye and to have sheltered the Virgin Mary during her flight to Egypt. The Moors thought rosemary would ward off pests and evil spirits and strategically planted bushes in their orchards. In the last century French hospitals have been known to burn rosemary twigs for their antiseptic constituents during epidemics.

Research Studies

When tested against different bacteria and fungi, a 2011 study found the essential oil of rosemary to have antibacterial and anti-fungal activity against all tested microbes (Jiang, 2011).

Sage

Salvia officinalis

Family
Labiatae
Properties
Antiseptic, Antibacterial, Anti-inflammatory
Main Active Constituents
Linalool, Gernaiol, Limonen, Linalool,1,8-cineole, Camphor

History and Traditions

Sage is native to southern Europe and comes from the Latin name ‘salvere’ meaning ‘to save or heal’. Its connection with good health, long life and even immortality goes back as far as the Romans, who considered this plant to be “a miracle”. In 1699 John Evelyn (British writer and gardener) wrote “Tis a plant, indeed, so many wonderful properties as that the assiduous use of it is said to render men immortal.” Apart from traditional culinary uses, traditional medicinal uses include mouthwashes to treat throat infections and gum disease as well as tonics to aid digestion.

Research Studies

Sage has shown to be active at protecting against selected food spoiling bacteria (Stanojevic, 2010). The Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine published a comprehensive analysis of the pharmacological aspects of Salvia species, it concluded Salvia may present a natural, effective and safe treatment for many diseases due to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (Hamidpour, 2014).

References

Hamidpour, M. et al, 2014
Stanojevic D, Comic L, Stefanovic O, Solujic-Sukdolak S. In vitro synergistic antibacterial activity of Salvia officinalis and some preservatives. Arch Biol Sci Belgrade. 2010;62:175–83.

Styrax (Benzoin)

Styrax benzoin

Family
Styracaceae
Properties
Anti-inflammatory, Antiseptic, Deodorising
Main Active Constituents
Benzoic, Cinnamic, Benzoic Aldehyde, Vanillin, Benzyl Benzoate

History and Traditions

Benzoin is a tropical tree native to Sumatra in Indonesia where the scented gum has been used for many hundreds of years in medicinal and cosmetic recipes. In ancient civilisations, benzoin was believed to drive away evil spirits and was often used in fumigations. Often referred to as the main ingredient of “Friar’s Balsam” it was used on skin to obtain brilliance and to treat cracked or inflamed skin. Traditionally, benzoin was used as an aid to respiratory problems and was much treasured for its rejuvenating, anti-stress properties. The name “benzoin” is probably derived from Arabic “Luban Jawi” or “Javan Frankincense”, which confirms benzoin has been increasingly traded for its valued properties since the Middle Ages, if not longer. Benzoin resin dissolved in alcohol is most often used in first aid for small injuries as it acts as an antiseptic and local anesthetic, whilst promoting healing.

Research Studies

A study to analyse antioxidant activities of 25 commonly used essential oils has shown benzoin to contain +90.64% of DPPH free radical scavenging activity (Huang, 2011).

References

Haung, C.C. et al., 2011
Ref. CHIU-CHING HUANG, HSIAO-FEN WANG,
CHIA-HUI CHEN, YA-JU CHEN, and KUANG-HWAY YIH, A study of four antioxidant activities and major chemical component analyses of twenty-five commonly used essential oils, Department of Applied Cosmetology, Hungkuang University, Taiwan

Thyme

Thymus vulgaris

Family
Labiatae  
Properties
Antimicrobial, Antiseptic, Anti-inflammatory, Insecticide
Main Active Constituents
Borneol, Citral, Geraniol, Linalool, Carvacrol, Thymol Cymene, Terpinene

History and Traditions

Thyme has a long history in ancient pharmacopoeia. Egyptians used its effective antiseptic and preservative properties in embalming rituals. The name derives from the Greek ‘Thymos’ meaning “perfume”. Romans introduced the herb, native to southern Europe, to the rest of Europe in which it was anchored in traditions and medicinal rituals. Knights would be given a twig of thyme for courage, sprigs of thyme were carried by judges into courtrooms to ward off infection and monasteries used thyme in their sick rooms to increase resistance.

Research Studies

Studies have proven thyme has strong antimicrobial properties. Essential oils containing thymol (naturally occurring biocide), carvacrol, or eugenol posses the highest antimicrobial properties (Integrative Medicine Research, 2014). Scientists at the University of Manitoba, Canada, reported thymol can reduce bacterial resistance to common drugs such as penicillin (Palaniappan, 2010).

References

Palaniappan, K., Holley, R.A., 2010
Gavanji, S. et al., 2014 “Antimicrobial and cytotoxic evaluation of some herbal essential oils in comparison with common antibiotics in bioassay condition”

Virginian Cedarwood

Juniperus virginiana

Family
Cupressaceae
Properties
Antiseptic, Insecticide, Antifungal
Main Active Constituents
α-cedrene, β-cedrene, Cedrol

History and Traditions

 

 

Research Studies

References

Wild Basil

Clinopodium vulgare

Family
Clinopodium
Properties
Antidepressant, Insecticide
Main Active Constituents
α-pinene, β-pinene, Camphene, Camphor, Limonene, Eugenol, Geraniol, Citronellol

History and Traditions

Research Studies

References