1) ALOE VERA (Aloe vera syn. A. barbadensis)

Native to Africa, aloe vera is commonly cultivated elsewhere. The clear gel found inside the plant's leaf and the crystalline part found alongside the leaf blade, which contains aloin, are both used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. The clear gel is a remarkably effective healer of wounds and burns, speeding up the rate of healing and reducing the risk of infection. The brownish part containing aloin is a strong laxative, useful for short-term constipation. Aloe is present in many cosmetic's formulae because its emollient and scar preventing properties.

MAIN PROPERTIES: Heals wounds, emollient, laxative.


A yellow - orange or reddish liquid with a herbaceous - spicy medicinal odour, much likes thyme.Thymol, pinene, cymene, dipentene, terpinene and carvacrol, among others. Ajowan contains 40 - 55% of thymol. The extraction of thymol is produced by treating the oil with a warm solution of sodium hydroxide; this alkali dissolves the thymol and on dilution with hot water the undissolved oil (terpenes, etc.) rises to the surface.

Actions and Uses :
Powerful antiseptic and germicide, carminative.

It has been used extensively for the isolation of thymol, but this has largely been replaced by synthetic thymol. Thymol finds no place in perfumery but the residual oil, after extracting the crystalline thymol from ajowan oil, which amounts to about 50% of the original oil, is generally sold as a cheap perfume for soap - making and similar purposes under the name 'Thymene'. The oil is occasionally used in the production of soap.

3) ANGELICA (Angelica arcangelica)

Angelica has a long-standing record as a prized medicinal herb and has been mentioned by European herbalist since the 15th Century. Angelica has been used to reduce muscular spasms in asthma and bronchitis. It has also been shown to ease rheumatic inflammation, to regulate menstrual flow and as an appetite stimulant. The stems are candied for culinary use.

MAIN PROPERTIES: Antispasmodic, promotes menstrual flow.

4) ANISE (Pimpinella anisum)

Anise has been cultivated in Egypt and known to the Greeks, Romans and Arabs, who named the plant anysun. Since Antiquity it has been used as a flavoring spice in recipes and as a diuretic, to treat digestive problems and to relieve toothache. Anise seeds are known for their ability to reduce flatulence and colic, and to settle the digestion. They are commonly given to infants and children to relieve colic, and to people of all ages to ease nausea and indigestion. It also has an expectorant and antispasmodics action that is helpful in countering period pain, asthma, whooping cough and bronchitis. The mild hormonal action of anise seeds may explain its ability to increase breast-milk production and its reputation for easing childbirth and treating impotence and frigidity. Anise essential oil is used externally to treat lice and scabies.

MAIN PROPERTIES: Reduces colic and flatulence, promotes digestion, antispasmodic

5)  ARTEMISIA, WORMWOOD (Artemisia absinthium)

The name of this plant derives from its bitterness, from absinthia, the Roman word for "bitter". This property is used for providing bitter taste to some well known beverages and liquors. Wormwood has a marked tonic effect on the stomach, the gallbladder and in adjusting weak digestive problems. It is used to expel roundworms and threadworms. By improving the functions of the digestive system it helps in many conditions, including anaemia. It is also a muscle relaxer occasionally used to treat rheumatism. The leaves of wormwood have antiseptic properties which may derive from the azulenes that the plant contains.

MAIN PROPERTIES:  Bitter, carminative, muscle relaxer, antiseptic.

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