66) SANDALWOOD  (Santalum album) (Santalaceae)
Native to eastern India, sandalwood is cultivated in South-East Asia for the extraction of wood and essential oil. Sandalwood's aroma as been highly esteemed in China and India for thousands of year. The heartwood is most often used in perfumery, but it has also been taken as a remedy in China since around AD 500. Sandalwood and its essential oil are used for their antiseptic properties in treating genito-urinary conditions such as cystitis and gonorrhea. In India, a paste of the wood is used to soothe rashes and itchy skin. In China, sandalwood is held to be useful for chest and abdominal pain.

MAIN PROPERTIES: Antiseptic, aromatic.

67) SESAME (Sesamum indicum) (Pedaliaceae)

Native to Africa, sesame is now cultivated in many tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world. In ancient Egypt, the seeds were eaten and also pressed to yield oil, which was burned in lamps and used to make ointments. Sesame is used in China to redress afflictions of the liver and kidneys. The seeds are prescribed for problems such as dizziness, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and blurred vision. Owing to their lubricating effect within the digestive tract, the seeds are also considered a remedy for constipation. Sesame seed oil benefits the skin and is used as a base for cosmetics. A decoction of the root is used in various traditions to treat coughs and asthma.

MAIN PROPERTIES: Digestive, aromatic, antispasmodic.

68) Spearmint - Gentle mint

Latin name: Mentha spicata. Family: Labiatae. Distilled from the flowering tops from the USA. It has the familiar fragrance of chewing gum. Some traditional uses: for relieving bronchitis and sinusitis, to ease nausea and headaches, for relieving colds or flu, to stimulate, energize and relieve fatigue. Blends with: rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus, basil and jasmine.

69) Spikenard - Sweet Surrender

Latin name: Nardastachus jatamansi. Family name: Valerianaceae. Spikenard oil is distilled from the roots and is imported from India. It has a strong valerian aroma. Spikenard is herb used by Mary Magdalene to anoint Christ's feet before the last supper. Some traditional uses: to relieve migraines, stress and tension, for rejuvenation of mature skin, to calm and promote restful sleep, for wounds, to inspire devotion. Avoid use during pregnancy. Emotional profile: for inner conflict, emotional / spirit / physical imbalances, restlessness. Blends with: lavender, patchouli, pine, and vetiver.

70) ST JOHN'S WORT (Hypericum perforatum) (Guttiferae)

The plant is native to Europe but is widely cultivated elsewhere. St. John's wort flowers at the time of the summer solstice, and in medieval Europe it was considered to have powerful magical properties that enabled it to repel evil. The most well-known action of St. John's wort is in repairing nerve damage and reducing pain and inflammation. It is taken to relieve the pain of menstrual cramps, sciatica and arthritis. Th oils is applied to inflammations, sprains, bruises and varicose veins. St. John's wort is also used to treat circulation problems, bronchitis and gout.

MAIN PROPERTIES: Antidepressant, antispasmodic, astringent, sedative, relieves pain, anti-viral.

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