The Library

The Library

The essence of nature. TINCTURE uses the power of nature to clean and protect the home, without artificial or synthetic ingredients.

No fragrance has been added and the smell of each product is derived purely from the raw materials used in the formula for their antiseptic properties.

Inspiration has been taken from monastic cloister gardens and their knowledge of active botanicals, where herbs and spices have been used since ancient times, not only as antioxidants and flavouring agents, but also for their antimicrobial properties to protect against pathogens and bacteria.

The Library will be updated as new products, together with our continued results on analytical studies and research, enter our range with new ingredients.

  • Bay

    Bay

    Laurus nobilis

    Family: Lauraceae
    Extraction: distillation
    Properties: antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal
    Main active constituents: geraniol, linalool, terpeneol (alcohols), 1,8-cineole (ketone), eugenol (phenol), phellandrene, pinene (terpenes)

    History and Tradition:
    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 and 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).

    References:
    Dadalioglu, I., Evrendile, G.A., 2004 
    Soylu, E.M. et al., 2006

  • Benzoin Resin | Styrax

    Benzoin Resin (Styrax)

    Styrax benzoin

    Family: Styracaceae
    Extraction: solvent extraction
    Properties: anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, deodorising
    Main active constituents: benzoic, cinnamic (acids), benzoic aldehyde, vanillin (aldehydes), benzyl benzoate (ester)

    History and Tradition:
    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 and 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

  • Bergamot

    Bergamot

    Citrus bergamia

    Family: Rutaceae
    Extraction: expression
    Properties: antiseptic, antibacterial, antidepressant, deodorising
    Main active constituents: linalool, nerol, terpeneol (alcohols), limonene (terpenes), linalyl acetate (ester), bergaptene (lactone), dipentene

    History and Tradition:
    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 and 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

    Black Pepper

    Piper nigrum

    Family: Piperaceae
    Extraction: distillation
    Properties: antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory
    Main active constituents: eugenol, myristicin, safrole (phenols), bisabolene, caphene, farnesene, limonene, myrcene, phellandrene, pinene, sabinene, selinene, thujene (terpenes), caryophyllene (sesquierpene), piperine, alkamides, dipiperamide

    History and Tradition:
    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 and 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).

    References:
    Chaudhry, N.M., Tariq, P., 2006
    Pratibha, N. et al., 2004

  • Camphor

    Camphor

    Cinnamomum camphora

    Family: Lauraceae
    Extraction: Distillation
    Properties: antiseptic, antidepressant, insecticide, stimulant.
    Main active constituents: camphor (ketone), safrole (phenol), borneol (alcohol), camphene (terpene)

    History and Tradition:
    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 and 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

    Chamomile

    Anthemis nobilis

    Family: Compositae
    Extraction: hydroalcoholic extraction
    Properties: anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic,
    Main active constituents: angelic, methacrylic, tiglic (acids), azuline (sesquiterpene)

    History and Tradition:
    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 and 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).

    References:
    Margo, A. et al., 2006

  • Cinnamon

    Cinnamon

    Cinamomum zeylanicum

    Family: Lauracea
    Extraction: steam distillation
    Properties: antibacterial, antifungal, insecticide, antiparasitic
    Main active constituents: linalool (alcohols), benzaldehyde, cinnamic, cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, safrole (phenols), cymene, dipentene, phellandrene, pinene (terpenes)

    History and Tradition:
    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 and 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).

    References:
    Nabavi, S.F. et al., 2015

  • Clove

    Clove

    Syzygium aromaricum

    Family: Myrtaceae
    Extraction: distillation
    Properties: antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, insecticide
    Main active constituents: furfurol (aldehyde), eugenol (phenol), pinene (terpene), methyl salicylate (ester), caryophyllene (sesquiterpene)

    History and Tradition:
    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 and 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).

    References:
    Alqareer, A., Alyahya, A. and Andersson, L., 2006
    Briozzo, J. et al., 1989

  • Eucalyptus

    Eucalyptus

    Eucalyptus globulus

    Family: Myrtaceae
    Extraction: distillation
    Properties: antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, decongestant, insecticide
    Main active constituents: citronellal (aldehyde), 1,8-cineole (ketone), camphene, fenchene, phellandrene, d-limonene, α-pinene, β-pinene (terpenes)

    History and Tradition:
    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 and 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).

    References:
    Sortorelli, P. et al., 2007
    Zhu, J. et al., 2006

  • Fennel

    Fennel

    Foeniculum vulgare

    Family: Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)
    Extraction: distillation
    Properties: antiseptic, insecticide, detoxicant
    Main active constituents: anisic, cuminic (aldehydes), fenchone (ketone), anethole, methylchavicol (phenols), camphene, dipentene, limonene, α-pinene, β-pinene, phellandrene, β-mycrene (terpenes),

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

    References:
    Gulfraz, M. et al., 2008

  • Fir

    Fir

    Abies balsamea, Abies sibirica

    Family: Pinaceae
    Extraction: distillation
    Properties: antiseptic
    Main active constituents: bornyl acetate, terpinyl acetate (esters), bisabolene, camphene, dipentene, phellandrene, α-pinene, , β-pinene (terpenes)

    History and Tradition:
    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 and 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

    Frankincense

    Boswellia sacra

    Family: Burseracea
    Extraction: distillation
    Properties: antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic
    Main active constituents: α-pinene, diptenene, phellandrene (terpenes), camphene, cadinene (sesquiterpenes), olibanol (alcohol)


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

    References:
    Mothana, R.A. and Lindequist, U., 2005

  • Ginger

    Ginger

    Zingiber officinale

    Family: Zingiberacea
    Extraction: distillation
    Properties: antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant
    Main active constituents: borneol (alcohol), citral (aldehyde), 1,8 cineole (ketone), zingiberene or (6)-gingerol (sesquiteroene), camphene, limonene, phellandrene (terpenes)

    History and Tradition:
    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 and 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

  • Juniper

    Juniper

    Juniperus communis

    Family: Cupressaceae
    Extraction: distillation
    Properties: antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, insecticide, disinfectant
    Main active constituents: borneol, terpineol (alcohols), cadinene, cedrene (sesquiterpenes), camphene, camphor, mercene, α-pinene, β-pinene, sibinene (terpenes)

    History and Tradition:
    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 and 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)

    References:
    Pepeljnjak, S. et al., 2005

     

  • Lavender

    Lavender

    Lavendula angustifolia

    Family: Labiatae
    Extraction: distillation
    Properties: antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, antianxiety, antiviral, insecticide
    Main active constituents: borneol, geraniol, lavandulol, linalool (alcohols), gernyl acetate, lavanulyl acetate, linalyl acetate (ester), 1,8- cineole (ketone), caryophyllene (sesquiterpene), limonene, pinene (terpenes), camphor

    History and Tradition:
    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 and 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).

    References:
    Nelson, R. et al., 1997
    Gabbrielli, G., et al., 1988
    D’Auria, F.D. et al., 2005
    Hohmann, J. et al., 1999
    Dimpfel, W., Pischel, I., Lehnfel, R., 2004
    Goel, N., Kim, H., Lao, R.P., 2005

  • Lemon

    Lemon

    Citrus limonum

    Family: Rutaceae
    Extraction: expression or distillation
    Properties: antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, insecticide, deodorising
    Main active constituents: linalool (alcohol), citral, citronellol (aldehydes), cadinen (sesquiterpene), bisabolene, camphene, dipentene, limonen, pinene, phellandrene (terpenes)

    History and Tradition:
    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 and 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).

    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, 2011

  • Millefolium | Yarrow

    Millefolium (Yarrow)

    Achillea millefolium

    Family: Asteraceae
    Extraction: hydro alcoholic extraction
    Properties: anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial
    Main active constituents: α-pinene, β-pinene (terpenes), 1,8 cineole (ketone), caphor, e-caryophyllene, chamazulene

    History and Tradition:
    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 and 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).

    References:
    Molochko, V.A. et al., 1990
    Benedek, B., Kopp, B., Melzig, M.F., 2007

  • Myrtle

    Myrtle

    Myrtus communis

    Family: Myrtaceae
    Extraction: distillation
    Properties: antiseptic, bactericide, parasiticide
    Main active constituents: geraniol, linalool, myrtenol, nerol (alcohols), myrtenal (aldehyde), 1,8-cineole (ketone), camphene, dipentene, α-pinene, β-pinene (terpenes)

    History and Tradition:
    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 and 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).

    References:
    Yadegarinia, D., 2006
    Mansouri, S. et al., 2008

  • Olive

    Olive

    Olea europaea

    Family: Oleaceae
    Extraction: cold pressed extraction (leaf extract)
    Properties: antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory
    Main active constituents: oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, luteolin, rutin, caffeic acid, catechin and apigenin, olecanthal, elenolic acid

    History and Tradition:
    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 and 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

    Orange

    Citrus aurantium, Citrus sinensis

    Family: Rutaceae
    Extraction: cold pressed expression
    Properties: antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, antidepressant, sedative
    Main active constituents: nerol (alcohol), linalool, citronellal, citral (aldehydes), α-pinene, d-limonene (terpenes), methyl anthranilate (ester)

    History and Tradition:
    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 and 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

    Patchouli

    Pogostemon cablin (Blanco) Benth

    Family: Lamiaceae
    Extraction: distillation
    Properties: antiseptic, antidepressant, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, deodorising, insecticide
    Main active constituents: patchoulol (alcohol), benzoic, cinnamic (aldehydes), eugenol (phenol), cadinene (sesquiterpene)

    History and Tradition:
    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 and 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)

    References:
    Yang, X., et al., 2013
    Das, P., Begum, J., Anwar, M.N., 2012

    Xian Yang,a,c Xue Zhang,b Shui-Ping Yang,a,* and Wei-Qi Liuc “Evaluation of the Antibacterial Activity of Patchouli Oil” Iran J Pharm Res. 2013 Summer; 12(3): 307–316.

    Puspa Das Jaripa Begum M. N. Anwar “Antimicrobial & Pharmacological Properties of Patchouli Oil” The Medicinal Value of Patchouli Oil; an Essential Oil of Pogostemon cablin (Blanco) Benth LAP Lambert Academic Publishing ( 2012-06-16 )

  • Pine

    Pine

    Pinus sylvestris

    Family: Pinaceae
    Extraction: distillation
    Properties: antiseptic, deodoriser, disinfectant, stimulant, deodoriser
    Main active constiuents: borneol (alcohol), bornyl acetate, terpinyl acetate (esters), cadinene (sesquiterpene), camphene, dipenten, phellandrene, α-pinene, β-pinene, sylvestrene (terpenes)

    History and Tradition:
    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 and 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.

  • Rosemary

    Rosemary

    Rosmarinus officinalis

    Family: Labiatae
    Extraction: distillation
    Properties: antiseptic, antidepressant, stimulant
    Main active constituents: borneol (alcohol), cuminic (aldehyde), bornyl acetate (ester), camphor, 1,8-cineole (ketones), caryophyllene (sesquiterpene), camphene, α-pinene (terpenes)

    History and Tradition:
    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 and 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).

    References:
    Jiang, Y. et al., 2011

  • Sage

    Sage

    Salvia officinalis

    Family: Labiatae
    Extraction: distillation
    Properties: antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory
    Main active constituents: linalool, 1,8-cineole (ketones), camphor, amphene, α-pinene, β-pinene (terpene)

    History and Tradition:
    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 and 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.

  • Crystal Salt From The Himalayas

    Crystal Salt From The Himalayas

    NaCl

    Family: Halide Salts
    Extraction: mined
    Properties: preservative, antibacterial, antifungal, deodorant
    Main active constituent: sodium, chloride, polyhalite (potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, oxygen, hydrogen), trace minerals (such as iron)

    History and Tradition:
    Salt (NaCl) is an ionic compound made of two elements, sodium (Na) and chloride (Cl) ions which has been exceptionally important to humans for thousands of years, because all life has evolved to depend on it. Salt preserves food by reducing the amount of moisture present through osmosis, as the cell membranes attempt to balance the salinity inside and outside of the cell. The salt draws out moisture, to the extent that there is not enough water left for bacteria to survive. As bacteria have trouble growing in a salt-rich environment, salt's ability to preserve food became an important milestone in civilization. It helped to eliminate the dependence on the seasonal availability of food and it allowed travel over long distances.

    Himalayan crystal salt has been mentioned in manuscripts for many thousands of years. Himalayan salt is considered less contaminated than other natural salts, due to its undisturbed, preserved form for over 200 million years.

  • Silver


    Silver

    Ag

    Family: Transitional metals group 11, atomic number 47
    Extraction: mined, colloidal silver: “suspension of atomic silver particles in colloidal base”
    Properties: antimicrobial, preservative, restorative

    History and Tradition:
    Across the globe and for thousands of years, silver has been used as a healing and anti-bacterial agent by civilizations. Its medical, preservative and restorative powers can be traced as far back as the ancient Greek and Romans who used silver vessels to keep water and other liquids fresh. Long before the development of modern pharmaceuticals, silver was employed as a germicide and antibiotic. In the Middle Ages it has been noted that the wealthy “born with the silver spoon” were lucky enough to be protected from the black death, “as disease-causing pathogens could not survive in the presence of silver!” This knowledge was also present in the great Chinese Empire, where the Emperors and their courts would eat with silver chopsticks.

    Research and Studies:
    The return of silver to conventional medicine began in the 1970s when researchers investigated 22 antiseptic compounds and found drawbacks in all of them. Colloidal silver has showed superior performance in fighting microbes and so have become a serious fighter against bacterial, viral and fungal conditions. According to experts, “no microorganism ever tested has been able to stay alive for more than six minutes when exposed directly to colloidal silver”. In laboratory tests for disinfectants, colloidal silver has proven to kill bacteria, viruses and fungal organisms within minutes of the contact.
    Science Digest states "Antibiotics kill perhaps a half dozen different disease organisms, but silver kills some 650. Resistant strains fail to develop. Moreover, silver is virtually non-toxic. Colloidal silver, used as an anti-microbial agent, will not create super bugs as antibiotics do. These bacteria cannot develop a resistance to silver as they do with antibiotics, because silver attacks their food source, rather than them directly.”

    References:
    Science Digest, 1978, March issue “Our Mightiest Germ Fighter,”

  • Thyme


    Thyme

    Thymus vulgaris

    Family: Labiatae
    Extraction: distillation
    Properties: antimicrobial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, insecticide
    Main active constituents: borneol, linalool (alcohols), carvacrol, thymol (phenols), caryophyllene (sesquiterpene), cymene, terpinene (terpenes)

    History and Tradition:
    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 and 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”