The latin name for orange is Citrus Vulgaris. There are three types of essential oils that come from the orange; the first from the peel, the second from the white flowers and the third from the Petitgrain from the leaves. The orange tree comes originally from China and India but was brought to Europe around the seventeenth century. It is held to be a symbol of fertility and innocence. The Arabic ‘Narandj’ is the root of the word orange and it was known in England by the sixteenth century. The peel was used in a West Indian liqueur called Curacao and it makes a great marmalade. It lifts depression a little, dispelling tension and stress as well as reviving when bored. It can have a calming effect on the stomach and balances constipation and diarrhea. It aids absorption of vitamin C which could help with colds.
Parsley, latin name Petroselinum sativum, favours a gravelly environment for growing in, hence the Greek word for stone ‘petros’ gave it its name. It was originally from the Mediterranean but now grows in most continents. The Greeks thought it a symbol of fame and joy. The Egyptians used it as a cure for urinary problems. The Romans however did not much like it, thinking it to cause sterility and epilepsy in the infants of pregnant mothers. Legend associates it with bad luck if transplanted. By the sixteenth century it was very popular in Europe being full of vitamins like iron and vitamin C. It is a strong diuretic and can help with water retention during menstruation, in cases of cellulite and in clearing the kidneys. It also has a cleansing action on the blood and a tonic effect on circulation.
Peppermint, latin name Mentha piperita, is a hybrid of Watermint and Spearmint. The plant favours damp conditions and apparently grows best in England. The Romans used it to crown themselves at feasts and put it in wine. The Hebrews used it as a component in perfume because of its reputed aphrodisiac properties. Its cooling nature can relieve states of anger and it is great for curing depressions and mental fatigue. Its dual action on the body heats it when cold and cools when hot. It can act as a remedy for colds by halting mucus and fevers and by encouraging perspiration. It also has an action on asthma and other respiratory problems. It is an excellent cure for aching feet and relief can be gained for those with rheumatism and muscular aches.
Rosemary, latin name Rosmarinus officinalis, is a strong clear refreshing herbal fragrance. Its name comes from the latin ‘Rosmarinus’ or sea dew whose woody stem likes water. Rosemary has been found in Egyptian tombs as a symbol of regeneration. The scared plant could comfort the living and give peace to the dead. Rosemary sprigs were included in incense. The Moors thought it warded off pets and as such built them in their orchards. It has also been used to preserve meat and its antiseptic properties were used in French hospitals during epidemics. It activates the brain and could even help restore impediments of speech, hearing and sight; it also can normalize low blood pressure and decongest the liver. It helps restore sagging skin as it is a strong astringent and encourages hair growth.