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Latin name:
Prunus armeniaca

Common name:
Apricot Tree

Location:
Turkey, Iran, Uzbekistan, Algeria are main producers

Story:
Prunus armeniaca are small, apricot trees with spreading canopies of white to pinkish petals with fruit similar to a small peach. Much like a peach, the fruit’s surface can smooth or velvety with a taste range from sweet to tart. Seeds and kernels of apricots can be dried and substituted as almonds, while the Italian liquor Amaretto is flavored with extract of apricot kernels (rather than what most believe to be almond extract!). Apricot oil also has a softening effect on the skin, so it has been used in perfumery and cosmetics.

The Chinese use the apricot as a symbol of education and medicine. It is believed that in the 4th century, Confucius taught his students in a wooded area surrounded by apricot trees.

Medical uses:
The fruits themselves carry many nutrients and are known to be mildly laxative. The bark and inner root can be used to treat poisoning caused by hydrogen cyanide – bitter almond and apricot seeds actually contain hydrogen cyanide and a decoction of the bark and root can work against those effects. Apricot seeds can be used in the treatment of asthma, coughs, and acute bronchitis. The seeds contain a substance called ‘laetrile’, which is being investigated for the treatment of cancer.

Sources:
http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/p/prunus-armeniaca=apricot.php
https://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Prunus+armeniaca

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Latin name:
Oryza sativa

Common name:
Asian Rice

Location:
East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, India, Thailand

Story:
Oryza sativa, more simply known as rice, originated in India, Thailand, and southern China. Rice is now grown on a whopping 3% of the world’s agricultural land due to its popularity as one of the most important cereal crops we eat (the other being wheat!). Rice can be grown year-round, as it has hundreds of different grain colors, sizes, shapes, and environmental tolerances. It's useful for it's binding properties.

Medical uses:
Considering rice is the most widely consumed grain on earth, it has many medicinal uses following digesting. It can fight diarrhea, relieve constipation, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and aid in weight loss. It is also a great energy source.

Sources:
http://eol.org/pages/1115098/details
http://ricepedia.org/culture/history-of-rice-cultivation
http://foodsanddiseases.com/rice-medicinal-uses-rice-health-benefits-properties/

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Latin name:
Bisabolol

Common name:
Chamomile

Location:
Europe, India, western Asia, the United States

Story:
Bisabolol is a colorless oil that is the primary component of the essential oil, German chamomile. It as a mild, floral scent which makes it popular in various fragrances. It also has many medicinal uses, especially popular as herbal infusions like chamomile tea.

Folklore says that chamomile to enhances positive energy and bring emotional and spiritual balance. Unlike other herbs that are thought to deter negative energy, the chamomile plant is said to literally transform negative energy to positive energy (thus making it more powerful).

Medical uses:
Bisabolol itself, a natural alcohol, is known to have skin healing, anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties. It is also a ‘penetration enhancer’ and helps other molecules get across the skin, a very appealing property for the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry. Its presence in chamomile is popular as an herb (mainly found in teas) that can aid in rheumatic problems, rashes, alleviating cold symptoms, and relieving morning sickness during pregnancy.

Sources:
https://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-chamomile.html
http://www.herbhedgerow.co.uk/cosmeceuticals-in-focus-bisabolol/
http://www.chamomile-benefits.com/chamomile-history/

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Latin name:
Cocos nucifera

Common name:
Coconut Palm

Location:
Hawaii, Philippines, Indonesia

Story:
The coconut palm is one of the most important crops of the tropics due to its popular fruit made up of both meat and liquid – the coconut! Surprisingly, it takes coconut palms at least 5 to 6 years to begin bearing coconut fruit and a full 15 years to reach ‘full bearing’ maturity. The harvested coconuts provide “copra”, which is the dried meat that coconut oil is made from. Coconut oil is one of the most popular oils aside from vegetable oil for both cooking and the base of many beauty products. The meat is also harvested to create coconut milk, coconut water, and other commercial products. A coconut’s husk fibers can also be used to manufacture ropes, baskets, mats, and brooms.

Medical uses:
A coconut palm’s roots, bark, and flowers can be used to promote the flow of urine, tend to uterine disease, and as an antiseptic applied to boils, scabies, toothaches, and more. People use coconut oil by mouth for heart disease, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and other quality of life uses such as fatigue, energy, and boosting the immunity system. It can also be applied directly to the skin and hair as a moisturizer to treat eczema, psoriasis, and hair damage.

Sources:
https://www.britannica.com/plant/coconut-palm
https://herbalremedies.knoji.com/coconut-palm-medicinal-uses-antiseptic-and-regulates-urinary-disorders/
https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1092-coconut-oil.aspx

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Latin name:
Moringa Pterygosperma

Common name:
Drumstick Tree

Location:
India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan

Story:
The drumstick tree is a drought-resistant, fast-growing tree found in the foothills of the Himalayas. Its seeds and leaves are harvested as vegetables, while its oil can be used as a food supplement or a base for hair and skin cosmetics. The leaves provide a rich source of Vitamins A and C, calcium and iron. The flowers and roots of the tree also provide powerful antibiotic and fungicidal properties.

To Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians – the tree is still considered a ‘panacea’ and is referred to as ‘The Wonder Tree’, ‘The Divine Tree’, and ‘The Miracle Tree’.

Medical uses:
Due to its high calcium content, the drumstick tree is used as an anti-inflammatory agent that strengthens bones. It is beneficial in treating joint aches and pains associated with arthritis, as well. Its richness in vitamins and nutrients aids the body’s immunity, digestion, and nourishment.

Sources:
http://www.himalayawellness.com/herbfinder/moringa-pterygosperma.htm
http://moringaceae.org/imgc-moringa-blog/what-is-moringa-pterygosperma

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Latin name:
Oenothera biennis

Common name:
Evening Primrose

Location:
Eastern and central North America – Newfoundland, Alberta, Florida, Texas

Story:
Oenothera Biennis, or evening primrose, bloom from late spring to late summer; the blooms open very quickly every evening, producing a beautiful spectacle which led to their common name of “evening primrose”. The blooms are yellow and contain many seeds - a popular food for birds! Although the plant was originally used for its botanical beauty alone, evening primrose are edible and rich in nutrients. Oil from the mature seeds can also be used to cure symptoms of eczema, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), multiple sclerosis, and other menopausal symptoms.

Evening primrose is considered a loved wildflower to some and an annoying weed to others. In historical folklore, evening primrose are said to represent fickleness. Folklore recommendations include using the plant while bathing to increase desirability to potential lovers and friends.

Medical uses:
Oil from the leaves and seeds can be used in creams to aid in healing and relieve itching and redness of skin caused by eczema, wounds, or burns. Ingesting the oil has also been found to improve cardiovascular health, regulate moods, and treat symptoms of PMS, cramping, and menopause.

Sources:
https://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/evening-primrose-benefits.html
http://www.witchipedia.com/herb:evening-primrose

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Latin name:
Eclipta Prostrata

Common name:
False Daisy

Location:
India, Nepal, China, Thailand, Brazil

Story:
Eclipta prostrata, commonly known as false daisy, grows in warm, tropical areas with a moist climate. The plant has grayish roots with white, floret flower heads. Due to its bitter, hot, and dry taste, the Eclipta prostrata or false daisy plant is used almost solely for natural and medicinal purposes.

Medical uses:
False daisy is used as a very powerful liver tonic, shown to be effective against livery injury, inflammation, jaundice, fatty liver, hemorrhoids, and indigestion. It is also a known home remedy for urinary tract infections, while preventing hair loss and promoting hair growth. False daisy has strong antibacterial properties that have proven effective in treating and killing E Coli and Staph infectious bacteria.

Sources:
http://naturalhomeremedies.co/Eprostrata.html
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/17-amazing-health-benefits-false-daisy-dr-paul-haider/

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Latin name:
Zingiber Officinale

Common name:
Ginger

Location:
India, China, Southern Asia, Hawaii, Japan, Australia, Malaysia

Story:
Ginger originated in India’s tropical rainforests and was first brought to Europe as one of the first spices exported from the Orient during the spice trade. Due to the clusters of white and pink flower buds, ginger can be used as landscaping but is more often used as a fragrant kitchen spice. Ginger roots can be pickled, steeped in boiling water, made into candy, or used to flavor dishes.

In folklore, ginger’s power is thought to stimulate sexual arousal. In fact, Madame du Barry was recorded as serving ginger to all her regular lovers to turn them into pliant, submissive partners – King Louis XV included!

Medical uses:
Ginger is commonly used to treat stomach ailments such as motion sickness, morning sickness, gas, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and nausea caused by cancer treatments and surgery. It can also aid in pain relief – rheumatoid arthritis, menstrual pain, and headaches to name a few. Oil made from ginger is also thought to relieve pain, causing some people to apply ginger juice directly to burns and wounds.

Sources:
https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-961-GINGER.aspx
https://www.thepracticalherbalist.com/holistic-medicine-library/ginger-warming-medicine-soul/

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Latin name:
Vitis vinifera

Common name:
Grape Vine

Location:
Mediterranean region, central Europe, southwestern Asia (Morocco, Portugal, Germany), California, Oregon, others

Story:
Due to its rich properties of Vitamin E and linoleic acid, Grapeseed oil is the preferred oil for most massage therapists because it is easily absorbed and leaves a light, satin-like finish.

Medical uses:
Grapes can be used for preventing heart and blood vessel diseases, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, high blood pressures, swelling, heart attack, and stroke. Some also use grapes as a mild laxative for constipation and detoxification. Grape leaves can be used for ADHD, chronic fatigue, diarrhea, heavy menstrual bleeding, and canker sores.

Grapes contain flavonoids which have antioxidant effects, lowering levels of bad cholesterol, relaxing blood vessels, and reducing risk of heart disease. Grapeseed oil contains high levels of linoleic acid and is rich in Vitamin E, both essential for the health of the skin.

Sources:
https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-472-GRAPE.aspx
https://www.medicinalplants-pharmacognosy.com/herbs-medicinal-plants/grape-benefits/
https://www.doctormahers.com/benefits-of-grape-seed-oil/

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Latin name:
Simmondsia chinesis

Common name:
Jojoba

Location:
Southwestern North America – Sonoran Desert, Colorado Desert, Baja California Desert in Southern California, Arizona, Utah, and Baja California (Mexico)

Story:
Simmondsia Chinensis, more commonly known as Jojoba, grows 3 to 6 feet tall, with thick, waxy, oval leaves of a gray-green color. The plant blooms greenish-yellow flowers with no petals between the months of March and May. Jojoba is most commonly grown for the liquid wax within its seeds, called jojoba oil. Although discussed as a possible biodiesel fuel, it unfortunately doesn’t grow in quantity enough for that use to be realized. Its uses are currently limited to personal care products, like healing skin and hair moisturizers.

*Story: Jojoba is the closest thing available to the human oils we naturally produce on our skin.

Medical uses:
Jojoba can be applied directly to the skin to treat acne, psoriasis, and sunburn. It can also be used for hair regrowth.

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Latin name:
Cymbopogon Schoenanthus

Common name:
Lemon Grass

Location:
Southern Asia, Northern Africa

Story:
Cymbopogon schoenanthus, better known as camel grass or West Indian lemon grass, is an herbal plant found in Southern Asia and Northern Africa. Its foliage is very fragrant, and it is commonly used in herbal teas. It is well-known for the oil derived from the plant, lemongrass oil or camel grass oil, which is used as a tonic and fragrance in many cosmetic products. You can also find this ingredient in other personal care products, like soaps and candles, due to its lemon-like scent.

Medical uses:
Lemongrass or camel grass oil has antibacterial properties that make it an excellent choice to include in skincare products. The anti-fungal properties make it especially good for oily skin types and anti-aging and acne treatments. Although not well-tested and approved by the FDA, lemongrass is a popular treatment for stomachaches, diarrhea, gas, vomiting, and flu-like symptoms. The herb may also be applied externally to treat acne, athlete’s food, back pain, sciatica, and other aches and pains. Lemongrass essential oil improves blood flow when rubbed on affected areas.

Sources:
https://www.mdidea.com/products/proper/proper08409.html
https://www.truthinaging.com/ingredients/cymbopogon-schoenanthus

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Latin name:
Origanum Majorana

Common name:
Marjoram

Location:
Southern Europe, Sweden, Turkey

Story:
Oregano is a perennial herb known for its sweet pine and citrus flavors. It is primarily cultivated for culinary purposes – used as an herb in cooking or reduced to an essential oil. Oregano or marjoram is most commonly used to season soups, stews, dressings, vegetables, meats, and sauces. Dried leaves are also added to potpourris. Marjoram was a symbol of happiness to the Ancient Greeks and Romans. The Greeks commonly called it, “Joy of the Mountains.”

Medical uses:
Marjoram may help improve digestion; the scent alone is known to stimulate salivary glands to promote digestion of food in the mouth. A cup of tea infused with marjoram is commonly used to alleviate nausea, gas, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. It’s also a great way to regulate female hormones and the menstrual cycle. A 2016 study actually proved that marjoram tea had a positive effect on women suffered from polycystic ovarian syndrome and infertility.

Sources:
https://mybiohack.com/blog/suma-sexual-hormones-cancer-pfaffia-paniculata
http://www.rain-tree.com/suma.htm#.Wqk8WHxG2po

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Latin name:
Rosa Moschata

Common name:
Musk Rose

Location:
Himalayas , Chile

Story:
Rosa moschata is a shrub that blooms in late spring and late autumn in warm climates or from late summer on in cool climates. The flowers are known to have a musky scent, giving the plant its musk rose name. The plant contains thorny branches and white or pink blossoms with orange fruit that contain Rosehip Seed Oil. This oil is precious and high-grade, because it is rich in antioxidants and Vitamins A and E. Rosehip Seed Oil is known to support skin’s elasticity and promotes healing.

Rosehip is associated with the planet Venus and the element of water, so they are known to provide a botanical use for love and peace. Many people add rosehip to potpourri to create a peaceful, calm atmosphere.

Medical uses:
Rosehip Seed Oil, derived from the Musk Rose/Rosa moschata’s orange fruit, is known to be a miracle skincare product right up there with coconut oil. The oil’s vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids correct dark spots, hydrate skin, treat itchy skin, and reduce fine lines and scars. The essential fatty acids also treat dry scalp and itchiness due to eczema.

Sources:
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/07/rosehip-seed-oil-benefits_n_3375871.html
http://www.weleda.com.au/rosehip-rosa-moschata/
http://tansyfiredragon.blogspot.com/2011/01/rosehips-magickal-medicinal.html

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Latin name:
Rosmarinus Officialis

Common name:
Rosemary

Location:
Mediterranean, now almost worldwide

Story:
Native to the Mediterranean region, rosemary is a fragrant, woody herb with white, pink, purple, or blue flowers. Unlike many other plants and herbs, it can withstand very cold temperatures and severe lack of water. Rosemary is used as a decorative plant (that also showcase pest control effects), while the leaves are commonly used to flavor various foods and drinks. An old folktales says that the Virgin Mary is said to have laid her blue cloak over a white rosemary bush before taking a nap; upon waking, the white shrub is said to have turned blue. The bush then became known as the “Rose of Mary”.

Medical uses:
Rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties to help boost the immune system and improve blood circulation. It is used commonly to treat indigestion in Europe; Germany’s Commissioner has even formally approved rosemary for the treatment of indigestion (although there is no solid science to support this claim). The scent of rosemary, in addition to being used in perfumes, is said to improve someone’s concentration, performance, speed, and mood.

Sources:
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266370.php
http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=b968

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Latin name:
Helianthus Annuus

Common name:
Sunflower

Location:
United States and Central America

Story:
“Keep your face to the sunshine & you cannot see the shadows. It’s what the sunflowers do.”

Sunflowers are grown for their beauty, as well as their edible oil and fruits. The name ‘sunflower’ likely comes from the plant’s large, yellow, flowered head resembling the sun. It is also said that the blooming plant appears to turn its petals toward the sun as it stretches across the sky. Sunflower seeds and sunflower oil are also popular uses of the Helianthus annuus plant – sunflower seeds are commonly sold as raw snack food or processed into butters and flours. Sunflower oil, extracted directly from sunflower seeds, can be used as a cooking oil (cheaper than olive oil!).

Medical uses:
Sunflower oil is known in the food industry as a high quality, energy food. The seeds contain Vitamin A, B, E, and other minerals and proteins. They are strong in antioxidants that protect the body from cardiovascular disease and cancers. Sunflower seeds are also said to aid in sexual prowess, digestion, energy levels, and fight against infertility.

Sources:
https://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/sunflower-benefits-uses.html
http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=a583

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Latin name:
Limnanthes alba

Common name:
White meadowfoam

Location:
California and Oregon

Story:
Meadowfoam is most commonly grown in gardens to create borders and entryways, because it provides a glossy, green backdrop that suppresses the growth of weeds while providing yellow-and-white daisy-like flowers.

Medical uses:
Meadowfoam oil is an excellent moisturizer and is used in many natural skincare lines to hydrate and rejuvenate skin. With many gentle and restorative properties, it’s wonderful for those with dry, sensitive, or damaged skin.

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