GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Annual or biennial herb, with a small, inedible tough whitish root. It has a much-branched stem up to 1,5 metres high with hairy leaves and umbels of white lacy flowers.
DISTRIBUTION: Native to Europe, Asia and North Africa; naturalised in North America. The essential oil is mainly produced in France, Holland and Hungary.
HERBAL/FOLK TRADITION: A highly nutritious plant, containing substantial amounts of Vitamins A, C, B1 and B2. The roots have a strong tonic action on the liver and gall bladder, good for the treatment of jaundice and other complaints. The seeds are used for the retention of urine, colic, kidney and digestive disorders, and to promote menstruation. In the Chinese tradition it is used to treat dysentery and to expel worms. The dried leaves are current in the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia for calculus, gout, cystitis and lithuria.
ACTIONS: Anthelmintic, antiseptic, carminative, depurative, diuretic, emmenagogue, hepatic, stimulant, tonic, vasodilatory and smooth muscle relaxant.
EXTRACTIONS: Essential oil by steam distillation from the dried fruit (seeds).
CHARACTERISTICS: A yellow or amber-coloured liquid with a warm, dry, woody-earthy odour. It blends well with costus, cassie, mimosa, cedarwood, geranium, citrus and spice oils.
PRINCIPAL CONSTITUENTS: Pinene, carotol, daucol, limonene, bisabolene, elemene, geraniol, geranyl acetate, caryphyllene, among others.
SAFETY DATA: Non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitising.
AROMATHERAPY/HOME USE: Skin care: Dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, revitalising and toning, mature complexions, wrinkles. Circulation, muscles and joints: Accumulation of toxins, arthritis, gout, oedema, rheumatism. Digestive system: Anaemia, anorexia, colic, indigestion, liver congestion. Genito-urinary and endocrine systems: Amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, glandular problems, PMT.