Almond Oil: (Prunus Dulcis)
Almond oil can also be used as a wood conditioner of certain woodwind instruments, such as the oboe and clarinet.
Almonds can be processed into a milk substitute called almond milk; the nut's soft texture, mild flavor, and light coloring (when skinned) make for an efficient analog to dairy, and a soy-free choice for lactose intolerant people and vegans.
The almond is native to the Mediterranean climate region of the Middle East, eastward as far as the Indus. In India, it is known as Badam. It was spread by humans in ancient times along the shores of the Mediterranean into northern Africa and southern Europe and more recently transported to other parts of the world, notably California, United States.
Aloe Vera: (Aloe Barbadenis)
The species is relatively resistant to most insect pests, though spider mites, mealy bugs, scale insects, and aphid species may cause a decline in plant health.
It has also been suggested that biofuels could be obtained from Aloe vera seeds.
6000 year old stone carvings in Egypt contain images of the plant, which they referred to as the "plant of imortality". It was given as a burial gift to deceased pharaohs.
Antioxidants also have many industrial uses, such as preservatives in food and cosmetics and to prevent the degradation of rubber and gasoline.
Uric acid is the highest concentration antioxidant in human blood.
Antioxidant vitamins are found in vegetables, fruits, eggs, legumes and nuts. Vitamins A, C or E can be destroyed by long-term storage or prolonged cooking. Processed food contains fewer antioxidant vitamins than fresh and uncooked foods, as preparation exposes food to heat and oxygen.
Apricot Oil: (Prunus Armeniaca)
The world's largest producer of dried apricots is Turkey.
Apricot seeds were used against tumors as early as AD 502. In England during the 17th century, apricot oil was also used against tumors, swellings, and ulcers.
The Chinese associate the apricot with education and medicine. The association with medicine in turn comes from the common use of apricot kernels as a component in traditional Chinese medicine, and from the story of Dong Feng, a physician during the Three Kingdoms period, who required no payment from his patients except that they plant apricot trees in his orchard on recovering from their illnesses, resulting in a large grove of apricot trees and a steady supply of medicinal ingredients.
Argan Oil: (Argania Spinosa L.)
In Morocco, Argan oil is used to dip bread in at breakfast or to drizzle on couscous or pasta.
The labour-intensive production of Argan oil is now frequently completed by women's co-operatives, which provides a steady income for many women and their families, social status improvement and has encouraged agricultural producers to examine the co-operative model.
At present, Argan oil production supports approximately 2.2 million people in the main Argan oil producing region (the Arganeraie).
Avocado Oil: (Persea Americana)
The oldest evidence of avocado use was found in a cave located in Coxcatlán, Puebla, Mexico, that dates to around 10,000 BC., though fossil evidence suggests similar species were much more widespread millions of years ago, occurring as far north as California at a time when the climate of that region was more hospitable to them.
The fruit is sometimes called an avocado pear or alligator pear due to its shape and the rough green skin of some cultivars.
The avocado tree does not tolerate freezing temperatures, and can be grown only in subtropical or tropical climates. Avocados that fall off the tree ripen on the ground, and like the banana, the avocado is a climacteric fruit, which matures on the tree, but ripens off the tree.
Black Seed Oil: (Nigella Sativa)
The scientific name is a derivative of Latin niger (black). In English, Nigella sativa seed is variously called fennel flower, nutmeg flower, black caraway, Roman coriander, and also called black cumin.
It has protective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and promotes apoptosis (cell death) of the cancer cells.
Black cumin seeds are said to have been found in the tomb of King Tutankhamen, which seems likely, since the source of many of the best seeds is Egypt.
Calendula Oil: (Calendula Officinalis)
The name calendula is a modern Latin diminutive of calendae, meaning "little calendar", "little clock" or possibly "little weather-glass".
Aztecs and Mayans used the flowers in their ancient ceremonies, and the flowers are still used on home altars on the Day of the Dead in Mexico and Central America.
During the American Civil War, calendula flowers were used on the battlefields in open wounds as antihemorrhagic and antiseptic, and they were used in dressing wounds to promote healing.
Camphor Oil: (Cinnamomum Camphora)
Camphor oil was one of the ingredients used for ancient Egyptians mummification.
Solid camphor releases fumes that form a rust-preventative coating and is therefore stored in tool chests to protect tools against rust.
Based on Hahnemann's writings, camphor (dissolved in alcohol) was also successfully used to treat the 1854-1855 cholera epidemics in Naples.
Carrot Oil: (Daucus Carota)
The four general types of carrots are: Chantenay carrots, Danvers carrots, Imperator carrots and Nantes carrots.
Other common names include wild carrot, bird's nest, bishop's lace, and Queen Anne's lace (North America)
The oil has therefore been used as a vasodilator to improve circulation, and to treat painful digestive disorders such as Crohn's disease.
Fractionate Coconut Oil:
Fractionated coconut oil versus regular coconut oil is very shelf-stable, does not become rancid and can handle high heat.
Fractionate Coconut Oil is used to make Axona, a medical food marketed for the clinical dietary management of the impairment of metabolic processes associated with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.
Coconut Oil: (Cocos Nucifera)
A repellent made from coconut oil can be used to prevent tungiasis-causing sand fleas from invading the body.
Coconut oil has been tested for use as an engine lubricant and as a transformer oil.
Before the advent of electrical lighting, coconut oil was the primary oil used for illumination in India and was exported as cochin oil.
Grape seed Oil: (Vitis Vinifera)
Grape seed oil is used for: salad dressings, marinades, deep frying, flavored oils, baking, massage oil, sunburn repair lotion, hair products, body hygiene creams, lip balm and hand creams.
Most grape seed oil is produced in Italy, with other producing nations including France, Spain and Argentina
Although known to Europeans for centuries, grape seed oil was not produced or used on a large scale until the 20th century, largely because grape seeds contain a lower percentage of oil as compared to other oil-producing seeds, nuts or beans.
Hempseed Oil: (Cannabis Genus)
Seeds tend to produce the best hemp oil, although the whole plant can be pressed for oil.
Hemp oil is a "drying oil" that polymerizes into a solid form. Hemp oil is used on its own or blended with other oils, resins, and solvents as an impregnator and varnish in wood finishing, as a pigment binder in oil paints, lubricant and as a plasticizer and hardener in putty.
Vegans, who do not eat animal products, stand to benefit tremendously from hemp as a way to increase their protein intake while respecting dietary restrictions.
Humans hunted for honey at least 8,000 years ago, according to cave paintings in Valencia, Spain, and spiritual and therapeutic usage of honey in ancient India is documented in both the Vedas and the Ayurveda texts at least 4,000 years ago.
The Hebrew Bible contains many references to honey. In the Book of Judges, Samson found a swarm of bees and honey in the carcass of a lion (14:8). In Old Testament law, offerings were made in the temple to God.
Honey is produced by bees as a food source. To produce a single jar of honey, foraging honey bees have to travel the equivalent of three times around the world. In cold weather or when fresh food sources are scarce, bees use their stored honey as their source of energy. Honey bees transform saccharides into honey by a process of regurgitation.
Jojoba Oil: (Simmondsia Chinensis)
Jojoba oil is used as a replacement for whale oil and its derivatives, such as cetyl alcohol. The ban on importing whale oil to the US in 1971 led to the discovery that jojoba oil is "in many regards superior to sperm oil for applications in the cosmetics and other industries."
Jojoba oil is a fungicide, and can be used for controlling mildew.
Jojoba biodiesel has been explored as a cheap, sustainable fuel that can serve as a substitute for petroleum diesel.
Peppermint Oil: (Mentha X Piperita)
Peppermint is sometimes regarded as 'the world's oldest medicine', with archaeological evidence placing its use at least as far back as ten thousand years ago.
Pliny the elder, 79 AD, an ancient Roman author, natural philosopher and naval and military commander wrote Naturalis Historia, it tells us that the Greeks and Romans crowned themselves with peppermint at their feasts and adorned their tables with its sprays, and that their cooks flavored both their sauces and their wines with its essence.
Peppermint oil is also used in construction and plumbing to test for the tightness of pipes and disclose leaks by its odor.
Pomace Olive Oil: (Olea Europaea)
Dynastic Egyptians before 2000 BC imported olive oil from Crete, Syria and Canaan and oil was an important item of commerce and wealth. Egyptians used it alongside beeswax as a cleanser, moisturizer and antibacterial agent since pharaonic times.
The first recorded oil extraction is known from the Hebrew Bible and took place during the Exodus from Egypt, during the 13th century BC. During this time, the oil was derived through hand-squeezing the berries and stored in special containers under guard of the priests.
In 2000, Japan was the top importer of olive oil in Asia (13,000 tons annually) because consumers there believe both the ingestion and topical application of olive oil to be good for skin and health.
Sandalwood Oil: (Santalum)
The wood retains its fragrance for many years, so it is highly valued for carved statues and prayer beads. The wood may also be ground into a paste and mixed with water to produce incense.
It is also used to focus the mind for meditation.
It grows to a height of up to 50 feet (17 m), with a slender trunk and abundant foliage. A sandal tree must mature to at least 8-years-old before it is harvested for its essential oil. However, the quality improves significantly when the trees are harvested at 15 years or older.
Sesame Seed Oil: (Gingelly Oil)
Historically, sesame was cultivated more than 5000 years ago as a drought-tolerant crop and was able to grow where other crops failed.
Sesame was cultivated during the Indus valley civilization and was the main oil crop. It was probably exported to Mesopotamia around 2500 BC. The Assyrians used sesame oil as a food, salve and medication.
Sesame seeds are protected by a capsule which only bursts when the seeds are completely ripe.
Shea Butter: (Karite Tree)
Separating/cracking: The outer pulp of the fruit is removed. When dry, the nut, which is the source of shea butter, must be separated from the outer shell. This is a social activity, traditionally done by Women Elders and young girls who sit on the ground and break the shells with small rocks.
Accounts from as early as Cleopatra's Egypt speak of caravans bearing clay jars of valuable Shea butter for cosmetic use. The funeral beds of early kings were carved in the wood of shea trees.
Shea butter's skin care and healing properties were first harnessed thousands of years ago. The history of shea as a precious commodity can be traced back to Ancient Egypt, where shea butter was and continues to be used to protect the hair and skin against the fierce sun and the hot dry winds of African deserts and savannah.
Sunflower Oil: (Helianthus Annuus)
Sunflower oil can be used to run diesel engines when mixed with diesel in the tank.
Sunflower oil was first industrially produced in 1835 in the Russian Empire. The world's largest sunflower oil producers now are Ukraine, Russia and Argentina.
It may also help food stay fresher and healthier for longer periods of time.
Tea Tree: (Melaleuca Alternifolia)
The use of the name probably originated from Captain Cook's description of one of these shrubs that he used to make an infusion to drink in place of tea.
The name tea tree is used for a number of plants, mostly from Australia and New Zealand, from the family Myrtaceae, related to the myrtle.
The indigenous Bundjalung people of eastern Australia use "tea trees" as a traditional medicine by inhaling the oils from the crushed leaves to treat coughs and colds. They also sprinkle leaves on wounds, after which a poultice is applied. In addition, tea tree leaves are soaked to make an infusion to treat sore throats or skin ailments.
Vegetable Glycerin: (Glycerol)
It is also used in glycerin soap for people with sensitive skin. Treats gum disease, as it inactivates the associated bacterial colonies.
Vegetable glycerin can be used as a substitute for ethanol — the chemical commonly called “alcohol” — in making botanical extracts, such as herbal essences.
Vegetable glycerin can be used medically, and is a common ingredient in cough mixtures, due to its soothing properties
Vitamin A Oil: (Palmitate (Retinyl A)
Vitamin A is needed by the retina of the eye in the form of retinal, which combines with protein opsin to form rhodopsin, the light-absorbing molecule necessary for both low-light (scotopic vision) and color vision.
The discovery of vitamin A may have stemmed from research dating back to 1816, when physiologist François Magendie observed that dogs deprived of nutrition developed corneal ulcers and had a high mortality rate.
Vitamin A was first synthesized in 1947 by two Dutch chemists, David Adriaan van Dorp and Jozef Ferdinand Arens.
Vitamin E has many biological functions, the antioxidant function being the most important and best known. Other functions include enzymatic activities, gene expression, and neurological function(s). The most important function of vitamin E has been suggested to be in cell signaling.
Vitamin E was discovered in 1922 by Herbert McLean Evans and Katharine Scott Bishop and first isolated in a pure form by Gladys Anderson Emerson in 1935 at the University of California, Berkeley.
Erhard Fernholz elucidated its structure in 1938 and shortly afterwards the same year, Paul Karrer and his team first synthesized it.
Watermelon Seed Oil (Citrullus Vulgaris)
It is particularly common in West Africa, where it is also called ootanga oil or kalahari oil. Watermelons probably originated almost 5,000 years ago in the Kalahari Desert of Africa where botanists have found its wild ancestors still growing. Watermelons migrated north through Egypt, and during the Roman era they were cultivated and prized.
Watermelon seeds have been found at Twelfth Dynasty sites and in the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun. Watermelon is also mentioned in the Bible as a food eaten by the ancient Israelites while they were in bondage in Egypt.
Watermelon flesh can be red, orange, yellow or white.
Witch Hazel: (Hamamelis)
The name Witch in witch-hazel has its origins in Middle English wiche, from the Old English wice, meaning "pliant" or "bendable"
"Witch hazel" was used in England as a synonym for Wych Elm, Ulmus glabra; American colonists simply extended the familiar name to the new shrub.
This plant extract was widely used for medicinal purposes by Native Americans and is a component of a variety of commercial healthcare products. It is recommended to women to reduce swelling and soothe wounds resulting from childbirth.