Essential Oils from Herbs are Spectacular!

oh lovely peppermint!

oh lovely peppermint!

The Lamiacae family of plants groups together lots of great herbs we know and use frequently. It used to be called the Labiatae family (and sometimes still is), but I’m glad we’ve upgraded the name!

You may never have guessed it but these plants, that make wonderful aromatic oils, belong together:

Basil

Clary Sage

Hyssop

Lavender

Melissa (lemon balm)

Marjoram

Oregano

Peppermint

Patchouli

Sage

Spearmint

Thyme

So when you smell lavender, even though the flowering tops are used in the distillation process (as well as other parts of the plant), it really is a herb. Try smelling hints of marjoram in the oil and it can give you a very different opinion of it.

thyme

thyme

Thyme and oregano also have those marjoram notes too, even though they are very strong oils and less user-friendly than marjoram in massage and skincare.

Hyssop has a spicy scent, and once again very herbaceous. It smells similar to sage, lavender and marjoram.

Basil is quite distinct, but two or three seconds into a good long whiff, you will also detect hints of the other herbs.

Clary Sage is a very heady oil and quite different to Sage – but you can almost smell a little hyssop in there.

patchouli - looks a bit like mint

patchouli – looks a bit like mint

Patchouli is another oil that tends to stand out in this group as it has very individual notes. The earthiness however, connects a little bit to the sages, and even thyme.

melissa - can you see the similarity in the leaves of all these herbs?

melissa – can you see the similarity in the leaves of all these herbs?

Melissa is a premium oil and is the only lemon scented herb of the group. It is a lot more subtle than other lemon scented oils like lemongrass, may chang and lemon scented tea tree. I would definitely consider it to be quite special and very talented.

The mints are very different and spearmint often gets a bad wrap because of its use in toothpaste and gums. Some people find it hard to relate to as an essential oil but I love it in mists and use it in skincare too. It’s great to use when peppermint is too strong for an oil blend for the body, and when you want a herb that’s sweet and light.

This lovely Lamiacae family deserves our praise and thanks for serving us for thousands of years. And now we have the beautiful aromatic oils they provide, yay for us!

We live in a scented paradise!

4 thoughts on “Essential Oils from Herbs are Spectacular!

  1. Hi Suzanne. We have a terrible problem here in South Africa with ticks, fleas and mites on our dogs. Do you have any suggestions for the best repelling essential oils for these little critters that is kind to dogs? Lemon Eucalyptus, Citronella?
    Craig

    • Hi Craig! Yes you are on the right track I can only imagine how diligent you have to be with the four legged friends. I would actually choose citronella. Lemongrass will be just as good but only use the oils in small quantities. I would look for a pet product based on natural pyrethrum and then add some citronella. Look for any signs of irritation afterwards and discontinue the essential oils if any problems occur. Beat wishes and good luck

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