Category Archives: Uncommon Essential Oils

Litsea cubeba

With an intense lemony fragrance that’s similar to, but sweeter than, lemongrass, Litsea cubeba is a pale yellow essential oil.  The oil is steam distilled from the pepper-shaped fruit of a small tropical tree native to east Asia.   The leaves and flowers of the trees have a lemongrass fragrance.

Litsea essential oil is reported to be non-toxic, non-irritant, but there is a possibility of sensitization in some people.

Skin care applications include acne and dermatitis.  It’s also used for nervousness and stress-related conditions.  The roots and stems are used in tradition Chines medicine to treat many conditions, including lower back pain, headaches, indigestion and muscular aches and pains.  Other actions include:  antiseptic, disinfectant and sedative.

I recently smelled a candle scented with Litsea and Lemongrass.  It was delightful!!


Snakeroot Essential Oil (Asarum canadense)

With a rich warm, woody, ginger-like spicy fragrance and an amber color, snakeroot essential oil is obtained by steam distillation from the roots and rhizomes of the plant.  It’s seldom prescribed now, but was used previously in folk medicine for: rheumatism, painful and stomach spasms and chronic chest complaints. In aromatherapy use, its antispasmodic qualities… Continue Reading

Buchu (Agothosma betulina)

Buchu essential oil is derived by steam distillation from the dried leaves of a small shrub which has a strong blackcurrant-like odor.  The shrub is native to the Cape of Good Hope and now grows wild all over South Africa.  The oil has a strong camphoraceous-minty odor and is dark yellow-brown. The oil should not… Continue Reading

Ambrette Seed Essential Oil (Abelmoschus moschatus)

Steam-distilled from the seeds of an evergreen shrub indigenous to India and cultivated in many tropical countries, Ambrette Seed EO is a pale yellow-orange color with a rich, sweet floral-musky odor.  Blending buddies include sandalwood, orange blossom, rose, clary sage, cypress and more. The oil is reported to be non-toxic, non-irritant, and non-sensitizing.  Widely used… Continue Reading

Cabreuva Essential Oil (Myrocarpus fastigiatus)

Once listed in European pharmacopeias for its antiseptic qualities, cabreuva is used to heal wounds, ulcers and scars.  In aromatherapy, it’s also used to treat colds, chills and coughs.  The oil is reported to be non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitizing. Cabreuva  comes from the wood chippings of a tall tropical tree that is related to trees that… Continue Reading