Friday, November 7, 2008

Immortelle / Everlasting /Helichrysum

Helichrysum /Immortelle



antiviral and astringent.

promotes new cell growth and also has good antioxidant qualities.

Helichrysum oil has a strong straw-like, fruity smell, with a honey,buttery and tea undertone. The color can range from pale yellow to red.

The viscosity is watery and its main constituents are neryl acetate, nerol, geraniol, pinene, and linalool.

The herb contains flavonoids, bitter tasting naringenin, narigenin-5-O-diglucoside, helichrysin A and B and glycosides of apigenin, luteolin, kaempferol and quercetin plus an unidentified antibacterial compound (named arenarin).

Therapeutic uses
Internal use
treat water retention.
chest complaints,

External use

Folk medicine presents it as a great help for fighting the ravages of aging and the therapeutic property of stimulating new cell growth would underscore this, since it encourages the growth and regeneration of new skin cells.

It has great regenerating qualities and can assist in the healing of scars, acne, dermatitis, stretch marks, boils and abscesses and is great for use on aging skin.

Aromatherapy and essential oil use
This specialist essential oil is useful in cases of phobias, after shock, as well as depression and is a powerful cell rejuvenating, regenerating and tissue rebuilding oil.
It energizes the body, boosts the immune system and help with allergies.

It is one of the best oils to use on the skin if rejuvenating and regenerating is required and is a great boon to help heal scars, acne and other skin problems.

It's essential oil have been known to use neat on bad bruises . It can fade bruises almost overnight.

According to Dr. Christoph Streicher, Helichrysum is useful in treating heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat and risk of stroke. Blended with Ylang Ylang it is useful in treating high blood pressure. Dr. Streicher, along with many other authorities, also states that Helichrysum, in a base of Rose Hip Seed Oil will fade older scars.

Immortelle can be found in the ingredients of Pure flowers and L'OCCITANE

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I have not written for such a long time. Busy with auditors, moving to Pandan Indah-( the company I work with presently).

Have you seen Sound of Music?

Do you remember the song edelweiss

Here are some facts about edeiwess.

1.Edelweiss extract comes from Edelweiss flowers, which are short lived perennials.

2 Edelweiss is a German word which means noble and white.

3. The Edelweiss flower is found at altitudes which range from 1,700 meters to 2,700 meters, general in areas with light soil, good drainage and southern exposure.

4. For centuries Edelweiss extract has been believed to have positive health effects, diarrhea and dysentery were two ailments that it was believed Edelweiss extract could cure. Today research by the pharmaceutical industry indicates that there was something to these ancient beliefs

5. It grows in mountains, where the air is very clear, exposed to high UV light and extremes temperature.

6. They have also discovered that the ultra violet light absorbing chemicals this plant has developed from high altitude growth makes it a good additive to sun blocks.

7.Pharmaceutical researchers also are interested in the way some chemicals in the plant prevent amplification of oxides, which are tied to the aging process.8. Used in high quality anti aging and anti wrinkle cosmetics. Ingredient used in Althana 7 minutes lift and Christian Dior’s Dior Snow

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Bunga Raya / Hibiscus

Bunga Raya or the Hibiscus is the national flower of Malaysia and Hawaii..
It has medicinal value. It is astringent, has been used for curing ulser, its cooling properties- used to bring down fever. Some drink it as tea - although some say if you want to get pregnant avoid it- hmmm ...
Anyways- Asians use it for hair. The Malays, Indonesians, used the leaves and flowers before the use of commercial shampoo. The white hibiscus said to prevent grey hair.. Indians use the red hibiscus. It is said to be very good to reduce excessive secretion/ oiliness of the hair and scalp, reduce pore clogging and restore acid/alkaline balance of the hair an eliminates toxins, promoting growth ( Nadkarni 1954, Kurump 1970)
Alamak kena tanam banyaklah pokok ni kat rumah. I have only one ..botak pulak nanti.
Recipe No 1
Large handful of hibiscus leaves
water to cover
Crush leaves loosely with hand. Barely cover with water. Boil for 20 minutes and strain
Massage on to hair and rinse
Recipe No2
10 flowers
150-200 coc0nut oil
Boil the above let it stand for 10-12 hours. Strain and use
You may add neem ( daun semambu) now we need a whole new topic on these. or mint to the above recipe.
Spa at Bali Hyatt recommend these essential oils
Dry hair-- geranium, sandalwood, palmarosa, lavender
Damaged-- geranium, lavender, sandalwoond, frankincense
Grey hair-- camomile, sage, lavender , rose
hairloss- rosemary, juniper, lavender
dandruff- eucalyptus,rosemary,cedarwood, tea tree.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Cananga / Ylang Ylang

This sweet yellow flower is common in Malaysia. I have a pot at home and a tree. One was planted in a pot and the flower florishes like anything. Ithot it was too big for the pot and plant on the ground. Now...no flower. it grew and grew with lots of leaves but no flower. Someone told me to cut the leaves, did that, still no flower. I have since bought another and put in a pot. Tak boleh nak manjakan.

I do not wear synthetic perfume as I don't like the smell of them. I usually take a few blossom of jasmine or the kesidang/breadflower or the gardenia and put then on my hair or ehem.. the old fashion 'pocket'. My mum's cananga ( in a pot by the way) always flowering, and I'd always put take one or two. Some people are sensitive to cananga and unfortunately I am one of them. Once I put two in my inner pocket one in each side and - migraine... I thot maybe the fragrant was too much, so the next time I put only one. Still I have migraine. Nowadays I 'd put it further, in a car or room as long as I'm not like a few centimeters away I'm allright.

Facts about Ylang Ylang

1The tree is about 20 meters (60 feet) high with large, tender, fragrant pink, mauve or yellow flowers and is found in Indonesia, Madagascar, Thailand, Malaysia.

2.means 'flower of flowers'. One of the main ingredient in Chanel no 5.

3. The flower petals are strewn upon the bed on wedding nights in Indonesia and the oil was a popular ingredient of hair preparations in Europe and was known as macassar oil. Ylang is probably best known for its reputation as an aphrodisiac and can be used to treat sexual problems,Ylang Ylang works very well with Lavender great for a good quality nights sleep and you may even have some nice dreams. ...

4. The Ylang-ylang oil is extracted from the freshly picked flowers by water or steam distillation.
The first distillation is called Ylang-ylang extra, which is the top grade. An absolute and concrete are also produced by solvent extraction.

5.The main chemical components are linalool, geranyl acetate, caryophyllene, p-cresyl methyl ether, methyl benzoate, benzyl acetate, benzyl benzoate and other sesquiterpenes.

6. The first pressing is called extra, then 1st , 2nd and so on. The extra, being the sweetest odour is not used in aromatherapy, but used in the perfume industry.

7It is classed as a non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing oil, yet could cause sensitivity have been reported and excessive use of it can lead to headaches and nausea.

8.The therapeutic properties of ylang-ylang oil are antidepressant, antiseborrhoeic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, hypotensive, nervine and sedative.

9.Ylang-ylang oil has a euphoric and sedative effect on the nervous system and helps with anxiety, tension, shock, fear and panic while the aphrodisiac qualities is useful for impotence and frigidity. It can also help with reducing high blood pressure and useful for intestinal infections.
On the skin, ylang-ylang oil has a soothing effect and its balancing action sorts out over-dry as well as overly-oily skin by balancing the secretion of sebum, and has a stimulating effect on the scalp which promotes more luxurious hair growth.

Essential oils must not to be used by pregnant women without prior professional advice, people suffering from chronic illness, young children, or babies. Use this oil with caution as Ylang Ylang can cause nausea & headaches if used in high concentration.
( some of the recipes below eg: preventing hepatitis, curing malaria or asthma are traditionally used in Indonesia - I have no idea if it is effective)
Treating Malaria
3 dried canaga flowers. Pour a glass of hot water, close tightly. Let it cool and drink.
For comfinement mothers
As above but add in honey and kencur /cekur (Kaempferia galanga )
For blocked nose and sore throat.
4 canaga flowers
1 slice of ginger
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup water
Direction Boiled ingredients- reduce to half a cup and drink
Treating wounds ( antiseptic)
50g cananga
20cc hot coconut oil
Put together, apply when cool.
Preventing hepatitis
Boil 3 gram cananga , 20g temulawak, 15gm bangle ( bonglai bukit- Zingiber cassumunar ROXB)with 600cc water , reduce to 300cc, Strain let cool and drink
:5 cananga flowers
5 jlice rimpang temugiring
1 limau purut skin :
Temugiring is widely used in Indonesia to tone skin
Limau purut act as astringent
Blend all ingredient and strain. Pat on face and leave a few minutes. Caution: Please do this at night, as the lime contain vit C and citrus fruit usually make skin photo sensitive.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Kemiri/ Candle Nuts/ kukui/Buah Keras

It comes from the seeds of several species of Aleurites, primarily Aleurites fordii, a deciduous shade tree native to China. It belongs to the Euphorbia Family (Euphorbiaceae) along with the candlenut tree (A. molucanna), another species with seeds rich in unsaturated oils. For centuries the oil has been used for paints and waterproof coatings, and as a component of caulk and mortar. It is an ingredient in "India ink" and is commonly used for a lustrous finish on wood. In fact, the "teak oil" sold for fine furniture is usually refined kukui oil. Some woodworkers consider the oil to be one of the best natural finishes for wood.

The seed of candlenut (Aleurites molucanna) contains about 50 percent oil. This is why it ignites and burns like a candle. The ancient Polynesians brought this tree to the Hawaiian Islands where it has become naturalized. The dried nuts were cracked open and the seeds were skewered onto the midrib of a coconut frond (or slender bamboo stem) and set on fire. The Polynesians used them for candles that burned for about 45 minutes. Hawaiians also extracted the oil for many other uses: to shine and waterproof wooden bowls, to mix with charcoal to make black canoe paint, to burn as torches, and to burn in stone lamps for light.

Shelled candlenuts (Aleurites molucanna) are commonly sold in Asian food markets. Although they superficially resemble shelled macadamia nuts, they should not be eaten raw because they contain a strong purgative. Apparently roasted seeds are eaten, but only in small quantities because of their laxative effect. In Hawaii they are roasted and made into a condiment called inamona, by pounding them into a paste that is mixed with salt. The inamona paste is mixed with seaweed, minced chile peppers and bite-sized cubes of raw ahi fish (or another fish) to prepare a favorite Hawaiian dish called "inamona poke." The cooked, mashed seeds are used in a similar Indonesian dish called "sambal kemiri." Candlenut paste is also used to thicken and flavor Indonesian and Malaysian curries.

Kukui nut oil is high in the essential fatty acids linoleic and linolenic acids. These acids are vital for the metabolism of healthy skin. Vitamins A, C and E are added to stabilize the oil. Kukui nut oil is easily absorbed by the skin. It soothes irritated, sunburned, or burned skin. Surveys have shown that kukui nut oil can help relieve itchy and dry skin due to eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.

Kemiri Bath


10 piesces candlenuts

a few shavings of lengkuas/galagal

Grind candlenuts add galangal and rub gently over the whole body. The nut extracts dirt from body. The nut will change colour after rubbing awhile

Tropical Massage Oil

Kukui nut provides nourishment to the skin and good slip! Macadamia and jojoba add stability and are good for you, too! Scent with cananga

2 parts kemiri oil

1 part coconut oil

1 part jojoba oil

Mix together in a plastic squeeze-type bottle with dispensing

Kukui nuts for hair

Loosely grind a handful of nuts until their oil seeps out. Pan fry briefly, as they turn brown, smash , massage on scalp and leave for 15 minutes. Said to prevent greying

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tuberose / Sundal Malam

Latin name: Polianthes tuberosa.

This flower is made popular in Malaysia by Suhaimi Baba's Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam a story about a vampire whose favourite flower is the tuberose. I have two pots at home. Its especially fragrant in the night hence the name Sundal Malam. Its leaves look like lemon grass- a bit waxy though not as sharp. I would love to plant them in the ground but afraid someone would mow them... yelah looking a bit like lalang. You plant them from bulb.

In Indonesia it is called "bunga sedap malam", meaning fragrant night flower. In Persian, it is called "Maryam" .

MMmm incidently the movie the vampire's name is Maryam. The tuberose is also used traditionally in Hawaii to create Leis and was considered a funeral flower in Victorian times. Its scent is described as a complex, exotic, sweet, floral. The scent of the flower is a fusion of white petals and warm skin, an arresting sensual and heady fragrance.

Its white flowers contain anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties.The legend of the tuberose in France warns that young girls should not breathe in its fragrance after dark for fear that it would put them in a romantic mood.

Its East Indian name is "Rajnigandha", though it is sometimes mistakenly referred to as "Raat ki Rani" ("Queen of the Night"), which is really
Cestrum nocturnum. In Ayurvedic medicine, attars are held in high esteem not only for their exquisite fragrance, but their healing properties. Tuberose is known to improve one’s capacity for emotional depth, opening the crown chakra, improves psychic powers. Tuberose also amplifies artistic inspiration as it stimulates the creative right side of the brain. And it brings serenity to the mind and heart.

Like most night blooming flowers, tuberose is pollinated by nocturnal moths, which explains the white shade of the flowers. Like jasmine, tuberose continues to produce its scent even after the flower is picked, thus, lending itself as a perfect candidate to the traditional painstaking enfleurage method.

Steam distillation with its high temperature is not a feasible way to extract the absolute. While enfleurage is a traditional method traced back to Ancient Egypt, solvent extraction using hexane is far more common. Either method is time consuming, requiring 3600 pounds of blossoms to produce 1 pound of the absolute, which is why tuberose oil is among the most expensive , more expensive than rose, in perfumery, more than $2,000 per pound.

Perfumes dominated by tuberose: Robert Piquet Fracas, Chanel Gardénia, Guerlain Jardins de Bagatelle, Guerlain Mahora, Chloé, Christian Dior Poison, Givenchy Amarige, White Shoulders, Maître Parfumeur et Gantier Jardin Blanc, L’Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse Aux Papillons, Parfums de Nicolaï Number One, Les Parfums de Rosine Mea Culpa, Creed Tubereuse Indiana, Annick Goutal Gardenia Passion, Estee Lauder's Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia.

Additional fragrances containing tuberose: Guerlain L’Heure Bleue, Jean Patou Joy, Balmain Jolie Madame, Hermès Amazone, Lancôme Magie Noire, Caron Nocturnes, Givenchy Organza, Rochas Poupee, Lanvin Arpège.

Sundal Malam Body oil

You will need

Sunflower/ grapeseed oil ( most supermarkets have them) preferably organic
2 stalks of Sundalmalam/ Tuberose

You can extract the perfume from this flower using either sunflower oil or grapeseed oil- Oil that do not have strong scent themselves like the coconut or olive oil. Immerse fully the flower dried or fresh in a jar. Shake daily and keep for two weeks. Strain the flower and repeat until you get perfumed oil. Use the oil after bath.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


The Botanical name Lavandula comes from Latin lavare, meaning "to wash". It has been used in Persia, Greece and Rome to disinfect hospitals and sick rooms. It was use during the Plague and ecognized in British Pharmacopceia for over 200 years. During the War the French used the oil for surgical purposes. Essential of Lavender has antiseptic and anti inflammatory properties. The flowers are used in cooking to flavour sugar, as tea and in vinegar.


There are many species of Lavender

The non English Lavenders ( Lavendula Stoechas)

Yellow, Spanish and French

Yellow- Pineapple shaped ,lemon coloured. Yellow green leaves

Spanish- Dark Purple pineapple shaped with dark green leaves

French-- Gray leaves with serrated edges

Photo taken from http://www.mountainvalleygrowers.com/lavendercareandtips.htm

English Lavenders ( Lavendula Angustifolia)

Left to right - Vera, Munstead, Hidcote , Jean Davis

Large leaved and tall. Vera is thought to be the true English Lavender. Called True or Fine Lavender. Best quality comes from altitutes of2500 and 4500 feet.

Lavandin ( Lavendula x intermedia)

The Botanical name of Lavendins is Lavendula x Intermedia. It is a cross between augustifolia and latifolia. Long Gray leaves, twice or more the size of augustofolias. Much larger and faster. France produce thousand tons of this oil. Most of it to distiller in Grasse.

Spike Lavender ( Lavendula Latifolia)

Dr Rene- maurice Gattefosse reported that during a lab experiment he seriously burned his hand and immediately immersed the hand into a bowl of liquid on a table near him. The pain went quickly away and heal in a short time without scarring.

Beneficial Effects
Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, pain relieving,diuretic,healing, insect repellent.

Improve the following conditions:
Burns, wounds, eczemas, dermatitis, boils, abscesses, herpes, headache, yeast infections, athele's foot, influenza, insomia,nervousness, stress, depression, anger, irritability, anxiety, nausea, dizziness

Mind and Spirit
Balancing, Cleansing, Calming

Deodorizing, balancing, circulation stimulant, detoxifying,tonic, all skin type, acne

Hair loss, Dandruff

Lavender Hydrosol

Lavender hydrosol is gentle, balancing for all skin types, cooling , soothing sunburns, healing irritation, gently tones oily, dry and mature skin, cleanses gently and safely. Lavender has always been recommended for fragile or damaged skin. The hydrosol makes a wonderful ingredient for face masks for all skin types, a gentle toner or cleanser; and a great mister to ease sunburn or windburn.

Emotionally, Lavender Water is relaxing and revitalizing. It can ease stress and reduce mental fatigue. Lavender is an "adaptor," adapting itself to your body and your psyche's needs, soothing or revitalizing as needed. Jeanne Rose recommends it as a remedy to jet lag.