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romatherapy Materia Medica

(Cupressus sempervirens)

© Kathi Keville, Mindy Green
 (Excerpted from Aromatherapy)

The landscapes of southern France and Greece are graced with this statuesque evergreen. It has long been associated with death, and even today Egyptians use cypress for coffins, while French and Americans plant it in graveyards. Smoke from the burning gum was inhaled in southern Europe to relieve sinus congestion, and the Chinese chewed its small cones to reduce gum inflammation. Related to juniper, it is commonly found in men's cologne and aftershave lotions.

Family: Cupressaceae
Extraction: Distilled from needles, twigs and, sometimes, cones. Concrete, absolute. Its odor is sharp, pungent, pinelike and spicy.
Medicinal Action: Cypress treats low blood pressure, poor circulation, varicose veins and hemorrhoids. It alleviates laryngitis, spasmodic coughing, lung congestion, urinary problems and cellulite. It is antiseptic and deodorant, and reduces excessive fluids in the body associated with conditions such as diarrhea and runny nose.
Cosmetic/Skin Use: Use cypress on oily skin or to reduce excessive sweating.
Emotional Attribute: Cypress eases insomnia and grief, and increases emotional stamina, helping one to get on with life after an emotional crisis.

About The Author
Kathi Keville has studied herbs since 1969. Her attraction to fragrant plants led to an involvement in aromatherapy. Her other books include Herbs for Health and Healing;......more
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