Monday, November 2, 2009

Anise Essential Oil - Smells Like Licorice!

Happy Monday from and! We are busy this morning bottling our pure anise star essential oil and the scent of delightful licorice has saturated our office! Anise essential oil is one of our best selling oils. Why is that? Is it truly loved for its licorice like aroma?
The Anise herb is native to Asia and China. It is known for its flavor, which resembles licorice, fennel, and tarragon. The anise plant is an herbaceous annual plant that grows to three feet tall. The leaves are at the base of the plant and are very simple. They are about two to five centimeters long and shallowly lobed. The leave higher on the stems are feathery pinnate and divided into numerous leaves. The flowers of the anise plant are white and about three millimeters in diameter. They are produced in dense umbels. The anise fruit is an oblong dry schizocarp that is about three to five millimeters in length. The seedpods are referred to as aniseed.
Anise is sweet and very aromatic. It can be distinguished by its licorice-like flavor. It is widely used in a variety of regional and ethnic confectioneries, including British Aniseed balls, Austrailain Humbugs, New Zealand Aniseed wheels, Italian pizzelle, German pfeffernusse and springerle, Netherland Muisjes, Norwegian knots, and Peruvian Picarones. Anise is a key ingredient in Mexican “atole de anis” which is similar to hot chocolate. It is taken as a digestive after meals in India.
Anise was used in ancient Rome as flavoring. However, it contains nutrients like calcium and iron. This herb was added to foods to prevent indigestion when eating large quantities of food. Additionally, it was used to help with bad breath. Hippocrates recommended this herb to relieve both coughs and congestion.
The oil and seeds of the anise plant are used to provide anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, galactagogue, stimulant, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are B vitamins, calcium, choline, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Primarily, anise provides extraordinary benefits for support of colds, colic, coughs, gas, indigestion, absent lactation, excessive mucus, and pneumonia.
We also sell organic anise star pods, anise seeds, and anise star powder. If you want a great treat try making some homemade anise bread and cookies. The recipes is below! Have a great day!

ANISE BREAD(by machine or hand)
3 tsp active dry yeast
4 C. unbleached flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp unbleached sugar
1¼ C. room temperature milk
1 room temp egg
2 tsp bruised anise seed

Place ingredients into machine according to the order specified by the machine's manufacturer and proceed to make bread.

HAND METHOD - Using the same ingredients above, combine the flour and salt in a large bowl and set aside. Warm the milk to 100° F. Combine yeast, sugar and 2 Tbsp of the warm milk and let sit for 10 minutes. Beat the egg and stir into the remaining milk, then add seeds. Combine the flour and yeast mixtures. Add the egg/milk mixture and stir well. When dough begins to hold together, turn out and knead for 8 minutes or till smooth and elastic. Place in oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or till doubled. Punch down, turn out and knead again for about 5 min. Shape into a loaf and place in oiled bread pan. Let rise about 40 min while covered with a towel. Bake at 400° F for 40 min.


2 eggs
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 C. sifted flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp crushed anise seed.

Sift together flour and baking soda and set aside. Beat eggs till light and add sugar gradually. Continue beating for 3 to 5 minutes. Add vanilla. Add flour mixture. Add seeds. Beat 5 minutes. Drop 1/2 tspfuls of batter on cookie sheet. Dry at room temp for 18 hours then bake at 325° F about 12 minutes or till they begin to brown.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Vanilla Essential Oil On Sale

Our ever so popular vanilla 10 fold essential oil is on sale again! Get yours at either or or stop by our retail herb shop in Port Orange, Florida!
The Vanilla Plant - Vanilla grows on a vine that climbs up a tree or pole - any support can be used. In nature it will grow as high as it is allowed, but on plantations the vine is folded down to where it can be reached so that all the beans can be harvested. This also has the effect of encouraging flowering and making the plant more productive.
The vanilla planifolia flower is an orchid that produces a fruit that is a result of the pollination of the flower. Pollination, however isn’t easy because while the plant has both male and female organs, they are separated to prevent self-pollination. Natural pollination can only be carried out by a certain species of bee that is native to Mexico. Therefore, in order to grow vanilla in other place, the plants must be pollinated by hand.
Vanilla plants are propagated by cuttings, and it takes 18 months for a new cutting to produce it’s small yellowish green orchid blooms. Each flower only blooms for a few hours. So workers must inspect the plants dutifully throughout the day in order to pollinate as many flowers as they can. A few weeks after pollination, a long green bean will start to grow - the vanilla bean. The bean is left growing on the vine for 9 month in order for it to develop it’s unique flavor. When the bean is finally picked it has no fragrance or flavor until it is dried.
There are various methods of drying vanilla beans. Whichever method is used, the enzymatic process of the bean must be stopped first or it will ferment so the bean is either blanched in hot water or heated in an oven. The beans are then dried in the sun for months and then placed in wooden boxes where they “sweat” out 80% of their moisture. This is when their distinctive flavor and aroma really starts to come out. The beans are then sorted and the essential oils are extracted from the beans. Sugars are added to the oil in order to preserve its flavor.
The long, slender fruits ('beans' or 'pods') are harvested before they ripen, but the powerful vanilla flavour only develops after a several months of special curing. The beans are spread in the sun in the morning, then covered and kept enclosed during the night. After a while the green beans turn brown, and the glycosidically bound vanillin is slowly liberated. It is understandable why vanilla is so expensive. The small black points in the dessert, showing that true vanilla has been used, are the seeds, unusually large for orchids. White fluffs on the surface of the vanilla pods are neither mould nor insecticide, but pure crystallized vanillin, and a sign of high quality. The major part of the world's vanilla is used for making vanilla extracts, used on a large scale in finer chocolate, ice-cream, cookies, etc. The Danish company Danisco has become an important actor on this market.Vanillin, or 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde, is definitely the major odorant from vanilla, but several additional aroma compounds are formed during the curing process (more than 100 are identified). Guaicol, creosol, acetovanillone, vanillyl alcohol and methyl salicylate seem to be of importance, together with vitispiranes [110] [111].Already in 1876 Reimer and Tiemann succeeded in synthesizing vanillin in the laboratory. Pure vanillin is used as an odorant for many purposes. It has a powerful, sweet vanilla odour, but without the rich complexity of the vanilla bean.
Our pure vanilla essential oil is a 10 fold. Its botanical name is "Vanilla planifolia". "Ten Fold"this refers to the concentration of the essential oil. Ten fold essential oils are considered to be superior to the extracts commonly sold. Try our pure vanilla essential oil Vanilla essential oil as a premiere sensual aphrodisiac and one of the most popular flavors/aromas around. Comforting and relaxing. It is also an ingredient in Oriental type perfumes. Vanilla is one of the most well known scents. The essential oil has a rich, sweet, vanilla odor. Vanilla oil has no known toxicity Avoid high concentration in pregnancy. Avoid very high concentrations in skin care.It is recommended that this essential oil be stored in dark amber, blue or green glass bottles since it has been found to dissolve aluminum bottles.


Rachel O. - Writer, Herbalist

Sunday, May 24, 2009

How To Relax - Patchouli Essential Oil

Happy Sunday Bloggers,

From all of us at and we hope you are having a great weekend! As we sit here working extra hours at the Florida Herb House we stare down at our oil burner and realize that we just burned away our last few drops of our aromatherapy patchouli essential oil. No worries though as we have about 30 bottles in the back shelf "Phewwww". If we had to recommend any one single essential oil from out store to help one relax and ease tension then it would be our patchouli hands down! Lets take a brief look at the wonders of this amazing plant and the sensational theraputic properties that it's essential oil offers.
Patchouli is a fragrant plant that grows in the tropics throughout the world. The oils distilled from its leaves and shoots have a very rich spicy odor, which is said to improve with age.The components of the oil are eugenol, cinnamaldehyde, and henzaldehyde. Patchouli has demonstrated antifungal and antibacterial properties. Patchouli has been used for digestive disorder, infections, cold, headache, nausea, and pain. Patchouli is commonly used in perfumes and cosmetics.
Patchouli oil has an amazing effect for sharpening the wits as well as fighting depression and anxiety. It is also said to create an amorous atmosphere. It is effective for fungal and bacterial infection and is of great help for insect bites. It could also be used as an insect repellent and is also used as a support for dealing with any substance addiction. With its excellent diuretic properties, it is effective in fighting water retention and to break up cellulite. Furthermore, it has a great deodorizing action, and helps when feeling hot and bothered, while cooling down inflammations and assisting with wound healing. On the skin, this oil is one of the most active and is a superb tissue regenerator, which helps to stimulate the growth of new skin cells. In wound healing, it not only promotes faster healing, but also helps to prevent ugly scarring when the wound heals. Try one of our pure undiluted or ready to use aromatherapy essential oils on sale today!


Monday, March 30, 2009

Peppermint And Lemongrass Our Favorite Essential Oils!

Hello Blogger Friends!

Happy Monday to all our friends out there in blog nation! From all of us here at and we invite you to browse our all natural and organic specialty stores! As many of you may or may not know last year we began to offer our own line of pure undiluted oils as we as our newest convenient ready to use aromatherapy and massage single blends using our own high end sweet almond and jojoba oils mixed in perfect ratios.
Today we are going to talk briefly about our two favorite essential oils Peppermint and Lemongrass. We all seem to agree that the aroma is second to none in our office and warehouse when these are heated in our oil lamps. So now a little more info on these two great and natural aromas!
First the peppermint. Our peppermint essential oil which has the technical name Mentha piperita is made using steam distillation. The aroma of this top note oil is powerful and will fill a room quickly. Many people have emailed us with their liking of the soothing aroma and heat like sensation when used as a massage oil. Just a few drops of our undiluted oil will also keep insects at bay!
Our lemongrass essential oil is very similar to the peppermint with the exception of a very different aroma and different technical name Cymbopogon citratus. This top note oil has a slightly more yellowish color than peppermint. Its aroma is about as powerful as peppermint oil.
One tip we love to give our customers who drive or work long hours and need a natural pick me up is to put a couple drops each of pure peppermint and lemongrass essential oil on a tissue and the either tape it to your ceiling fan base or if driving stuff it into your vehicle's air conditioning vent. The aroma helps with mental alertness, focus, and mental clarity and may help keep those purple elephants off the road as your eyes get heavier and heavier.
These two oils are also used in our pure beeswax lip balms and work great! As we can't reveal the exact amount we use in each lip balm we can say that two ounces of these pure undiluted oils will make hundreds of our lip balms. If you have a friend or family member who can really deliver the "Oh My Goodness" factor after a good healthy sit on toilet then keep some of our aromatherapy blended peppermint or lemongrass oil nearby with your oil lamp. This is sure to negate the bad aroma in minutes!

Have a great day!


Stephen C. Sharp
Florida Herb House

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Essential Oils - The Simple Guide

Happy Saturday Bloggers!

As many of you may already know the and do everything possible to make essential oil use and education as simple as possible. With over 50 pure undiluted as well as ready to use blended essential oils for sale we see so many common questions about these powerful little oils. Today we will begin to discuss some of them.

Probably a safe bet to say that if you asked your friend or neighbor what essential oils are they would say something like "Well They Are Oils That You Burn And They Are Essential Because They Are Made From The Earth". In a nut shell here is the nitty gritty basic way to understand essential oils.

Take raw crude oil, distill it, and out comes paint thinner. As this process is far more complicated than this the basic principle is exactly the same for essential oils. Essential oils are herbs, mainly the leaves, that are distilled and from this process comes the pure constituents from the leaves being used. Without using a solvent to extract the herbs, oil distillation is the most practical means of extraction. You may have heard of other oils like almond oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, etc etc. These oils are extracted by actually using a mechanical crushing process that literally squeezes the oil out. This type of oil is called a carrier oil and is less volatile. Essential oils evaporate at a much higher rate than carrier oils. The process used to crush the seeds and nuts is commonly referred to as "Expeller Pressed".

Remember that pure essential oils that are undiluted can be dangerous when not used properly. Use care and guidance when mixing your pure essential oils. They can irritate skin, cause dizziness, be harmful when used internally and one must get the proper guidance before jumping into the essential oil world. Many aromatherapy and massage oils come already diluted and blended and are ready to use. This is a great way to buy your oils if you are not familiar with the proper blending ratios. When we make our hand poured beeswax lip balms there is only about 2 drops of pure undiluted essential oil in each lip balm. Yes that is how strong they are! We do offer pre-blended massage and aromatherapy essential oils for our customers convenience.

In our nest session we will begin to discuss the most popular essential oils, what they blend best with, and their basic uses. We hope you join us on our essential oil blog each week! Have an essential day!


Stephen C. Sharp
Florida Herb House