Type of plant: Hardy perennial with horizontal root stock and large glossy leaves, growing to 3 feet high with a single stalk atop, which is a dense spike of fragrant white flowers with long, thin petals
Part used: Rhizome
Method of extraction: Steam extraction
Data: Native to China, Nepal, Bhutan, northern India, Thailand, and Myanmar. Grows at altitudes between 3,500 and 9,000 feet. Used in Ayurvedic medicine for multiple purposes. The dried and powdered rhizomes are used in incense production, and also in cooking.
Principal places of production: Nepal, India, China
When buying look for: Pale-yellow to dark-yellow liquid with a musky, green, woody, balsamic, peppery aroma
Therapeutic properties: Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, carminative, digestive, expectorant, stimulant, tonic
Therapeutic uses: Cuts, scratches, wounds, respiratory conditions, insomnia, nausea, cough, chest infection, mental fatigue, anxiety, chronic fatigue, anxiety, stress, nervousness
Blends well with: Bay (West Indian), bergamot, black pepper, cardamom, coriander seed, frankincense, geranium, immortelle, jasmine, juniper berry, lemon, lime, mandarin, marjoram (sweet), niaouli, orange (sweet), palmarosa, patchouli, petitgrain, plai, rosalina, sandalwood, spearmint, turmeric, vanilla, vetiver, ylang ylang
Precautionary advice: Those with highly sensitive skin or prone to allergic skin reaction are advised to carry out a skin patch test.