Bitter almond is also known as Prunus dulcis var amara. It falls under the family of Rosaceae.
Bitter almond is also called as P. amygdalus var. amara, A.dulcis, Amygdalus communis var. amara, and P.communis.
Generally bitter almond tree grows up to a height of 7 meters. The tree is well known as a garden tree based on its pinky white blossom. It is classified as drup.
Bitter almond is distributed natively in North Africa to Western Asia. It is cultivated extensively in California and Mediterranean region.
There are two forms of almond tree the bitter almond tree and sweet almond tree. Only bitter almond tree able to produce essential oil.
Traditionally, sweet almond oil or fixed oil is made by pressing the kernels from both the bitter and sweet almond trees. Unlike the essential oil the fixed oil not containing any Prussic acid or benzaldehyde. It also has many medical and cosmetic uses. The fixed oil is useful as a treatment for cough, bronchitis, as a laxatives or heartburn or bladder, kidneys or biliary duct disorders. The fixed oil able to relieve muscular aches and muscular pain, promotes a clear complexion and softens th e skins. It will act as antispasmodic, anaesthetics, narcotic and vermifuge ( to destroy or expel parasitic worms).
The bitter almond essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from the kernels. The nuts are pressed and macerated for 12 – 24 hours in the warm water before the oil is extracted. During this process, the prussic acid is formed which is not present in the raw seed. The commercial bitter almond oil is usually free from prussic acid.
The bitter almond essential oils if light colourless liquid with a marzipan scent.
The bitter almond essential oil consists mostly of benzaldehyde and prussic acid.
The prussic acid which is also known as hydrocyanic acid or cyanide is a poison. While benzaldehyde is moderately toxic.
Bitter almond oil is no longer used for internal medication. The rectified version of the almond oil is useful also for foods flavouring in confectionery. It is commonly used as ‘almond essence’ or marzipan.
Allspice is also known as Pimenta dioica
Allspice falls under the family of Myrtaceace
It is also known as P.officinalis, Jamaica pepper and pimento.
Allspice is a greenish tree which is about 10 meters high. It begins to produce fruit in its third year. The fruit consists of two kidney shaped green seed and upon ripening will turn into glossy black.
Allspice is distributed indigenously in South America, West Indies. It is cultivated in Jamaica and Cuba extensively and to a lesser degree in Central America.
Four other variation of allspice is also found on Guyana, Venezuela and the West Indies.
Traditionally, allspice is sided for indigestion, flatulence, and for rheumatic pain or neurological pain externally. Allspice water is used for constipation and dyspepsia. It also helps to prevent griping pains. Domestically, it used as a spice. It is called allspice because it tastes like the combination of juniper berries, cloves, pepper and cinnamon.
Allspice may also acts as analgesic ( to relieve pain), anaesthetic ( reduce sensitivity to pain), anti oxidant, anti septive, muscle relaxant, carminative( to relieve flatulence), stimulants, tonic and rubefacient ( substance that increase redness on the skin due to the increase in blood circulation).
Allspice essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from the fruit and the leaves. The green unripe berries have more oil than the ripe berries of allspice.The largest percentage of the oil present in the shell of the fruit. Steam distillation may also lead to the production of oleoresin in small quantities.
Allspice essential oil originated from the leaves is a yellowish red or brownish liquid with a powerful sweet spicy scent. Allspice essential oil from the fruit is a play yellow liquid with a sweet warm balsamic spicy bodynotes and fresh clean top note. It mixed well with geranium, ginger, opopanax, lavender , ylang ylang, labdanum, neroli, patchouli, oriental and spicy bases and neroli.
Allspice essential oil consists of Eugenol which is less in the fruit than in the leaves. Other substances include, cineol, caryophyllene and phellandrene.
Eugenol in allspice essential oil may lead to irritation of the mucous membrane and the skin.
Allspice is useful for aromatherapy, muscle and joints and home use circulation. It used to treat fatigue, arthritis, rheumatism, muscle cramp and stiffness. Used in tiny amounts as massage oil for chest infections, extreme cold and severe muscle spasm to restore mobility.
Allspice is used for chills, bronchitis and congested cough. It is also used for cramp, flatulence, nausea and indigestion. Depression, neuralgia ( nerve pain), stress and tension as well as nervous exhaustion can also be treated with allspice essential oil.
Allspice essential oil is also used for aromatic carminative medicine ( to relieve flatulence) and as a fragrance component in cosmetic and perfumes such as aftershaves or soaps. The allspice essential oils from leaf and fruit are also used substantially for food flavourings such as frozen foods and savoury, alcoholic and soft drinks.
Ajowan is also known as Trachyspermum copticum which falls under the family of Apiaceace or Umberlliferae.
The synonyms of ajowan is Ammi copticum, T.ammi, Calum ajowan, omum, ajuan,and Ptychotis ajowan.
Ajowan is an annual herb. It is greyish brown seed and resembles parsley in form and appearance.
Ajowan is distributed in India mostly and in Egypt, Afghanistan, Seychelle Islands and West Indies.
Traditionally, the seeds of ajowan is used in curry powders extensively and as remedy for intestinal problems. The essential oil, tincture and thymol are used in treating cholera as part of the Indian medicine.
Ajowan is a powerful carminative ( a drug that relieves flatulence), germicide ( to kill harmful microorganism) and antiseptic.
Ajowan essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from the seeds.
The ajowan essential oil is reddish or yellow orange in liquid with herbaceous spicy medicinal odour.
The ajowan essential oil consists of thymol, terpinene, carvacrol and cymene as well as pinene.
The common side effects of ajowan essential oil include irritation of the mucous membrane and dermis. It should be avoided in pregnancy due to the presence of thymol.