Ingredients Glossary

Flower ingredient

Calendula / Calendula officinalis

Native to Egypt, the Mediterranean through to Europe, this annual aromatic herb is now grown throughout the world. The bright orange daisy-like flower is also referred to as English Marigold or Pot Marigold has an aromatic odour and slightly bitter taste.

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Its name is derived from the Latin word calends, meaning the first day of every calendar month as Calendula flowers open as the sun rises and can be found blooming in some parts of the world every month.

The flowers are the part of the herb used medicinally, either in the form of infusions, tinctures, liquid extracts, creams or ointments.


Calendula has been used as herbal medicine since the 12th century and has been cultivated by the Egyptians, Greeks, Hindus and Arabs. It also grew in Europe where it was cultivated in the kitchen garden as ornamental flower. These are dried for broth, which is said to comfort the heart and spirits.

Flower ingredient

Dandelion / Taraxacum officinale

Usually regarded as a common garden weed, the Dandelion grows wild throughout much of the world. Other common names include Blowball, Puffball, Swine Snout and Wild Endive.

A member of the Asteraceae family (a relative to sunflowers and daisies), it is distinguished by its single yellow flower which opens at dawn and closes at dusk. Once the flower has matured the plant forms a puffball of seeds that are dispersed by the wind.

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Its botanical name Taraxacum originates from the Arabic word tarakhaqun meaning ‘wild chicory’. Its common name is thought to be a corruption of the French word dent de lion meaning ‘lion’s tooth’, a reference to the coarsely toothed leaves. Officinale is traditionally used to refer to a plant with health and medicinal properties that was sold in the apothecary.

Traditionally used in Western Herbal Medicine to:

  • Support gallbladder function
  • Promote bile flow from gall bladder
  • Promote healthy appetite and relieve loss of appetite
  • Support healthy digestion
  • Reduce symptoms of indigestion

Traditionally, Dandelion has long been used in Western Herbal Medicine to support healthy digestion and was also consumed by many different cultures as a food source.

Flower ingredient

Echinacea / Echinacea purpurea

Native to North America it is now widely grown across the world. Echinacea is a member of the Asteraceae family which includes daisies as well as edible herbs like Dandelion and Arnica. It does not hold many common English names, but one of the few is the Purple Coneflower, named because of the attractive flower head with purple, pink petals and cone-shaped centre.

Echinacea is derived from the Greek word echinos, meaning ‘hedgehog’, which refers to the cone-shaped, prickly centre which is said to resemble the spines of a hedgehog.

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Traditionally used in Western Herbal Medicine to:

  • Maintain healthy immune system function

Echinacea was one of the most widely used medicinal plants of the Great Plains Native Americans used to treat a variety of ailments including colds and infections.

Flower ingredient

Elderflower / Sambucus nigra

Native to most of Europe and North America, this small, fast growth deciduous tree is now grown throughout the world. Elderflower also referred to as Elder and Black Elder is one of the commonly used herbs in Western Herbal Medicine, traditionally used for immune health, as well as having a long tradition of culinary use including in cordial, wine and jam.

Its fragrant, white flowers are large and bloom in small clusters, which are then followed by the berry like fruits. Its botanical name is derived from the Latin word nigra, meaning “black”, and refers to the deep dark colour of the berries.

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Traditionally used in Western Herbal Medicine to:

  • Reduce symptoms of common cold
  • Clear respiratory tract mucous
  • Relieve symptoms of sore throat

The traditional uses of elderflower plants involved the whole plant, with teas and tinctures made from the bark and fruit. Native Americans also used the branches of Elderberry to make flutes, so it is sometimes called “the tree of music.”

Flower ingredient

Milk Thistle / Silybum marianum

Milk Thistle is native to the Mediterranean, but due to its widespread availability across the globe, it is also recognised as Saint Mary’s Thistle, Blessed Milk Thistle, Holy Thistle and Our Lady’s Thistle.

It is a member of the Asteraceae family (a relative to sunflowers and daisies) and is recognised as an annual or biennial herb. With its dense-prickly flower head and reddish-purple tubular flowers, this plant is considered a weed and invasive in some parts of the world because of its ability to spread quickly.

Its common name, Milk Thistle, derives from its characteristic milky-white veins on the leaves, which when broken open, produce a milky sap. According to legend, it was believed to carry the milk of the Virgin Mary, which may help explain its name variations.

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Traditionally used in Western Herbal Medicine as a liver tonic and to:

  • Support healthy liver function
  • Protect the liver
  • Support natural liver cleansing and detoxification processes
  • Relieve symptoms of indigestion

Milk Thistle has a rich history in Western Herbal Medicine to help support healthy liver function.

In the Middle Ages, the leaves and stalks were used in salads, soups and pies, with the leaves said to surpass the finest cabbage.

Flower ingredient

Passionflower / Passiflora incarnata

Native to South America and now grown throughout the world, this exotic vine flower is also referred to as Maypop, Apricot Vine and Maracuja.

Its botanical name Passiflora incarnata was coined by Spanish missionaries who saw the flower’s resemblance as the crown of thorns, a symbol of the crucifixion. Incarnata is derived from the Latin word carn, meaning ‘flesh’ and atus, meaning ‘like’.

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Traditionally used in Western Herbal Medicine as a calmative and to:

  • Soothe nerves and relieve nervous tension
  • Reduce symptoms of stress
  • Relieve excess nervous energy
  • Relieve restless sleep
  • Support refreshing sleep

Spanish explorers in South America learned of the Passionflower’s medicinal benefits and brought it back to Europe. It quickly became widely cultivated and introduced to European folk medicine.

Flower ingredient

St. John’s Wort

Native to Europe this upright perennial with showy, star-shaped yellow flowers is now grown throughout the world.

The name, St John’s Wort, is related to John the Baptist as its yellow flower comes into bloom in late June, the time of the feast of Saint John the Baptist. The term wort is the old English word for ‘plant’.

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St John’s Wort can be used to:

  • Support healthy mood balance and emotional wellbeing

It was recognised by early Greek physicians as being both an excellent herb for internal use and also a ward to keep evil spirits at bay.

Flower ingredient

White Peony / Paeonia lactiflora

White Peony is native to Asia, but due to its widespread availability across the globe, it is often recognised by different names including, Garden Peony and Chinese Peony, or by its Chinese name Bai Shao, meaning White Peony. It is a perennial known for its large showy white, pink or crimson flowers.

The name White Peony is referencing the colour of the root (not the colour of the flower), and is the medicinal part of the plant historically used in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Its botanical name is after the mythical Greek figure Paeon, who was said to be a student of Aesculapius, the Greek god of medicine and healing. According to Greek mythology, Zeus saved Paeon from the wrath of Aesculapius by turning him into a peony flower.

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Traditionally used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to:

  • Nourish the live
  • Regulate healthy menstrual cycle

Originating from the Far East, peonies appear strongly in the cultures of Chinese, Tibetan and Siberian folk medicine.

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