A B C Č D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S Š T U V Z Ž Vse
MISTLETOE (Viscum album)


Botany: Parasitic shrub, with yellow-green stems up to 100 cm long; flowers in cymes, unisexual, four-merous; berry white; occurring on woody angiosperms and gymnosperms; native to most of Europe; in America the genus Viscum does not grow wild but the Eastern Mistletoe (in the genus Phoradendron) is similar.

The part used is the herb or the fruit.
Biochemistry: All plant parts contain β-phenylethylamine, tyramine, and related compounds; polypeptides, including viscotoxins: glycoprotein lecitins, including viscumin; phenylpropanoids, including syringin, syringenin-apiosylglucoside, and 4,4`-diglucoside (eleutheroside E); caffeic and gentisic acids, polysaccharides; and others.
Viscum album extract is an extract of the whole mistletoe plant.
Viscum album fruit extract is an extract of the berries of the mistletoe.
Viscum album leaf extract is an extract of the leaves of the mistletoe.



Viscum album Extract
Viscum album extract is classified as nail conditioning, skin conditioning and soothing.
It can be usefully employed in creams to soothe sensitive, or sore skin.  Such creams are disinfecting and soothing and reduce abnormal cell production, which could be useful in psoriasis lotions and anti-dandruff shampoos.
Viscum album Fruit Extract
It is used as a soothing agent.
Viscum album Leaf Extract
It is used as a soothing agent.


Viscum album is a poisonous plant that causes acute gastrointestinal problems including stomach pain, and diarrhoea along with low pulse.
Not assessed for safety in cosmetics by the industry panel.
MINT (Mentha aquatica. Watermint; Mentha arvensis. Cornmint/Peppermint; Mentha piperita. Peppermint; Mentha spicata. Spearmint)


Botany: Closely related perennial aromatic herbs with runners or stolons by which they are propagated.  Leaves of spearmint are sessile (no petioles) while those of peppermint and cornmint are petioled and short petioled.  They grow up to 1 m high, and are cultivated worldwide.  There are 20 true species of Mentha, represented as 2300 named variations.  
Products: Parts used are the dried leaves and the fresh or partially dried whole, above-ground flowering plant.  The former furnishes the herb, while the latter is used for the production of the essential oil.  USA is the major producer of peppermint and spearmint.  Major producers of cornmint are Japan, Taiwan and Brazil. 
Mentha piperita botanical extract, essential oil
Typical minty fragrance with mentholic undertones.
Mentha spicata botanical extract, essential oil
The aroma of spearmint is not as sharp and intense or vital as peppermint, as it contains no menthol. It is often described a slightly fruity aroma.
The mint oil has antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties.


Mentha piperita botanical extract, essential oil
Traditional use: Peppermint has a clean, clearing, penetrating odour. It is used as a breath freshener.  It is invigorating and is used to bathe tired and sweaty feet.  It has a cooling effect on the body. 
The mint oils (especially spearmint oil) are commonly used as fragrance components in toothpaste, mouthwashes, gargles, soaps, detergents, creams, lotions, and perfumes.


Eye contact with unwashed hands after the application of peppermint oil may potentially cause irritation.
Peppermint oil should not be applied on broken or irritated skin.
Hypersensitivity reactions such as skin rash, contact dermatitis, and eye irritation have been reported. These reactions are mostly mild and transient. The frequency is not known. Irritation of the skin and mucosa of the nose is possible, after local application. The frequency is not known.
No case of overdose has been reported.
MACADAMIA (Macadamia ternifolia)


Botany: Macadamia is a genus of nine species of flowering plants in the family Proteaceae, with a disjunct distribution native to eastern Australia (seven species), New Caledonia (one species, M. neurophylla) and Sulawesi in Indonesia (one species, M. hildebrandii).
Macadamia are small to large evergreen trees growing to 2–12 m tall. The leaves are arranged in whorls of three to six, lanceolate to obovate or elliptical in shape, 6–30 cm long and 2–13 cm broad, with an entire or spiny-serrated margin. The flowers are produced on a long, slender, simple stem 5–30 cm long, the individual flowers are 10–15 mm long, white to pink or purple, with four tepals. The fruit is a very hard, woody, globose follicle with a pointed apex, containing one or two seeds (nuts).
History and/or folklore: An oil from the “king of nuts”, a Hawaiian emollient is reported to have properties akin to those of sebum, and helps to recapture the skin of childhood. 
Products: Macadamia nut oil is the non-volatile oil expressed from the nut meat of the macadamia tree. Macadamia oil is high in palmitoleic acid, found in the sebum of our skins, and oleic acid.
Macadamias have the highest amount of beneficial mono-unsaturated fats of any known nut, but also contain approximately 22% of omega-7palmitoleic acid, which has biological effects similar to saturated fat. They also contain 9% protein, 9% carbohydrate, and 2% dietary fibre, as well as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, selenium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.
This relatively high content of "cushiony" palmitoleic acid plus macadamia's high oxidative stability make it a desirable ingredient in cosmetics, especially for skin care.


Macadamia nut fixed oil
Traditional use: The oil effectively hydrates dry and rough skin and reduces the appearance of the fine lines including those around the eyes. It is ideal for use where penetration and lubrication are essential. The oil therefore makes a pleasant massage oil and it has a long shelf life. It shows excellent absorbency with a protective barrier that does not clog the pores of the skin.  It is easily removed by soapy water. The oil is used in products that afford protection from the aging effects of the sun. In hair care it is utilised in brilliantine and hot oil conditioning treatments. It is a highly nourishing and emollient oil recommended for dry and mature skin. Studies have shown that the level of palmitoleic acid in the skin of people suffering from psoriasis is about half that of healthy individual. This would seem to indicate that the replenishment of the palmitoleic acid may be of benefit.  Similarly, Macadamia oil has often been recommended for older skin which starts to dry as the sebum production diminishes.

Macadamia nut fixed oil is non toxic, non allergenic and non-staining.

MANDARIN (MANDARIN OIL) (Citrus reticulate L.)


Names:  Mandarin, mandarine, European mandarin, true mandarin, tangerine (in America)
Botany: Mandarin (Citrus reticulata) is a citrus tree and fruit of the genus Citrus (family Rutaceae) and one of the three original species of the citrus genus, including citron (Citrus medica) and pomelo (Citrus maxima or C. grandis).  The generally accepted theory is that all other types of citrus fruits are only hybrids that have developed over the centuries from these three species.  The mandarin citrus became the most prominent and distinguished, since it is the only sweet of the three ancestors.  The original type of mandarin (C. nobilis) came from Japan and China, but in the Mediterranean an earlier species came that was native to Indonesia and India (C. reticulata).  Today there are dozens of species but they are cultivars that were made by man using selection and various production methodologies.  
Mandarin is larger shrub, about 2 meters tall, although some species reach 4 meters. The leaves are small and very fragrant.  The fruits are slightly flattened at the stem and can be easily removed from the branches. The peel is thin and fragrant.  Peeled fruit has slices that can be easily detached from each other, are pale orange, very juicy and sweet. Adult trees yield 400 to 600 fruits.
The fruit is used fresh or for processing into jams and candied fruits. The peel is used to obtain the essential oil.
The essential oil is cold-pressed or expressed from the peel. It is 
History and/or folklore:
The origin of the name mandarin dates back to early 19th century.  The fruit was named mandarin because of its Chinese origin.  It was well known that the Mandarins were important Chinese aristocrats.  The fruit of the Mandarin tree was a traditional gift offered to the Mandarins, and it was natural that these new Chinese fruit should bear the same name, since these new breed of fruit was noble and relatively pale in colour.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the dried peel of the fruit is used in the regulation of ch'i, and to treat abdominal distension, enhance digestive and liver functions, and to reduce phlegm. Mandarins have also been used in Ayurveda (the traditional medicine of India).  In France, Mandarin is used as a safe remedy for children for indigestion, hiccups and for problems of the elderly, such as digestive problems.
Biochemistry: The volatile oil contains limonene, which is the major constituent.  Other constituents include linalool, citral, citronellal, nerol, geraniol, α-pinene, β-pinene, myrcene, and methyl N methylanthranilate.
Citrus reticulata essential oil – Mandarin essential oil is a pleasant smelling liquid of bright yellow colour, slightly fluorescent.  It is obtained from the peel by cold-pressing/expressing.
Citrus reticulata essential oil 
The names mandarin and tangerine are both commonly used to describe the same essential oil; Mandarin is the common name used in Europe whereas tangerine is the name used in America. However, although they are the same species with the same botanical name, the fruit of the tree has very subtle differences in colour, shape and size.
The oil is described as anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, cytophylactic, depurative, stomachic and tonic.  It is also said to help with soothing the nervous system; calming, sedating (helping with anxiety, dizziness and nervousness).  In a lotion or cream, it is used to help prevent stretch marks when pregnant, while increasing circulation and reducing fluid retention.  Mandarin oil is also used in blended massage oils and baths and in burners and vaporizers. 
Several laboratory studies have shown that mandarin may have antioxidant properties (as mandarin oil also contains Vitamin C, folate, and β-carotene).
Mandarine peel has shown antineoplastic activity in vitro, however, more studies need to be made to support the use of mandarin for any medical indication.
Mandarin is considered to be a very gentle and safe essential oil, when used correctly.
However mandarin cold-pressed oil can be phototoxic and would be best not to expose the skin to sunlight after a treatment with mandarin essential oil.


MAYPOPS (Passiflora incarnata)


Botany: Passiflora incarnata, commonly known as maypop, purple passion flower, true passion flower, wild apricot, and wild passion vine, is a fast growing perennial vine with deep three-to five-lobed leaves and large showy flowers, climbing by axillary tendrils to about 9 m. It is native to the United States.  The part used is the dried flowering and fruiting top.
History and/or folklore:
For centuries the properties of passion flower have been valued in the East and by the Indian tribes of South America (for example, Incas, Aztecs and other tribes).  The fruits were cultivated or managed for fruit production before the arrival of Europeans in Algonquian settlements in Virginia.
Biochemistry: Contains small and highly variable amounts of indole alkaloids, consisting mainly of harman (1-methyl-9H-b-carboline).  Other constituents present include flavonoids (isovitexin 2”- β-D-glucoside, isoorientin 2”-β-D-glucoside, apigenin, luteolin, quercetin, kaempferol, schaftoside, isoschaftoside, saponarin, vitexin, orientin, and rutin), a cyanogenic glucoside, gynocardin, sugars (predominantly raffinose and sucrose), sterols (stigmasterol and sitosterol), n nonacosane, and gum.
Maltol and ethyl maltol have been isolated from the plant. The coumarins, umbelliferone and scopoletin, have been detected in the root.
Passion flower has recently been identified as a rich source of lycopene.
Passiflora incarnata fixed oil
Passiflora incarnata botanical extract
Passiflora incarnata fruit extract is an extract of the fruit of the passion flower.
Passiflora incarnata fixed oil
Traditional use: A light, gentle oil with connotations of soothing and relaxing.  It leaves a natural soft feel to the skin without being over-occlusive. 
Passiflora incarnata botanical extract
Traditional use: Decoctions of Passiflora have been used externally in cases of burns and inflammation.  Also used in bath mixtures for its allegedly calming and soothing effects. 
Passiflora incarnata fruit extract is used for skin conditioning and skin protection.
Not assessed for safety in cosmetics by the industry panel.
MAY CHANG (Litsea cubeba)


Botany: Litsea cubeba is a small tree, 5-12 m high with a stem diameter of 6-20 cm. It is native to China, Indonesia and some other parts of Southeast Asia, where it occurs mainly in mountainous regions.  In the People's Republic of China it occurs naturally in the south of the country but it has been successfully domesticated and large cultivated areas are found in central and eastern China south of the Yangtze River.  In Indonesia the species grows wild in Java, Sumatra and Kalimantan from 700 m to 2300 m above sea level.
Litsea cubeba essential oil:
Litsea cubeba oil is distilled from the small, pepper like fruits of the tree of Litsea cubeba. The oil of Chinese origin, the only source of internationally traded material, is rich in citral (about 70 percent) and has an intense lemon-like, fresh, sweet odour.
Litsea cubeba essential oil
The essential oil of Litsea cubeba has antimicrobial activity (individual volatile components in the oil have an antimicrobial effect on pathogens or spoilage microorganisms.
The oil is used as a fragrance (especially in bar soap) and for flavouring in its own right.  It is recognised for its powerful effect in terms of promoting physical relaxation and mental calm.
Xi – Irritant:
  • Irritating to skin and eyes. 
  • May cause sensitisation by skin contact.
  • Avoid direct contact with skin and eyes.
Not assessed for safety in cosmetics by the industry panel.