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Herb Profiles

At Archeus we want to share our love of the plants and herbal knowledge we use in our products with our customers. We hope you enjoy this section that provides further information about the plants and ingredients we use.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Ingredient

Benefits

History  and legend

Algae extract
INCI: 
Algae extract

Certification: USDA Organic

Algae extract nourishes the skin with vitamins and minerals and protects the skin from anti-oxidant stress. It also has wrinkle prevention properties and hydrates the skin. Especially suitable for sensitive and irritated skin.

Seaweed and algae has been used in the beauty rituals of geisha for centuries.

Aloe Vera
INCI:
Aloe Barbadensis leaf extract

 

Aloe leaves contain a plethora of antioxidants including, beta carotene, vitamin C and E that can help improve the skin's natural firmness and keep the skin hydrated. Its anti-inflammatory properties help in treating blemishes, acne and other skin problems.  It is great for people who have sensitive skin can as it is very soothing and does not cause any irritation.

Egyptians call Aloe Vera 'the plant of immortality'.  In Africa, the aloe is hung over houses and doors to bring good luck.

Avocado Oil
INCI:
Persea gratissima

Certification: USDA organic

Avocado oil is rich and penetrating and a wonderful source of Vitamins A and D beta carotene. It contains plant steroids (sterolins) which help soften the skin and make the oil super-hydrating and it is known to improve skin regeneration and cell renewal. It is beneficial in anti-ageing products and studies have shown it can help fade age spots, reduce sun damage and scars.

It is believed the avocado pit promotes beauty – hardly surprising given the beneficial qualities of the oil.

Beeswax
INCI:

Cera alba

Certification:
Organic

Utilized in a variety of skin care products, beeswax improves the condition of skin. Completely non-toxic, beeswax is known for its healing properties. Non-allergic, beeswax also sustains sunscreen action with its water repellent properties, combines well with multiple ingredients, offers elasticity and provides greater permanence on skin or lip surfaces. When added to skin care products, beeswax acts as an emollient, drawing moisture to the skin and sealing it in. As a result, it fosters cells and protects skin from damaging environmental factors. Beeswax also contains vitamin A, which is beneficial in softening and hydrating dry skin and in cell reconstruction.

Beeswax is made by bees for their honeycomb foundations and structure.  Humans have been using it for thousands of years and it has been found in the tombs of Egypt, in wrecked Viking ships and in Roman ruins. We love to use it in our lip balm.

Borage oil
INCI:
Borago Officinalis Seed Oil

Certification: 100% Pure

We use borage because it is very soothing and skin-softening. It helps reduce redness in sensitive skins and its anti-inflammatory and hormone balancing qualities make it really good for skin that suffers from acne or blemishes. It is a bit of a luxury but we love it.

In folklore, Borage is believed to strengthen courage – and don’t we all need a bit of that at times!

Calendula Oil
INCI:
Calendula Officinalis

 

 

Calendula is one of Nature's great all-rounders. Its gorgeous bright yellow to orange petals and the sticky resin in its leaves and stems are packed with healing properties your skin will love. It is ideal for dry, dehydrated and irritated skin. It stimulates the production of collagen, thus is said to help prevent wrinkles. It has antiseptic and healing properties so is also superb for use on skin inflammation and acne.  It does so much to help us, yet is so mild and gentle. It is one of our signature ingredients.

There is a lovely tale that says if a girl touches the petals of calendula (marigold) with her bare feet, she will understand the language of birds.

Calendula extract
INCI:
Calendula Officinalis

 

 

Calendula is one of Nature's great all-rounders. It is ideal for dry, dehydrated and irritated skin. It stimulates the production of collagen, thus is said to help prevent wrinkles. It has antiseptic and healing properties so is also great for use on skin inflammation and acne.  It does so much to help us, yet is so mild and gentle. It is one of our signature ingredients.

Calendula and calendar come from the same Latin word. This is because the flower has a blooming season that is almost continuous. In Wales, it was once believed that if calendula flowers were not open by seven in the morning, there was rain on the way.

Camellia Oil
INCI:
Camellia sinensis

Certification: USDA organic

Camellia is our friend. It has been at the heart of the beauty secrets of the geisha for centuries. Camellia oil has outstanding moisture and emollient properties and it is one of the lightest and most absorbent of the plant oils. It penetrates skin as fast as water, leaving it supple and hydrated. The oil contains mono-saturated essential fatty acids and very high in oleic acid (Omega 9 fatty acid) and antioxidants. Camellia oil contains vitamins, A, B, and E and one of the most precious constituents for skin - phytosqualene. Squalene is a natural component of human sebum. With age we become deficient in squalene, which results in dry skin, premature aging and wrinkles. Camellia oil helps counter that while also protecting skin from harmful UV and environmental damage, forming a thin shield against strong sun rays and change of temperatures. It also known to protect from age spots, freckles and excessive pigmentation. It is safe to use around eyes to prevent lines. We love it.

The Camellia is said to bring in riches and luxury. It has been used for drinking, beauty and medicine since around 1000 BC.

Chamomile essential oil
INCI:
Anthemis nobilis essential oil

Certification: 100% Pure therapeutic grade

Chamomile is a sweetly aromatic annual plant, native to Europe. It has long held a reputation for its gentle soothing qualities both physically and emotionally. Its qualities help quieten, centre and relax the user. It has anti-anxiety, antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antispasmodic properties. It can be applied to itchy skin and eczema. Tests have shown it is beneficial for healing wounds.

In the language of flowers, chamomile means patience in diversity. It is known as the herb of humility because, as a lawn plant, the more it was trodden on, the faster it grew.

Chamomile Floral water
INCI: 
Roman Anthemis Nobilis Flower Water

 

Chamomile is a sweetly aromatic annual plant, native to Europe. It has long held a reputation for its gentle soothing qualities both physically and emotionally. Its qualities help quieten, centre and relax the user. It has anti-anxiety, antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antispasmodic properties. It can be applied to itchy skin and eczema. Tests have shown it is beneficial for healing wounds.

Floral waters and hydrosols are a by-product of essential oil processing. It is the water that is collected when plants are distilled. During the steam distillation process, the steam absorbs much of the aroma and healing qualities of the plant itself. As the steam cools it condenses back into water and forms the deliciously perfumed floral water or hydrosol.

A gentle and forgiving plant, chamomile soothes the spirit and can be a magnet for gentle nature spirits. It attracts prosperity and love. Lovely chamomile, how sweet you are.

Cocoa Butter
INCI: Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter

Certification: USDA organic

Cocoa butter is high in antioxidants, which help fight off free radicals. Free radicals are causes of skin stress and signs of aging.  It is deeply hydrating and holds moisture onto the skin. Cocoa butter is frequently recommended for eliminating stretch marks and other scars.

Long before Columbus first set foot on the shores of the New World, the Cacao tree was revered by the Aztecs and Mayans of Central America. They had already been cultivating it for several hundred years and regarded it as a source of divine ambrosia, which had been bestowed upon them by their great God Quetzalcoatl, who was the first to have planted it in his garden.

Evening Primrose Oil
INCI: Oenothera biennis

Certification: USDA organic

Evening primrose helps repair and maintain healthy skin tissue. It can help minimize fine lines and gives a moisture boost to dry skin.

The Evening Primrose is so called because it blooms in the evening and seems to glow slightly in the dark. Folklore says that faeries collect dew from evening primrose flowers to make potions.

Emulsifier O
INCI: Cetearyl olivate and Sorbitan olivate

Certification: Eco-Cert approved

Derived from olives, we love this emulsifier. It forms highly stable and skin compatible liquid crystals which are similar to the lipids of the cutaneous barrier of the skin. This means it is able to physiologically integrate in the stratum corneum and to carry its efficacy also to deeper layers of the skin.  Because of its restructuring and thickness properties, it has anti-ageing properties, giving tonicity and elasticity to the skin.

 

Frankincense essential oil
INCI:
Boswellia serrata essential oil

Certification: 100% Pure therapeutic grade

The name ‘frankincense’ was derived from a medieval French word meaning ‘luxuriant incense.’Frankincense is an impressive skin care ingredient. It is astringent, slightly anti-inflammatory, and has an incredible ability to rejuvenate skin and eradicate wrinkles. Its antioxidant properties and cell regeneration abilities lead to smoother, more youthful skin.  Frankincense is particularly helpful for older skins, and has a definite tonic effect, helping to restore skin firmness, while also slowing down the appearance of wrinkles.

Frankincense is long recognized by religious and spiritual traditions the world over. Its centring effect allows one to focus clearly and is an ideal aid to meditation, contemplation, and prayer, ceasing mental chatter and stilling the mind.

The Egyptians used frankincense in their temple ceremonies and rituals, as kohl for their eyes and as a rejuvenator of the skin.  Frankincense was found in the tomb of the ancient Egyptian King Tutankhamen.

Geogard 221 Preservative
INCI: Dehydroacetic acid (DHA) & benzyl alcohol

Certification: Ecocert approved

Geogard 221 is a unique blend featuring dehydroacetic acid as the primary active ingredient. Geogard 221 has global approval for virtually every personal care and cosmetic application. It is permitted by Ecocert as a synthetic preservative in ecological and organic certified cosmetics.

 

Geranium Hydrosol
INCI: Pelargonium graveolens water

 

 

Geranium is a great all-rounder and is held in high regard for its skin healing and balancing properties.  It stimulates the lymphatic system, regenerates tissue and eases inflamed skin disorders such as eczema and acne. It has a balancing effect on the production of sebum and so is great to use on any skin type.

Floral waters and hydrosols are a by-product of essential oil processing. It is the water that is collected when plants are distilled. During the steam distillation process, the steam absorbs much of the aroma and healing qualities of the plant itself. As the steam cools it condenses back into water and forms the deliciously perfumed floral water or hydrosol.

Herbal wisdom has always considered Geranium as a protection fragrance and oil.

Red geraniums are seen as protective, while white are used for fertility spells and pink are used in love potions.

Green tea extract
INCI: 
Camellia Sinensis

Certification:
USDA Organic

The Far East has been aware for centuries of the many health benefits associated with green tea extract. These benefits have now been backed by research, as it has been found that green tea extract is rich in polyphenols such as bioflavonoid and antioxidants such as EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate). These fight free radicals present in the body. The antioxidant EGCG found in green tea is more effective in fighting free radicals than vitamins C and E.

Green tea is renowned for its health benefits. See our Matcha section for more details.

Hemp Seed Oil
INCI: 
Cannabis sativa Seed Oil

Certification: USDA Organic

Hemp contains a high amount of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids which make it ideal for anti-inflammatory skin care products. It has excellent soothing, balancing and anti-ageing properties.

It has numerous benefits as it contains anti-oxidants, protein, carotene, phytosterols, phospholipids, as well as a number of minerals including calcium, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, iron, zinc, and phosphorus. It is a source of complete protein and contains all twenty know amino acids, including the nine essential amino acids. It also contains Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, D, and E. It has a higher percentage of essential fatty acids than any other plant in the world.

The green colour in hemp seed oil is a result of the high level of chlorophyll which is naturally present in the seeds.

According to Chinese legends, the name Ma Gu (called Mago in Korean and Mako in Japanese) literally means "Hemp Maid". Ma Gu is a legendary Taoist immortal being associated with the elixir of life, and she is a symbolic protector of females. Stories in Chinese literature describe Ma Gu as a beautiful young woman with long birdlike fingernails, and early myths associate her with caves.

 

Lavender Essential Oil (NZ Pacific Blue)
INCI: 
Lavendula Angustifolia

Certification: 100% Pure therapeutic grade

For centuries, lavender has been used as a general tonic, sedative, antispasmodic, antibacterial, diuretic, and digestive aid. It is used to treat skin ailments such as fungus, burns, wounds, eczema and acne,

In folklore, lavender has powers of love, protection, sleep, chastity, longevity, purification, happiness and peace.

During the Victorian era women ‘of refinement’ carried hand-sized aromatic “swooning pillows” filled with lavender and camphor, so that they could be readily revived from a faint.

Lavender Water - Pacific Blue NZ
INCI: 
Lavandula Angustifolia Water

Certification: 100% Pure

For centuries, lavender has been used as a general tonic, sedative, antispasmodic, antibacterial, diuretic, and digestive aid. It is used to treat skin ailments such as fungus, burns, wounds, eczema and acne.

Floral waters and hydrosols are a by-product of essential oil processing. It is the water that is collected when plants are distilled. During the steam distillation process, the steam absorbs much of the aroma and healing qualities of the plant itself. As the steam cools it condenses back into water and forms the deliciously perfumed floral water or hydrosol.

The 20th Century Herbalist, Maud Grieve noted that when exposed to Lavender water, lions and tigers in zoos became docile.

Myrrh essential oil
INCI:
Commiphora myrrha

Certification: 100% Pure therapeutic grade

Myrrh’s many properties include Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antitumoral, analgesic, anti-infectious, antiviral, anti-parasitic, antiseptic, astringent and tonic. It has been revered over centuries for its healing properties.

The renowned Greek physician Hippocrates (460-377 BC) praised myrrh as a balm for sores, the Romans used it to treat infections and the Hebrews used it as a painkiller. Myrrh and Frankincense usually go hand in hand. It is used in healing and charms and is reputed to create peace.

Neroli Essential Oil
INCI: 
Citrus aurantium amara

 

 

Neroli essential oil is extracted from the fragrant blossoms of the bitter orange tree. It has a beautiful aroma that appeals to men and women alike.

Neroli is luxurious and deeply soothing. It has antiseptic properties and has an uplifting effect on the emotions.

In the 17th century, the duchess of Bracciano, Italy and the princess of Nerola, first introduced neroli oil to high society (hence the name). She used it during her bath, perfumed her stationary with it as well as her gloves and scarves.

Neroli Floral Water
INCI: Citrus aurantium amara floral water

 

 

Neroli is a gorgeous ingredient and can help regenerate and rejuvenate skin cells. It is useful to prevent scar tissue, create smoother skin and combat broken capillaries.

Floral waters and hydrosols are a by-product of essential oil processing. It is the water that is collected when plants are distilled. During the steam distillation process, the steam absorbs much of the aroma and healing qualities of the plant itself. As the steam cools it condenses back into water and forms the deliciously perfumed floral water or hydrosol.

It is believed that Neroli oil originated in South East Asia, later spreading to North Eastern India, Burma and China, and eventually finding its way via Arab traders to Africa, Arabia and Syria. From these regions it was taken to the Mediterranean by the Moors, and by the end of the 12th century it was cultivated in Seville, Spain, thereby leading to the common name for the bitter oranges.

 

Rice Bran Oil
INCI: 
Oryza sativa oil

 

Rice bran oil has been used in beauty traditions of Japan and other countries for centuries. It is rich in anti-oxidants and will protect and replenish your skin. Rice powder was used as a main ingredient in face powders and was used as a softening and soothing ingredient for skin care preparations. Rice bran oil is added to creams to improve dry, damaged, mature skin.

One of the biggest compliments a Japanese woman can be paid is to be called a Nuka Bijin, which translates to 'rice bran beauty'.

 Hungarian women used the water left over from cooking rice as a moisturizer for rough, cracked hands.

Indonesian women soaked white rice in spring water and used the froth that formed on the top of the water to treat acne prone skin and exfoliate the face.

Rosehip Oil
INCI: 
Rosa Rubiginosa

Certification: USDA organic

Rosehip oil has a high concentration of Vitamin E, antioxidants and fatty acids required for fabulous skin. Antioxidants are considered to be effective for reducing and slowing the signs of ageing, fatty acids keep skin supple and moist and vitamin E works wonders on scars.  

Rosehips are used as a charm to attract health and wealth. The belly-shaped fruit, packed with seeds, is a symbol of prosperity and fertility.

Rose Geranium Essential Oil
INCI: Pelargonium roseum

Certification: 100% Pure therapeutic grade

Geranium is a great all-rounder and is held in high regard for its skin healing and balancing properties.  It stimulates the lymphatic system, regenerates tissue and eases inflamed skin disorders such as eczema and acne. It has a balancing effect on the production of sebum and so is great to use on any skin type.

 

Herbal wisdom has always considered Geranium as a protection fragrance and oil.

Known as the 'flower of constancy', it helps to lift spirits and bring joy and happiness to one's daily activity.

Sandalwood essential Oil
INCI: Santalum spicatum

Certification: 100% Pure therapeutic grade

One of the oldest known perfume materials with at least 4000 years of uninterrupted use, Sandalwood is known for benefiting a range of skin problems including acne, dry, cracked and chapped skin, shaving rash and its balancing qualities mean it is also reputed to be good for oily skin.

There are references to sandalwood in Indian scriptures and folklore dating back beyond the birth of Christ and for example is mentioned in Buddist Jatacka stories of the 7th century BC.

Burmese women sprinkle people in the street on the last day of the year with a mixture of rosewater and sandalwood oil to wash away the sins of the year.

Shea Butter
INCI: Butyrospermum parkii

Certification: USDA organic

A rich moisturising butter made from Shea nuts, known for its anti-ageing and skin soothing qualities. Shea butter is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t  block your pores. It may also help reduce the appearance of acne scars, because its antimicrobial properties can fight off infections. Shea is a good source of vitamins A and E, which strengthen your skin and help it repair damage. Studies have shown that the caffeic acid in shea butter reduced the damaging effects of UV radiation. We like it for its smooth healing qualities and it feels gorgeous in our moisturisers.

Shea butter is one of Nature's wonders. It has been used for millennia by generations of African people for skin care, baby care, healing and food. The Shea tree is considered sacred because of the bounty of goodness it provides for your skin, hair, beauty and health.

And to top it off, the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, who was magnificently beautiful, was said to owe her legendary beauty to the use of Shea butter. Yes please!

Sweet Almond Oil
INCI: 
Prunus amygdalus

Certification: USDA organic

Sweet Almond is an extremely versatile oil. It is easily absorbed into the skin and particularly beneficial for dry and sensitive skin conditions.

The Chinese consider the almond a symbol of enduring sadness and female beauty.

 

Tea tree Essential Oil
INCI:
Melaleuca alternifolia

Certification: Certified Organic,
Biogro NZ

Tea tree is a powerful immune system stimulant and combines antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is used for acne, burns, cold sores, insect bites, oily skin, rashes, spots and wounds.

 

Our current knowledge of the properties and uses of tea tree is based on a very long history of use by the Aboriginal people of Australia.

Tea tree hydrosol
INCI: 
Melaleuca alternifolia

 

 

Tea tree is a powerful immune system stimulant and combines antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties.  It is used for acne, burns, cold sores, insect bites, oily skin, rashes, spots and wounds.

Floral waters and hydrosols are a by-product of essential oil processing. It is the water that is collected when plants are distilled. During the steam distillation process, the steam absorbs much of the aroma and healing qualities of the plant itself. As the steam cools it condenses back into water and forms the deliciously perfumed floral water or hydrosol.

One of the areas where tea trees are grown in abundance today is called Bungawalbyn which translates to 'healing ground'.

Captain James Cook named the tea tree because he observed the Bundjalung people of eastern Australia use the leaves to prepare a healing tea.

Vegetable glycerine (coconut based)
INCI: 
Glycerin

 

Vegetable glycerin attracts and locks moisture onto the skin.

 

Vitamin E
INCI: Tocopherol

 

A natural anti-oxidant, Vitamin E is an excellent oil for smoothing and reducing scar tissue. It improves skin healing and can reduce age spots.

 

Water
INCI:
Aqua

 

Natural spring water

We wouldn't be here without it!

Witch Hazel
INCI: Hamamelis Virginiana

Certification: USDA organic

Witch hazel has cooling and astringent properties which are valuable for various conditions including varicose veins, abrasions, bruises and skin irritations such as eczema, sunburn and the itching and burning of insect stings.

Native Americans used witch hazel to treat small wounds, insect bites, sore muscles and joints.

The Menominee Indians used witch hazel seeds as sacred beads in medicine ceremonies.

 

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