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Family characteristics represented in the essential oils of plants.

Posted on: November 19, 2016

Plants are categorized by a system that has 7 ranks. You will see the bottom two listed on a bottle of essential oil, Genus and species. The next largest classification is Family. Physical characteristics are used to categorize plants into Families. Essential oils from plants in Families can share show Family characteristics. Learning about plant families can be interesting. It can be a learning tool and a guide for using and blending essential oils.

The Burseracae plant family includes the Boswellia, the Canaruim, and the Commiphora genus. Think of Frankincense, Elemi and Myrrh as representatives of each Genus. Oils from these are used to treat the respiratory system because they are drying and act as an expectorant. They are also used to heal wounds because they are anti-inflammatory and promote scar tissue.

See what I mean…?

This information could be helpful in a few cases, you would like to use Myrrh in a respiratory blend but don’t want to work with the thick material that doesn’t do well in the diffusor. You can use this familial information to find a substitute. Perhaps a blend calls for Elemi, but you don’t like the smell and Myrrh may be a suitable substitute.