Does your town have a botanical shop? Or maybe you have come across an online botanicals vendor while surfing the web. If you have ever wondered what these companies sell, this article will give you a rundown of what you can find at the typical botanical shop.
Before we get into that, let’s define botanical. It simply refers to something that is plant-based, and it comes from the word “Botany”, which is the study of plants. Botanicals are completely different from botanical herbal supplements.
While a botanical shop may sell botanical herbal supplements, it is important to understand that only botanicals that are approved by the FDA for human consumption should ever be consumed. Now let’s get into our list.
1 – Kratom
Mitragyna Speciosa, known commonly as kratom, is an evergreen tree that falls in the coffee family. It can grow up to 10 feet tall and grows natively in the jungle climates of Southeast Asia. It was part of many aromatic botanical blends used in ritual ceremonies of that part of the world’s ancient cultures.
It has made its way west over the last decade and can now be found in most of the botanical shops in your proximity. You may want to consider purchasing from online vendors, though, as botanical shops tend to have less variety.
2 – Lavender
Lavender’s botanical name is Lavandula angustifolia. It grows native to the Mediterranian, so it thrives in a hot climate that is on the drier side. There are breeds of lavender that are more resistant to cold, which are best for those who live in colder climates but still want to add this plant to their garden.
Lavender is typically sold in extract form. This essential oil is then used in aromatherapy, as well as fragrance creation.
3 – Frankincense
Frankincense is another one of the most popular botanicals. There are actually seven different species of the Boswellia tree, which is where frankincense comes from. These trees are native to Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and India.
Frankincense has been used in cultural rituals for thousands and thousands of years. It was mentioned in the bible as one of the three gifts given to Jesus by the three wise men.
4 – Rosemary
Rosemary is an evergreen shrub that is native to the Mediterranean. It was a favorite herb of early Greeks and Romans. The official botanical name is Salvia Rosmarinus. When it is extracted into an essential oil and used in aromatherapy, it is known to have invigorating and refreshing effects.
It is usually the extract form that is available at botanical shops. The herbal form can be found in the herbs and spices section at the grocery store. It is popular in French and Italian cuisine.
5 – Peppermint
Peppermint is another botanical that can be eaten as well as used topically and aromatically. It is extremely popular. The botanical name for peppermint is mentha piperita. It grows naturally across many parts of Europe and North America.
It is easy to grow at home, but it often becomes invasive and overpowers other plants in a home garden. Whole-leaf peppermint is often used as a drink or dessert garnish. It is also a flavoring for candies and desserts.
On the aromatherapy front, peppermint is often used for mental clarity.
6 – Lemongrass
Lemongrass is a perennial grass that is native to the tropics. It can technically be grown in slightly more northern climates, but it must be potted so it can be brought indoors. The botanical name for the West Indian variety of lemongrass is Cymbopogon citratus. The name for the East Indian variety is Cymbopogon flexuosus.
As its name suggests, citrus is the dominant flavor profile of Lemongrass. It is often used in stir fry recipes to add a citrusy flavor. It is also used aromatically for mental and physical exhaustion.
7 – Tea Tree
There are three different types of tea tree oil. Common tea tree has a medicinal smell and is used topically for several skin ailments that have itching as a symptom. Lemon Tea Tree has a potent lemon aroma. The New Zealand tea tree has an earthy aroma. The botanical names for these varieties are Melaleuca alternifolia, Leptospermum petersonii, and Leptospermum scoparium, respectively.
As the name hints, common tea tree oil is the one most commonly found in botanical shops.
8 – Bergamot
The Bergamot orange is grown mostly in Southern Italy, specifically the region of Calabria. It is also grown in parts of Southern France and the Ivory Coast. It is predominantly grown for its use in essential oils, but some do grow it for its marmalade. It has a more earthy flavor than a traditional orange. Its botanical name is Citrus bergamia.
Bergamot is often used aromatically to create a sense of mental calmness.
These are just a few of the most common plants that are carried by botanical shops. You may not have a botanical shop near you, or the shop might not carry the botanical you want.