Sudhir Ahluwalia

Resins and Cosmetics

Plants are a source of resins, oils and color. This segment is on plant based resins and cosmetics

Henna Uses

Henna is used to dye cotton, silk, and other natural fibers, as well as leather and leather products. The dye is temporary. In India, henna is used for body art during festivals and celebrations including extensive use in bridal makeup in southern Asia and the Middle...

read more

Henna – Historical Overview

Lawsonia inermis is the botanical name for henna. This small tree grows to a height of 5–7 meters. The plant prefers a dry and hot climate. It grows extensively in the Mediterranean region, Egypt, neighboring countries of northern and eastern Africa, the Arabian...

read more

Costus in history

Costus comes from the root of plants in the Saussurea genus that grow in the higher elevations of the Himalayas in Asia, Tibet, and China. The name costus means “coming from the East” in Greek. The rhizome is cut, dried, and exported. Costus is rich in resinoids,...

read more

Onycha Part 2

Egyptian pharaohs used the resin to apply artificial beards made from goat hair, which was a popular fashion among the elite. The resin was collected with a claw-like comb from the coats of animals who wandered around the shrubs and collected the gum in their hair....

read more

Oncyha Part 1

Feature photo: From Florihana Onycha is one of the four spices mentioned in the Old Testament (Exodus 30:34) and as an ingredient of Ketoret. Like many other herbs and spices mentioned during Biblical times, the origin of onycha is shrouded in debate, starting with...

read more

Spikenard In Medicine

Feature photo: Spikenard- www.drewmonkman.com Efforts to artificially propagate the species have shown mixed results, because it is not economically attractive for collectors to switch from wild to commercial cultivation. Some estimates indicate that the collector’s...

read more

Spikenard – Overview

Feature photo: www.essentialoilsinformer.com Nardostachys jatamansi is a flowering herb found in the Himalayan region at altitudes of 3000–5000 meters. The plant grows to a height of one meter and has bell-shaped pink flowers. The rhizomes are crushed and distilled to...

read more

Galbanum – trade and production

Photo: www.ericamcneal.com Galbanum was actively traded in pre- and post-Biblical times. It was sourced largely from Mesopotamia and Turkey. Today, these countries continue to be major producers. Galbanum is not known to grow in Israel, and the Israeli plants database...

read more

Galbanum In History

Featured photo: Galbanum gum (www.jmg-co.com) Galbanum is mentioned in the medicinal works of Hippocrates and Pliny the Elder. Galbanum was one of at least 36 ingredients used by Mithridates (c. 132–163 BC) as medicine. Mithridates VI was a Roman who ruled over...

read more

Galbanum – Overview

Photo: www.organicfacts.net Ferula galbaniflua syn F gummosa is found in Iran, southern Russia, Afghanistan, and Turkey. It is a perennial that grows to a height of one meter. The plant bears umbelliferus yellow flowers arranged in a panicle. The gum resin is...

read more