Herbs > Lavender
Ahhh the sensual aroma of delicate
Lavender. This lovely herb is great to have in your garden for both its visual
appearance and its fragrance. It is loved by the bees when its in flower
and by the birds after the flower heads have dried off.
The dried flowers are often hung about the home and placed in
potpurris and wardrobes for freshness and to discourage insect pests.
This powerful but gentle essential oil can take much of
the credit for the revival of Aromatherapy today. It's use dates
back to ancient Rome and Greece and was used by the Egyptians in the
mummification process. There are over twenty eight distinct species
and a multitude of varieties of lavender.
Renowned for its healing properties and thought of as the
essential, essential oil, every home should stock a
bottle of lavender oil. It is a very effective first
aid for many complaints from burns to bug bites,
including athletes foot, tinia, itches, zits and
rashes. It stimulates the immune system and acts to
speed up the healing processes within the body. It is
a natural antibiotic, antiseptic, anti depressant,
sedative and detoxifier. Other uses include Bathing,
compresses, hair care, decongestant, massage, skin care, atmospheric
vaporiser/diffuser to sterilise the air in a room..
Perhaps the reason it is so popular within Aromatherapy is that
it is extremely safe and can be applied neat, in that
it does not always require dilution into carrier oil.
Lavender produces a soothing and relaxing effect on
the mind while at the same time helps to enhance a
positive feeling of well-being.
A Few Ideas
A drop of lavender on a plaster before placing it
on the cut will improve healing. A gentle massage
blend to the lower Abdomen helps to relieve menstrual
cramp and/or the discomfort of trapped wind in the
digestive tract. While bathing at night 4 drops to
the bath will aid sleeping, this is also effective
for genito-urinary infections such as thrush or
cystitis. A few drops in the toilet water adds a
refreshing aroma while dried Lavender flowers sewn
into a pouch make delightful draw fresheners. A few
drops rubbed onto the temples gives relief to
headaches, applied neat to burns or cuts it improves
healing and reduces scarring.
It is advisable to contact an Aromatherapist if
considering long-term use of essential oils as they
are contradicted in some instances.
Do not use essential oils in pregnancy, or on babies
or young children without consulting an
Do not ingest essential oils without the advice of an
Do not use essential oils on the eyes
Know that some medical illnesses contradict the use
of certain essential oils.
The south of France is the Main Place that
Lavender is grown and produced. It was not until the
1950s that they began growing Lavender in large
fields. Before then the folk about the towns use to
go up the hills and pick it to sell to cosmetic
producers. Other places it is grown include New
Zealand, China, Tasmania and England.
For home use, lavender is an attractive bush
which will grow very easily in most gardens and a
variety of sols. The colour and fragrance in the home
garden is appreciated, and the flowers and leaves can
be used from floral displays, to the kitchen.
Lavender does require trimming in the autumn to keep
the bush in good shape.
The commercial process from Flower to oil
requires the laying of the stems on a grid where
steam is passed through them. This produces a vapour
that is then cooled to produce oil. There are other
methods from cold pressing to chemical extraction.
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