The Fundamentals of Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is a beautiful color which belongs to the Purple color family. It shares the name with the Lavender Herb. The beauty of Lavender goes beyond its color and comes from the Latin verb lavare which means "to wash" or "to bathe."
Commercially used Lavender is native to mountainous regions of countries bordering the western half of the Mediterranean region of Europe. There are approximately 20 species with hundreds of genotype variations.
The medicinal attributes of Lavender were praised in the first century A.D. by the Greek Naturalist Dioscorides. Traditionally, Lavender's use ranges from perfumes to Antimicrobial agents.
In the Middle Ages, it was known as a herb of love and used as an Aphrodisiac. Some believed a sprinkle of Lavender water on a loved one's head would keep the wearer chaste.
During wartime, it was used to disinfect wounds. Other historical uses included embalming corpses, curing animals of lice, repelling mosquitoes, flavoring vinegar, and treating headaches.
Some Types of Lavender
Lavenders can be distinguished by their bracts. Bracts are the part of a plant that is above the leaf and below the flower.
The majority of oil extracted from the flowers of Lavender comes from the glands on the Calyx which is tubular and ribbed. Calyx has thirteen veins, purple-gray color, five-teeth, hairy, and oil glands among the hairs. Flowering occurs around mid to late June to early July.
- English Lavender, Lavendula angustifolia
The most widely cultivated. It is a narrow-leafed variety which grows to be 1 to 3 feet high with a short, irregular crooked, many-branched stem. When young, it has white leaves which later turn green. From the young shoots, flowers are produced in terminating one-half-inch-long spikes.
- Spike Lavender, L. latifolia.
It is one of the species making up the lavandin hybrid and native of the Mediterranean. Grown primarily for its essential oil and rare in the US. Reaches 3 feet in height and spread.
- French Lavender or Fringed Lavender, Lavendula dentata
Grows up to three feet in height. Leaves are 1 1/4 inch long with rounded teeth, grayish color, and covered with soft fuzz. It grows in Spain and warm temperate regions. Treated as an annual and grown as an ornamental. Known for its Rosemary-scented flowers and used in Potpourri production.
Of course, those are just a few of the many species of Lavender.
- Believed to have Antiseptic and Anti-inflammatory properties.
- May be used for treating Anxiety, Insomnia, Depression, and Restlessness.
- Some studies suggest consuming Lavender as a tea can help digestive issues.
- Can be used to prevent hair loss.
- Could be effective in combating Antifungal-resistant Infections.
- Lavender Aromatherapy could alleviate Premenstrual emotional symptoms.
Lavender has not been approved for medicinal use by The FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration). Sold as a supplement only. Should not replace any prescribed course of treatment.
Lavender Essential Oil is toxic when swallowed. There are risks associated with using it.
An Essential Must
Whether you are enjoying the scent of Lavender or enhancing your beauty, a Lavender infused product is an essential must.