Lavender Lavandula spp
- Common Names
- Botanical Name
- Lavandula spp
- Syn. Lavandula angustifolia, L. officinalis
Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Lavender
How to Use| Side Effects | Plant & Garden| Aromatherapy Oil | Folklore
- Medicinal Uses: * Acne
* Cuts & Wounds
* Facial Care
* Herbal Steam
* Insect Repellent
* Insect/flea Bites
* Skin Care
- Properties: * Analgesic * Antidepressant * Antifungal * Antioxidant * Antirheumatic * AntiViral * Aromatic * Balance * Calm * Cholagogue * Cicatrisant * Cordial * Cytophylactic * Deodorant/Perfumes * Diaphoretic * Diuretic * Emmenagogue * Hypotensive * Insect repellents * Mood * Muscle Relaxant * Nervine * Parturient * Sedative * Splenic * Stress * Vermifuge * Vulnerary
- Parts Used: Flowers, leaves and stems
- Constituents: volatile oil (up to 1.5%, containing linabol, linalyl acetate, lavendulyl acetate, terpinenol, cineole, camphor, borneol, pinene, limonene), tannins, coumarins (coumarin, umbelliferone, hemiarin), flavonoids, triterpenoids, rosmarinic acid
How to Use: Lavender
Lavender for Pain: Quite a number of clinical trials confirm the conventional wisdom that lavender relaxes the body in the presence of pain, most likely by reducing anxiety levels. A calm mental state makes pain more bearable, lessening it's impact by reducing the perception of pain. pubmedHowever you don't need to depend on lab studies to gauge the effects; Lavender is so easy and safe to use, it is quite easy to judge the effects yourself as they are immediate and quite apparent. For headaches apply a few drops of lavender oil neat to the temples. Massage with lavender oil at tender trigger points reduces the pain and tension of fibromyalgia in long term sufferers.(Weed,51) Lavender combines well with the analgesic power of rosemary to relieve all types of pain: arthritis, sore muscles, and nerve pain. Lavender can also be used in a massage oil to relieve the pain and arthritic stiffness older dogs, (but not cats). (Worwood, 173 )
Lavender for Skin Care: Lavender is well regarded for it's skin healing properties as well. It's effectiveness in treating burns was first discovered by French biochemist René Gattefossé when he cooled his hand in a handy vat of lavender after burning it in a lab accident. This storied burn healed so quickly, and without scarring, that it is often cited as a seminal event in the birth a modern aromatherapy. (Balch, 89) To make a all purpose remedy for scalds, burns, and sunburns: apply a cloth wet with witch hazel, then apply a few drops of lavender essential oil directly to the burn. To treat skin abrasions first clean the affected area with warm water with 5 drops of lavender diluted in a bowl. Apply one neat drop of lavender and leave to heal. Acne responds to gentle herbal oil treatments that are much lighter and less harsh than over-the-counter chemicals. Lavender skin care products are ideal for oily and combination skin. Dot essential oils of lavender, tea tree and lemon on blemishes to kill bacteria. You can also blend these essential oils with light, astringent facial oils like almond and grapeseed, or make a facial wash with lavender herbal tea. Lavender oil is an effective antiseptic. A lavender massage on the chest and lymph nodes is relaxing and helps kill germs. Lavender flower water, or a few drops of lavender essential oil make a good balancing and sweet smelling perfume.
Use lavender sachet bags to protect clothes against moths. Also flies and mosquitoes dislike the fragrance, use the oil in insect sprays, or add the cut flowers to flower vases. Lavender is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. A tea made from the fresh or dried flowers can be applied as a skin wash for both pets and people to relieve itching due to flea bites and rashes, or the essential oil can be used.
Preparation Methods & Dosage :Lavender tea can be made from the fresh or dried flowers. Lavender essential oil should only be used externally, and can be used in massage oils, baths and aroma lamps.
Lavender : Essential Oil Profile
Lavender essential oil is steam distilled from the flowering tops of the plant. It is clear or pale yellow in color and has a distinct floral and herbaceous aroma that is sweet and clean. Lavender essential oil is amazing in its extensive positive benefits on mind, spirit, and body. Lavender is the first oil in any collection for aromatherapy and is one of the few essential oils that is gentle enough to apply directly on the skin.
In the Kitchen: Lavender adds a unique flavor to foods, and lavender sugar can be used to decorate baked goods, but use a light hand, too much lavender can overwhelm a dish. It plays better as part of a choir of tastes, combining nicely with citrus, mint, berries, ginger, figs and vanilla, or other strong Mediterranean herbs such as marjoram, oregano and fennel.
Lavender Side Effects: The volatile oils in lavender can be very hard on the liver and kidneys of cats and dogs so no internal use of the herb is suggested for our animal friends.
Koehler's Medicinal-Plants 1887
Lavender is a small shrub that grows 2 to 3 feet high with evergreen leaves and lovely violet-blue spiking flowers. It is a perennial favorite in my garden. Lavender leaves and flowers are very aromatic and can be used in herbal baths, potpourris, sleep pillows and sachet bags to protect clothes against moths. Fresh lavender makes a wonderful, aromatic bouquet, and discourages insects from invading your home. Lavender flowers can be dried, and infused in oil, and made into lavender flower water.
Regional Traditions :European *
How to Grow Lavender
The lavender genus contains 21 aromatic, evergreen perennials that are a diverse mix of habit, variants, foliage and flower color. Lavender has been under cultivation for so long that garden lavenders have become hard to identify mix of cultivars and hybrids. (Brown, pp148-149)
Spike lavender, L. latifolia , contains an oil rich in cineole and camphor and is used as an insect and moth repellent.
Lavandula angustifolia - English lavender
History and Traditions & Folklore
It is plentiful in Spain and Portugal and it is used as a rule for strewing the floors of churches and houses on festive occasions, or to make bonfires on St. Johns Day, when evil spirits are supposed to be abroad. (Grieve) Growing lavender in your garden is said to bring good luck and has long believed to be a fairy favorite due to it's incredible scent. Traditionally fragrant bundles of lavender were placed in the hands of women during childbirth to bring courage and strength. (Gladstar)
- Commission E . Lavender flower monograph , American Botanical Council, (1984): Lavender is approved for use by the German Commission E for use internally for "Mood disturbances such as restlessness or insomnia, functional abdominal complaints (nervous stomach irritations, Roehmheld syndrome, meteorism, nervous intestinal discomfort). and for external use in baths for the Treatment of functional circulatory disorders,
- Pubmed . The effect of lavender oil on stress, bispectral index values, and needle insertion pain in volunteers , NIH, (0000-00-00): Numerous studies have confirmed the effects of lavender on pain and anxiety.,