Lavender is an evergreen shrub with pale green leaves with violet flowers. In the summer the lavender plant blooms with highly scented flowers: its narrow leaves are extremely fragrant. Lavender can be found in the Mediterranean, Bulgaria, France and England. It is sought after for its antidepressant, antiseptic, calming, balancing and relaxing characteristics.
Lavender’s essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from its flowers. The oil has a light floral aroma and is used for its anticonvulsive, antitoxic, decongestant, deodorant, and stimulant properties. When used in aromatherapy is it often blended with bergamot, Clary sage, jasmine, lemon, and rose to prepare many mixtures for many different ailments.
Lavender with its sweet smell and relaxing aroma has been used throughout history for its calming and soothing abilities. Lavender has been used in England throughout its history in perfumes and its folk remedies. The English also used lavender as a way to keep clothing from getting musty by making lavender bags and placing them in their drawers.
It was used in many cultures in baths to relieve stress and promote sleep. In Europe it was one of the herbs dedicated to the goddess of the underworld, Hecate: it was said to ward off evil spirits.
In today’s aromatherapy, it is one of the most useful oils for restoring balance to all systems of the body. It is commonly suggested for hay fever, asthma, and flu symptoms. When lavender is blended with another herb called Sweet marjoram it makes a great pain reliever for muscle sprains, rheumatism, and painful menstrual periods.
Lavender can be helpful in eliminating nausea, upset stomachaches, and vomiting.
Lavender is also good for the skin, especially when mixed with bergamot it helps promote skill cell growth. Lavender is also good for taking the sting out of sunburns and some herbalists prescribe lavender paste to be applied to minor burns. There have been recent scientific tests performed that show lavender’s soothing effect on the central nervous system.
Take caution when using lavender if you have low blood sugar: it is also recommended that you take it when you are ready to sleep because it may cause drowsiness.Take caution