Botanical Name: Lavandula angustifolia
Common Method Of Extraction: Steam distilled
Parts Used: Flowering tops
Note Classification: Middle
Aroma: Sweet, floral, herbaceous
Largest Producing Countries: Bulgaria, France, and Ukraine
Introduction to Essential Oil Aromatherapy must begin with Lavender oil.
Safe and simple to use, Lavender is one the most versatile and well loved essential oils around. Throughout history, Lavender has been recognized and appreciated for it’s calming and soothing qualities. The plant is recognizable to most as it grows in clumps about 3 feet high and has long, thin, grayish, green leaves and spikes of purple blossom clusters. Both the flowers and leaves have aromatic qualities and are used in the distillation process.
The name “lavender” is derived from the Latin lavare, meaning, “to wash”. Known as one of the seven polyvalents (effective against many toxins), which are applicable to many ailments. Greeks and Romans perfumed their bathwater with lavender, burned lavender incense to appease their wrathful gods, and believed the scent of lavender to be soothing to untamed lions and tigers!!
Lavender is generally used as a carminative (soothing to the digestive system) and as a nervine (soothing to the nervous system). Essentially, it’s healing properties affect both the mind and body! Lavender has amazing antiseptic qualities as well and is often used as an anti-microbial agent. I use Lavender essential oil along with Tea Tree and a drop of Eucalyptus essential oil to create my own all-purpose cleaning spray (if you want the recipe leave a comment and I’ll send it to you). It’s an excellent choice for hair, scalp and skin care and also for soothing and cleansing wounds and acne.
Lavender has a very distinctive, delicate floral, somewhat camphorous scent, and it makes for an absolutely luscious bar of soap. I have never really been a fan of Lavender but I have slowly begun to appreciate it’s many properties.
For the adventurous, here’s a simple Stress Buster recipe:
Mix together: 5 drops Lavender essential oil
2 drops Roman Chamomile
1drop Ylang Ylang
Combine all oils in a small glass vial and shake well. This is a very calming blend, so carry the vial with you in your pocket and purse to inhale periodically throughout the day for the best calming effects.
What are some of your favorite calming essential oils blends?