LAVENDER is best known for its fragrance and was initially grown solely for the extraction of the essential oil to be employed in perfumery. Lavender had long been recognised as an antiseptic and for its mild sedative properties, with its genus name coming from the Latin lavare, to wash, and has been used as a bath additive and as an antiseptic in sick rooms since ancient times.
In the First World War lavender was used as an antiseptic for the swabbing of wounds.
Lavender essential oil is steam distilled from the flowers. It consists mainly of linalyl acetate and linalool, phenolic compounds and flavanoids.
In 16th century England, the spicy smelling flowers were quilted into hats to relieve head pain.
Herbalists prescribe the essential oil of lavender flowers to ease tension, prevent vertigo and fainting, for gastric disturbances characterised by flatulence, and in tonic embrocation’s to counteract rheumatic pain.
Many horticultural varieties of lavender were developed in the 18th and 19th centuries. Lavandula augustifolia is used in Western herbal medicine for it’s therapeutic properties.
Recent pharmacological studies linking the effect of aromatherapy with the emotion indicate that Inhaling lavender oil evokes “happiness”, relaxed feelings and relieves depression.
Lavender flowers are traditionally used in infusions and liquid extracts to treat insomnia, nervous tension, and abdominal complaints such as nervous stomach irritations, flatulence, colic and dyspepsia.
Lavender oil can be used topically to relieve neuralgic pain, as an astringent for minor burns, cuts and bruises, to counteract the allergic reaction of insect bites, and (heated) to rub on strained muscles.
In Chinese herbal medicine, the properties of lavender (Xun Yi Cao) are described as pungent and cool. It is used to clear heat and remove toxicity, expel wind and relieve itching.
Lavender is also used in Ayurvedic massage to balance the Doshas.
In Ayurveda the Doshas refer to the dynamic forces in nature that are constantly changing.
They express the unique blend of physical, emotional and mental characteristics that make up each individual. Ayurvedic medicine defines good health by the state of harmony and the maintenance of balance of our Doshas.
Enjoy the relaxing benefits of lavender in our calming bedtime blend of FIORI.