LAVENDER

LAVENDER

Scientifically known as Lavandula, the name comes from the Latin root name lavare which means ‘to wash’.

Lavender is native to the Old World (Africa, Europe, and Asia). Due to its Mediterranean origins, lavender plants prefer hot summers and dry winters. These plants do not do well with humidity.

There are four main types of lavender. These are:

  • English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): Known as true lavender, this is usually the variety used in making potpourri and oils
  • Italian lavender (Lavandula stoechas): Identified by two brightly coloured ‘wings’ at the top of each flower
  • French lavender (Lavandula dentata): Identified by grey green serrated leaves and a flat, furry, spiked purple flower
  • Winged lavender (Lavandula Sidonie): Identified by ferny foliage and forked flowers

 

Lavender has long been used for its aromatic and healing properties. In the medieval times it was thought to ward off evil spirits. Medicinally, lavender is used as a relaxant, an antibacterial agent, and as a sensory stimulant. It is also used to treat a range of ailments including: insomnia, anxiety, stress, indigestion, alopecia (hair loss), headaches, nervous disorders, exhaustion, infections, acne and eczema, and joint and muscle pain.

 

Forms of lavender available:

  • Aromatherapy oil
  • Extracts
  • Infusions
  • Lotions
  • Soaps
  • Tea
  • Tinctures
  • Dried flowers

 

Ways to take/use lavender:

  • Orally (only after advice from a knowledgeable provider and only for adults)
  • Inhalation: Done by adding 2 – 4 drops of oil into boiling water and inhaling the steam. This aids with headaches, anxiety, or insomnia
  • Topically: Used on the skin in a diluted form to treat infections and injuries such as minor cuts and scrapes. Not recommended for use on open wounds
  • You can also use lavender as perfumes or in pillows (to aid with insomnia)

 

CAUTION:

Lavender is toxic when taken orally in high concentrations. Do not use with other herbs or medicines without approval from a health care provider with qualifications in the botanical field.

Some people can have adverse reactions to inhalation or skin absorption of lavender. These can include: nausea, vomiting, headaches, and chills.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using lavender.

 

REFERENCES:

http://www.edenbotanicals.com/lavender-essential-oil-aromatherapy.html

http://www.lavender-love.com/benefits.html

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/aromatherapy/aromatherapy-lavender.htm

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/lavender

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_World

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavandula

http://www.homelife.com.au/gardening/plant-guides/lavender

Kiara James