Essential oil spotlight: Lavender
This time on our continued exploration of essential oils, we take a deeper look at one of the most readily available oils out there: lavender. The wonderful flowering plant has the same color as its namesake and is loved by all. It’s beautiful and it smells amazing, but as I’m sure you’ve guessed, the goodness doesn’t just stop there. Far from it.
Where does it come from?
The origin of lavender is believed to be the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and India, around 2500 years ago. It’s a vague history, but I think the most important thing is that it was discovered and we are grateful. The plant is mentioned throughout history, the ancient Greeks called it ‘nardus’ and more commonly, nard. It was considered one of the holy herbs and used to prepare the Holy Essence and Nard. There is reference to this Nard or ‘spikenard’ in the Song of Solomon, as found in the bible. Talk about credentials!
The term ‘lavender’ is derived from the Latin word for wash, ‘lavare’. Unsurprisingly, the Romans favored the sweet, floral fragrance and used lavender to scent their baths, clothes, beds, rooms and even their hair. In its continued widespread use, they discovered its medicinal properties. Today lavender can be found in almost any corner of the globe, where it is equally celebrated. It’s grown commercially mostly for the extraction of its oil from its flowers, which is obtained through a distillation process.
The oil is used as a disinfectant, an antiseptic, an anti-inflammatory and for aromatherapy. An infusion of Lavender is claimed to soothe and heal insect bites, sunburn and small cuts, burns and inflammatory conditions and even acne. Lavender oils are also used for internal medical conditions, among others indigestion and heartburn. It is said to soothe headaches, migraines and motion sickness when applied to the temples. It is frequently used as an aid to sleep and relaxation, benefits that can be achieved in a number of ways.
By rubbing the oil in your hands and inhaling deeply, by lighting a scented candle as you gently wind down or maybe by adding the oil to a luxurious bath.
And it doesn't stop there...
Dried Lavender flowers are used extensively as a fragrant room freshener. They can be used on their own or as an addition to a herbal medley. When packaged in little sachets, they can be used to freshen linens, closets, and drawers. Dried lavender flowers have also become popular as decor pieces for the Fall season, as all things begin to wither. Drying lavender is a wonderful way to preserve both the color and the scent, and the uses really are endless. A great example is how it can be used at weddings simultaneously as decoration, gifts and as confetti for tossing over the newlyweds.
Herbs de Province is an herb combination which captures the flavors of the sunny south of France, an ingredient of which is lavender. A proud member of the mint family, lavender has been adding color and flavorful aroma to culinary masterpieces for centuries. Once added, the dried flowers deliver a floral, slightly sweet flavor to salads, soups, meat and seafood dishes, desserts, cheeses, baked goods, and confectionery. Only the buds or flowers contain the essential oil of Lavender which is where the scent and flavor are best derived.
It's easy to see why we're so in love with the lovely lavender, and we think you already are too.
Lastly, remember to visit the shop and learn more about our products and our fully disclosed list of natural ingredients!
See you next time.
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