Lavandula angustifolia/Lavandula Officinalis
The name Lavender comes from the Latin ‘Lavandus’ which means ‘to be washed’ and it was used by the Romans for bathing to help alleviate skin problems. Lavender is a perennial shrub, native to the Mediterranean, but is also grown in England, France, Morocco, Spain and Hungary, amongst other places. In England, you can find lavender grown at Mayfield Lavender Farm in Banstead, the Carshalton Lavender Fields, both in Surrey and also at the Hitchin Lavender Fields in Hertfordshire.
Lavender essential oil is extracted by steam distillation and has fresh floral top notes and herbaceous undertones. It is analgesic, antiseptic, anti-depressant, anti-viral, deodorant, sedative and decongestant, to name just a few of its properties. It is soothing, calming and relaxing and is used to treat insomnia, colds and flu (using steam inhalation), inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema, headaches, indigestion, minor burns, flatulence, colic, stress, and the list goes on…
We use lavender in our Soothing Skin oils and balms to help alleviate skin conditions including eczema and dermatitis, Revitalising Bath Oil for relaxing after a long day, our bar soap which contains lavender oil and the dried flowers, plus we sell lavender bags on the stall, which are perfect for putting under your pillow for a restful night’s sleep, or in your wardrobe to keep away moths!
Contraindications of Lavender: Avoid in early pregnancy, particularly if there is a history of miscarriage.
Lavender image courtesy of franky242 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Sources: Curtis, Susan, Neals Yard Remedies; Essential Oils, Winter Press, London (2014), Farrer-Halls, Gill, The Aromatherapy Bible, Octopus Books (2009), Mitchell, Charlotte, Plant Medicine: A guide for Home Use, Amberwood Publishing (2005)