I just love lavender. It has this exquisite raw beauty that resonates with me. I love it so much in fact that I carried a bunch for my wedding bouquet and used it as part of the flavour of our wedding cake.
The most widely used medicinal species is Lavandula angustifolia, commonly known as English Lavender. Despite its name it is primarily found wild in the Pyrenees, Northern Spain and cultivated worldwide for its natural beauty, fragrance and medicinal qualities.
Lavender can be used in many different ways both internally and externally and is found in many natural medicines, perfumes and beauty and cleaning products. The essential oil is one of the most common forms used along with the dried herb and fluid extract. The fluid extract is highly potent in fragrance and taste and is used sparingly in herbal tonics. Fortunately its therapeutic index is best in small quantities otherwise it would be extremely overpowering! As for the dried herb, it can be brewed in a herbal tea either on its own or in combination with other herbs such as lemon balm and chamomile for a relaxing yet fresh and flavourful tea. The essential oil is very easy to use as it can be applied directly on the skin for adults or, for children, it can be mixed with a carrier oil such as sweet almond or coconut oil and massaged into the skin.
Internal use: (Please note lavender essential oil should not be taken internally and is for external use only)
- Muscle relaxant
- Pain relief
A few methods for using lavender:
We have a range of lavender products that we use regularly in our house but I have to admit that the star and by far the most used is pure lavender essential oil. To treat headaches we just dab a drop on our temple, add drops to the bath or foot bath to help us relax, and drops on a tissue tucked into the pillow case to promote sleep. To make an inhalation add 2-3 drops of essential oil to a large bowl of boiling water and breathe in the vapours. This is a great method for reducing a headache.
Lavender essential oil can also be used in a homemade disinfecting spray along with white vinegar and other essential oils such as tea tree, rosemary, eucalyptus and sweet orange, and by adding a few drops to the washing machine your clothes will be smelling fresh too.
I've just recently discovered and fallen in love with a beautiful all over baby bar for washing hair and body. It is called Oaty Delicious, made by Ethique and it contains a combination of lavender and chamomile essential oils. Totally recommend it not just for children but for yourself too!
Lavender is considered a safe herb however people on medication for depression or anxiety should discuss first with their healthcare provider before using internally. And if you are pregnant or breastfeeding it is recommended to seek advice from a qualified aromatherapist prior to using the essential oil. Remember, always speak to your healthcare professional first if you have any concerns.
Please leave a comment if you would like to know any further information, and make sure you let me know your favourite lavender products!