GENERAL DESCRIPTION An evergreen woody shrub, up to 1 metre tall, with pale green, narrow, linear leaves and flowers on blunt spikes of a beautiful violet-blue colour. The whole plant is highly aromatic.
DISTRIBUTION Indigenous to the Mediterranean region, now cultivated all over the world.
HERBAL / FOLK TRADITION Lavender has a well-established tradition as a folk remedy, and its scent is still familiar to almost everyone. It was used to ‘comfort the stomach’ but above all as a cosmetic water, an insect repellent, to scent linen, and as a reviving yet soothing oil ‘The essential oil, or a spirit of lavender made from it, proves admirably restorative and tonic against faintness, palpitations of a nervous sort, weak giddiness, spasms and colic… A few drops of lavender in a hot footbath has a marked influence in relieving fatigue. Outwardly applied, it relieves toothache, neuralgia, sprains and rheumatism. In hysteria, palsy and similar disorders of debility and lack of nerve power, lavender will act as a powerful stimulant.’
ACTIONS Analgesic, anticonvulsive, antidepressant, antimicrobial, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, carminative, cholagogue, choleretic, cicatrisant, cordial, cytophylactic, deodorant, diuretic, emmenagogue, hypotensive, insecticide, nervine, parasiticide, rubefacient, sedative, stimulant, sudorific, tonic, vermifuge, vulnerary.
CHARACTERISTICS 1. The oil is a colourless to pale yellow liquid with a sweet, floral-herbaceous scent and balsamic-woody undertone; it has a more fragrant floral scent compared to spike lavender. It blends well with most oils, especially citrus and florals; also cedarwood, clove, clary sage, pine, geranium, labdanum, oakmoss, vetiver, patchouli, etc.
2. The absolute is a dark green viscous liquid with a very sweet herbaceous, somewhat floral odour.
SAFETY DATA Non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitizing.
AROMATHERAPY / HOME USE Generally regarded as the most versatile essence therapeutically:
SKIN CARE: Abscesses, acne, allergies, athlete’s foot, boils, bruises, burns, dandruff, dermatitis, earache, eczema, inflammations, insect bites and stings, insect repellent, lice, psoriasis, ringworm, scabies, sores, spots, all skin types, sunburn, wounds.
CIRCULATION, MUSCLES AND JOINTS: Lumbago, muscular aches and pains, rheumatism, sprains.
RESPIRATORY SYSTEM: Asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, halitosis, laryngitis, throat infections, whooping cough.
DIGESTIVE SYSTEM: Abdominal cramps, colic, dyspepsia, flatulence, nausea.
GENITO-URINARY SYSTEM: Cystitis, dysmenorrhoea, leucorrhoea.
IMMUNE SYSTEM: ‘Flu.
NERVOUS SYSTEM: Depression, headache, hypertension, insomnia, migraine, nervous tension and stress-related conditions, PMT, sciatica, shock, vertigo.
OTHER USES Used in pharmaceutical antiseptic ointments and as a fragrance. Extensively employed in all types of soaps, lotions, detergents, cosmetics, perfumes, etc, especially toilet waters and colognes. Employed as a flavouring agent in most categories of food as well as alcoholic and soft drinks.