LAVENDER

LAVENDER
(lavandula angustifolia)

 

Article by Kaniz F. Shah


Botanical Name: lavandula angustifolia
English Name:  lavender
Hindi Name:  dharu
Popular Name(s): lavender
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum/Division: magnoliophyta
Class: magnoliopsida
Order: lamiales
Family: lamiaceae labiatae (mint)
Genus: lavandula
Species: l. angustifolia
Parts Used: flower
Habitat:  
Planting:  
Height: 3-4 ft.
Taste:   
Odor: floral, sweet, herbaceous, balsamic, woody undertones
Effect / Energy:   
Extraction method: steam distilled from flowering top
Blends with: most oils (esp. citrus oils), clary sage, geranium

Aromatherapy

Best essential oil for healing on all levels.

Psychological Properties:

      uplifts, relaxes, balance mood swings, relieves mental tension & anxiety

Subtle Properties:

      promotes healing on all levels, encourages compassion, acceptance & reconciliation; promotes consciousness, health, love, peace and well-being, nurtures creativity

Associated with:

      Associated with: Archangel Raphael and the bear
 

Nutrients:

 

Properties:

Analgesic, anticoagulant, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, antifungal, Antiseptic, antihistamine, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, sedative, antimutagenic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, antitumor, cardiotonic, regenerative

Plant Description:

Lavender is originally native to the southern Mediterranean and was probably brought to Britain by the Romans. The Name Lavender comes from the Latin word “Lavare”, which means “to wash”. The Romans used to take communal baths with lavender not only for the delicious scent but also for its antibacterial properties.
There are at least 80 known spices and many varieties of lavender grown all over the world. The most commonly used medicinally is the lavandula augustifolia, strongly pungent with a fragrant aroma. Lavender is an aromatic shrub that grows up to 1 m high, with compact, woody stems at the base covered with gray-green leaves with small purple flowers in mid-summer.

Health Benefits of Lavender:

The amazing thing about lavender essential oil is that it is universal! It will work wherever your body needs it. It has a balancing effect on the body. So if you don’t know what to use, lavender will usually be a good choice. The flowers and the essential oil together have too many health benefits to count. Below are some of the health benefits of lavender:

  • Kills bacteria:

    The essential oil of lavender have antiseptic and antibacterial properties, which help in killing bacteria like diphtheria bacilli, typhoid bacilli, streptococci and pneumococci.
  • Calms the nervous system:

    Lavender is one of the best known herbs for relaxation. The essential oil of lavender is very soothing. It helps calm the nervous system and helps with mood swings, nervous tension, anxiety and even headaches and migraines. Lavender is an antidepressant. It promotes positive thinking and happiness. It is widely used in aromatheraphy, skincare, bath & body products, eye pillows, potpourri, room and linen (pillow) sprays, etc., to give you calming effects!
  • Sleep Aid:

    The soothing effects of lavender can help you relax so that you can sleep better.
  • Heart Health:

    Lavender helps with heart irregularity, lowers blood pressure,
  • Repels viruses:

    Lavender helps relive colds, influenza, bronchitis, throat infections, fevers, whooping coughs,
  • Heals wounds:

    It relieves insect bites, bee stings, cold sores, sprains, hives, bruises, blisters, boils, etc.
  • Female Support:

    Lavender has been used to help with menopausal sumptoms, premenstrual conditions,
  • Other Benefits:

    Lavender can help with nausea, rheumatism, tuberculosis, and many other conditions.

Lavender Oil Benefits for the Hair:

Because lavender oil is a natural anti-inflammatory and improves blood circulation, it is helpful for maintaining a healthy scalp and beautiful hair. It rejuvenates the hair and can be used to relieve dandruff and psoriasis of the scalp.

  • Protects Hair Loss:

    High stress levels can lead to many common hair and scalp issues, especially hair loss and alopecia areata, a medical condition in which hair is lost from some or all areas of the body and usually from the scalp. Lavender oil is a natural stress reliever and can be used with other stress relievers to reduce the risk of hair loss. A relaxing scalp massage with lavender oil can help improve sleep quality, relax your body and help you get rid of anxiety. Reduced stress can lead to improved hair health.
  • Nourishes and conditions:

    Lavender oil also conditions the hair, helps relieve dry, itchy and flaky scalp, helps prevent dandruff and combats head lice.
  • Scalp massage for healthier hair

    : Add 10-15 drops of lavender essential oil per 1 oz. of your favorite carrier oil (jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, grape seed oil, olive oil). Use this lavender-infused oil for soothing scalp massages and hot oil hair treatments. Massage oil into the scalp and let it set for 30-60 minutes (overnight is best) before shampooing. Results show within a few weeks of regular treatments.

Lavender Oil Benefits for the Skin:

Lavender is great for skincare due to its antiseptic and antifungal properties, which help reduce scarring and speed the healing process. This herb is widely used in beauty products and fragrances due to its various skin benefits including:

  • Relieves acne
  • Relieves dry skin, eczema and psoriasis
  • Anti-aging & prevents wrinkles
  • Makes a great toner
  • Heals chapped and sunburnt lips
  • Used to relieve insect bites and burns
  • Relieves tired feet and sore hands
  • Reduces stretch marks
  • Helps relieve and minimize rashes and scars

WARNING:

This article is for informational purpose only. Lavender and lavender oil are not a treatment for any disease or condition. They generally safe when used on the skin or hair, but to ensure safety, it is best to do an allergy test. Consult your doctor before using for medical purposes.

Bibliography:

1. "Single Essential Oils." Modern Essentials: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils. 4th ed. Orem: AromaTools, 2012. 63-65.
2. Bull, Ruah. "The Spring Months." Daily Aromatherapy Transforming the Seasons of Your Life with Essential Oils. By Joni Keim. Berkeley: North Atlantic, 2008. 195.
3. Bellebuono, Holly. The Essential Herbal for Natural Health: How to Transform Easy-to-Find Herbs into Healing Remedies for the Whole Family. Boston: Roost Books, 2012. 19.
4. McVeigh, Sof. Treat Yourself Natural: Over 50 Easy-to-Make Homemade Remedies Gathered from Nature. , 2013. 64.
5. Book “Herbal Encyclopedia” of Indian and Pakistani Herbs by Doctor Hakeem Hari Chand
6. “Qeetab-ul-mufradat” By Alama Hakeem Qabeer-ul-Din and Alama Hakeem Anwar Khan Lodhi (urdu Book)
7. “Herbs & Spices” By charlotte de la Bedoyere
8. “Lawless, Julia. "Lavender." Complete Essential Oils. S.l.: Element, 1995. 
9. Classification: http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=LAAN81

Article last updated 11/15/14

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