Origin: Lavender natively belongs to the Mediterranean region, the Middle East and India. Lavender’s history is almost 2500 years old and belongs to the old world. In the ancient time, Greeks called Lavender, Nardus.
It was called Nardus because of the Syrian city Naarda, also known as Nard. Lavender was considered as a sacred herb and was used to make holy essence for the gods. Lavender is also mentioned in the Holy Bible in the song of Solomon.
Lavender is derived from the Latin word ‘lavare’ which means ‘to wash”. The Romans used to use this herb for its fragrance. They used to scent their baths, beds, clothes, rooms and even hair. Romans used to make soaps from Lavender oil. Romans also believed that lavender purifies the air and keeps the infection at bay. Romans strongly believed in lavender’s antiseptic and healing properties.
Lavender is cultivated across the globe and is famous in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, North and South America. They use it because of the beautiful flowers, admirable fragrance, and multiple uses. The Ancient Greeks used lavender to fight insomnia and backaches.
Lavender was also used as a remedy for the Great Plague in London in the 17th century. In the 19th century, Queen Victoria used lavender for her gardens and the products from the famous lavender company, Yardley’s of London.
Scientifically: Lavender is a beautiful herb. It belongs to the genus of the flowering plant and is a part of the mint family.
Lavender is scientifically called Lavandula angustifolia. It is related to other species including Lavandula hybrids, which is a cross between Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia. This hybrid variety provides lavandin oil.
Usage: Lavender is popularly known for its fragrance and flavor. The flower and the oil of lavender are used to make medicine and cosmetics. It is used to make soaps, talcum powder, shower gels, perfumes, diffusers, creams, etc. it is also used for ornamental purposes. Lavender has a sweet floral fragrance.
Lavender is not only famous for its cosmetic uses but also for medicinal purpose.
The most important health benefits of lavender are it relieves stress and anxiety, improves mood, treats insomnia, reduces skin irritation, ward off infections, reduce inflammation, removes dandruff, and soothe stomach bloating and headaches.
The antioxidants available in the lavender, help the endocrine system in reducing the stress hormones. The anti-inflammatory properties of the lavender help in treating the skin irritation like psoriasis, eczema, rashes, acne, etc. Lavender tea, if used as a hair rinse helps in reducing hair fall.
Lavender oil is considered best for calming and relaxing the nervous system.
Here are some diys with lavender for healthy skin and hair:
- Take some lavender oil on a cotton swab, apply this on your acne blemishes and let it on for 20-25 minutes.
- Apply lavender oil to the burnt area or the irritated skin for about 10 minutes. This helps in healing the irritated skin.
- Boil 100 ml of water in a bowl and then put in the lavender buds, so that they are completely submerged. Cover the bowl, leaving the brew to steep for a few hours. Drain the mixture into a clean glass bottle and refrigerate it. Spray some of this lavender water on a cotton pad and gently wipe your face with it (after washing your face in the morning). This will refresh your skin like a toner.
- Massage your scalp with lavender oil. This oil helps in controlling hair loss and improving hair growth by increasing blood circulation. And rinse after 45 minutes with a mild shampoo.