Origin: The name Lavender is derived from the Latin word “lavare,” meaning “to wash,” as it was often used in baths and laundry for its fragrant properties.
The origin of Lavender is said to be from the Mediterranean, Middle East, and India. Its history dates back to some 2500 years ago. The ancient Greeks called Lavender nardus, after the Syrian city of Naarda and were oftentimes called Nard.
Lavender was one of the holy herbs used to compose the Holy Essence and Nard, or ‘spikenard’. It is mentioned in the bible in the ‘Song of Solomon’ among other places.
In the 17th century, Lavender's remedial properties were used for the Great Plague in London. In the 16th century, glove makers in France, who perfumed their wares with Lavender escaped cholera.
Queen Elizabeth of England had called for Lavender conserves at the royal table and fresh Lavender flowers all over her residence. In the 19th century, Queen Victoria got interested in Lavender and English Lavender gained fame.
Ancient Egypt employed Lavender for mummification and perfume. The Romans used Lavender to scent their baths, beds, clothes and even hair. They used it in soaps too.
In Medieval and Renaissance France, “Lavenders” was the title given to women who hired for washing clothes.
Today, Lavender continues to be cultivated across its countries of origin as well as Europe, Australia, New Zealand, North and South America. Its extensive presence is understandable due to its beautiful flowers, its captivating scent, and its extensive uses.
Ayurveda states Lavender oil has soothing, calming, cooling and tranquil energy. It is prescribed in Ayurveda to pacifies Kapha and pitta doshas and aggravates Vata dosha.
Scientifically: Lavender oil is rich in vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for human health and skin. The main chemical composition of Lavender oil is a-pinene, limonene, 1,8-cineole, cis-ocimene, trans-ocimene, 3-octanone, camphor, linalool, linalyl acetate, caryophyllene, terpinen-4-ol and lavendulyl acetate.
It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that help in healing minor burns and bug bites. Lavender oil is highly beneficial in catering to illnesses such as bronchitis, asthma, colds, laryngitis, halitosis, throat infections.
Research says that it may be beneficial for treating anxiety, insomnia, depression, and restlessness. Some studies propose that consuming Lavender tea can help digestive issues such as vomiting, nausea, intestinal gas, upset stomach, and abdominal swelling.
In addition to healing the digestive problems, Lavender is also used to relieve pain from headaches, sprains, toothaches, and sores.
It can also be used to prevent hair loss. A study published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology found that Lavender oil is effective in fighting antifungal-resistant infections. Lavender oil tones and revitalizes skin. It is advantageous for all types of skin problems such as abscesses, acne, oily skin, boils, burns, sunburn, wounds, psoriasis, lice, insect bites, stings and also acts as an insect repellent.
Lavender oil has shown to decrease the number of painkilling medicines required after a tonsillectomy. One study concluded that Lavender aromatherapy could diminish premenstrual emotional symptoms.
The following essential oils blend well Lavender oil: cedarwood, clary sage, geranium, pine, nutmeg, and all the citrus oils.
Usage: The herb is in high demand in the skin and beauty industry. It is commonly used in fragrances and shampoos to help purify the skin. Some category of Lavender is used to add flavor to baked goods and foods. It delivers a floral, slightly sweet and alluring flavor to salads, soups, meat and seafood dishes, desserts, cheeses, baked goods, and confectionery.
Below are some DIYs with Lavender oil:
- Take one spoon of coconut oil and two spoons of Lavender oil. Add 4-5 crushed petals of Lavender to it. Add some amount of sugar to it. Mix it all. Apply on the face. Scrub for 5 minutes. Wash off your face with cold water.
- Mix ½ teaspoon of lavender oil with 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Apply this mask on your face and rinse it off with warm water