A field of lavender in full bloom is truly a sight to behold, a haze of purple, shimmering on a summers day. With its calming, sweet-smelling aroma and an extensive history of therapeutic lavender oil uses, it’s no wonder that lavender is still one of the most popular medicinal herbs in the world.
Lavender oil has always been highly prized for its unique scent, its calming properties and as a natural medicinal aid. The lavender plant can take up to three years to mature before its ready to be harvested for its oil. Once in bloom, the flowers are picked early in the morning to ensure they retain their unique aroma. The harvest is then steam distilled to produce pure Lavender essential oil.
Reference of lavender has been found in ancient Persian, Greek, Roman and Egyptian texts.
Among the first people to discover the benefits of lavender were the Romans. The oil was used to scent beds, baths, clothes and even hair. Archaeologists have found the remains of ancient oil burners with traces of lavender oil close to infants’ cribs. Back in the days of King Henry the VIII, lavender was used to ward off headaches; as a relaxing tea, farmers placed sprigs of lavender in their hats to ward off insects and keep heat stroke at bay. Queen Elizabeth I had lavender scattered before her to fend off foul smells and Queen Victoria enjoyed lavender jelly with her Sunday roast. Florence Nightingale used lavender oil to dress wounds when antiseptic supplies ran low. Up to the late 1950s, no genteel English lady would travel abroad without a flask of English lavender in her suitcase.
A little lavender oil can enhance your home in so many ways:
- Probably the most well-known benefits of lavender are as a sleep aid. A couple of drops of lavender oil, either in your bath before you go to bed or on the pillow helps calm the mind and relax the body. The same holds true for infants and children who often have trouble winding down after a busy day.
- Lavender can also help reduce headaches and diminish migraines.The next time you feel a headache coming on, why not dab a little lavender oil on a tissue. The aroma helps calm frayed nerves and reduce symptoms.
- Do you suffer from dandruff or an itchy scalp? A few drops of lavender oil added to your shampoo can significantly reduce flaking.
- Lavender oil can also be used around the home to kill bacteria and clean worktops. Once you’ve wiped down your surfaces add a few drops to a cloth to leave your home smelling fabulous and naturally clean. In areas where there’s high traffic such as hallways or utility rooms, a little lavender oil helps stop musty smells developing.
- Lavender is a gentle way to help heal skin conditions including acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties help fight bacteria and reduce redness. Start bringing lavender oil into your skin routine with a little dabbed on the affected area. Change won’t happen overnight, but given time, your skin will
- Lavender oil can help the symptoms of colds, coughs and asthma Breathing in the aroma loosens up phlegm and reduces congestion.
The oil can be applied to the neck, chest, or back, or inhaled via steam. This is especially helpful with children suffering from a cold and having trouble sleeping.
- Anxious or nervous pets can also be calmed by the fragrance of a little lavender oil. Definitely, a gentle alternative to veterinary medicine. The oil can also be useful in helping repel fleas and ticks. For pets, with itchy skin, a little lavender oil can provide some relief and leave your pet smelling wonderful.
- Scientists have started looking at lavender oil as an aid to helping sufferers of dementia or Alzheimers. They have noted how it seems to balance moods, aid sleep and reduces general disorientation.
- Finally and most importantly lavender oil is a natural mood booster. Have you ever noticed how, when you’re beside a sprig of lavender, or a plant in full bloom, your natural instinct is to breathe deeply the delicate aroma? That’s because your body knows what’s good for you.