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The Healing Power of Lavender

The Healing Power of Lavender

MOOD PROFILE

Calming. Balancing . Relaxing

SCENT PROFILE

A strong top note aroma. Rich, fruity, and mellow floral scent.

PLANT BENEFITS

Anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, deodorant, decongestant, relieving, soothing, soothing, nervine.

MAIN CHEMICALS:

Linalool, linalyl acetate, camphor, limonene, cineole, tannins, coumarins, flavonoids, triterpenes, and perillyl alcohol.

LET'S DIG IN

Lavandula angustifolia, better known as Lavender, is a perennial evergreen plant. Lavender is the most used essential oil in the world. It thrives in climates with dry, and rocky terrain. A very popular crop in the Mediterranean regions of Europe, but also Africa, the Middle East, and India.

 

Derived from the Latin word “lavare,” meaning “to wash,” Lavender is often used in baths and laundry for its fragrant properties. According to ancient texts, its purposes range from medicinal to religious, having been used to clean cuts and to soothe bruises and skin irritations, as well as to scent the air for spiritual practices. 

Lavender blooms can vary in shape and size. It grow in beautiful long spikes or stems. Its essential oils can be found in microscopic glands on the outside ring of flower petals (the calyx), the inside ring of flower petals (the corolla), the leaves, and on the stalks and branches.

The ideal time for harvesting Lavender essential oil is when the flowers are in full bloom. These pretty purple buds burst open and the lower half begins to open up until the entire flower head is open. Harvesting Lavender is both art and science as the freshness of the bloom or the dryness will dictate the scent profile.

The highest quality Lavender oil is derived from steam distilling only the fresh flowers. When selecting a Lavender essential oil, it is important to understand the quality of the oil, where it comes from and in when used in perfumery the scent.

The uses for Lavender oil are abundant and can range from medicinal and odorous to cosmetic. Its many forms include oils, gels, lotions, soaps, shampoos, sprays, and candle making. When used medicinally, Lavender essential oil has can eliminate bacteria, relieve muscle spasms, disinfect and soothe inflamed skin. When used in lotions it can  relieve muscle tension during a massage.

AROMATHERAPY

Lavender is a key ingredient in aromatherapy. This mild sedative is reduces stress by relaxing the brain waves. By reducing cortisol levels that contribute to the stress hormone it helps support the immune system relieving feelings of stress that can weaken health. Lavender is believed to balance hormones, reduce feelings tension. Due to its calming and relaxing properties, it can work as a sleep aid for those suffering from insomnia.

When the fragrance is inhaled scent receptors in the brain’s emotional powerhouse, the limbic system process the smell as calming. This allows the brain and body to relax. Put a few drops onto a pillow and experience deeper sleep. It is believed that inhaled lavender acts via the limbic system, particularly the amygdala and hippocampus.

Because essential oils are taunted as cure alls, it is important to understand the science: "Sniffing linalool, an alcohol component of lavender odor, was kind of like popping a Valium. It worked on the same parts of a mouse’s brain, but without all the dizzying side effects. And it didn’t target parts of the brain directly from the bloodstream, as was thought. Relief from anxiety could be triggered just by inhaling through a healthy nose."

Lavender remains one of the most popular essential oils and the mainstream press including the New York Times has written about it: "But Google “lavender” and results hint at perhaps the real fuel for our obsession: “tranquillity,” “calm,” “relaxation,” “soothing,” and “serenity.” Lavender has purported healing powers for reducing stress and anxiety. But are these effects more than just folk medicine?"

 

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