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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I Heart Herbs - Lavender

*Please note - The information provided is collected from my various herbal books, classes, and personal research. I am not a doctor. Always, always, always consult your physician or qualified healthcare provider before beginning any new treatment. Do your own research and think for yourself. Don't believe everything you read. Questions are good!

Lavender

Latin Name: Lavandula

Plant Family: Lamiaceae

Parts Used for Medicine: Flowers

Harvest toward the end of flowering when the petals have begun to fade.

Character: bitter, dry, mainly cooling

Constituents: Volatile oil, tannins, coumarins, flavonoids, triterpenoids

Actionsantispasmodic, antiseptic,antibacterial,analgesic, carminative, circulatory stimulant, cholagogue, increases serotonin, nervine, relaxant, vulnerary

Lavender comes from the Latin word "lavare" meaning to wash.


Lavender Essential Oil

In the 1920’s, French chemist, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse was working in his perfume lab and burned his arm. He plunged it into the first batch of cool liquid he could find which happened to be lavender oil. The burn healed quickly with no scarring. After this miracle, Gattefosse devoted his life to researching the healing properties of essential oils.

We have discovered that lavender essential oil has a multitude of uses for our health. It is used in creams, lotions, massage, aromatherapy, and as a sleep aid. The essential oil of lavender is one of the most popular aromatic oils. Inhaling lavender essential oil calms your mind, body, and soul.

  • Add lavender essential oil to a spray bottle filled with water. Spray your sheets and pillow prior to hitting the sack for blissful sleep.
  • For eczema, add a few drops to chamomile cream.
  • Add lavender oil to lotion for soothing a sunburn or to moisturize dry and chapped skin.
  • Used in massage lotions and oils, it aids in relieving pains, sprains, muscular aches, and rheumatism.
  • For minor burns, apply 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil to the affected area.
  • Apply the undiluted oil to stings and insect bites.

Lavender is an excellent addition to your first aid kit!


Lavender essential oil blends well with bergamot, cedarwood, clary sage, geranium, patchouli, pine, rosemary, and sandalwood.



Other Lavender Uses
  • Make a tea with the flowers and drink up for headaches, nervous exhaustion, and indigestion.
  • One can make a sleep pillow with the dried flowers.
  • Make a tincture for headaches and depression, dosage up to 5 ml, twice a day.
  • For halitosis, use as a mouthwash.

Lavender Folklore

Lavender Fairy by Cicely Mary Barker
  • The Egyptians used lavender for mummification.
  • The Greeks liked to anoint their feet with lavender.
  • The Romans used lavender for baths and laundry.
  • Roman soldiers found it was quite useful for wound healing and fighting off infections.
  • Queen Elizabeth the 1st drank lavender tea to soothe her frequent migraine headaches.
  • Rumor has it, Cleopatra seduced Mark Antony and Julius Caesar while wearing lavender perfume.
  • To lure suitors, young ladies would wear little lavender bags in their cleavage.
  • Lavender is used to heal a broken heart.
  • Lavender was also used for protection. It was hung on the bedpost or made into a candle to keep evil energies away from the home.
  • On Midsummer, one can call upon the faery world by mixing chamomile, lavender, mugwort, and rose petals.

Lavender is definitely one of my favorite herbs. It's great to have on hand for almost anything - bug bites, a sleep aid, burns, bruises, relaxation - and the faeries like it.

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 Amy Riddle, C.C., Holistic Alchemist and Manifestor of Dreams is a life coach, tapping facilitator, reverend, creatress, teacher, writer, herbalist, and all out muse. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Alternative Medicine with an emphasis on herbs. She is a certified professional life coach with the Life Coach Institute of Orange County. Amy craves to inspire others to be healthy and whole in body, mind, and spirit. She has an affinity for striped socks, stinging nettle, and all things faery.