As Rosemary is to the Spirit, so Lavender is to the Soul. – Anonymous
I knew very little about lavender until a few months when I had the chance to visit a lavender field in England. Very pretty, colorful and extremely fragrant. I have to admit that I am not crazy about the smell, but I really enjoyed the lavender ice cream served at the souvenir shop. I was surprised to see the large variety of lavender products they were selling. This prompted me to do a little research and try to understand what is so special about lavender.
Lavender belongs to the same family as mint. Its name comes from the Latin verb “lavare”, which means to wash. Lavender has been used for thousands of years and it was even used over 2500 ago in ancient Egypt during the mummification process. Romans used lavender to scent their homes, in the baths and they even cooked with it.
Today lavender is cultivated all over the world but some countries are better known for producing the essential oil: France, England and United States. The oil is extracted from the fresh flowers by steam distillation.
What really sets lavender apart are the many great proprieties of the lavender oil. It’s antiallergic, non-toxic, non-irritant and it has antibiotic properties. It can be used as a skin moisturizer. Lavender also alleviates motion sickness and has a great calming effect: it reduces irritability and insomnia.
That is not all. Lavender is also: antibacterial, anticonvulsive, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antispasmodic, antiviral, , carminative, cholagogue, cicatrisant, cordial, cytophylactic, deodorant, decongestant, diuretic, hypotensive, insecticidal, nervine, parasiticidal, rubefacient, restorative, sedative, tonic, and vermifugal. Wow! I don’t even know what half this words mean. However, this is enough to understand why lavender oil is nicknamed “first aid in a bottle”.
I am not sure how much research is behind all these claims but I am happy to have learn more about lavender. Pretty impressive proprieties and multiple uses. And if you have the opportunity to visit a lavender field, please do. And bring your camera with you. It’s well worth it.
Happy lavender shooting!