Lavender's Properties

Yiannis cutting Lavender!
Yiannis using a scythe blade while collecting lavender stems at a clients estate in Pilot Hill, Calif.

Lavender is an extraordinary plant with a captivating scent, beautiful demeanor, and multitude of uses. Best known for its wonderful calming and uplifting scent, lavender has been utilized as an anti-septic since ancient times. Among its roots in the ancient herbalists, lavender's properties as a disinfectant and antiseptic grew through the centuries, even gaining the reputation of warding off the plague. It is also known even today for its repellency towards certain pests such as mosquitos and moths.Lavender's popularity with the English royalty gave it a berth in the ranks of a cosmetic herb, and it was with Queen Victoria that lavender was recognized as a tonic for nerves.

With its history of healing properties, glorious colors and enchanting aroma, lavender has remained the Swiss Army Knife of herbs. Lavender has stepped out of its attachment to old fashioned uses and has found a modern status in aromatherapy. With scientific research verifying its ancient uses, lavender is an essential component of any household first aid box. The essential oil is used on insect bites, burns, and blemishes.

A Little History

Lavender is considered the premier of all perfume. 'Perfume' derives its name from the Greek meaning 'through smoke,' and in ancient times the perfumes were used as fumigatory agents. Lavendula angustifolia/officinalis grows at altitudes reaching the height of 5,000 feet. The officinalis, known as 'vera', affords a much smaller plant and the harvesting is more laborious. In a field ripe for harvest the plants resemble fattened velveteen porcupines with hues ranging from brilliant whites to shadings of violet and purple.

Personality Traits

Lavender's aroma imprint is camphoric sweet and rich ~ with an herbaceous, floral heart and a soft balsamic-wood undertone. Its odor at evaporation is generally a low, middle note. Its effect is calming, refreshing, uplifting, expansive, soothing, purifying.

Common Uses

Ideal for physical and emotional support. Lavender as a whole is an 'adaptagenic' essence with a relationship to all Body Systems. It is nicknamed the ultimate 'first aid in a bottle' oil. Lavender produces an Anti-Allergic Essential oil, with an inherent antibiotic action. It is also an astringent as well as moisturizing to skin. It alleviates aches, pains, and swelling from arthritis to injury to headache. Lavender also alleviates motion sickness.

Emotionally, lavender helps support a calm composure and self-expression. It reduces irritability, insomnia, nightmares, apprehension, panic attacks combined with uncontrollable shaking, stress, nervous tension, hysteria and is generally balancing to the psyche, as well as the body.