All Things Herbal

Ahh Lavender...can you imagine the scent?

You don't have to travel to France to enjoy bouquets of fresh lavender.  The photo on the left was taken inside a barn on a lavender farm in Sequim, Washington.  I was in heaven enjoying the rows of lavender hanging to dry.  It's a breathtaking sight.

   A favorite way to enjoy lavender year round is to fill a sachet with just the pure simplicity of lavender buds.  Or try equal parts dried lavender buds, rose petals and orange peel placed in an organza bag.  Tuck in drawers, linen closets, use in your bath or place inside your pillow to ensure sweet and peaceful dreams.

 

Lavender is a herb of many pleasures, its scent equaly at home in kitchen, bath or bedroom.   It's herbal properties are skin-balancing for ALL skin-types!  It's calming aromatherapy soothes our psyches!  Lavender is an ageless historical staple in soap, perfumery, and home remedy making...plus many household uses!  In blends or on it's own, lavender reigns as Queen of Herbs!  Enjoy our lavender offerings....so popular a scent, it deserved it's own web page! (Now we know, there are some people who say they "dislikee lavender" .  This may be because there are several species of lavender, and using higher grade species of lavender in toiletry or perfumery makes all the difference in the world! Species such as "spike lavender" have a very camphorous scent and do not illicit the soft, sweet lavender highly prized for it's aromatherapy.  So if you have had a bad lavender experience, we invite you to try our soaps...we think you'll change your mind! 

Lavender is one of the best-known herbs, prized for its soft fragrance since days of antiquity and used extensively in perfumery.  Lavender is a hardy & fragrant shrub that grows to an approximate height of three feet with grey-green leaves and stems with grey-blue/violet flowers and buds. While it's aroma is found throughout the plant, it's essential oil is extracted from it's flowers.  Indigenously found in the mountainous areas of Mediterranean Europe, the plant is now cultivated the world over, growing best in well-drained soil.  Major producers of lavender essential oil are Bulgaria, France, Croatia and Russia.  Lavender farms are also springing up everywhere in the USA, and you'll notice annual lavender festivals that celebrate the bounty and uses of this herb. 

Numerous varieties of lavender are grown including spike lavender (Lavendula spica), French lavender (Lavendula stoechas(, and "true", or English lavender (Lavendula officinalis, also known as Lavendula augustifolia, and Lavendula vera).  Lavendin is one species bred for it's particularly strong scent.  "True" lavender is the most widely used medicinally, while spike is was recorded as once being used to scent the bath waters of Ancient Romans. Spike, with it's higher concentrations of camphor and cineole, is used as an insent and moth repellent. The name "lavender" is derived from the Latin lavare, meaning "to wash".

NOTE:  Any skin applications of lavender essential oil (like all essential oils) requires dilution.  

The antiseptic qualities of lavender make it suitable for a wide-range of infections and it is also used to soothe mild burns and to treat inflammatory skin conditions such as dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema.  It's balancing attributes make it an excellent essential oil in skincare products to help balance excessive oiliness or over-dryness--truly "the oil" for all skin types!

In aromatherapy, lavender helps induce a sense of calm and composure, releasing pent-up energy, frustration, irritability or trauma that can inhibit self-expression. Also used widely for babies and children (especially in combination with chamomile) in massage and aromatherapy to sooth colic and fussiness.

In lavender lore, it's basic powers are reputed to be love, protection and purification!  Wearing lavender attracts love.  Found as a main staple in healing and aromatic bath brews, sachets, or potpourri blends, it's also burned as incense and aromatherapy candles to relieve stress and induce restful sleep with peaceful dreams.  At one time lavender was carried along with rosemary to preserve chastity.  Conversely, it is also widely used to attract the opposite sex.

Historical anecdotes tell us that the lavender field workers and perfumers of the Middle Ages survived the Black Death and other plagues because lavender protected them from the lethal bacteria. The power of lavender to stimulate and supplement in the body's healing forces is unmatched by modern pharmaceuticals. And amidst the aromatic plants, there seems to be no other plant essence equaling its broad properties. 

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