Lavender Essential Oil

Lavandula angustifolia, Lamiaceae

Lavender Lavender is used extensively with herbs and aromatherapy. The ancient Greeks called lavender, nardus, after the city of Naarda in Syria. It was commonly called nard.[1] The Greeks discovered that lavender would release a relaxing smoke when burned. Lavender was used in Roman baths to scent the water, and to restore the skin. Its genus name ‘Lavandula’ is derived from the Latin ‘lavare’ to wash, referring to the use of infusions of the plants.[2] The leaves of the plant are long and narrow in most species. The specific name, ‘angustifolia’ means ‘narrow-leaved’ in Latin. The flowers are borne in whorls, held on spikes rising above the foliage. They may be blue, violet or lilac. The calyx is tubular, with five lobes.

When the Roman Empire conquered Britain, the Romans introduced lavender. The most common “true” species in cultivation is the common lavender Lavandula angustifolia (formerly L. officinalis). A wide range of cultivars can be found.

Lavender spikes are used in dried flower arrangements. The fragrant, dried purple flowers and buds are found in potpourris. Dried and sealed in sachets, lavender flowers are placed among stored clothing items to give a clean fragrance and to repel moths. Lavender is popular in scented waters and sachets.English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) yields an essential oil with sweet overtones, and can be used in balms, salves, perfumes, cosmetics, and topical applications. Lavender oil is an essential oil obtained by distillation from the flower spikes of certain species of lavender. Lavandin, Lavandula × intermedia (also known as Dutch lavender), yields a similar essential oil, but with higher levels of terpenes including camphor, which add a sharper overtone to the fragrance. Essential oil of lavender has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used in hospitals to disinfect floors and walls. These extracts are also used as perfumes for bath and body products. The primary components of lavender oil are linalool (51%) and linalyl acetate (35%).[3]

Lavender has been used traditionally to soothe and heal insect bites and burns. repel insects. and calm headaches. Lavender oil is used to heal acne when used diluted in various preparations; it also treats skin burns and inflammatory conditions such as sunburn and sunstroke.[3] It can also be used in massage oil mixtures, which may be effective in the relief of joint and muscle pain. Lavender has long been used by herbalists as an aid to sleep and relaxation. A recent clinical study investigated anxiolytic effects and influence on sleep quality. Lavender oil with a high percentage of linalool and linalyl acetate showed meaningful efficacy in alleviating anxiety and related sleep disturbances.[4][5]

[1] Dr. William Thomas Fernie, “Herbal Simples” (Bristol Pub., 1895. ASIN: B0014W4WNE)

[2] “Lavender”. Oxford English Dictionary (second ed.). 1989

[3] Cavanagh H, Wilkinson J. Lavender essential oil: a review. Australian Infection Council, March 2005, Vol 10 Issue 1.

[4] Kasper, S; Gastpar, M; Müller, WE; Volz, HP; Möller, HJ; Dienel, A; Schläfke, S (2010). “Silexan, an orally administered Lavandula oil preparation, is effective in the treatment of ‘subsyndromal’ anxiety disorder: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial.”. International clinical psychopharmacology 25 (5): 277–87. doi:10.1097/YIC.0b013e32833b3242. PMID 20512042

[5] Woelk, H.; Schläfke, S. (2010). “A multi-center, double-blind, randomised study of the Lavender oil preparation Silexan in comparison to Lorazepam for generalized anxiety disorder”. Phytomedicine 17: 94. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2009.10.006

Products that contain Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender Roll-On