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Archive for August, 2010

Our third Ingredient Profile looks at Lavender.

There are quite a few varieties of lavender, many of which grow wild in the Mediterranean, and are cultivated in gardens across the globe. Lavender officinalis is said to be the most odorous.

Lavender is one of the most popular oils in aromatherapy, and has been used for its healing properties for hundreds of years. For centuries lavender bags have been placed in drawers and wardrobes to keep moths at bay. Revered for its antiseptic qualities by the Romans, they used it to bathe and cleanse wounds. The Latin ‘lavare’ means ‘to wash’.

Lavender is one of only two essential oils which can be used neat on the skin, the other being tea tree. However, as with all essential oils, there are some precautions that should be acknowledged. Some people who have low blood pressure could feel a bit dull and drowsy after using this oil. Additionally, it is an emmenagogue (promotes and regulates menstruation) so is best avoided during the early months of pregnancy.

Lavender appears to cleanse and soothe the Spirit relieving anger and exhaustion, resulting in a calmer approach to life. It has a sedative action on the heart and can help to bring down high blood pressure and calm palpitations. Lavender has long been known as giving effective relief from insomnia.

The pain-relieving qualities of lavender deal effectively with muscular spasm, and can be useful for sprains, strains and sharp rheumatic pains. A blend with marjoram can enhance this effect. Lavender can be beneficial to the respiratory system, and can deal with such problems as bronchitis, asthma, catarrh, colds, laryngitis and throat infections. As mentioned before, lavender is also useful with menstrual problems such as scanty periods, and may help in childbirth, relieving pain and speeding delivery.

Lavender is valuable for most skin types and conditions, since it promotes the growth of new cells and exerts a balancing action on sebum (the skins natural oil). It has a pronounced healing effect on burns and sunburn, and can be helpful in cases of acne, eczema and psoriasis.  Lavender is also an effective hair tonic, and may be of help in cases of alopecia.

Lavender truly is a wonderous herb!

At Freyaluna we love lavender and use it, in herb or oil form, in many of our products. You can find a full list of our products here.

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