The Medicinal Plant Lavender
Lavender is a very versatile medicinal plant the effects of which vary considerably depending on the lavender type, dosage and application. It works antibacterially, antivirally, antifungally (e.g. against skin fungus and nail fungus), anti-inflammatory and calming. Lavender’s essential oils contain one of the largest concentrations of active ingredients placing very centrally in aromatherapy and skincare. Additionally, in gardens, apart from its pleasant scent, it helps to protect against pests.
30 different types of lavender have been discovered and each plant has its own healing benefits and medicinal usage. Owing to this quantity of types, this blog post will concentrate on Lavandula Angustifolia known for being the oldest and most common type.
Common Lavender, also known as “Lavandula Angustifolia“, belongs to the Lamiaceae or Mint family and originates from the South of France and Spain where it has been growing for over 2500 years. Its flower petals are dark purple to amethyst colors and are infused with essential oils that release an intense and sweet scent.
This Lavender´s usage and medicinal healing benefits were long known to the ancient Egyptians who used it for mummification and perfume. The Romans used lavender oils for cooking, bathing, scenting and for its antiseptic and healing qualities whilst in Medieval and Renaissance France certain women were referred to “lavenders” as they washed clothes with lavender soap.
Main Use of Common Lavender
- Psyche (calming, relaxing),
- Wound healing, scar treatment, skin irritation,
- Skin and hair care,
- Insect repellent,
- Pleasant fragrance and as a perfume.
It is important to notice that, in general, essential oils should be consumed under the guidance of a licensed aromatherapist to avoid negative side effects. Lavender’s essential oils are extremely concentrated and can contain multiple pounds of flower buds in just a single drop. When wishing to drink lavender tea, I recommend using dried or fresh flower buds to ensure proper dosage.
“How to … Lavender”
After arriving make sure to drink a cup of lavender tea as soon as possible and sprinkle two to three drops of Lavandula Angustifolia essential oil on your pillow to ensure a calm and restful sleep.
Lavandula Angustifolia oil helps both wound healing and scar care but if facing more severe wounds, consult a doctor. Always work with disinfected instruments before applying a small amount of oil repeatedly throughout the day on the affected area. Another lesser-known herb which helps to speed up the healing process of small wounds are daisies.
Apply a thin layer of undiluted Lavandula Angustifolia oil directly onto the affected areas until symptoms are relieved. However, if necessary, dilute in some water, e.g. in a spray bottle, and spray on.
Acne or other skin impurities
By cleansing the face in the mornings and evenings with lukewarm lavender tea (Lavandula Angustifolia), you can improve your facial appearance and smoothness of skin. However, if you only have a single inflamed skin area, then massage one drop of essential oil on the problematic spot. If you would like to expand your skincare routine or simply spend some time on yourself, a honey-lavender facial mask can do wonders.
Apply the mixture generously on your face and avoiding the eye area. After 20 minutes, gently remove the mask with a damp cloth and dry your face.