Lavender, Lavendula angustifolia, is native to France and the Mediterranean where it has been cultivated for perfume and medicinal use for hundreds of years. It is a popular garden plant, with gray green leaves topped with purplish-blue flower spikes. Lavendula angustifolia (or L. officinalis), often referred to as English Lavender, is the hardiest and most often used medicinally (try ‘Hidcote’ or ‘Munstead’ in your garden). The French lavender (L. dentata) and Spanish lavender (L. stoechas) are not as hardy in many areas and are more ornamental in value. Lavendula intermedia are crosses between lavenders used in perfumery with ‘Provence’ being the main variety grown in France, and ‘Grosso’ grown in Seqium, WA.
Lavender flowers sweet-scented aroma is both relaxing and stimulating. Internally it is used to relieve headaches, asthma, digestive, insomnia and anxiety complaints. It combines well with other relaxing herbs like passionflower, skullcap and valerian.
Externally, lavender is used for relieving pain, skin conditions and as an powerful, yet gentle antimicrobial. Lavenders ability to heal wounds makes a common herb found in salves, poultices, linoments, sprays and lotions. The essential oil of lavender is useful for insect bites, burns, and excellent first aid remedy. Massaging a few drops of oil on your temples eases headaches, or add to bath water for relaxing muscle and nervous tension.
Lavender is considered mild and safe for adults, children and babies with few adverse side effects reported.
The following article is for educational purposes and not intended for diagnosis. Always consult your health practitioner when needed.