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Lavender (Lavandula spica)

Many people appreciate lavender for its fragrance. The name lavender comes from the Latin root lavare, which means "to wash." Lavender may have earned this name because it was frequently used in baths to help purify the body and spirit. Lavender oil has many benefits for skin care applied topically to the skin. Lavender oil tones and revitalises and is useful for all types of skin problems.

The Plant

The Plant

Lavender (Lavandula) belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae). It is the most widely cultivated of the 47 species within the genus Lavandula angustifolia (or Lavandula officinalis). Lavender is native to the Mediterranean region, the Arabian Peninsula, and Russia but is now grown across the world and has a long history of use. Lavandula augustifolia is an evergreen shrub that produces bluish mauve flowers. Its native land is the Mediterranean area of southern France. It flourishes best in dry, well-drained, sandy or gravelly soils in full sun. The oil is made from the flowers and processed by a steam distillation method.

 

Traditional Uses

Traditional Uses

An abundant Mediterranean herb, but grown across the world, lavender has a long and popular history of use. The Romans used it in their bathwater and correspondingly the name comes from the Latin word ‘lavandus’, meaning to wash. True Lavender essential oil is produced by steam distillation from the leaves and flowering tops of the Lavandula angustifolia plant and is a complex mixture of phytochemicals - chemical compounds produced by plants. Major constituents of lavender oil include linalook (26%) and caryophyllene (8%). Lavender essential oil also has antiseptic properties.

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