When someone thinks of lavender they usually imagine a field with rows of the bush and her stalky violet colored flowers. Or the beautiful scent the flower brings. But as long as history has been recorded lavender has been documented for its healing properties. Roman soldiers who roamed the Mediterranean wielding swords also carried lavender for use on wounds acquired during battle. Over the course of history lavender has been proven to be one of the more versatile plants in nature, being used to treat anything from anxiety and sleep deprivation to eczema and menstrual pain.
Native to the mountainous regions of the Mediterranean, lavender is a member of the mint family. It can grow to about a meter tall and derives its name from the Latin word ‘lavare’ which means ‘to wash’.
Lavender for the Mind
Because of the calming effects of lavender it is the perfect herb for calming the mind. Whether you suffer from anxiety or insomnia a nice soothing bath with one of our bath bombs or bath salts can help ease the tension in the mind. It can also be used to help with headaches by use of aromatherapy by either burning dried lavender flowers or putting the essential oil in an essential oil warmer. During ancient times in Greece and Rome they would stuff their pillows at night to help with a good night's rest. Lavender candles can also add a gentle scent to the room. A lavender infused herbal sleep mask is also perfect if you are looking for a quality night of sleep.
Lavender for the Body
Lavender also has the power to heal many of the body's ailments. It is antifungal and antibacterial so a little bit of lavender oil mixed with almond or coconut oil is perfect to apply to small cuts or burns. It can even be used to help clear up skin ailments such as eczema, dermatitis, acne or itches and rashes.
Lavender has also been proven to help with menstrual pain. Women who smelled lavender for 30 minutes a day during the first three days of their period had less pain after two months. Applying a small amount of lavender essential oil to the abdomen has also shown to ease menstrual pain.
Lavender for the Soul
Lavender is associated with the third-eye chakra which relates to intuition, imagination, creativity and higher consciousness. Lavender oil is a universally healing oil for all seven chakras and can assist in bringing them all into balance.
Lavender can be combined with other herbs such as sage or palo santo to create a smudge for cleansing your environment before yoga or meditation. Mindfully infusing your space with lavender while setting the intention of peaceful, grounding energy can assist in making art, saying prayers or engaging in a sacred ceremony.
Lavender is also popular for love spells. Because of its magical restoring properties it can bring about calmness as well as raising one's vibration towards companionship. Cleopatra used lavender to seduce both Marc Anthony and Julius Caesar. In ancient Greece to celebrate St. Luke’s Day lavender brew was taken to discover the identity of loved ones. Lavender was also placed under the bed of newlyweds to encourage passion.
The Apothecary by Essentially Simple carries a number of lavender products for however you wish to begin a regimen. We have store-made lavender soap made with goat's milk and essential oils. We also carry all natural lavender dish soap and hand soap. As well as loose lavender if you wish to infuse in a tea or burn for a ceremony.
Note* Though lavender is one of the safest plants for general use it is not without contradictions. Because lavender is such a powerful herb it should be used with care. Some people are allergic to lavender and too much application to the skin can cause irritation. Lavender oil should not be ingested, always use dried flowers when baking or infusing lavender for edibles.
Lavender Infused Honey
1 Tbsp dried lavender flower
1 cup honey
Glass jar with lid
Stir lavender flower and honey together
Place the jar in a warm place, away from direct sunlight
Flip the jar daily to mix the flowers and honey
Allow the honey to infuse for 1-4 weeks
When satisfied with the taste, drain the flowers from the honey (they can be added to tea!)
Store in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight