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Lavender: the essential essential oil!

If you love the smell of lavender but have always wondered what it is good for I've put together a little information sheet on the best things about this wonderfully beneficial plant .....

 

LAVENDER:

Botanical Name: Lavandula Angustifolia

Plant Family: Lamiaceae

Known as: 'the essential essential oil'

lavender

 

Top 5 Benefits of Lavender

Relieves Stress and Anxiety: Lavender's brilliant when defused in the room or used neat on key areas of the body such as behind the ear.

Helps heal the skin: Well known for it's ability to heal when used topically - great for eczema, burns, sunburn & scars.

Anti-bacterial Properties: This makes lavender ideal for putting into hand washes, skincare and cleaning products.

Relieves Pain: Particularly muscle and nerve pain - use topically, in a bath or drink as a tea.

Aids sleep: Lavender helps calm the mind and body making it perfect for helping to full asleep and stay asleep.

 

The History of Lavender

Lavender is native to the Mediterranean and has a long history, use has been documented for over 2500 years. The ancient Egyptians used lavender for mummification and perfume. Romans used lavender oils for cooking, bathing and scenting the air and the name is derived from the Latin verb lavare—which means, “to wash.” The Romans also used lavender oil in soaps and carried it with them throughout the Roman Empire. In Medieval and Renaissance France, women who took in washing for hire were known as “lavenders.” Clothes were washed in lavender and laid to dry on lavender bushes. Lavender was used to scent drawers, perfume the air and ward off infection and heal wounds. It was also recognized in Roman times for its antiseptic and healing qualities. The Ancient Greeks used lavender to fight insomnia and back aches.

www.tumalolavender.com/article-history-of-lavender

dried lavender
How to dry Lavender

Lavender can be harvested all through summer as Lavandula Augustifolla (known as True Lavender or English Lavender) blooms from early to late summer, depending on sun exposure.

The perfect time to cut Lavender is if you can catch the bud before it flowers completely.
Simply cut the stem roughly 4inches long to enable easy drying, then either tie in a bunch and hang upside-down, in a dry dark area of the house, or lie flat in the lid of a shoe box and pop in the hot press for between 3 – 7 days or until all the water content has dried up.

Once the Lavender buds are completely dry store them in a clean, dry, glass container away from direct sunlight.

They will keep well for 12- 24 months.

 

 

How to infuse oil with lavender

Vegetable oils with little scent of their own are ideal for infusing as they won’t interfere with the Lavender scent; oils such as sweet almond, sunflower, grapeseed, etc.

  • Lightly bruise the dried lavender buds (with a rolling pin or such like)
  • Pop them into a clear glass jar
  • Pour in enough oil to cover them
  • Leave in a sunny location for 3-6 weeks
  • When you’re happy with strength of the scent strain the oil and its ready to use.

 

Lavender essential oil can be used in many different ways and in a variety of recipes including .... soaps, candles, bath bombs, solid moisturisers to name but a few