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Lavender gets its name from the Latin "lavare" meaning "to wash." It was used to bathe wounds and prevent infection when sharing communal baths. Historically, it was also placed in linen closets to discourage moths and other insects from lunching on fabrics.


Today, it is one of the most popular scents used in aromatherapy, but it so amazing that the list of uses makes it sound like a catalogue belonging to a snake oil salesman. This summer, I visited the lavender capital of the U.S. and toured an exquisite lavender farm. Never in my life have I seen such gorgeous flowers or smelled such intense fragrance. This is, like many of my favorite sources, a family-owned project operated by dedicated people whose laboratory is no more than a few feet away from the closest plants.

lavender plantThey are experimenting with some new growing ideas, including using crushed oyster shells around each plant. The plants obviously love this because the ones with the shells around them were extremely happy though all the plants looked healthy and wonderful.

Naturally, I bought some of their products and now I want to share how they can be used. They make essential oils, hydrosols, soaps, moisturizers, and, of course, sachets for those who want to dream or merely reduce asthmatic attacks and respiratory complaints by keeping their heads on small lavender pillows.

lavender oil distillation

I was interested in the oils for their anti-infective potential, but I immediately tried the hydrosol over my head and felt recharged, vitalized by the purity of the space around me.

Though lavender is regarded primarily as a disinfectant, it is also sufficiently anticonvulsive to be used by epileptics and so mood elevating as to rival St. John's wort as as an anti-depressant.

External Use

Lavender can be applied to open wounds as a protection against infection and as a treatment once infection is evident as with gangrene. It is useful for dog bites and other lacerations and can also be used for acne, psoriasis, fungal conditions, herpes, burns, scalds, and sunburn. Mix into a cream, gel, or milk base and dab on with pure cotton. I recently mixed it with propolis to use it on a wasp sting. It stopped the pain instantly.

Internal Use

In moderate amounts, lavender can be used for migraines, indigestion, menstrual irregularities and pain, and irritable bowel syndrome. "Moderate" means a drop or two per glass of water or cup of tea, no more!

Spiritual Use

Hildegard of Bingen recommended lavender as an aid to maintaining character. It is used to establish equilibrium and to bring the heart and mind into balance.




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*The material provided on this site is for informational purposes only. The author is not a medical doctor. The statements made represent the author's personal opinions and are not intended to replace the services of health care professionals. The content and products discussed have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information on this page and the products available on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.