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Information about the herb Lavender

Lavandula officinalis, also known as Lavendel is part of the Labiataeplant family. Lavender is a shrubby plant indigenous to the mountainous regions of the countries bordering the western half of the Mediterranean. Now cultivated all over the world.

General Information

There are several species of Lavender with similar medicinal properties. Other species include:

  • English Lavender (Lavendula vera) yields the highest percentage of esters for making Lavender Oil but is extremely expensive
  • Spike Lavender (Lavendula spica) has a high yield of oil but of a poorer quality

Spanish Lavender is not a true Lavender and is almost free of esters and is closest to Spike Lavender.

This English garden herb is highly regarded for its classic fragrance in soap, and potpourris, but lavender is also an important medicinal herb.

Originally, the oil from the flower was used to protect cloths and stored linens from moths. It was, and is, used as a scent in air fresheners.

Botanical Name: Lavandula officinalis

Plant Family: Labiatae

Common name:Lavendel, Stachaedoes

History: Lavender has been around for thousands of years, dating back to at least the ancient Greeks.

The Romans were responsible forthe spread of Lavender throughout Europe and used Lavender:

  • in baths
  • to fumigate a room in preparation for childbirth
  • to expel afterbirth
  • to promote menstruation

Lavender was used during the world wars as a powerful antiseptic

Traditional: Lavender flowers were used in:

  • healing incenses and sachets (the flowers are burned to induce sleep)
  • purification baths and rituals
  • the home to maintain peaceful harmony within

Lavender water

  • sprinkled on the head was supposed to help in keeping your chastity

Lavender essential oil is said to:

  • heighten sexual desire

Carrying Lavender:

  • brought strength and courage
  • was supposed to enable the carrier to see ghosts

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Plant Constituents of Lavender

Contains: Lavender contains a volatile oil, the main constituents of which are:

  • borneol
  • cineol (mainly in English Lavender, only a trace in French)
  • geraniol
  • linalool
  • limonene
  • linalyl acetate
  • linalyl butrate
  • pinene
  • tannin

Action:

  • antihydrotic [an agent which reduces or suppresses perspiration]
  • antidepressant
  • anti-rheumatic [an agent to relieve rheumatism]
  • antiseptic [an agent for inhibiting the growth of microorganism on living tissue or destroying pathogenic or putrefactive bacteria]
  • antispasmodic [an agent which relieves or checks spasms or cramps]
  • aromatic [a substance having an agreeable odor and stimulating qualities]
  • carminative [an agent for expelling gas from the intestines]
  • cholagogue [an agent for increasing the flow of bile into the intestines]
  • diuretic [an agent that increases the secretion and expulsion of urine]
  • sedative [a soothing agent that reduces nervousness, distress or irritation]
  • stimulant [an agent that excites or quickens the activity of physiological processes]
  • stomachic [an agent that strengthens, stimulates or tones the stomach]
  • tonic [an agent that strengthens or invigorates organs or the entire organism]
  • vermifuge [an agent to expel parasites, worms]

Usage of Lavender

Medicinal Parts Used:The whole herb

Lavender is used in:

Bacterial and Viral Conditions

  • retroviruses, such as herpes
  • streptococcal and staphylococcus infections

Brain and Nervous System Conditions

  • fainting
  • gentle, soothing tonic for the nervous system
  • invigorates a tired brain
  • mental depression
  • migraine headache
  • nervous anxiety
  • nervous tension
  • stress
  • tension headaches

Gastrointestinal Conditions

  • colic
  • flatulence (gas/wind)
  • gentle, soothing tonic for the digestive system
  • nausea
  • putrefactive bacteria in the intestines
  • stomach problems
  • vomiting

Female Conditions

  • expulsion of afterbirth
  • induces menstruation

Respiratory Tract Conditions

  • coughs
  • debility and exhaustion
  • dizziness

Externally Lavender Water is used for:

  • acne
  • reducing puffiness
  • normalizing the sebaceous glands
  • repelling insects

and as a douche in:

  • leucorrhea

Externally the oil can be used for:

  • burns
  • corneal ulcers
  • cuts
  • disinfecting wounds
  • headache relief
  • toothache

Applied as a compress Lavender oil provides relief from:

  • intestinal gas
  • neuralgic pains
  • rheumatism
  • sore joints
  • sprains

and

  • stimulates paralyzed limbs

A few drops of the oil in a footbath:

  • relieves fatigue

Other Uses:

  • cosmetics
  • embalming of corpses
  • dried flowers in potpourri
  • insect repellant
  • perfumes
  • soaps

Dosage:

Recommended dosage is as follows:

  • 15-30mL per week of 1:2 fluid extract

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Precautions

Drug Interactions:

Do not use Lavender without first talking to your practitioner or healthcare provider if you are taking any of the following medications:

  • None indicated

Products

Global Herbal Supplies has Lavender available in the following forms


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Research


Articles

Information given by our website is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by a physician or other medical professionals. You should not use the information given for diagnosing a health problem or disease. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider. The above information is just a guide to general circumstances and in no way should it contradict the advice that you have been given by your naturopath, medical doctor or specialist.

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