Botanical name: Lavandula angustifolia
Other names: English Lavender
Lavender is a beautiful aromatic herb with purple flowers that originates from the Mediterranean region.
Its common and scientific name originates from lavare, the Latin word for wash or bathe. Indead, its fragrance does evoke the feeling of clean! The flowers were traditionally used to perfume linen, and keep moths and insects at bay. The essential oils responsible for Lavender’s clean and refreshing aroma have been found to be powerful antimicrobial agents.
Lavender is also gentle sedative that can help reduce stress and anxiety, assist sleep and reduce depression. Lavender is a traditional remedy for headaches; both internally as a tea and externally as an essential oil, rubbed into the temples.
As a tea or tincture, it can help dispel intestinal gas, stimulate liver and digestive function, increase bile flow, and reduce inflammation. It is safe for children and the elderly, and can be useful as a gentle digestive aid and calming herb.
It is also useful externally as an antiseptic, antifungal and soothing wash, douche or sitz bath. The essential oil is used externally for burns, cuts, scrapes and cold sores, and is added to many healing salves and creams.
Popular as a sachet herb in drawers to scent linen or under the pillow for sleep.
Preparation: 1-2 tsp per cup. Steep covered for 10 minutes. Sweeten with honey or stevia to taste.
Deni Brown (2002), New Encyclopedia of Herbs & Their Uses, pp. 252-57.
Lavender Common Uses
Consult your doctor if taking blood pressure medication, sedatives or CNS depressants.