This past weekend I traveled to my local farmers market and spent a little time speaking to a local lavender farmer. Each year, during the month of June when the lavender blooms, this vendor opens up her farm to hundreds of people to pick lavender during the blooming season. I didn’t make the picking last year but will make the trip this year as fresh lavender is required for one of our new products.
I have really enjoyed frequenting the farm in the past. The fragrance in the fields during that month is so aromatic. This year I’ll be taking the family up to enjoy this activity with me while I’m selecting some fresh lavender to infuse in our upcoming body oil products. As the lavender farmer and I talked about the upcoming picking season we began to discuss some interesting uses and benefits of lavender. This motivated me to learn a little bit more about the uses and benefits of this aromatic plant. I found that there are numerous benefits and uses of lavender. Many of them I was aware of but quite a few I was not.
The benefits of lavender were discovered during early times. Cultures all over the world have used lavender in one form or another. The earliest recorded uses of lavender dates to ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptians used lavender in the mummification process and perfumes. During those times lavender was reserved for only the pharaohs and wealthy citizens. Lavender oil was also placed on the heads of the wealthy to heal and permeate their aurora with the smell of lavender. Many barrels of lavender were also found in the great King Tut’s (Tutankhamun) tomb.
One of my favorite uses of lavender is in soaps and body washes. We here at 912 Candle co will be releasing our bath & body products in the late summer and our release includes a must have lavender soap, that pairs perfectly with our Egyptian Lavender Soy blend candle. Can you say, Lavender Relaxation power? When paired with our lavender candle, not only will you smell absolutely amazing the lavender aromatherapy will have a calming and relaxing effect on you.
Lavender comes from the Latin root word “lavare”. Interesting enough, this Latin root word which means “to wash.” Maybe those that named this plant was giving us a key to the benefit in its name. When breathing in lavender it “washes away” stress and anxiety and improves mood and reduce stress level. I have always loved to end by day with the aroma of lavender in a bath because of its wonderful relaxation effects. In several ancient regions, such as Persia, Greece and Roam, when lavender was added as a bath additive it was believed to help purify the body and the mind.
Lavender not only reduces stress and improves moods it also aides in helping one fall asleep. For this benefit, lavender has been used in teas, bath salts and massage oils. When one sleeps in a bedroom with fresh lavender and baths with a 912 Candle Co lavender soap bar this becomes the making of a relaxing bedtime routine. When my children were small, Lavender body soap was a must have in my home and a nightly bedtime routine, for just this purpose.
Quite a few studies have been performed on the benefits of lavender. Lavender comes in many forms, but research has suggested that inhaling in lavender’s aroma improves one’s quality of sleep and mild sleep disturbances. People suffering from insomnia and other sleep disorders would stuff their pillows with lavender flowers to help them fall asleep and get a better night’s rest. Other studies have shown that those who use lavender aromatherapy woke feeling more refreshed and those individuals that were administered lavender oil orally also sleep longer during the night.
During the Renaissance periods, lavender was used extensively in the laundry process. Europeans would wash clothing and then hang them out to dry over lavender bushes. This allowed the lavender scent to permeate the clothing. Europeans would also deodorize the castles and large manors with lavender plants by laying them across the stone laid floors. Royalty like Queen Elizabeth was said to also have taken a liking to lavender and added it in her tea to relive herself of headaches.
Lavender appears to have a soothing calming effect on headaches and migraines. In one study, people with migraines were given 3 months of lavender therapy. When this group was compared to the control group, the one’s receiving the lavender therapy scored lower on the headache assessment scale. In another headache study, 47 participants were given lavender essential oil to inhale for 15 minutes. As a result, it was noted that these individuals experienced reduced headache severity and frequency. With all these great benefits, Lavender in some form or another should be a staple in everyone’s closet.
There are so many ways to implement the use of Lavender in the home. Lavender uses can be categorized into three unique areas that include Health, Flavor and Household use. Some common health uses for lavender outside of the ones relaxation and mood improve include:
- Anti-inflammatory and Antiseptic properties
- Improved Blood Circulation
- Can be used as a Diuretic and detoxification supplement
- Heals stomach issues
Many individuals use lavender oils to add flavor to foods. This was one of the uses of lavender that I learned in my research. The lavender farmer had lavender chocolate and spoke of how a friend of hers would make lavender infused ice cream. Other dishes include drinks, salads, Crème Brulees, cookies and lavender flavor meat. When lavender is involved, the flavoring possibilities seem endless. Many new health trends are promoting using lavender for multiple home purposes. The scent of lavender is one of the most revered aromas across the planet and is often found in several products. What products are your favorite and how do you imagine how you will use Lavender in your everyday life? I personally will try to use it multiple ways to maximize the benefits of its properties.