It is Lavender season, many festivals in honor of this universally healing herb take place at this time of year. The word lavender comes from the Latin “Lavare” meaning to wash. The herb has a very rich presence in literature and is used widely in medicinal preparations, culinary delights and cosmetic preparations. The essential oil of lavender is derived from the distillation of the flowering tops of Lavandula officinalis, also referred to as Lavandula angustifolia/vera.
Here are some uses for lavender essential oil:
- Lavender essential oil has analgesic properties. Apply a cool compress the forehead to bring some relief from a headache. Place 5 drops of lavender essential oil into two cups of cool water. Place a wash cloth on the top of the water to soak up essential oil and water. Wring out and apply to forehead, avoiding the eyes. Re-apply as needed.
- Lavender essential oil has calmative and hypotensive properties. Place a drop of lavender essential oil on your pillow case to help you sleep at night or on a cotton ball during stress filled situations. Add 8 drops to warm bath water at night for a relaxation before bedtime.
- Lavender essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties. Apply to wounds either neat or with a cool compress.
The aroma of lavender essential oil is considered herbaceous, fruity and sweet depending on the variety and type of extraction. In many circles it is deemed “floral”, which may or may not be present…again depends on the variety. More appropriate terminology could be an herbaceous floral character. For use in aromatherapy synergies it is considered the universal oil and used extensively in almost all types of dis-ease. Its chemistry is rich in the ester: linalyl acetate the alcohol: linalol and sesquiterpenes
The magickal properties of Lavender are derived from its association with the planet Mercury and elemental air. Use it when intending clarity of the mind. References also site lavender in connection with attracting prosperity, love and the elemental Faes due to its attractive scent.
Lavender is often utilized as an offering in Mid-Summer celebrations.
The main reoccurring theme we find associated with lavender in mind, body and spirit is PEACE. Peace of mind, peace from physical distress…peace, peace, peace.
always throw salt over your left shoulder,
keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for good luck,
and fall in love whenever you can.
Lavender and Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic )
In perfume lavender essential oil tends to be classified as a top to middle note. Where as the absolute is considered a base note. In perfume we find the lavender note used in Lavender Eau de Colognes and the category of fragrance deemed Fougere, meaning fern in French. Fougere perfumes feature the combination of oakmoss with lavender.
As a botanical and natural perfumer I use Lavender as a bridge note. It is not an essence I use regularly, unless it is for a specific perfume like Vera or a custom perfume. In aromatherapy synergies and blends I use it in almost every single preparation.
The Lavender Festival in Sequim, Washington – July 18, 19 & 20th, 2008