The saying goes that ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever’. The exclusive attribute of the plants, flowers and herbs has an ability to bring joy to people from different parts of world. One such herb is lavender.
The World Travel Magazine delineates some verities about this sweet smelling herb with multiple utilizations. The lavender flower is often associated with purple color but the flower hues vary from pale lilac to deep royal purple blossoming in different shapes, sizes and stems.
Lavender can be ascertained back to 2,500 years of history. The people of Egypt, Arab, Phoenicia utilized lavender fragrance for a variety of uses, whether it be for wrapping up mummies or in daily household use. The Romans used lavender oils for showering, cooking and as an air freshener. The Latin name for lavender is lavare which translates ‘to wash’. The herb also finds its mention in the Bible where it is referred to as spikenard, the Greek name for the herb. Legends have mentioned that the attire of baby Jesus contained the lavender aroma when Mother Mary placed it upon a bush to dry. It is believed that lavender brings that much needed luck to an individual’s love affair. The association of Lavender and love can be traced back to the ancient age. Judith used the lavender perfume to magnetize Holofernes, the enemy commander and Cleopatra used it to enthrall Julius Cesaer and Mark Antony to herself. The Queen of Sheba offered spikenard with frankincense and myrrh to King Solomon.
Lavender is widely used within the household. Lavender is utilized at home as an anti-bacterial spray and room freshener. Lavender contains up to fifty percent of linalool, an ingredient that kills bacteria and viruses. Lavender oil has been found to have ovicidal, antifeedant, antigonadal, oviposition-deterrent and repellent properties against several insect species. It can be sprayed in the air, table tops, door knobs or other places where one would like to disinfect. The enchanting fragrance of lavender plants enhances the beauty and ambience of any garden as well.
Along with all the other attributes of lavender, its actual claim to fame is in its soothing aromatherapy effect on the body. Lavender essential oil is frequently used with massage oils and body products to boost relaxation. The usage of lavender in skin care products is wide spread as the essential oil is known for its healing abilities. Well known brands use lavender essential oil and lavender water in various products such as creams, lotions, facial toners and oils. The essential oil’s presence in such products is also because Lavender contains powerful antioxidants that rejuvenate the skin cells.
Lavender relieves tension and can also help lull one to sleep. One can spray the pillowcase with an aromatherapy product containing lavender essential oil before going to sleep and smell the magic work. Lavender contains ingredients such as aldehydes that help to reduce inflammation and it helps relax tense muscles.
Lavender is an excellent home remedy for various health related issues. One full tablespoon of dried lavender can make a full pot of tea burst with life. Lavender can also be used as a medicine for upset stomach, nausea and gas, gives an emotional support to ease depression, calms and lift spirits, heal acne, soothe insect bites and stings, fungal infections, tonic for general health, help wounds heal faster, eases aches from rheumatism, minor burns and sunburns.
Lavender has a unique fragrance produced by the combination of more than one hundred and eighty different constituents and is widely used in the perfume industry to add a top or middle note to commercial products. In the world of professional sniffers, it is described as a green, hay-like sweetness and gives ‘fruity aspects’ to perfumes and other scented products.
Lavender is used as flavorings in foods such as dairy desserts, gelatins, puddings, and candies. It is sometimes used to flavor black teas as well. It is a popular addition to salads since the chopping or bruising the leaves or buds helps release the flavor.
Lavender is widely grown in the Provence region of France. The region is renowned as a world leader in growing and producing lavender. Lavender grows in mounds or clumps, making them great for hedges and borders. Some of the lavender plants are dwarfs and can only getup to 10 inches high, while others can reach 3 feet. The shorter lavender makes a lovely lavender border, while the taller plants make a wonderful lavender hedge. Sandy soil is a must for growing lavender. Soil should be on the alkaline side, or a ph of 6.4 to 8.3. Humidity can be more of a problem with lavender then the drought.
Lavender has come a long way from being part of the old world herbal remedy to the modern day spas. This exclusive herb is a potpourri of qualities. Lavender allows itself to be exploited through different means whether it is a massage, diffusers for inhalation, an addition to bathing water, vaporizers or spray to kill insects at home. The herb is a must have in its various forms in an individual’s life because of its therapeutic effect and versatile nature.