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Lavender

Everyone knows the look and smell of lavender. They are small evergreen shrubs with long greyish green stalks with small linear leaves. They have flowers on the top that normally forms in a spiral or wrap formation at the top of the stem and have this beautiful purple, blue or lilac colour, they also have a sweet floral smell and grow around 3 feet tall (they can grow larger than that). Different species will have different colour purples and the flowers on top normally are different too, with either more space between the flowers as well as grow a bit further down the stem and some may not have as strong of smell. Lavender is a flowering plant from the mint family.

Fun fact: Lavender was used to “find love” and to “seduce men”. Cleopatra would use lavender to seduce Julius Ceaser and Mark Antony. In the biblical book Judith also used lavender perfume to seduce Holoferemers to save Isral.

Lavender is indigenous to the mountaious areas of the countries bordering Western European part of the Mediterrarian region, Middle East and Southwest Asia to India. Lavender was first to be discovered more than 2500 years ago! Many ancient societies used lavender for their beds, bathes, clothes, skin, hair, culinary and mediticinal uses. The flowers soothing and refreshing characteristics and insect repellent properites of the fragrance added more value to the plant in anciet times. When early travelers brought it back, it rapidly began to spread to the rest of the world, and by the 16th Century lavender was already a much loved plant in english gardens. Later in the 19th Century, travellers would start to sell lavender on the streets of europe for it would protect them from bad luck and would bring good fortune.

Did you know: The Romans used lavender oils for bathing and cooking, whereas egyptians used lavender oils during mummification and the greeks would use them for more meditional purposes.

Now each society would use lavender for medicine, cooking, linen?clothes and skincare but I want to talk about the medicinal purposes as we use lavender in our products to help restore your skin. In Roman and Greek times they would use lavender to help with (if taken internally) relieving digestion, sore throats, toothaches and headaches and for external use they would use to clean sores, wounds and burns. In European middle ages many herbalists have used lavender to cure stomach issues, insomnia and and other ailments. Egyptions more used lavender for perfumes, embalming, on their clothes and beds (they would lay their bedding and clothes after been washed to dry on lavender bushes) and cleopatra would use it on her skin. Other research proves that lavender is also used for theraputic properties, hyperactivity and sore joints. The oils would be used for antiseptic properties which is to help wounds, burns in ancient Egyptian and Roman times.

Fun fact: Lavender was used to ward off diseases like the plaque and cholera in ancient Egypt and Roman times and how they did this was, in the 17th century people would tie small bunches of weived lavender stems around their wrists.  

Benefits of lavender taken internally:

  • Helps anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Digestive issues e.g your digestive track and upset stomach
  • Infections
  • Sedative for pain relief

Benefits of lavender externally:

  • Imflamatory for bites, wounds
  • Fungal infections
  • Hair loss
  • Helps alleviate PMS
  • Alleviate ance
  • Evens skin tone
  • Reduces wrinkles
  • Burns

Is there any side effects?

Ofcourse! Just like everything else you use lavender can have some side effects such as:

  • If taken internally can cause consipation, headaches and even dirrahrea
  • If put onto the skin (especially the essencial oil) it can cause skin irritation same as children always becareful when putting very potent oils or hydrosols on their skin.
  • Pregnancy/breast feeding, theres not enough reliable research to say whether it is or isnt safe for pregnant and breast feeding women
  • Make sure not to have or use lavender when being put on anesthesia for levender slows down your central nervous system and could slow down to much!

What are some culinary uses that lavender can provide?

You can use lavender with multiple dishes and desserts. You can make a salad with it for some extra sweetness, use it as a herb in dishes, add it with soups, add it with meat dishes like fish, white and red meat, put it in desserts or baked goods like cakes, lollies or ice cream if you want to get creative and you can even substitue rosemary for lavender.

Did you know: When King Tutankhamun’s tomb was opened for the first time, there were dried lavender flowers put all around and the scent of the flowers still lingered in the tomb. 

Chemical composition:

The main constituents of lavender are linalool, linalyl acetate, 1,8-cineole, B-ocimene, terpinen -4-ol and camphor.

Thank you, I hope this has been informative!

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