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Lavender

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  • Botanical: Lavendula officinalis
  • Family: Lamiaceae
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Lavender

Botanical

Lavendula officinalis

Family

Lamiaceae

Known as

Lavendel, Lavandula angustifolia,

Old Use

medicinal; culinary

Collection Times

June to August

Parts Used

flowers, herb

Medicinal

acne, asthma, bruises, burns, cellulite, circulation, colds, coughs, cramps stomach, dermatitis, exhaustion, headache, high blood preasure, insect bites, insect repellend, insomnia, migraine, neuralgia, nervousness, pain relief, rheumatism, sunburn, wounds

Heart & Circulation

circulation, high blood pressure

Muscle & Joints

rheumatism

Mind & Nerves

anxiety, depression, fatigue (exhaustion), headache, insomnia, irritability, neuralgia, nervousness, pain relief, stress relief

Respiratory System

asthma, cough

Skin & Hair

abscess, acne, boils, bruises, burns, dry skin, eczema, insect bites, insect repellent, skin rashes, wounds

Properties

antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic

Note

top

Extraction

steam distillation

Description

The genus includes annual or short-lived herbaceous perennial plants, and suffrutescent perennials, subshrubs or small shrubs.

Leaf shape is diverse across the genus. They are simple in some commonly cultivated species; in others they are pinnately toothed, or pinnate, sometimes multiple pinnate and dissected. In most species the leaves are covered in fine hairs or indumentum, which normally contain the essential oils.

Flowers are borne in whorls, held on spikes rising above the foliage, the spikes being branched in some species. Some species produce coloured bracts at the apices.

The flowers may be blue, violet or lilac in the wild species, occasionally blackish purple or yellowish. The calyx is tubular. The corolla is also tubular, usually with five lobes (the upper lip often cleft, and the lower lip has two clefts)

Properties & Uses

Lavender is used extensively with herbs and aromatherapy. Infusions are believed to soothe insect bites, burns, and headaches. Bunches of lavender repel insects. In pillows, lavender seeds and flowers aid sleep and relaxation. An infusion of flowerheads added to a cup of boiling water is used to soothe and relax at bedtime[citation needed]. Lavender oil (or extract of Lavender) is used to treat acne when diluted 1:10 with water, rosewater, or witch hazel; it also treats skin burns and inflammatory conditions.

It also has an anxiolytic effects and influence on sleep quality. Lavender oil with a high percentage of linalool and linalyl acetate, in the form of capsules, was generally well tolerated. It shows meaningful efficacy in alleviating anxiety and related sleep disturbances.

Lavender oil is approved for use as an anxiolytic in Germany under the name Lasea.

Lavender may be very effective with wounds; however, Lavender Honey (created from bees feeding on lavender plants), instead of lavender essential oil has the best effects of uninfected wounds

Cautions

allergic reactions

Distribution

It is native to the Old World and is found from Cape Verde and the Canary Islands, southern Europe across to northern and eastern Africa, the Mediterranean, southwest Asia to southeast India. 

Constituents

essential oil, tannin, glycoside, saponin

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.