Lavender (Lavandula spp.)

Lavender (Lavandula spp.)
[size=75]From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia [/size]

About 25-30, including:
Lavandula abrotanoides
Lavandula angustifolia
Lavandula canariensis
Lavandula dentata
Lavandula lanata
Lavandula latifolia
Lavandula multifida
Lavandula pinnata
Lavandula stoechas
Lavandula viridis
Lavandula x intermedia

The Lavenders Lavandula are a genus of about 25-30 species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae, native from the Mediterranean region south to tropical Africa and to the southeast regions of India. The genus includes annuals, herbaceous plants, subshrubs, and small shrubs. The native range extends across the Canary Islands, North and East Africa, south Europe and the Mediterranean, Arabia, and India. Because the cultivated forms are planted in gardens world-wide, they are occasionally found growing wild, as garden escapees, well beyond their natural range.

The most common species in cultivation is the Common Lavender Lavandula angustifolia (formerly L. officinalis). A wide range of cultivars can be found. Other commonly grown ornamental species are L. stoechas, L. dentata, and L. multifida.

Lavenders are widely grown in gardens. Flower spikes are used for dried flower arrangements. The fragrant, pale purple flowers and flower buds are used in potpourris. Dried and sealed in pouches, they are placed among stored items of clothing to give a fresh fragrance and as a deterrent to moths. The plant is also grown commercially for extraction of lavender oil from the flowers. This oil is used as an antiseptic and for aromatherapy.

Lavender flowers yield abundant nectar which yields a high quality honey for beekeepers. Lavender monofloral honey is produced primarily in the nations around the Mediterranean, and marketed worldwide as a premium product. Lavender flowers can be candied and are used as cake decoration. Lavender is also used as a herb, either alone or as an ingredient of herbes de Provence. Lavender is also used to flavour sugar, the product being called “lavender sugar”, and the flowers are sometimes sold in a blend with black tea, as “lavender tea”.

French chefs in and around Provence, France have been incorporating this herb into their cuisine for many centuries. Lavender lends a floral, slightly sweet and elegant flavour to most dishes. For most cooking applications it is the dried buds (also referred to as flowers) of lavender that are utilised, though some chefs experiment with the leaves as well. It is the buds however that contain the essential oil of lavender, which is where both the scent and flavour of lavender are best derived.

Lavender has been used extensively in herbalism.

Some images of Lavender (Lavandula spp.)

Wow, Bee! You’ve been hard at work! :wink: Thanks for posting all these - I’m quite interested in herbs :unamused:

I’ve used lavender oil for some years now, and thought I’ld post a little about aromatherapy :slight_smile: It’s good to have some in the first aid kit, even if you’re not into aromatherapy.

Lavender is very relaxing, so it is used for stress and anxiety, including tension headaches and migraines, exhaustion and overwork, insomnia, stiff neck, and swollen or painful joints or tendons.

It is also used for psychological conditions such as fear and anxiety, mood swings, nerves, negative thoughts, etc.

It is an immune system stimulant as well as an antiseptic, and is effective at treating burns, bites, acne, eczma, dermatitus, dry coughs and sore throats.


To use an essential oil:
Bath: add up to 5 drops of oil to a warm bath
Inhalation: add up to 10 drops of oil to 2 pints hot water in a bowl. Put a towel over your head and inhale the vapour.
Compress: add 1-2 drops of oil to water, so that it forms a film on the surface. Lay the material of the compress on the surface of the water, to attract the film. Then apply the compress to the body as required.
Room Fragrancers: You can buy these from health-food shops and oil suppliers - use as directed. They are good for treating insomnia.
Massage: This is the most effective method, and you can take courses in aromatherapy massage.
You can also put a few drops of oil on a handkercheif, to inhale while travelling.

Lavendar is safe to use with all the above methods. You should be aware that some other oils are only recommended for certain methods, or are not safe for children.

As always, see a doctor if you are concerned about your health, or if symptoms persist.

You can buy lavendar scented compresses and travel pillows, and some hotels (Raddisson SAS) even provide pillows stuffed with lavendar and other herbs!

I sometimes have a bath with Lavendar and Rosemary or Sandlewood oils, to stop my arms and legs hurting after a tough session at the gym (I try not to do this too often, to save energy :wink: )

Further Reading: “Aromatherapy - A Guide for Home Use,” Christine Westwood, Amberwood Publishing Ltd.

I love lavender, one of the most highly-appreciated flower in the world because of its unique color and sweet scent :smiley: The fragrance of lavender oil brings people a sensative of calmness and improves their quality of sleep by using its essential oil and apply some drops on the chest or neck before going to bed every night.
And if you are one of people who struggle with headaches regularly, simply follow these steps to put an end to this problem.
Mix some drops of lavender and peppermint oil.
Rub the mixture over the back of your neck.
Inhale the mixture at the same time.
Lavender is also a great treatment for skin problems like acnes.