When I think of lavender I think of wide green fields of beautiful purple flowers as far as the eyes can see. I wonder how fun it would be to frolic through a field of lavender?! I also think of lavender essential oil because it is my go to for so many things in my household! I add lavender essential oil to cleaning supplies, I use it in diffusers, I add the oil to roller bottles to encourage wellness when we get the sniffles, and I like to add dried lavender flowers to herbal bath remedies and yoni steams.
Lavandula angustifolia or the plant more commonly known as Garden Lavender is a perennial flowering shrub with long, broad, evergreen leaves and purple flowers that spring up on slender stems that can reach 4-24 inches tall. As members of the mint family there are several species of lavender that grow throughout the world. However the species that is most often used today is indigenous to North Africa and the mountainous countries of the Mediterranean. In fact, the earliest recorded use of lavender dates back to ancient Egypt. Lavender is a lovely fragrant flower that has so many uses and it holds magical healing properties that are easy to work with.
Caring for your skin.
Amongst lavender's magical healing properties is its ability to promote skin repair. Lavender’s antiseptic characterics have been known to reduce the occurrence of organisms which lead to infections that cause skin damage. That is why the Egyptians used burial rags drenched in lavender oil prior to placing them on a body for mummification and why Greek military physicians dressed battle wounds with lavender before bandaging. Because the antibacterial, antiviral, and analgesic qualities of the plant shields the skin from further damage while also promoting efficient wound healing and reducing pain.
Lavender's healing qualities also encourage healthy skin and the growth of collagen. Collagen is the major protein in your body which actually provides skin structure and flexibility. Lavender is a valuable resource in enhancing the quality and appearance of skin. Infused oils and essential oils have historically been used to treat:
Mind and Spirit too!
Lavender's super powers do not end at treating physical ailments, no, instead lavender has been found to promote mental and spiritual clarity too. Many cultures have used lavender to promote a feeling of being at ease and well rested. It’s true that we often associate lavender with sleep and this popular plant can often be found added to teas, oils, and other wellness products aimed at promoting a good night’s sleep. We should not be surprised to learn that studies show that people who used lavender aromatherapy felt more refreshed upon waking. This was particularly useful for those who experience anxiety or depression.
Many cultures and religions believe that lavender is an important part of their communications with higher powers, chthonic deities in particular due to lavender's ability to encourage sleep and dreaming. Many cultures also keep lavender plants around their homes or planted in gardens to deter evil spirits. As a result, working with lavender in any capacity during times of meditation or prayer may promote a deeper connection to self and spirit.
Incorporating lavender into your life can be as simple as buying a small amount of dried flowers from a local herb shop or seeking out foods, lip balms, or sleep aids that contain lavender and paying attention to how it feels in your body. Many holistic wellness products such as herbal baths and essential oil rollers often contain the powerhouse lavender too.
The knowledge of the usefulness of lavender traveled throughout ancient empires and it became a reliable medicinal plant that was utilized for a wide range of ailments including wound care, headaches, and insomnia. However lavender is now used in everyday items such as drinks and desserts, skin care, aromatherapy, and sleep aids. Lavender is a wonderfully useful plant that currently grows in abundance and is easy to incorporate into many areas of life.
Sarah Foster is a Holistic Wellness Educator and Full Spectrum Doula in Altamonte Spring, FL that provides whole person wellness education along with a full spectrum of support for all birthing outcomes. This support includes providing thoughtful emotional, spiritual, and physical support before, during, and after pregnancy and pregnancy release. If you or someone you love are interested in support let's connect! I look forward to meeting you!