Lavender: Fragrance of Love and Healing
The flower which has a colour named after it, Lavender is known for an array of natural benefits and has been in around for centuries. The flower was named after the Latin word lavare which means bathing. Known for its mesmerising aroma, especially English lavender, the flower is being in practice for baths and perfumes. Both its pinnate, silvery-green leaves and purplish-blue flowers have a scent that’s crisp, clean, floral, and sweet. Stories mention this purple-coloured flower’s relevance in perfumes, its calming properties, as a natural medicinal aid and many more. It is even believed that Cleopatra used the fragrance of Lavender to seduce Cesar and Mark Antony.
One of the most versatile herbs you can grow because it has medicinal, aesthetic, and culinary purposes, evidence of lavender use can be found in ancient Egyptian mummification and early Roman public bathhouses. The oil was used to scent beds, baths, clothes and even hair. It is even said that soldiers carried their own ‘first aid kit ‘ of herbs, and wherever the armies settled herbs would be grown- lavender, rosemary, parsley, sage, thyme, fennel, borage, and many others.
History has it, Lavender has been used to clean and heal wounds and burns. The ancient Greeks used lavender to reduce body aches and improve sleep. Some military hospitals and doctors even experimented with lavender during World War I to treat wounded soldiers. Its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and wound-healing properties can benefit the skin.
In today’s stressed-out lifestyle, getting a good night’s sleep is no less than a dream coming true. Since ancient times, lavender has been used for better sleep. It has been said that people often scented their pill0ows with lavender oil which helped them to get a sound sleep. Research has shown that women with postpartum anxiety reacted well to aroma therapy using lavender oil. Studies reveal that using lavender oil helps combat mild depressive and anxiety symptoms.
Studies have shown that lavender has impeccable soothing properties. It is widely used in aroma therapy to instantly uplift the mood and instil calmness. It has been said that in earlier days, people used to put lavender oil on their pillowcases as it helped them quiet the chaos in their heads and have a good night’s sleep. In today’s time, the researches show that diffusing lavender fragrance in the air before sleeping has helped people with mild insomnia to get a night of better sleep.
In medieval times, people used to hang the lavender flower along with the stem to ward off any evil. Later, during the black plague era, it was noticed that people working in the lavender field were less likely to catch the disease. Hence they came to know the anti-microbial properties of this enchanting flower.
Boon for skin
The anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties of lavender make it a great source to fight back acne and unclog pores. Applying lavender oil along with a carrier base on the face has been shown to improve skin texture, reducing acne and spots. It is also effective to keep eczema and mild psoriasis at bay.
For healthy hair
Studies have shown that lavender oil helps to improve the quality and quantity of hair and to some extent, it may help with issues like pattern baldness or alopecia. Topical lavender is also clinically shown to help treat fleas and lice in humans. The oil can also be used to treat dryness, itchy scalp and dandruff. It can even be used to soothe irritated, inflamed scalps. To get the best out of this oil, mix it with a carrier oil (jojoba/coconut/olive etc.) and massage it onto the scalp and let it sit either overnight or at least half an hour before bathing.