Monday, October 4, 2010


Lavender has been called a breath of fresh air.  And indeed it is!  Lavender is used extensively in herbalism and aromatherapy. English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) yields an essential oil with sweet overtones, and can be used in balms, salves, perfumes, cosmetics, and topical applications. Lavandin, (Lavandula intermedia) yields a similar essential oil, but with higher levels of terpenes including camphor, which add a sharper overtone to the fragrance. Mexican lavender, (Lavandula stoechas) is not used medicinally, but mainly for landscaping.
According to folk wisdom, and Wikipedia, lavender has many uses. Essential oil of lavender has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Infusions of lavender soothes, heal insect bites and burns. Bunches of lavender repel insects. If applied to the temples, (lavender is one of only a few essential oils that can be applied undiluted on the skin) lavender oil soothes headaches. In pillows, lavender seeds and flowers aid sleep and relaxation. An infusion of three flowerheads added to a cup of boiling water soothes and relaxes at bedtime. Lavender essential oil heals acne when used diluted 1:10 with water, rosewater, or witch hazel; it also treats skin burns and inflammatory conditions.
Flower spikes are used for dried flower arrangements. The fragrant, pale purple flowers and flower buds are used in potpourris. Lavender is also used extensively as herbal filler inside sachets used to freshen linens. Dried and sealed in pouches, lavender flowers are placed among stored items of clothing to give a fresh fragrance and to deter moths. Lavender is also popular in scented waters and sachets.

How to use it:
10 – 12 drops lavender essential oil to 1 oz either water or carrier oil is sufficient.  Leftovers should be stored in a dark bottle, in a cool place.

Karita’s Handmade uses lavender extensively in many products.

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