A Notable History
Lavender is commonly used in aromatherapy because of its tranquil scent. However, this versatile herb offers so much more. If you are new to the world of herbs and essential oils, lavender is the perfect gateway plant to get your feet wet.
Lavender is part of the mint family and has dozens of varying species to its name. It has a rich history and originates from the Latin word “lavare” which means “to wash”. Lavender was used by the Egyptians in mummifications, the ancient Greeks as a pain and sleep remedy, and by the Romans for cooking, bathing, and perfume. Roman soldiers are said to have carried lavender with them for its healing properties, too. If you research this herb, you will find that lavender has documented usage over 2,500 years!
Ahhh! That’s Aromatherapy
Getting back to current times, lavender has a laundry list of uses ranging from perfume to food and even as an alternative to medicine. Let’s explore a few ways you can begin using lavender starting today. The best way to get comfortable using a new herb is to focus on that one plant before moving on to another one. I know how tempting it is to want to work with a variety of plants but research and experimentation takes time. Trust me, you will retain more of the information if you follow those two simple steps before working with another herb.
Aromatherapy and clean living is big business today, which is why you are starting to see herbs and oils used in room fresheners and cleaning products. Lavender not only smells divine but it has cleaning and therapeutic properties, which can be a perfect addition to your household. I find the easiest way to reap the benefits of essential oil is the “set it and forget it” method. Simply diffusing the essential oil into the air will help cleanse the air, smell wonderful, and release a calming effect to enjoy for hours. In a word of caution, be certain to use quality oils. Avoid buying oils from department stores or questionable sources online. Essential oils that are sold in department stores may have been diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut or other oils. This means you are not getting what you paid for! A good rule of thumb is that if a price seems too good to be true, it is probably not a pure bottle of oil. Even worse, you may be getting a fragrance oil, which should never be used for its therapeutic benefits. Fragrance oils are synthetically made and are used to mimic the scent of real essential oils.
Lavender naturally contains linalool and linalyl acetate, which carry antibacterial properties. Using products with lavender is a win for your household cleaning protocols. Even better, start making your own cleaning products with lavender or other essential oils for a safer alternative to store bought products made with unsafe chemicals.
EASY DIY All PURPOSE CLEANING SPRAY
½ cup white vinegar
¼ cup rubbing alcohol, vodka, or witch hazel (or combine as desired) https://amzn.to/32OaDhB
5-10 drops lavender essential oil
5-10 drops lemon essential oil
Place in 8-ounce spray bottle. https://amzn.to/30EeevT Top with water. Shake before use to distribute oils.
When in Doubt, Use Lavender
Another way to use essential oils are topically. Many oils are safe to use on the skin in neat form. Neat means that is doesn’t require being cut or diluted with a carrier oil to avoid sensitivity. It is always your best bet to do your own research or ask someone who is knowledgeable before using any oil. Lavender is one of the oils that can be applied directly on the skin. In fact, lavender is beneficial for a multitude of reasons. When in doubt about what oil to reach for, lavender is always a top choice. It is soothing to the skin, calming to the mind and body, and has antibacterial properties. There are many reputable sources of essential oils on the internet. I personally use doTERRA because I trust the quality and their sourcing methods. For more information, visit my page: http://www.mydoterra.com/thewillowconnection
So Many Uses
The lavender plant itself is just as remarkable. Have you ever rubbed your hands against the leaves and inhaled its intoxicating smell? Oh, I love experiencing herbs in their truest form! Again, the list of ways to use lavender as an herb is long and satisfying. Lavender flowers are a staple in many potpourri and bath salt recipes and can also be woven into smudge sticks for cleansing and purifying rituals. But have you ever tasted lavender? Lavender is one of my favorite flavors and can be added to beverages such as lemonade, cookies, and ice cream. It can also be made into delightful tinctures that can be later turned into tasty cordials! The possibilities may be endless if you fall in love with this herb like I have.
Lavender is truly an amazing plant. With so many qualities and uses, one could easily use lavender in one form or another on a daily basis. If you are eager to begin your journey into the natural world of herbs and essential oils, I strongly urge you to begin with lavender. If you were to ask me what one herb to grow in your garden or essential oil to have in your cabinet, it would most certainly be lovely lavender!
*The Willow Connection is a participant in Amazon Associates Affiliate Program. I may earn advertising compensation for links attached to my blog pages. I do not endorse products that I don’t or wouldn’t use myself.