Lavender: Benefits and General Use
Lavender and its uses were already known in ancient times. In ancient Egypt, she enjoyed great consideration and was used to make precious balms that were used especially to embalm the dead. The living used Lavandula spica as eau de toilette and put perfumed urns in the tomb of their dead. When excavations were discovered during Last home of Tutankhamen, Lavandula spica still smelled of lavender after 3000 years. As for the Greeks, they lavender flowers virgins they sacrificed to the gods. Lavender also became a very popular plant to eliminate bad smells. Therefore, in ancient times, prostitutes used lavender oil for bad breath.
Lavender was generally appreciated by all and when traveling monks worked poured the Alps in the 11th century and brought Lavandula spica to our country, it was not long to see fields lavender with blue and purple flowers all over Europe. Lavender became the plant of lovers who offered themselves small bouquets of Lavandula spica as a testimony of love. Women wore a dried sachet of dried lavender in the hope to attract the beloved, and in Ireland, a sachet of Lavandula spica was attached to the bride’s garter for that marriage succeeds. it relieved many diseases and it was not long to use it also for flavoring delicacies.
Constance Isherwood advocated in 1900 that one puts “velvet dresses and precious furs” in lavender, whose smell would quickly chase moths Lavender soon became indispensable in everyday life. Its generic name Lavandula confirms it: Lavandula spica is derived from the Latin lavare – laver and refers to the importance that had once baths with Lavandula spica while highlighting the purifying action of Lavandula spica. Before synthetic fragrances and a multitude of penetrating perfume cleansers invaded us, he was current to put a few drops of lavender essence in the soapy water.
Its fresh smell and life-giving off a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere in the room while protecting against pathogenic germs and insects of all kinds. This is how Lavandula spica has long been a remedy for a good woman very appreciated, which removes parasites such as lice, mites dress or food.
Botany and Culture
It is an odoriferous bushy shrub that belongs to the Lamiaceae family. His leaves are slender and gray-green in color. Depending on the variety, Lavandula spica reaches a height of 20 to approx. 90 cm. In the summer, it protects our gardens and delights us with its bright blue flowers pleasantly scented. There are many hybrids and forms of its cultivation. Note that true lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is the variety that best resists the cold of winter. Lavandula spica grows well until an altitude of 1200 above sea level.
His sister, the lavender aspic (Lavandula latifolia), which has silvery leaves a little wider and can reach a height of up to 90 cm, supports very well our climate. Unlike his close relative, lavender stechas (Lavandula stoechas), with large bracts purple to purple or white at the tips of the ears, and then other pinnate or toothed species (Lavandula dentata), which generally not cold and must, therefore, be grown in pots or pans.
Lavender comes from Mediterranean regions and needs to grow well in a sunny place in the garden, where Lavandula spica will enchant us with its haunting smell. Small varieties give pretty borders of pleasantly scented beds, which must be cut regularly. We will do well to provide more space in the garden for varieties such as lavender aspic or lavandins (natural hybrids between Lav Angustifolia and Lav latifolia) that can grow to an impressive size.
It is propagated by cuttings or sowing. During flowering, from July to August, butterflies and bees crowd around the lavender flowers – this magnificent show is a pleasure for all the senses that will delight the friends of nature. The harvest is done during flowering, we make with the flowers bouquets that we put to dry in a shady place and well ventilated. The plants are pruned after the summer bloom. This avoids an excessive lignification of the plant and promotes healthy and vital growth. We even attend a second abundant bloom.
Lavender, planted between roses, protects against aphids. The smell of it or more exactly its abundant essential oil has, in addition to the properties listed below, the faculty to inhibit the growth of fungi. That’s how lavender oil is used successfully on plants plagued by fungi or parasites. We spray as a preventive, all 2-5 days depending on the condition of the plants, water added with lavender oil (1 drop of gasoline for 1 liter of water).
Use in Phytotherapy
Natural medicine uses essentially true lavender. The flowers and the essence that we draw have a calming effect on the central nervous system. In external use, the main use is the essential oil of lavender while in internal use, Lavandula spica is primarily infusions of flowers. Over 200 different substances have been isolated from lavender essential oil. The essence of lavender has an antiseptic, disinfecting, healing, but also calming and harmonizing action on the body and the psyche.
Lavandula spica is interesting to note that Lavandula spica can both refresh and warm, relax and stimulate. Lavender relieves strong headaches, migraines, and disorders of the menstruation. Overdose, however, may eventually cause their appearance. during the first world war, military doctors used lavender oil to disinfect wounds. In case of burns, compresses or a gentle rinse with lavender oil is beneficial and can significantly accelerate the healing process.
Lavandula spica also enters in the composition of a large number of dyes, ointments, balms, massage oils, additives inhalations and other preparations which are used externally for treatment of eczema, insect bites and skin disorders the most diverse, to relieve gout flares and other rheumatic pains.
in case of lumbago and sprain, but also against diseases of the respiratory tract and of course also against bad breath. In internal use, lavender relieves, usually in the form of herbal tea, stomach pains, flatulence, nausea and disorders of digestion. On the psychic level, lavender is used in aromatherapy to fight disorders nervous and insomnia.
In a scented lamp or in the form of herbal tea, lavender promotes the relaxation, makes the mind clear and ready and gives the body and soul a sense of well-being and harmony. Use in the kitchen Lavender offers us a wide range of possibilities of use. Whether in Phytotherapy, as we have already seen, or in the field of cosmetics and perfumes. Intermedia species (see above) are frequently used for these applications, the yield of which is is four times larger.
The essential oil that is extracted is commercially available under the name of lavender. We use the flowers and essence of Intermedia species, lavender aspic and of course, all the other varieties of lavender to make potpourri of flowers and perfumes, aromatic cushions or sachets of it, to perfume its interior or to add them to cleaning products and detergents of neutral odor.
In the kitchen, it is reborn. The kitchen and the decoration with the flowers of it are very fashionable. Their beauty and aroma are a delight for the eyes and the palate. The fresh flowers are candied or added to salads, jams, jellies or ice cream. Macerated in vinegar, they give a delicious herbal vinegar for a vinaigrette refined. Pastries and desserts flavored with it have a very delicate taste. Let yourself be inspired by the scent of it for new culinary experiences. Create a deliciously mousse perfumed with lavender flowers or make your own “biscuits of love” …
The virtues and uses of lavender and Lavandula spica essential oils
Lavender has particularly fine olfactory properties, delicate and complex, which make it an oil essential choice, especially for fine perfumery. Thus, the vast majority of male perfumes employs this raw material: For a man of Caron, Pure Lavender d’Azzaro, The Male of Jean-Paul Gauthier, Heritage of Guerlain, Old English Lavender of Yardley …
Essential oils are widely used in pharmacy and in aromatherapy. Lavandula spica has properties antiseptic, soothing and healing. Lavandin is recognized for its toning, relaxing and antiseptics.
In cosmetics, several brands develop ranges or lavender-based products, for its fresh scent and pleasant as well as for its virtues. We find her then as a perfuming agent for skin care products face body or hair. Decorative products and room fragrances Lavender oil is found in decorative products and ambiance: scented candles, rotten pots, lamps perfumes, etc.
Lavandin essential oil is mainly used by big manufacturers to scent soaps and detergents. Its scent gives a pleasant feeling of well-being, relaxation, and cleanliness.
Lavender in the kitchen
Lavender can also be used in cooking! It’s an original way to change the flavor of your dishes. You will make your guests enjoy all the benefits of this medicinal plant as its beneficial action on the intestinal transit or its diuretic and antispasmodic properties. Essential oils must be used with great care and dosages must be respected, even in the kitchen. The rule of thumb is to add one drop of essential oil per liter of cooking preparation. You can then adjust according to your tastes and your dishes! Add the essential oil at the end of cooking to preserve all its qualities. To add to your dish or sauce, dilute it in a little oil or honey if your preparation is sweet.
Lavender against Insects
Essential oil of it combined with other essential oils can also allow you to create your own anti-insect sprays! Lavandula spica, for example, becomes a weapon against wasps and horseflies when mixed with clove oil! It is, therefore, possible to create different synergy is based on the insects that we want to leave. Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, mites, lice …
Anti-lice tip: If you fear that your child is bringing lice back to school, simply put a drop of essential oil behind the neck or on the collar of his t-shirt and these little animals should not come and colonize his little head.
Against fleas and ticks: You can also spray the place where your dog sleeps with a mixture of Lavandula spica and water (or rubbing alcohol) to scare away fleas and ticks!
Warning for cat owners:
Be careful if you have a cat! lavender Essential oils are toxic to these pets. They can not assimilate them in the same way as we do and, in the long run, risk suffering from liver poisoning.
Planting In the garden
-Lavenders like light and well-drained land. They do not support excess water. They prefer arid, stony and calcareous soils. Only the varieties Lavandula Stoechas and viridis require acidic soil.
-Plant your lavenders in warm and sunny exposure.
-plant them preferably in the spring, after the last frosts. In the mild climate areas, you can plant in the fall.
-The Lavandula spica is resistant to the cold, they are rustic.
-Untangle the roots of the plants in a container and remove the roots that have become too long and may suffocate (the ‘ bun ‘).
-Improve the original Earth with a little organic amendment (two handles per hole). In heavy soils (clayey), discard coarse sand at the bottom of the hole. Bury the top of the clod well.
-The recommended planting distance is 5 plants per m² or a spacing of 40 to 50 cm.
-Choose a pot about 30 cm in diameter, the volume of which will be 1.5 to 2 times that of the clod.
-Plant them in a lean horticultural soil with sand. Sour with Heather land for the Lavandula Stoechas.
-Do not use a water storage tank. Prefer pots that have a hole to drain excess water.