Also known as ‘English lavender’ and ‘French lavender’, lavender’s fragrance is so mesmerizing and ubiquitous that it has captivated the entire world. Lavender gets its name from the Latin word ‘lavare’, meaning ‘to wash’, most likely since it was often used as a scent in baths to help cleanse the body and spirit. Its botanical name is ‘Lavandula angustifolia’, and it is widely used throughout the globe owing to its ability to cure various illnesses.
Lavender plants are found in the mountainous areas of the Mediterranean, owing to the sunny and stony habitat. Today, it grows throughout the south of Europe, the United States and Australia. Lavender is a greatly branched petite shrub that grows up to a height of about 60 centimeters. Its wide rootstock bears branches with upright, rod-like, green, leafy shoots. The aromatic fragrance of lavender comes from the blue-violet flowers in the herb. These flowers are arranged in a spiral formation of about 6 to 10 blossoms.
This herb is a natural remedy for several ailments ranging from insomnia and depression to anxiety and mood instability. Various parts of the lavender plant serve different purposes. The fresh flowers give out essential lavender oil as an extract which is used for medicinal treatment. In order to combat restlessness, pillows are filled with dried lavender flowers. This is due to the fact that lavender slows down the movement of the nervous system, thereby improving sleep quality, promoting relaxation, and lifting the mood of people who suffer from sleep disorders. Lavender is also used to treat headaches, exhaustion and nervous disorders. Also, massaging the scalp with essential lavender oils is said to result in significant hair growth.
With the help of essential oils and dried flowers, commercial preparations are produced which are available in different forms such as bath gels, infusions, lotions, tinctures, extracts, teas, aromatherapy oil, soaps and whole dried flowers.