Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lavender: The Amazing Flower That Dates Back To The Ancient Egyptians

Can you imagine a flower that is a source of all purpose essential oils for skin care, pain relief, wound healing, relief for burns and skin diseases, plus so much more?

These are just some of the attributes of the attractive pleasant smelling purple colored flower known as lavender. The name Lavender is derived from the Latin word lavera meaning to wash, and has gained the reputation as possibly the greatest multipurpose source of natural essential oils ever found.

Think for a moment that this is not some chemically produced substance, but a natural product that can be acquired without prescription and the cost is considered quite economical.
lavender essential oils are also used as a deodorant, fungicide, antiseptic, insect repellent, and anti inflammatory.

lavender is also highly regarded for treating many skin complaints including acne, itchy or cracked skin, acne, blisters, warts, abscesses, boils, and eczema,

It is also prized for its nerve calming properties, and is known to restrict swelling and inflammation and speed up healing of minor burns.

Originally from England, Lavandula angustifolia is the most common strain of lavender and often referred to as true lavender. True lavender has the botanical name of Clavandula as the prefix.

Around fifty distinct species of lavender grow throughout the world, including lavandula vera and lavandula officinalis.

lavandula angustifolia is the most sought after variety because of the low concentration of camphor retained after distillation. This gives the essential oils derived from it a strong floral aroma, and also makes it perfectly effectual in aromatherapy where it is highly regarded for quickening the healing of minor burns.

Lavandin (lavandula intermedia) is a hybrid variety which is produced mainly in France by crossing true lavender with spike lavender (lavender latifolia) lavandin is generally larger than true lavender and easily identified by its woody stems. Its flowers range in color from blue like true lavender to grey.

Spike Lavender, or lavandula latifolia is often referred to as Spanish lavender, as it is common there, and also prolific in the Mediterranean countries.
The essential oils from this plant are found to retain a higher percentage of camphor than that found in true lavender

The first recorded cultivation of Lavender was found to be by ancient Egyptians who held it in high regard, using it to produce soothing and healing ointments and perfume.
It was also used by the Egyptians as a balm for mummification and the perfume has been found in tombs, including that of Tutankhamen.

Lavender has certainly stood the test of time, and is used commonly in perfume for women and after shave for men.
The uses and benefits of lavender do not stop with fragrances however.
Lavender essential oils are recommended for relieving the pain of minor burns and cuts, and are perfect for treating sunburn and insect bites. Even headaches can be treated by massaging lavender oil on the neck and temples.

Lavender and relaxation are words that are synonymous, and its benefits and uses in aromatherapy are enough to fill a book. Unlike many essential oils, lavender can be used undiluted, as allergic reactions to it are rare.

If you are just beginning your journey with this amazing flower, a wealth of experiences await you.
Whether you use it for a relaxing addition to a soothing bath, or as a soothing, rejuvenating skin treatment, be prepared to be amazed by this versatile plant

Antony Wilton was so impressed with the powers of lavender, that he devoted a website to it

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