Known for its unique fragrance, lavender stands in a class all its own. It has been widely celebrated throughout history for its aromatic bouquet. From ancient times into the modern era, lavender has also received high accolades for its medicinal properties.
Lavender, derived from the Latin word lavare , meaning “to wash,” has lived up to its name throughout the ages. The Ancient Egyptians used it as an ingredient in their embalming preparations, as well as in their cosmetics. The Ancient Greeks also used oils made from the herb to anoint and perfume their feet. Widely used by royalty and nobility during the Middle Ages, lavender also became popular as a clothing and air freshener. And thanks to its antiseptic qualities, it has been used extensively to treat wounds and burns.
Lavender is widely accepted as a treatment for disorders of the mind and head. The calming effect of its fragrance has been used to help those suffering from sleeplessness, anxiety, and depression. And if you’ve ever had a miserable morning from partying too hard the night before, lavender can be a saving grace. Rubbing lavender oil on the forehead has been reported to relieve headaches caused by a hangover.
Words to the Wise
As with any substance used medicinally, there are a couple of things to be aware of before using lavender. The oil is poisonous when ingested, and undiluted oil can be irritating to the skin. The herb also has a few side effects, including increased sleepiness and constipation.
The modern age is quite stressful, to say the least. Using lavender, whether it be for its fragrance or for its calming effect, can help to create a peaceful sanctuary in an otherwise chaotic world.
* The information presented in the prior article is for informational purposes only. Before ingesting anything to be used in the treatment of a disease or condition, it is always advisable to consult a physician.
University of Maryland Medical Center: Lavender
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Lavender
Lavender Enchantment: History of Lavender