The Wonderful World of Lavender
Lavender is probably the most popular and well-known essential oil out there, and it’s usually at the top of everyone’s list of must-haves. If Lavender is so dang popular, there must be a reason for it, right? Well, besides the fact that Lavender oil smells amazing, yes, there are a lot of good reasons why millions of people love Lavender.
Let’s take a short journey inside the world of Lavender and see just why everyone loves it so much!
Lavender Through The Ages
Lavender has been a plant and oil of choice for centuries, but we are going to start out by jumping a little farther back in time (over 2,500 years, to be exact). Welcome to ancient Egypt, home of the pharaohs and Giza pyramids.
In ancient Egypt, people used Lavender and other oils as part of the mummification process to deter odors and help soften the skin of the deceased. Not only did this help make the process more bearable for those performing the embalming and mummification, but Egyptians believed that a pleasant smell was a sign of holiness and would allow the deceased to be welcomed into the afterlife.
Around this same time, ancient Rome and ancient Greece were thriving as well, and they also recognized Lavender as a beneficial herb. The term lavender comes from the Latin word lavare, which means “to wash”. This meaning reflects one of the most common Lavender uses in ancient Rome: scented bath water. Lavender was considered very precious and was expensive to purchase. Due to its pleasant aroma, many used Lavender to wash their clothes and linens. Some records also suggest that the ancient Greeks also used Lavender to treat back aches and insomnia.
Let’s fast forward a little bit to Europe in the 1340s when the Black Plague ran rampant. During this time, many used a combination of Lavender and alcohol to ward off the disease. People would hang bunches of dried Lavender to dissipate the foul smell of death that filled many cities. Not a very pleasant picture, I know, but Lavender made that time period a little more bearable for many people.
Over the next several centuries, people continued to use Lavender in a variety of ways. They would spread it across the floor in castles and sickrooms as both a deodorant and disinfectant. Some considered Lavender to be an herb of love and used it as an aphrodisiac. Others used in as a perfume when bathing was not a common practice. Some people used Lavender in hospitals during World War I, many have used it to heal wounds, others to ward off infection… the list goes on.
This is only a glimpse into how people have used Lavender throughout the ages. Lavender is native to the Mediterranean, Arabian Peninsula, and Russia, but today it is grown and cultivated across the world. Why? Because just about everyone nowadays knows how wonderful Lavender oil is, and they want to make it a part of their everyday life.
Lavender’s Most Popular Uses
The historical uses of Lavender provide an insight into some of Lavender’s many benefits. But since then, we’ve discovered a host of additional uses that would make anyone want to incorporate Lavender oil into their daily routine. Here are just some of the many benefits of Lavender with suggestions on how you can access those benefits:
- Calmness: Lavender is known to calm and relax the mind and body. For a calming effect, mix a few drops of Lavender oil with a carrier oil, and rub the mixture on your temples, wrists, or the bottom of your feet. This is great for stressful situations, crowded areas, or anything that may cause you some anxiety.
- Sleep Aid: Many people know that Lavender helps you sleep. You can rub a drop on your pillow, or add a few drops to a cotton ball that you place near your pillow while sleeping. You can also diffuse Lavender oil in your bedroom about 30 minutes before you go to bed to help you relax and fall asleep.
- Insect Bites and Stings: Lavender oil has great soothing properties, which is great for when you get those pesky, itchy, and painful insect bites. Whether it’s from a bee sting or mosquito, place a drop of Lavender directly on the bite to calm the itch and minimize swelling.
- Pimples: As we just mentioned, Lavender oil can soothe the skin. If you feel a pimple coming on, rub some Lavender oil on the trouble spot to help it go away. If you’ve popped the pimple, Lavender can help minimize scarring.
- Insect and Rodent Repellent: While Lavender may smell wonderful to us, it’s a scent that drives away unwanted pests, including mice, flies, and mosquitoes.
- Sore Muscle Relief: Whether your muscles are sore from working out or from just getting through life, Lavender oil is great for easing tense and sore muscles. Use as a massage oil for relief.
What do you think of Lavender so far? It seems pretty great, right? Well, we’ve only just scratched the surface of what Lavender can do to help make your daily life a little easier. Want to give it a try? You can purchase Lavender oil right here!
Did You Know?
Talking about the history and benefits of Lavender is pretty common, and if you’re already familiar with Lavender, you might have already known everything we just discussed. But, there’s a lot more to Lavender than what we normally discuss. Whether you’re familiar with Lavender or just getting to know it, here are some fun facts to help you love this plant even more:
- Lavender is in the same plant family as mint (and who doesn’t love the smell of freshly picked mint leaves?).
- The nectar of Lavender plants is so sweet and makes high-quality honey.
- In the language of flowers, Lavender means purity, silence, devotion, serenity, caution, grace, and calmness.
- Today, Lavender is commonly native to Provence, France and the Canary Islands.
- The Lavender plant is very robust and can survive in harsh conditions. When mature, Lavender plants don’t even need water and can survive in a drought.
Now that you’ve had your crash course on Lavender, do you feel like an expert? You’re just about there! While there’s still a lot to share about Lavender, you’re off to a great start in knowing just how this amazing plant and oil can make your daily life a little more enjoyable.
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