Lavender is a small shrub, a perennial herb, with lignified roots, and ramified stems, 30-70 cm tall. It is easy to be recognized because of its small, mauve flowers and because of the silver puff which the leaves appear to be covered with. The plant can easily adapt itself to droughty conditions or to wet climates. If the plant is kept indoors, it is advised for it to be put in a brightly lit place, as sun light helps increase growth percentages of ethereal oil in the herb. Lavender is harvested at the time when half of the flowers are open. It is best that this procedure be carried out on summer mornings, the period in which lavender flowers contain an optimum amount of active substances.
Properties and benefits of Lavender
Dried lavender flowers are used to prepare a series of natural remedies with cicatrizant, antiseptic, calming and relaxing effects. By containing tannin, a bitter substance, mineral substances, essential oils, lavender flowers have an antiseptic, calming and carminative activity, and nerve stimulating effects. They are used in cases of digestive disorder, in cephalalgia as a flavouring and corrective agent, in hypertension, cardiac affections, headaches, insomnia, melancholia, dizziness or bronchial asthma.
Â· Crush fresh lavender between your fingers or rub lavender oil on your temples for a soothing dose of aromatherapy stress relief. Lavender relieves anxiety and tension naturally.
Â· Did you know that steeping a small handful of lavender flowers in boiling water creates a healthful herbal tea? This is just as effective as chamomile for promoting sleep and helping to soothe frazzled nerves.
Â· Adding either oil or fresh buds to a hot bath will promote relaxation and ease tired muscles.
Â· Tie up fresh flowers in a satchel, small pillow case, or reusable eye pillow. Lavender helps you to sleep better.
Â· Is your skin burned, chafed or irritated? Add some lavender oil to your moisturizer or a spray water bottle and apply or mist your skin generously.
Â· Tie up a bundle of lavender blossoms in a cloth and add them to the dryer cycle when you do laundry. It beats those chemical sheets!
Â· Lavender has natural antiseptic properties. Use lavender oil as a protective salve instead of rubbing alcohol (this is a nice alternative for children).
Â· Between vinegar and lavender, who needs those harsh chemical shampoos? Steep lavender as you would to make tea; allow to cool and use as a rinse daily until dandruff is cleared up.
Â· Lavender is applied to the skin for hair loss (alopecia areata) and pain, and to repel mosquitoes and other insects.
Â·In manufacturing, lavender is used in pharmaceutical products and as a fragrance ingredient in soaps, cosmetics, perfumes, potpourri, and decorations.