Lavandula latifolia, known as broadleaved lavender, spike lavender or Portuguese lavender, is a flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae, native to the western Mediterranean region, from central Portugal to northern Italy (Liguria) through Spain and southern France. Hybridization can occur in the wild with English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia).
The word lavender originates from the Latin root lavare, which means “to wash”. This name is fitting because of the cleansing properties of lavender, which can be very beneficial for skin health. A beautifully fragrant shrub that grows to 6 feet in height, this purple flower has many other medicinal properties. It is one of the more common herbal remedies used today, and it can be purchased in many different forms.
WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND:
New York, Vermont, and cultivated worldwide
PROPERTIES AND USE:
Nervine, antidepressant, insecticidal, analgesic, decongestant, carminative, and used to treat morning sickness, motion sickness, skin conditions, wounds, diaper rash, bruises, insomnia, earache, headache
For all conditions, stir 1 teaspoon lavender
buds in 1 cup boiling water. Strain, and drink in one sitting. Repeat up to twice per day to treat morning sickness and anxiety. Made in larger quantities, this infusion can be cooled and used as a rinse or bath. For skin conditions, wounds, bruises, or headache, place a few drops highly concentrated essential oil in a carrier oil such as coconut or Macadamia nut oil, and apply to the affected area. For stress or insomnia, place a drop of lavender essential oil in your palms, rub them together, and inhale deeply. Smooth your palms on your pillow to inhale the aromatic benefits as you sleep. Placing a few drops in a warm bath also melts away tension.
LAVENDER OIL Makes 1 cup
This soothing oil can be rubbed on the chest to treat congestion. Applied to the temples, it treats headache. It’s also great on diaper rash, bruises, and for massage. You will need an 8-ounce jar with lid and fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth for this recipe. You also may want a large dropper bottle or assortment of smaller bottles for storage.
1/4 cup dried lavender buds 1 cup olive oil
• Place the buds in your jar with lid, and pour in the oil to fill the jar.
• Tightly screw on the lid, and place on a windowsill to steep for six weeks. Shake the jar from time to time.
• After six weeks, store in a cool, dark area.
• To use, strain through cheesecloth or a fine-mesh
sieve, and pour into your dropper bottle(s).
This oil should keep for up to six months.