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Lavender essential oil – learn of its benefits and history

First written about two millennia ago by the Greek physician Dioscorides, who recommended it for the uncomfortable-sounding “griefs in the thorax”, it’s been used for a hundred generations for guarding against evil spirits to soothing the agonies of lovesickness. Da Vinci perfumed his hands with it. Queen Elizabeth I liked it in jam. Prince filled his famous Paisley Park Music Studios with it. So, what is it about Lavender?


The Lavender plant

Photo by Anthony Bec Unsplash


There are 47 species in the Lavandula genus, but the variety most commonly known is Lavandula angustifolia, or English Lavender. Native to the Mediterranean, its name was anglified because of its popularity with the Royal Family. But it was the French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé, the ‘father’ of aromatherapy, who really elevated lavender’s medicinal status, after an explosion in his laboratory as he plunged his burning hand into the nearest container of liquid, which happened to be lavender oil he soon wrote after about the burn-healing properties of its essential oil in his groundbreaking 1928 book Aromatherapie. “The antiseptic and healing power of lavender oil on wounds,” he wrote, “cannot fail to impress even the most sceptical reader”.


Benefits of Lavender essential oil


Lavender’s active ingredients include linalool, which gives it its heady aroma, and linalyl acetate, which is believed to have anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects. So aside from just smelling gorgeous, it really does seem to have a wide variety of physical and emotional health benefits beyond its scent appeal.


Antioxidant protection: Not only is Lavender Essential Oil packed full of antioxidants, its compounds also stimulate the activity of our body’s natural antioxidant processes. It provides an effective defence from the free radicals we encounter on a daily basis.


Natural pain killer: With its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, Lavender Oil can support in alleviating pain intensity.


Mood booster: Lavender Essential Oil has documented benefits in lifting your mood, thanks to its ability to soothe and calm.


Target skin complaints: With its antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory qualities, Lavender Oil is one of the best Essential Oils to help the support in fighting skin complaints


How does Lavender essential oil work?


When the scent of lavender is inhaled, the aromatic molecules travel up your nose to your olfactory bulb, which immediately sends a message to the limbic system, often referred to as the ‘emotional brain’. The limbic system influences many basic things like breathing, blood pressure, stress levels and hormone balance. But it’s also where your memories, emotions and feelings are stored.

This whole process happens within milliseconds. It’s why we often have an immediate response when we smell something - instantly triggering a mood, emotion or physical reaction. And it’s why just one whiff of lavender can often make you immediately feel calmer and more relaxed.


Photo by Ellie Johnson Unsplash


5 Facts about Lavender essential oil

  1. A rare commodity: Yield is highly dependent upon good weather conditions but about 6-7ml of oil comes from 1kg of lavender.

  2. Blue gold: Sought after by the world’s greatest parfumeries, Lavender Oil is nicknamed ‘blue gold’: a nod to its treasured place in French culture.

  3. A natural insect repellent: While Lavender Essential Oil is instantly soothing for people, most insects are repelled by the scent.

  4. During the Great Plague of 1665bundles of lavender were burnt in halls and churches to cleanse the air. The ‘vinegar of the four thieves ‘ acquired its name when notorious robbers confessed that they had plundered helpless plague victims while wearing "lavender vinegar" to protect themselves from infection.

  5. During World War I, many soldiers carried lavender oil in their first aid kits, using it on the battlefield for its healing and antiseptic properties.

Finally


Both the Humble Herbs’ strong CBD Balms, 2256 – CALM and 3273 – EASE contain Lavender essential oil blended with other carefully selected oils together with 500mg of CBD in every 30ml balm.


Find out more by exploring our website and blogs.

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