Lavender Essential Oil

Latin name Lavandula angustifolia, L officinalis, L vera – Family species Labiatae (Lamiaceae)

true lavenderTrue Lavender is also referred to as Common Lavender, Garden Lavender and English Lavender, but should not be confused with Spike Lavender (Lavandula spica) or Lavandin (Lavandula x intermedia).

"Hospital nurses in the UK have reported that lavender essential oil used before bedtime, whether inhaled, added to a hot bath, or massaged in a carrier oil, helped to induce and enhance sleep."
Encyclopedia of Healing Therapies

"In some cases of mental depression and delusions, oil of Lavender proves of real service, and a few drops rubbed on the temple will cure nervous headache." –A Modern Herbal by Margaret Grieve (1931)

"It is not simply the aroma of the oil but the whole plant essence that brings about the health benefits, since so many other molecular components are inhaled at the same time; a single oil can therefore often help a variety of disorders. For instance, lavender acts as an antiseptic and is also antibacterial, antibiotic, antidepressant, analgesic, decongestant, and sedative." –Healing Gardens by Romy Rawlins

Oil Selection Guide

Color: Colorless (clear) to pale yellow
Viscosity: Watery
Scent: Fresh, woody, herby, clean, floral, balsamy undertone
Perfume Aroma: Middle / top note

Oil Source Information

Plant Type: Plant
Parts Used: Flowering tops
Countries of Origin: France, China, England, Tasmania, Bulgaria, Russia, Croatia, Yugoslavia
Extraction Method: Steam distillation

Known Chemical Constituents

linalyl acetate, linalool, geraniol, borneol, isoborneol, cineol-1,8, limonene, l-pinene, caryophyllene, coumarin, lavandulol, lavandulyl acetate, terpineol, ocimene

Applications and Uses

Lavender essential oil is used quite extensively in aromatherapy and also in perfumery, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical products. It can also be found as a commercial flavoring in foods and alcoholic and soft drinks. Lavender is also sometimes used as an insect repellent.

Lavender blends well with

Recipes and Ideas

Precautions / Contraindications

According to resources, lavender should be avoided by those with low blood pressure.
See also Essential Oils Safety and Usage.

References and Resources

See Aromatherapy References and Resources page.

Other Links of Interest

Studies Involving Lavender Essential Oil
Oregon Lavender Association
Willamette Valley Oregon Lavender Festival

Lavender is for lovers true,
Whichever more be saine
Desiring always for to have
Some pleasure for their pain.
~A Nosegay – Handful of Pleasant Delights (1584)

Word Origin and History:
c.1265, “fragrant plant of the mint family,” from Anglo-Fr. lavendre, from M.L. lavendula “lavender” (10c.), perhaps from L. lividus “bluish, livid.” Associated with Fr. lavande, It. lavanda “a washing” (from L. lavare “to wash;” see lave) because it was used to scent washed fabrics and as a bath perfume. The meaning “pale purple color” is from 1840. -Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2010 Douglas Harper

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