Today, it is one of the most popular scents
used in aromatherapy, but it so amazing that the list of uses
makes it sound like a catalogue belonging to a snake oil salesman.
This summer, I visited the lavender capital of the U.S. and toured
an exquisite lavender farm. Never in my life have I seen such
gorgeous flowers or smelled such intense fragrance. This is,
like many of my favorite sources, a family-owned project operated
by dedicated people whose laboratory is no more than a few feet
away from the closest plants.
are experimenting with some new growing ideas, including using
crushed oyster shells around each plant. The plants obviously love
this because the ones with the shells around them were extremely
happy though all the plants looked healthy and wonderful.
Naturally, I bought some of their products and
now I want to share how they can be used. They make essential oils,
hydrosols, soaps, moisturizers, and, of course, sachets for those
who want to dream or merely reduce asthmatic attacks and respiratory
complaints by keeping their heads on small lavender pillows.
||I was interested
in the oils for their anti-infective potential, but I immediately
tried the hydrosol over my head and felt recharged, vitalized
by the purity of the space around me.
Though lavender is regarded primarily as a disinfectant, it
is also sufficiently anticonvulsive to be used by epileptics
and so mood elevating as to rival St. John's wort as as an anti-depressant.
Lavender can be applied to open wounds
as a protection against infection and as a treatment once infection
is evident as with gangrene. It is useful for dog bites and other
lacerations and can also be used for acne, psoriasis, fungal conditions,
herpes, burns, scalds, and sunburn. Mix into a cream, gel, or milk
base and dab on with pure cotton. I recently mixed it with propolis
to use it on a wasp sting. It stopped the pain instantly.
In moderate amounts, lavender can
be used for migraines, indigestion, menstrual irregularities and
pain, and irritable bowel syndrome. "Moderate" means
a drop or two per glass of water or cup of tea, no more!
Hildegard of Bingen recommended lavender
as an aid to maintaining character. It is used to establish equilibrium
and to bring the heart and mind into balance.
Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2001