Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia)
It is a cool October morning in North Carolina and I am happy to see the lavender plant still has a few bright purple blossoms. Lavender flowers can be used in herbal tea blends, as an essential oil and is also found in some Herbs de Provence spice blends. The beautiful scent of lavender is known for its calming and soothing effects on the nervous system.
Many people know lavender as an essential oil. I recommend using essential oils diluted in carrier oils such as sweet almond, jojoba, or sunflower oil. Once an essential oil is added into the carrier oil, it can be used as a massage oil or added to a bath. When I make massage oil, I use 1 ounce (30 ml.) of carrier oil to 8-10 drops of lavender essential oil. This is a safe proportion to use as a massage oil for adults and can help soothe sore muscles as it promotes blood circulation. If you were using the massage oil on children or those with sensitive skin you would dilute it to half the above amount. (5 drops per 1 ounce of carrier oil.)
Lavender is a lovely scent to have in one’s home when used in an aromatherapy diffuser. It can help ease anxiety and promote a more restful sleep. Not everyone loves the scent of lavender, I have a few friends that have an aversion to it. Generally, it is loved by many and is safe to use. Not recommended during pregnancy.
I enjoy reading about herbal lore from the past and found that lavender was used in the Middle Ages in Europe and was considered a powerful protective herb. Lavender flowers were strewn on floors to help prevent insect infestations. It is today considered to have anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties.
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