Lavender Essential Oil – Lavandula Angustifolia
About / Plant / Origin
Lavender Essential Oil comes from the steam distillation of the Lavender leaves and flowers. Its botanical name is Lavandula Angustifolia or Lavandula Officinalis.
Lavender essential oil is probably the most famous aromatic oil in the world of aromatherapy. That’s because of its great smell, a wide range of benefits and uses. It comes from the Mediterranean, middle east, and India, but today also cultivated in Europe, the Americas, and Australia.
Lavender is a woody herb that will last for a couple of years when there are right conditions. The plant is easy to grow. It needs lots of suns and good drainage. Lavender doesn’t thrive in shade or wet soils.
Lavender essential oil mainly consists of monoterpenoids and sesquiterpenoids. Linalool and linalyl acetate are the two dominant constituents and lavandulyl acetate, terpinene-4-ol, and lavandulol. 1,8-cineole and camphor are also present.
The use of Lavender and its oil goes back to B.C 500’s. In ancient Egpyt, Lavender has been used as a perfume and for mummification. Legend has it King Tut’s tomb was opened in 1923, and it was still smelling a heavy dose of Lavender even after thousands of years.
Romans used Lavender in baths, cooking, air sprays, and soaps. Lavare in Latin means to wash. In French renaissances, ladies were serving as a laundry lady, and they were called Lavenders! Also, the calming properties of Lavender were discovered during the Roman and Greek times.
Lavender also has its place in the Holy Bible and mentioned as spikenard. Besides, it was used as a remedy in the great plague in London in the 17th century.
It’s a known fact that Lavender oil can deal with stress and anxiety-related conditions. Most people claim that it works like a charm for a good night’s sleep when diffused before bed or one drop on the pillow.
Also, there is good evidence that Lavender is good for skin & hair health. Lavender even has excellent antioxidant properties. Lavender works it’s magic for cuts & burns. It also can significantly contribute to the prevention of hair loss by massaging the scalp.
Early studies of Lavender for diabetes are also promising, but more research might be needed. In a 15 days study on mice, it showed considerable indications on diabetic symptoms such as increased blood glucose, weight gain and liver, and kidney dysfunction.
Uses & Blending & DIY & Safety
Always use career oils when using essential oils. For healthy adults, %2 dilution is optimum; for sensitive people targeting %1 would be a safe choice. Never ingest large amounts of essential oils without the advice of a doctor or an advanced aromatherapist.
Lavender essential oil smells amazing. Why not take advantage of that? It has a middle/top note and floral, fresh, sweet, herbaceous, and sometimes slightly fruity. You can make a natural perfume for men & women, car scents, air or laundry freshener, and so on.
Lavender oil blends well with; Bergamot, Cedarwood, Clove, Clary Sage, Geranium, Helichrysum Italicum, Lemon, Neroli, Patchouli, Rose Absolute, Rosemary 1,8-Cineole, Sandalwood and Vetiver.
We know the calming effects of Lavender, and lots of people use it for insomnia, in other words, difficulty sleeping. You can use an essential oil diffuser in your bedroom, spray your sheets lightly with an oil/water mixture or apply one drop on a tissue and put it under your pillow.
If you have nausea or motion sickness, lavender oil might help even things out. It also applies to PMS and menstrual cramps. You can rub diluted lavender oil to your temples, oil gently massage your abdomen. Spraying an oil/water mixture or smelling directly from the bottle might help as well.
If you are into baking or home-cooking, you can pimp up your recipes using lavender oil. It works well with smoothies, muffins, ice-creams, and cocktails. Little goes a long way, so start with only one drop and adjust from there.
Yield / Pricing
When it comes to buying lavender essential oil, aim for the best quality that your money can buy. There is no therapeutic grade when it comes to essential oils because they are not regulated. So don’t fall into that kind of marketing traps.
Find a trusted brand, if you can, visit their distillery if there is one close by. As long as your essential oil comes from a pesticide, germicide free herb, and it’s not adultered, you are good to go.
The essential oil yield of Lavender essential oil ranges from 0.5-1%. That means from 100 kgs of dried Lavender, you can expect to get 0.5 – 1 liter of essential oil. According to my research, certified organic lavender essential oil (Lavandula Angustifolia) costs around $15 for a 10ml essential oil.