Lavender is one of the oldest scents in the fragrance world, made from oils extracted from lavender plants grown in France as well as Spain. It is a common ingredient in men’s fragrances such as Old English Lavender by Yardley and Le Male by Gaultier.
Lavender is an evergreen shrub with pale green leaves and violet flowers. The flowers and leaves of this aromatic plant have been used for centuries in perfumes and sachets.
The method of extraction is steam distillation from the fresh flowering tops. An absolute and concrete are also produced by solvent extraction.
Attributes & characteristics
Lavender oil has been known to have healing properties for the skin and is also therapeutic for psychological and emotional needs.
Lavender is adapted to living in a dry climate and is native to the western half of the Mediterranean, reaching altitudes of up to 1800 meters. It is believed that the Romans and the Benedictine monks subsequently introduced it to rest of Europe.
This special oil promotes cell growth and balances sebum production, which helps accelerate the healing of domestic burns and sunburns as well as to clear acne, athlete’s foot, dandruff, eczema and psoriasis. It is also helpful in minimizing fungal growths, swellings, scarring and stretch marks.
Lavender Spanish Essential Oil has similar medicinal properties to common lavender (L. angustifolia). It yields more essential oil than that species but therapeutically not considered as good. The flowers, and the essential oil derived from them, are anti-asthmatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, digestive and expectorant. Externally, the essential oil is used as an antiseptic wash for wounds, ulcers, sores etc and as a relaxing oil for massage.
Psychological & Emotional uses
Emotional and psychological uses include help for those who suffer from mood swings and feelings of instability. It has a balancing effect on the central nervous system and can be helpful in cases of manic depression. Lavender is most useful as a therapeutic oil – it is a sedative, antiseptic, calming agent and painkiller.
Effects on the skin
Cautions: Lavender is non-irritating and non-sensitizing. Avoid use during pregnancy.
Essential Oil Information
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Do not take any oils internally without consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Do not apply undiluted essential oils, perfume oils, absolutes or other concentrated essences onto the skin. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you have any question as to the medical use of any essential or perfume oil, be sure and consult your physician prior to their use. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and give children only the gentlest oils at extremely low doses. Always consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils for yourself or for children. A skin patch test should be conducted prior to using an oil that you've never used before. For very in-depth information on oil safety issues, read 'Essential Oil Safety' by Robert Tisserand, his book is available at Amazon.com.