When thinking about the South of France, we all have in mind the beautiful purple fields of lavender. Even if its gentle aroma evokes the sunny countryside of Provence, those fields are actually not grown for sightseeing but for its commercialization. The oil is extracted from the flower, giving one of the most famous and sold essential oils. These highly concentrated oils are used therapeutically to benefit the body, mind, and soul.
The name lavender derives from the Latin ‘lavare’ meaning ‘to wash”. Indeed, the Romans already used lavender daily to scent their baths, beds, clothes and also purify the air. Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia) is a flowering plant from the mint family, blooming from June to August. Despite its Mediterranean and Middle-east origin of more than 2 5000 years, now you can find it in many European countries up to New Zealand. The essential oil is produced through steam distillation of lavender flowers, giving it a sweet, floral and herbaceous scent.
Properties and uses:
With the multiple properties of lavender essential oils and together with the fact that it can be taken orally, applied to the skin, or even breathed in through aromatherapy, this ingredient is found frequently in many products. For instance, we use it in our range of Arau and Arau.baby products, as the herb is highly regarded for skin and beauty. It explains why lavender essential oil is commonly used in fragrances, shampoos, and other personal hygiene products in order to help purify the skin. In essential oil practices, lavender is considered a multipurpose oil with a wide range of benefits, due to the medicinal and therapeutic properties it is associated with.
1. Medicinal and therapeutic
Antiseptic and Antibacterial: lavender essential oil is great to relieve symptoms of flu, colds, cough and other throat infections with an oil known to reduce phlegm and congestion due to its antibacterial properties. Diffuse it at home or add a few drops to a hot bath in order to boost your immunity.
Antispasmodic: helpful in reducing muscular spasms, it also relieves pain. A regular massage with lavender oil can also provide relief from pain in the joints.
Anti-inflammatory: in case of a small burn, it will help the healing process, providing even relief to a mosquito bite. It has been found that lavender essential oil can act as an effective painkiller for a variety of conditions including skin inflammation, muscle soreness, headaches, menstrual cramps and stomach pains.
Sedative: the soothing and calming scent of lavender is one of the most efficient to reduce stress and anxiety. It is known to help reduce nervous tension, depression, restlessness and nervous exhaustion. It also improves sleeping as it relaxes you physically, making it a common alternative treatment for insomnia.
Antioxidant: because of its powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, lavender essential oil is highly regarded when it comes to skincare. It has been shown to help heal wounds, cuts and burns as well as treating various skin conditions such as eczema, irritations and age spots.
Detoxing and Purifying: lavender essential oil is one of the most beneficial oils against acne as it helps regulate the over-excretion of sebum.
Regenerative: it removes impurities and helps the regeneration of skin cells, explaining why it is often used not only in anti-wrinkles skin cares, but also for hair, as it has been shown to be very helpful in against hair loss, particularly for people who suffer from alopecia, an autoimmune disease where the body rejects its own hair follicles.
Odours: used as a deodorant for personal hygiene or in air diffusers, the perfume of lavender essential oil can purify bad smells, explaining why the ingredient is frequently used for laundry products.
But a word of advice to those that want to use it everywhere. Even if lavender essential oil has a large scale of benefits, it doesn't replace any medicine and is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Avoid its overuse as it could even cause allergies and skin irritation in some cases.