Common Name: Lavender
Scientific Name: Lavendula angustifolia
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Origin: Croatia, France, Spain, Italy, England, Australia, Tasmania, Turkey, Russia, Bulgaria and Greece
Synonyms: L. vera, L. officinalis, garden lavender, common lavender
Essential Oil Properties and Characteristics
Lavender is an evergreen woody shrub, up to 1 metre tall, with pale green, narrow linear leaves and flowers on blunt spikes of a beautiful violet-blue colour. The whole plant is highly aromatic.
This oil is colourless to pale yellow with a sweet, floral-herbaceous scent and balsamic-woody undertone; it has a more fragrant floral scent compared to spike lavender.
Origin and History
Indigenous to the Mediterranean region, now cultivated all over the world. The oil is produced mainly in France, also Spain, Italy, England, Australia, Tasmania, Croatia, Turkey, Russia, Bulgaria and Greece, etc.
There are many varieties of lavender; L. angustifolia is divided into two subspecies - L. delphinensis and L. fragrans. French lavender (L. stoechas) is a smaller shrub with dark violet flowers. The so called cotton lavender (Santonlina chamaecyparissus) and the sea lavender (Statice caroliniana) belong to different botanical families.
Lavender has a well-established tradition in folk remedy, and its scent is still familiar to almost everyone. It is used in the pharmaceutical antiseptic ointments and as a fragrance. Extensively employed in all types of soaps, lotions, detergents, cosmetics, perfumes, etc, especially toilet waters and colognes. Employed as a flavouring agent in most categories of food as well as alcoholic and soft drinks.
Method of Extraction
The essential oil of lavender is extracted by steam distillation of the fresh flowering tops. An absolute and concrete are also produced by solvent extraction in smaller quantities.
Precautions During Use (Contraindications)
Lavender is non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitising
Lavender essential oil is antiseptic, balancing, soothing and rejuvenating properties. It blends well with most oils, especially citrus and florals; also cedarwood, clove, clary sage, pine, geranium, vetivert and patchouli.