PART 2. THE HERBS
Lavender is no one-hit wonder. A powerfully effective and well-studied anti-inflammatory, anti-allergen, antibacterial, antispasmodic, and antiseptic, its uses range from anti-aging skincare to kitchen surface cleaner. In fact, it’s one of the few essential oils that herbalists recommend applying directly to the skin for healing cuts, scrapes, wounds, and bruises with zero side effects.
Did You Know?
In Roman times, a pound of lavender flowers would set you back about a month’s wages if you were a farm worker. The Greeks discovered early on that crushed and properly treated lavender would release a relaxing fume when burned. Later it was used for smoking, mummifying, and perfuming. French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé, who coined the term aromatherapy, suffered terrible burns after a lab explosion. In a last-ditch effort at healing, he rubbed his burns with lavender essential oils, which sped healing and left his skin virtually scar-free.
MEDICINAL: Treats colds, flu, staph, strep, skin infections, nail infections, indigestion, muscle spasms, IBS, Crohn’s disease, stress, fatigue, tension, depression, sadness, insomnia, and yeast infections; heals burns, wounds, cuts, and bruises.
COSMETIC: Erases wrinkles; banishes acne, psoriasis, eczema, and other skin conditions; triggers cell turnover, treats oiliness; tones, smooths, and evens skin.
•Apply as a balm, salve, ointment, compress
•Drink as a tea or tonic
•Use in baths, cleaning solutions, sachets, aromatherapy, soaps, powders, candles
Lavender is considered safe and nontoxic, however, pregnant women should avoid taking large doses internally.
Locating & Growing
A perennial, lavender is a hardy plant able to grow just about anywhere. In fact, you’ve probably seen it growing in meadows, near roadsides, and in lush, wooded areas. While its natural habitat makes it suitable for Zones 5 to 8, give this herb some sun, warmth, and moist, well-drained soil, and it’s a happy camper.