A thin, colourless to pale yellow oil obtained by steam distillation of the fresh flowering tops of the Lavender plant. The lavender has been grown at high altitude and when such plants are grown above 1400 meters, the plant produces more esters which give the oil a more fruity aroma. If the oil is also distilled at high altitude, there is a lower air pressure so a lower temperature can be used and therefore more of the very volatile chemicals come through from the plant to the oil. It is more than worth all the effort as this is a superb oil.
Lavandula angustifolia Oil
According to the Cosmetic Ingredient Database (Cosing), the functions of Lavender Essential Oil are:
To view more information, visit the Cosing Database here.
High altitude Lavender has a stronger subtle effect than other Lavenders, so less can be used for therapeutic use.
It is a calming and relaxing oil which combats stress, so it is a classic choice to use in massage oil blends and massage creams as well as body wraps.
It tones and revitalises the skin and helps to diminish light scarring.
Use in night creams for its therapeutic effects on the skin, as well as for a good night’s sleep.
The number one choice to use on minor burns and can be used neat on the skin for this.
It works very well with Rose for mature skincare.
Useful in all sports products designed for sore and aching muscles.
Antibacterial and antifungal so is a good choice to use in foot creams and gels.
Calming for itchy scalp such as with a new weave.
Adds a wonderful depth and fragrance to shampoos and conditioners.
As an insect repellant when used in an oil burner or diffuser.
Combine with Geranium as the classic skincare blend for all creams, lotions, gels and body wraps.
Mix with Lemongrass for sports massage lotions and oil blends.
Add to Rosemary and Geranium for an herbal shampoo.
Add to Spearmint and St. John’s Wort infused oil for sunburn and skin irritations or after waxing.
Blend with Cedarwood and Clary Sage as a good deodorant blend.
Use with Plai to relieve muscle fatigue in after sports gels and lotions.
Use with caution during pregnancy as overuse could be too stimulating.
Traditional Aromatherapy Uses
Traditionally used by qualified aromatherapists when you need to work with the psychology of the ailment rather than the physical observations.
The high altitude Lavender seems to work better on the subtle energies and emotional aspects of a problem.
It was Rene-Maurice Gattefosse who observed the healing effects of Lavender oil when he burnt his hand in a laboratory accident and plunged his hand into a bowl of Lavender oil. This not only cooled the burn but took the pain away and his hand healed faster without blistering or scarring.
The Ancient Romans did their washing of clothes in the river and the sheets and togas would be thrown over lavender bushes growing nearby to keep them out of the mud and to let the air circulate. The aroma would penetrate the sheets and keep away insects and moths as well as give a good night’s sleep.
The word “lavender” comes from the Latin “lavera” which means to wash and is also the origin of the word “laundry”.
In Medieval times it was used as a strewing herb on the floor as it released a wonderful fragrance when walked on and also repelled household pests.