My Notes on Lavender.
Purpose of this lavender webpage
Some people have blogs. I just write some notes of things I'm
interested in, and perhaps it would be useful to others on the web.
Disclaimer: because I work as a doc, doesn't mean I know any more about
this topic than others. Thus, I cannot say that I'm endoring any part of
this webpage to be used as medical advice. Consult your doctor and/or
lawyer before doing anything.
I have some lavendar growing in the landscaping of my house and wondered what
uses it would have, besides being a pretty plant. So I found some great
pictures and gathered some notes. Most of this info comes from
Lavender flower up close
- The lavenders are a genus of about 30 species of flowering plants in the
- Native to the Africa, Mediterranean regions and India.
- Widely grown in gardens.
- Flower spikes are used for dried flower arrangements.
- Pale Purple flowers.
- Used in potpourris.
- Can be dried and sealed in pouches which then can be placed among stored
items of clothing to give a fresh fragrance and as deterrent to moths.
- The lavender plant is also grown commercially for extraction of lavender
oil from the flowers.
- The oil can be used as an antiseptic and for aromatherapy.
- Nectar is abundant in the flowers which leads to a high quality honey
- The lavender flowers can be candied and used as cake decoration.
- Lavender can be used as a herb either alone or as an incredient of
herbes de Provence.
- It can also be used to flavor sugar - lavender sugar.
- The flowers are sometimes sold in a blend with black tea as lavender tea
- It is the buds of the flower that contain the essential oil of lavender,
which the scent and flavor of lavender are best derived
- French chefs around Provence, France have been incorporating this herb
into their cuisine for centuries - sweet / elegant flavor for most dishes.
Some chefs experiment with the leaves as well.
Medincinal uses of Lavender:
- English lavender, Lavandula angustifolia, yields a highly effective
essential oil with very sweet overtones, and can be used in balms, salves,
perfumes, cosmetics, and topical applications.
- French lavender, Lavandula x intermedia, yields a similar essential oil,
with higher contents of turpin, which adds a harsher overtone to the
- Spanish lavender, Lavandula stoechas is not used medicinally, but mainly
for landscaping purposes. (This is confusing to me because I saw
another source from
http://www.botanical.com that calls stoechas French Lavender...)
- The scent of Stoechas is more akin to Rosemary than ordinary lavendar.
- above is the flower of Lavandula stoechas Lavender species.
In Northern Hemisphere gardens it is somewhat hardier than
Common Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), but harsher
and more resinous in its oils. Stoechas Lavender is used
commercially in air fresheners and insecticides.
- Essential oil of lavender has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory
properties. It was used in hospitals during WWI to disinfect floors, walls
and other surfaces.
- An infusion of lavender is claimed to soothe and heal insect bites.
- Bunches of lavender are also said to ward off insects.
- If applied to the temples, lavender oil is said to soothe headaches.
- Lavender is frequently used as an aid to sleep and relaxation:
- Seeds and flowers of the plant are added to pillows, and an infusion of
three flowerheads added to a cup of boiling water are recommended as a
soothing and relaxing bedtime drink.
- Although professional herbalists and aromatherapists use lavender to
treat a variety of conditions (described later), clinical studies thus far
have only demonstrated benefit for insomnia and alopecia (hair loss).
Plastic Surgical / General Surgical relevance of Lavender - lavender's
effect on skin and breasts?
- Lavender oil (or extract of Lavender) is claimed to heal acne when used
diluted 1:10 with water, rosewater, or witch hazel; it is also used in the
treatment of skin burns and inflammatory conditions (it is a traditional
treatment for these in Iran).
- Health precautions: There is scientific evidence to support the
effectiveness of some of these remedies, especially the anti-inflammatory
effects, but they should be used with caution since lavender oil can also be
a powerful allergen. Ingesting lavender should be avoided during pregnancy
- A preliminary finding presented at the Endocrine Society's conference in
June 2006 had suggested that shampoos, soaps and body lotions containing
lavender and tea tree oils may cause "hormonal imbalances and breast growth
in young boys
- In one study of 86 people with alopecia areata (a disease of unknown
cause characterized by significant hair loss, generally in patches), those
who massaged their scalps with lavender and other essential oils daily for 7
months experienced significant hair re-growth compared to those who massaged
their scalps without the essential oils. It is not entirely clear from this
study whether lavender (or a combination of lavender and other essential
oils) was responsible for the beneficial effects.
- Aromatherapists also use lavender as a tonic in inhalation therapy to
treat headaches, nervous disorders, and exhaustion. Herbalists treat skin
ailments, such as fungal infections (like candidiasis), wounds, eczema, and
acne, with lavender oil. It is also used externally in a healing bath for
circulatory disorders and as a rub for rheumatic ailments (conditions
affecting the muscles and joints). One study evaluating essential oils,
including lavender, for treating children with eczema concluded that the
oils added no benefit to therapeutic touch from the mother; in other words
massage with and without essential oils was equally effective in improving
the dry, scaly skin lesion
http://www.umm.edu/altmed/ConsHerbs/Lavenderch.html - University of Maryland
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavender - Wikipedia
- Bad Shampoo for Boys?
http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/l/lavend13.html - botanical.com
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2336 Sylvan Ave. Suite C
Modesto, CA 95355.
email: staff [at] surgerytoday.com
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