Plant Profile: Lavender

Lavender
(Lavandula angustifolia syn. Lavandula officinalis)


Family: LAMIACEAE syn LABIATAE

Energetics: Warming or cooling? Debate. Drying.

Taste: Slightly Bitter

Tissue States: 

Systems Affected: Nervous system. Lungs. Liver. 

Parts Used: Flower buds

Key Components: Volatile oils including linalool, lavandulyl acetate, borneol, camphor, limonene, cadinene, coummarins, ursolic acid. Flavonoids (luteolin)

Preparations & dosage: Infusion. Essential oil. Hydrosol. Tincture. Food. Herbal oil. 

Actions: 
Foundational: Aromatic. Relaxant. Bitter.
Primary: Carminative. Nervine. Antidepressant, Cholagogue.

Secondary: Antimicrobial. Antibacterial. Anti-fungal. Antiseptic. Analgesic.

Medicinal Uses: 

Balancing, Extreme changeable emotions, exhaustion, anxiety, wound healing, Central Nervous System Sedative, bacterial & fungal infections, poor sleep, pain, burns, bug bites, courage & strength, IBS, Crohns, yeast infections.

Traditionally used in babies first bath to welcome new baby to the world. 
  • Stress
  • Tension
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • IBS caused by stress and tension
  • Indigestion & spasm in digestive muscles such as with IBS & Crohn's
  • Insomnia caused from your brain refusing to slow down
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Colic
  • Motion sickness
  • Flu
  • Bronchitis
  • Asthma
  • Whooping cough
  • Pneumonia
  • Heart Palipitations
  • Arthritis
  • Limb weakness/paralysis
  • Burns
  • Wounds
  • Snake bites
  • Lavender Essential oil combined with tea tree used neat can be very effective at treating fungal infections such as ring worm. 
Spike lavender is used for insect repellant. It has higher levels of camphor and cineol and works better for this purpose. 

A personal Experience: I brewed my first cup of lavender for 10 minutes About a teaspoon full, I think next time I'll try 2 or 3. My first thought was, it smells incredible! I tasted it and was actually surprised by it’s light flavor. ALMOST like simply drinking hot water. I kept sipping and did detect a light, pleasant flavor and I thought I sensed a slight astringency on my tongue and lips, going down my throat. To be honest I think I have some laxity in my digestive system so could probably use something astringent. 3 nights in a row I drank most of a cup of lavender infusion shortly (within an hour or 2) before bed. Typically I have digestive issues that seem to be worse as I’m going to bed. The first night it was still there, but the second night I noticed a marked improvement. Tonight is the 3rd night, so we shall see!

Combines well with: 


Identifying: 


Growing: When started from seed, it will take about 1 month to germinate. In 2 months it should be ready to transplant. Can also be started from cuttings. Cuttings should be taken in early spring before it flowers or in late summer. I'm told it makes no difference with lavender if you dip the ends of the cuttings in growth/rooting hormone or not. You can also start the rooting process in a cup of water. It should propagate either way. You should do this in a pot because it will need to be brought in the first winter and can be put in its permanent home the following spring. Mulch your lavender plants to protect them in the winter if temperatures drop below 20F. 

Lavender grows well in zones 5-8. Prefers a well drained sandy soil with a Ph of between 6.4 and 8. Full sun. Plants can grow pretty large and should be spaced 12-24" apart in the garden. 

Harvesting: Buds should be harvested before flowers fully open as that is when their medicine is strongest. 

Contraindications: Avoid using large doses internally during pregnancy. 


Sources: 
The Way of Herbs: Michael Tierra. Pg 151
Growing and Using the Healing Herbs: Gaea & Shandor Weiss. Pg 170-172
https://herbmentor.learningherbs.com/herb/lavender/#marker-10379-7
Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: Rosemary Gladstar. Pg 149-155




Studies:

Effect of Inhaled Lavender and Sleep Hygiene on Self-Reported Sleep Issues: A Randomized Controlled Trial: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4505755/

The effects of clinical aromatherapy for anxiety and depression in the high risk postpartum woman – A pilot study: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1744388112000400

Efficacy of aromatherapy (Lavandula angustifolia) as an intervention for agitated behaviours in Chinese older persons with dementia: a cross-over randomized trial. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17342790






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