Lavender essential oil has a sweet, fresh, floral, herbaceous, and slightly fruity aroma and is one of the most versatile of the essential oils because of its sedative, carminative, anti-depressive and anti-inflammatory properties, in addition to its recognised antimicrobial effects.

Because of its versatility lavender essential oil has been used over the ages by various cultures in many different ways. The ancient Greeks used lavender to battle constipation, chest pains, and throat infections. Legend claims that lavender was taken from the Garden of Eden by Adam and Eve.

The Romans also loved lavender oil, using it in cooking, bathing, and scenting the air. They also added it to their bath water, hence the name derived from the word “to wash”, lavare. It is one of the few essential oils that can be used neat on the skin. Supposedly, Cleopatra used lavender to seduce Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.

In Medieval and Renaissance Europe, people scattered lavender over the stone floors of castles for use as a disinfectant and deodorant.

Use of lavender was highly revered during the Great Plague of London in the 17th century. Individuals wore bunches of lavender on each wrist to protect themselves from the Black Death. In addition, glove makers scented their leather with lavender oil to ward off the disease. Thieves who made a living stealing from the graves and the homes of Plague victims concocted a wash known as "Four Thieves Vinegar," which contained lavender, to cleanse and protect themselves after a night's work. Today, we know the disease was transmitted by fleas, so the use of lavender, which is known to repel these insects, could very well have saved lives and prevented further spread of the plague.

In folklore, pillows were filled with lavender flowers to help the restless to fall asleep. Scientifically, there is now evidence that lavender aromatherapy emanates a mellow peacefulness and may improve sleep quality, promote relaxation, and lift the mood of people who suffer from sleep disorders.

Would you believe it takes approximately 2.5 square metres of lavender bushes to make just one 15mL bottle?

There are many types of lavender essential oil available on the market, some synthetic so make sure you only use therapeutic grade lavender essential oil for health and healing.

Lavender essential oil is used in aromatherapy in the following ways:

* Sprinkle a few drops on your pillow or use in the vapouriser for a calming night’s sleep.
* Use a few drops on a cotton ball and sit it near your window to help repel insects.
* Add 5 drops to your bath
* Blend 5 drops with 10mL of sweet almond oil or body lotion and apply/massage onto the face or body.
* Apply neat to acne, blemishes, cuts, scratches. cuts, scrapes, wounds, burns, bee, wasp, and insect stings, rashes, muscle aches, rheumatism, arthritis, cold sores, blisters, bruises, athlete's foot, and rubbed directly into the temples in the case of headache or migraine.
* Sprinkle some drops on your dog after washing to discourage fleas.