Flower Remedies FAQs
Q. Lavender seems to be one of the most important of the essential oils – why is this?
A. It’s true that lavender is one of the most widely used essential oils and no aromatherapist would want to be without it. It is claimed to have healing and cleansing properties, balancing the body’s energies and emotions and helping to get rid of depression. A recent study on insomnia published in The Lancet reported that lavender oil was successful in helping people to fall asleep more quickly and to stay asleep for longer.
Q. How long has lavender been used?
We know that lavender was used in Egyptian perfumes and here in Britain during the Middle Ages when ladies and gentlemen used it to take away – or at least mask – the rather unpleasant aromas that were caused by a lack of washing facilities! In the Dark Ages people carried bunches of lavender as it was thought to ward off the black death. It is a sun-loving plant able to withstand drought and exposed situations, and has been grown in Mediterranean countries for centuries. For generations lavender has been planted in gardens for its scent and so that its flowers can be used for drying.
Q. Lavender reminds me of my granny – did she know something I don’t about its properties?
A. Perhaps she did! Lavender is not only a lovely scent, it has germicidal properties that are non toxic to humans. It used to be a tradition in some parts of the country to burn lavender to purify the air as well as use it around the home for its perfume. Granny may also have known that lavender is great for dry skin and helps to cool the effects of sunburn.
Q. What are the active ingredients in lavender?
A. Lavender includes active ingredients called esters and ketones, and an alcohol called linalool. These have properties that help to reduce inflammation, fight infection, kill bacteria, relieve pain, heal burns and wounds and induce sleep. Lavender is also used to treat respiratory and digestive problems.
Q. I’ve heard that lavender is good for the mind as well as the body – is that true?
Yes it is! Lavender is well known for having a soothing effect on the mind. That’s why you’ll often find it as a treatment for insomnia, used as an oil in bath products and cosmetics or in its dried form as a filling for pillows. It is also an effective treatment for headaches and anxiety.
If you are taking any medications or are pregnant, talk to your doctor before using lavender. Remember that essential oils need to be diluted in accordance with the instructions on the packaging and must not be used on the skin in their concentrated form. Baldwins helpline staff will be pleased to answer any specific questions about lavender or other essential oils. Contact them on 020 7703 5550.
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