Lovely Lavender

As many of you know, the color lavender is featured heavily at SkinSense – on our stationary and in the decor of the rooms and hallways. It is calming to use and to look at and we do use it in great quantities in all our treatments and products.

HISTORY:

Lavender has had a very interesting and varied history. There are many biblical references made to the plant as a protection against evil and temptation. In terms of its remedial track record, Pliny the Elder, back in Roman times, recommended lavender for menstrual problems, upset stomachs, kidney disorders, jaundice and dropsy. As the plague took hold of Europe many grave-robbers who plundered the victims bodies, washed in lavender vinegar and even though they came in contact with the disease more than most people, they rarely died. In Tudor times, the plant became connected with love and romance. Lavender was tucked under lovers’ pillows and married couples’ mattresses to encourage passion.

By the nineteenth century, lavender finally appeared in the very respected London Pharmacopeia. During the First World War, when modern antiseptics became scarce, lavender was often used to dress wounds. Also around this time, the French chemist, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, made the word “aromatherapy” popular in the 1920’s when he treated a self-sustained laboratory burn with lavender. He then went on to treat severely wounded troops who had suffered extreme burns from mustard gas during combat.

Aromatherapy is the science of using distilled essential oils to treat both physical and emotional ailments. The aroma of each oil triggers a response through the limbic system and the active property of the oil can treat a wide range of skin problems from acne to dryness.

Here are a few great recipes for you to use at home;

General Fatigue – fill a diffuser with water and add four drops each of orange, spearmint and lavender oils.

Hangover – place a cool compress of equal parts geranium and lavender on the forehead.

Insomnia – bath in lavender, rose and lemon – eight drops each – and then sprinkle lavender on the pillow case before going to bed.

More recipes next time…

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