Lavender is a flowering shrub from the Lamiaceae (mint) family. There are over 40 known species of the lavender with over 400 cultivated varieties of those species. Lavender oil is native to North Africa and the mountainous regions of the Mediterranean. but is grown all over the world, Flowers grown in different regions causes a different chemical makeup of the flower. The actual essential oil is derived from a particular lavender species. The spikes of the flower are used in the essential oil. The lavender used for essential oils is Lavandula Angustifolia sometimes referred to as English Lavender. Angustifolia has a sweeter softer aroma than other varieties making it better for therapeutic use. This variety is richer in linalool and linalyl acetate making it better for aromatherapy. Larger distillers will grow many varieties of Lavandula Angustifolia together and just label it lavender essential oil. The different varieties of the Lavandula Angustifolia are used for the needs of different kinds of essence oil.
Therapeutic properties include: analgesic (pain relieving, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic (helps prevent infection), anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), antispasmodic (anti-spasms), carminative (gas-relieving), cicatrizant (helps scar formation), diuretic (helps get rid of ‘fluid’ by increasing urine formation), emmenagogue (induces/hastens menstrual flow), nervine (calming effect), sedative (tranquilizing effect) and uplifting.
Lavender can be useful for:
Any skin ailment
Aches and Pains
Bug bites and bee stings (antiseptic and anti-inflammatory )
Cuts and burns (antiseptic and anti-inflammatory)
Lavender is safe for use on skin alone for cure ailments like a bee sting but if you are using it regularly for an extended time, make sure to dilute with a carrier oil.
Also, there is supporting evidence of lavender being effective for anxiety, fungal infections, hair loss, and wound care. However, there is no evidence yet as to the claims that it can treat depression, high blood pressure, nausea, menstrual pain, eczema or others.
Lavender is not approved by the food and drug administration (FDA) and should not be used in place of prescribed medicines.