A long and loving look at lavender oil

Lavender oil | Beanstalk Single Mums

Lavender oil is one of the most popular and widely utilised essential extracts in history. The purple plant from which it is derived has been utilised in some form or another for generations in all manner of interesting and unique ways. One only has to glance at the supermarket and health store shelves to see some element of the extract being involved or incorporated in some form or another.

It comes as no surprise that lavender oil is one of the most sought after and widely used essential extract, and yet, so little is known about the wonderfully decadent and simple scent and sensation it provides.

Today, there’ll be an exploration as to what makes the essential extract so essential for modern living, a little about the history and its ancient uses, and the various utilities it possesses in the modern world.

Where Does It Come From?

Lavender oil is derived from the flowers of the plant of the same name. Its floral name is ‘Lavandula Angustifolia’, the purple flowering plant is said to be native in the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Indian regions – although, since its popularity continues to blossom, it has been naturalised in various areas around the world since.

Extraction of lavender oil from the plant is typically by way of steam distillation, which is the most common method of extraction for essential extracts around the world. The flowers are placed in a specialised vat that steams the flowers until the potent substance separates and is collected in a precise and dignified manner.

After it is extracted, lavender oil is then able to be utilised in a wide variety of capacities.

Essential Definitions

Before we delve too deeply into the world of lavender oil, it’s helpful to first define the nature of its existence. It is classified as an essential extract, which is more or less the essence and true representation of the characteristics of the plant it is derived from. Oftentimes, the essential extract will inhabit and contain the unique fragrance of the plant, colour palate, or the beneficial characteristics for health and beauty care.

An essential or carrier extract can be derived from different particulars of a plant, it can be the flowers, stems, roots, even leaves – each flower or natural source has a different profile and build. This lends itself to have a unique method of extraction as well.

Lavender oil is derived from the aforementioned steam distillation method, which is the dominant form of extraction in essential circles. Some botanicals and plant matter do not react well to heat and require an alternative, vanilla extract is derived using a solvent solution for instance.

A History Of Lavender Oil

Now that we have a grasp on the concept of an essential extract, it is now time to put the star of the show in the limelight, lavender oil. As mentioned, it is one of the most ubiquitous and popular essentials to have existed, and that’s not an overwhelming reach.

The Greek naturalist known as Dioscorides was discussing its potential benefits in the first century, ancient Egyptian cultures utilised it as a perfume and component in incense. The ancient Greek and Roman societies used the herb and its extracts in their herbal baths.

During the middle ages, lavender oil and its mother plant were considered the herb of love and was considered to be quite the aphrodisiac. The insecticidal properties of the plant propelled its use around castles and areas of sickness as a disinfectant and deodorant. Even through wartime, the herb was used to disinfect injuries on the field.

Modern Interpretations

The modern uses for lavender are a little less medically based when compared to generations past. It’s still one of the most popular essentials on the planet due to its versatile nature and wondrously beautiful scent.

Beauty

One of the main proponents for lavender oil has been the beauty and skincare industry. Taking advantage of the incredibly diverse and ubiquitous nature of the extract. You’ll find the aromatic scent present in a wide variety of products including soaps, creams, shampoos, conditioners etc. The wonderfully decadent scent and general light texture allow it to be fully integrated into a wide range of products seamlessly. The fact that it has been so heavily used in the past is a true testament to its overall utility and timelessness.

Cooking

It may sound odd but there are a handful of essentials that actually enhance the flavour profiles of dishes. In fact, you’ll find lavender oil in a wide range of recipes. Of course, a few drops typically suffice to add a beautiful fragrant enhancement to certain dishes, as well as adding a slight botanical sweetness to the taste.

Aromatherapeutic

Besides the beauty industry, the aromatherapeutic uses for lavender oil are amongst the most popular and widely utilised in society. The unique scents and relaxing sensations are hard to ignore. The ancients used it for incense after all, so the modern diffusers and candles are not far off from following the tradition.

Particularly admired for its relaxing properties, the use of lavender oil in the home, at an office, or even in places of worship is quite common.

Household Cleaning

Believe it or not, a lot of people attest to using lavender oil as a household cleanser and scenting agent. The chemical makeup of the extract lends itself to be used as a potent disinfectant, leaving a wonderfully fresh and aromatic scent in its wake.

How You Can Use Lavender Oil At Home

Lavender oil is the most essential ‘Essential’ on the market, especially for those who are getting into the world of extracts and experimentation. Being one of the more inexpensive examples, lavender oil is widely regarded as the most versatile for the home for a wide variety of reasons and uses.

A few examples are:

Home Beauty Products

Of course, one of the best ways to utilise the extract is to incorporate it into your beauty regimen at home. As it is quite light in terms of presence and texture, it can easily be introduced to a wide range of your products at home to give a more fragrant and unique impact. Adding a little bit of lavender oil to your face creams and soaps are a fun and vibrant way of introducing the essential into your life.

Fragrance A Room or Area

This may seem a little bland, but when you factor in the scientific experimentation conducted on the effects of lavender, you’ll realise why the relaxation qualities are not all in the mind. Having a unique scent is one thing, the more noble aspect is derived from its potential for transforming a room or area of your home into an escape. Many people have cited the extract as being an essential part of their meditation room or study area. Due to the relaxing and anti-anxiety laden components of lavender oil, it truly goes hand in hand.

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Always Check First

There can always be sensitivities when it comes to using any essential oil on your skin or in the home. While lavender oil is one of the safest essentials on the market in terms of toxicity and potency, it’s always recommended to test it first. A skin patch test will determine a lot about the nature of your body’s reaction to the substance.

If it’s all clear, you can let your imagination run wild.

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