The lavender shrub (Lavandula) is a member of the Lamiaceae family. This genus unites about 30 species. Under natural conditions, it can be found in North and East Africa, Arabia, southern Europe, Australia and India.
In each of the countries, only 2 types of lavender are cultivated, namely: medicinal lavender, or narrow-leaved, or English, and also French or broad-leaved lavender. The name of the shrub was derived from the Latin word “lava”, which translates as “wash” because in the ancient world the Greeks and Romans used it for washing and washing.
Today, lavender can be found not only in the garden, it is also grown on an industrial scale as a valuable essential oil crop.
- Landing. Seeds are sown on seedlings in February – March, in open ground – in October, while seedlings are transplanted into open soil in the last days of May or in the first days of June.
- Bloom. It starts in the middle of summer.
- Illumination. Needs lots of bright sunlight.
- Priming. It should be dry, water and air permeable, loamy or sandy with a pH of 6.5-7.5.
- Watering. Lavender should be watered regularly and abundantly. During a long dry period, the frequency of watering is increased.
- Fertilizer. Top dressing is carried out twice during the growing season. In spring, a complex mineral fertilizer with an increased nitrogen content is applied to the soil, and in the fall – phosphorus-potassium fertilizer.
- Hilling. Old plants need to be hilled high twice per season, they do this in spring and autumn.
- Pruning. When the bush fades, all the inflorescences are removed from it, and in the autumn, the branches are shortened. After the plant turns 10 years old, it is rejuvenated by cutting off all branches at a height of 50 mm from the soil surface.
- Reproduction. By seed method, as well as cuttings, layering and dividing the bush.
- Harmful insects. Cicadas (slobbering pennies), rainbow beetles and aphids.
- Diseases. Gray rot.
Lavender is a herb or a flower
Lavender often raises many questions. This is a flower? Or herbs? The familiar lilac miracle is both, and first of all – the source of one of the most beloved scents in the whole world, which was known back in the days of Ancient Egypt and Ancient Rome.
Lavender was once used for embalming and religious ceremonies, today it is one of the popular ingredients in perfumery, aromatherapy and in the kitchen – yes, this flower had a chance to try many roles.
This name has become so accustomed to various languages of the world that a color is even named after it – one of the shades of lilac. Meanwhile, the word itself comes from the Latin “lavare”, which means “to wash.” The emergence of this name was facilitated by the fact that lavender was added to the water for ceremonial ablutions.
There are different types of this plant, and many of them can be easily found in the foods we use every day. Thus, narrow-leaved lavender, which is also called “real” (Lavandula angustifolia), is most often used in the manufacture of cosmetics, tinctures, baked goods and essential oils.
While lavender oil is widely used in aromatherapy, the dried plant is an integral part of French cuisine. It can be added to tea and used in seasonal herbal teas. Many perfumes and body care foods contain lavender extract.
Also, the antibacterial, antimicrobial, pain relieving and expectorant properties of lavender should not be underestimated. This plant has always been used in folk medicine as an antiseptic and sedative.
USEFUL PROPERTIES OF LAVENDER
Lavender can fight migraines and headaches. Traditional and alternative medicine practitioners use lavender tea, an infusion or topical application of essential oil to treat headaches, including in women during menopause. However, lavender can also be consumed in less traditional ways, such as ice cream!
Lavender oil relieves the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome in women. According to a recent study by the Center for Advanced Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility in Japan, aromatherapy using Lavandula angustifolia extract can help reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, especially those related to mood swings.
Since this plant contains many antioxidants, it helps to reduce the number of free radicals in the body, strengthens the immune system and slows down aging.
Among other beneficial properties, lavender has antibacterial properties, so herbal infusion using dried flowers can help fight colds, coughs and viral diseases.
Even in ancient times, people knew about its ability to heal wounds and burns, and later this was confirmed by scientific research. Aromatherapy using lavender is also useful for children to recover from a sore throat.
Lavender based treatment
Lavender-based treatments can be used for anxiety disorders. Research results confirm that lavender oil capsules reduce symptoms of anxiety, anxiety, depression, and mood swings after two weeks of treatment.
Lavender infusions or massage with lavender oil also reduce stress and anxiety levels in people with chronic nervous system disorders.
The infusion of its flowers can be used to rinse the hair and scalp, which reduces the formation of dandruff, thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of the plant.
Treatments using natural ingredients for type 2 diabetes include lavender. It is one of the herbs that promote the production of insulin in the body.
According to an article in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, Spanish scientists have confirmed lavender’s ability to fight skin infections with anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties.
According to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, this herb can be used to reduce hair loss and stimulate hair growth in cases of alopecia, which is an abnormal hair loss in certain areas of the head or trunk.
Since this plant has pronounced properties of estrogen (female hormones), boys should refrain from using lavender-based foods and oils.
Lavender is a natural relaxing remedy. Avoid taking it along with other sedatives, as this can lead to excessive sleepiness.
Taking lavender oil orally can be dangerous if you are pregnant or allergic to mint and related plants.