The mere mention of lavender may bring to mind a dreamy spa; soft, scented sheets; or the extensive, aromatic fields of France. But lavender is known for much more than relaxation and a pleasant floral scent. Lavender’s healing properties are powerful and extensive.

In fact, in addition to keeping a bottle alongside her bath salts, every mother’s boo boo cabinet should be stocked with lavender oil! Lavender essential oil is obtained from Lavandula officinalis, a flower which produces a light, floral scent that has been treasured for centuries.

The History of Lavender

Records of lavender being used therapeutically date back to the early Egyptians. They wrapped their dead in lavender dipped shrouds. When the tomb of Tutankhamen was opened, jars filled with unguents containing something resembling lavender were found. These unguents were used only by the royal families and high priests in cosmetics, massage oils, and ointments.

The Ancient Greeks used lavender’s amazing power to relieve back pain and sleep problems. They also believed it was helpful to the insane. The Romans used lavender in public baths, which is probably where its name came from. The word Lavender comes from the Latin word Lavare, which means “to cleanse.” It’s also highly likely that the Romans brought lavender to Britain.

Benedictine Monks cherished lavender as a precious medicine. Monasteries preserved the knowledge of herbal lore in their physics gardens. They copied ancient manuscripts and recorded the medicinal effects of various plants.

Under an edict of the Holy Roman Empire in 812 AD, they were charged with growing vegetables, medicinal plants, flowers, and trees.

Senanque Abbey is a working monastery where monks still live an ancient way of life. The monks here make lavender oil, liqueur and honey.

In Tudor England, when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries, lavender moved to domestic gardens. The ladies of the manor used lavender for all kinds of things. It was placed among linens, sewn into sweet bags, used to freshen the air, and mixed with beeswax to make furniture polish. Traditionally it was planted near the laundry room.

Ever heard of Lavender Water? The Victorians washed their floors and linens with lavender water and used it to repel insects. They would often use lavender water as a perfume, sprinkle dried lavender buds in their linen drawers, or rub the fragrant flowers on their stationary before mailing a love letter (I’m going to have to try this!).Candler

Later, Lavender was used to freshen sick rooms and flowers were strewn on the floor to release their essence into the air when stepped upon. This practice continues to this day in areas of Spain and Portugal.

A Providential Accident

Rene Gattefosse, a French chemist who worked in his family’s perfumery business, suffered a tragic explosion in his lab in 1910. His hand was badly burned and he instinctively plunged his hand into a vat of  lavender oil. His pain was diminished and the burn healed quickly, with no infection or scarring.

French Chemist, Rene Gattefosse

As a result, Gattefosse turned his scientific attention to the medical properties of essential oils and their beneficial effects on skin conditions. His research led him to write the book “Aromatherapies”, which was well received by other experts who went on to do their own research.

All through the ages, Lavender has been considered a precious natural remedy. It was a common ingredient in smelling salts; and, in both World Wars, soldiers carried vials of lavender essential oil onto battlefields.

Because it is one of the mildest essential oils in existence, lavender oil is often a “first oil” for children. Click HERE for a recipe to make your own diaper cream!

A few drops of Lavender oil in the bath also makes a nice, calming “bed time” soak for children. Spray a little on their sheets too! Imagine the memories they’ll have one day of warm sheets, cuddly pillows, and their lavender scented linens!

The Dangers of  “Cheap” or “Adulterated” Lavender Essential Oils

Today much of the lavender oil sold in America is a hybrid called lavandin, grown and distilled in China, Russia, France, and Tasmania. It is brought into France and cut with synthetic linalyl acetate to improve the fragrance. Propylene glycol, DEP, or DOP (solvents that have no smell and increase the volume) are then added and it is sold in the United States as lavender oil.

Often lavandin is heated to evaporate the camphor and then is adulterated with synthetic linalyl acetate. Most consumers don’t know the difference, which is one of the reasons it is important to know about the integrity of the company or vendor from which you purchase your essential oils.

Adulterated and mislabeled essential oils present dangers for consumers. One woman who had heard that lavender was good for burns, unfortunately used lavender oil from a local health food store when she spilled boiling water on her arm. But the pain intensified and the burn worsened, so she later complained that lavender oil was worthless.

When her “lavender oil” was analyzed, it was found to actually be lavandin, a hybrid lavender that is chemically very different from pure Lavandula angustifolia. Lavandin contains high levels oLavender essential oil is popular in baby productsf camphor (12-18 percent) and can itself burn sensitive skin. In contrast, pure lavender is soothing and gentle to the skin.

The Young Living Standard

There is a significant difference between oils that simply smell good and those that are considered therapeutic-grade.

Independent laboratory testing proves that Young Living essential oils meet and often exceed industry requirements, and as stewards of nature’s potent remedies, Young Living maintains higher internal standards built upon the magnitude of our own rigorous quality assurance requirements. This standard is known as “thearpeutic-grade”. In order to achieve therapeutic-grade classification, each essential oil must achieve the designation naturally, without excess manipulation and refinement, and meet specific criteria in four key areas: Plants, Preparation, Purity, and Potency.

PLANTS: Young Living products are produced in exceptional soil, and harvested at exactly the right time.

PREPARATION: Honoring a strict commitment to respect and protect the time-honored methods of distillation, Young Living makes every effort to preserve “nature’s living energy” in a manner as close to its natural state as possible. Using pure mountain water free of additives, Young Living has a proprietary, stainless steel distillation process that uses low temperature and low pressure to better preserve plant properties, capture the pure essence of the plant, and preserve the quality of the oils.

PURITY: Achieved through the use of quality plants and meticulous preparation, and not through ultra-refinement, our finished product is 100% pure. Young Living essential oils are unadulterated, uncut, and free of chemicals, pesticides, and heavy metals.

POTENCY: To guarantee our products exceed existing world standards and meet our own higher internal standards for potency, we analyze the finished oil’s phytochemical profile to ensure it delivers optimal amounts of every key plant compound.

Suggested Home and Family Uses

Lavender oil may be used in a variety of different ways, the most simple of ways is to simply inhale the oil in times of distress or discomfort. For external use, try the remedies listed below:

* For sunburn relief, add 10 drops lavender essential oil to 2-4 ounces of liquid distilled Aloe Vera and mist onto the afootcareffected area with a spray bottle. Keep in the refrigerator for a cooling effect on the skin.

* For a peaceful night’s rest, place 6 to 8 drops in an essential oil diffuser or cool vaporizer near the bed.

* For freshening clothing, add several drops to the rinse water of the washing machine, and/or several drops placed onto a clean cloth and tossed in the dryer load.

* For a more pleasant cleaning experience, add 10 to 20 drops of lavender essential oil to 1 gallon water and use to clean surfaces around the home. It’s disinfecting properties will clean your home without the dangerous side effects of toxic chemicals.

*Apply a drop or two to your dishwater for a pleasant dish washing exprience.

*Add 10-15 drops of oil to a 2-4 oz. bottle of filtered water or vodka and make yourself a wonderful “pillow spray” or “air freshener.” Spray pillows, sheets, towels, washcloths, stuffed animals, table clothes, and bedspreads. You may also choose to use it as a room or bathroom freshener. I spray the guest towels in the bathroom and it lightly scents the whole room!

Lavender is used for a variety of purposes today. Since I am limited in what I can share here due to governmental regulations, I urge you to do your own research. You’ll be amazed!

n Medieval Europe, the oil was touted as a chastity tonic and many people believed it would keep its wearer pure. Lavender flowers were used to freshen sick rooms and bed linens, and strewn on the floor to release their essence into the air when stepped upon. This practice has continued to this day in areas of Spain and Portugal.

caleb and mommyTo get started using therapeutic grade essential oils with your family, I recommend purchasing our Premium Starter Kit! This way, you’ll enjoy wholesale prices all the time! It includes eleven of Young Living’s most popular essential oil singles and blends, an ultrasonic diffuser (worth $100.00!), essential oil samples for sharing, and 2 NingXia Red immune boosting drinks! In addition, I’ll send you a free essential oil reference book to help you learn how to start using your essential oils! Get started now! referenceguidesmall

By the way, I am not a doctor – just a mom who uses essential oils in her own family. Please know that any information provided on The Common Scents Mom is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to prescribe, diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It is your responsibility to educate yourself and address any health or medical needs you may have with your physician. Please seek professional help when needed.