Perhaps the most popular and well-known of all essential oils!
Lavender has been used by many cultures for thousands of years. In fact, the name Lavender stems from the Latin word Lavare, meaning 'to wash', as water infused with the herb was used for bathing by the Romans.
Modern interest in the therapeutic properties of essential oils was possibly sparked by Lavender oil, after René-Maurice Gattefossé (the father of aromatherapy) attributed the healing of his 'gas gangrene' affected hand to Lavender.
Today, Lavender is grown commercially in Spain, France, Russia, Bulgaria and England - all the way down to Australia and New Zealand.
Lavender's popularity is no doubt bolstered by its innumerable therapeutic benefits, which include (but are not limited to) analgesic, anti-convulsive, anti-depressant, anti-phlogistic, antirheumatic, antseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, bactericide, carminative, cholagogue, cicatrisant, cordial, cytophylactic, decongestant, deodorant, and a diuretic.
As a healing agent, Lavender may be applied to topical wounds and burns. Known as a calming and relaxing scent used to induce sleep, it is used widely in personal care products such as bath oils, massage oils/balms, sleep pillows and more.
Lavender is also used extensively in perfumery - suprisingly, more often in men's fragrance than women's!