For centuries lavender has been distilled for its oil and used in perfumes, cosmetic products, aromatherapy, ointments and tinctures,and in food processing. The ancient egyptians used this treasured herb in their mummification processes and constructed stills to extract the essential oil. The Romans routinely used lavender in perfumed oils, for bathing, for cooking and to freshen the air. Even though there have been 2500 years of recorded use, it is unsure where the plant originated from. History does show that lavender has been cultivated and grown wild in France, Spain and Italy since 600 bc. Lavender’s first recorded arrival to North America was brought by the pilgrims in 1600s, this is about the time that lavender was introduced to England on a commercial level. Over the centuries lavender has been used therapeutically in soothing baths and washes, it has been used as a calming agent, and inhaled to relieve headaches and dizziness. Lavender’s herbal lore has been validated by modern medicine – its oil has chemical compounds that have been shown to be a natural antiseptic and is effective in fighting against hyperactivity, and insomnia.
Today, lavender remains among the most versatile herbs, you can find it in candles, herb pillows, diffusers, flower wands, bouquets, sachets, soaps, wreaths, incense and potpourris. The essential oil continues to be used in perfumes, tinctures, bath oils and shampoos. We use the flower in aromatic vinegars, marinades, herb blends, it is used as a flavor to conserves, liqueurs, jellies, ice cream and desserts.