Mention the region ‘Provence’ and it’s hard not to think of rolling fields of fragrant lavender, their light purple buds reaching for the sky against a sundrenched backdrop dotted with rustic maison de campange. Throw in a perfectly crusty yet doughy baguette with a wedge of slightly soft Brie and the picture is complete.
Ah, but we digress.
Besides conjuring delightful images (and arousing the desperate need for a holiday!), our lavender oil, sourced from the fields of Provence in France, has a plethora of health and beauty benefits. Lavender has natural soothing, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, healing and stimulating properties.
A LITTLE HISTORY
Lavender has been used for health and beauty purposes for many centuries. Over 2,000 years ago, the ancient Egyptians, Phoenicians and Arabs appear to have used lavender during the mummification process, as well as using it as a perfume.
It’s thought that lavender was introduced into southern Europe from Arabia, then spread further afield by the Greeks and Romans.
The Romans used lavender as both a perfume and to scent their bathwaters. In fact, the name ‘lavender’ is thought to have come from the Latin word ‘lavare’, meaning ‘to wash’. It was also during the Roman time that the first indications of lavender being used as an antiseptic and healing aid were noted.
The antiseptic and antibacterial properties of lavender were relied upon during the 17th Century when the Great Plaque swept throughout England. Lavender oil and bunches of the dried herb were sold at a premium price and were used to help protect against the disease.
In modern times, the benefits of lavender have been more widely researched. It’s been shown to be a naturally powerful essential oil that can soothe and heal, as well as fight bacteria and inflammation.
The essential oil from the lavender flower is extracted by steam distillation. The fragrance is floral yet herbaceous with a slight balsamic note. It’s mostly celebrated among aromatherapists due to its calming properties. Lavender oil is said to help relieve headaches, soothe muscle pain, calm the nerves and act as a sedative for a restful nights sleep.
Lavender oil is also a powerful skincare partner, due to its natural soothing, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and stimulating properties.
When applied to the skin, it can help to soothe and calm signs of irritation. For those with acne-prone skin, a drop of lavender oil applied neat onto the skin can help to combat bacteria and calm the inflammation for clearer looking skin. It’s also said to help ‘normalise’ any skin type and helps stimulate surface skin cell renewal.
Lavender oil is one of the skin-loving ingredients in our Explorer Blend Facial Oil, available now!