Well, this is my first blog ever and it is only right that I start with lavender. Lavender is native to the mediterranean region but is now grown in many geographical locations around the world. I have read that it is originally from the hills of Turkey. It has been found in literature since literature began and we can easily imagine it existing in cooking, healing and for its wonderful fragrance for centuries before we started writing about it. Our name for this herb dates back to Roman times. Lavare in Latin means "to wash". This suggests that lavender has long been used as a way to disinfect and freshen our body and our clothes.
Lavender is often referred to as the "Swiss Army Knife" of essential oils. Although it is most often referred to as a treatment for burns and insomnia it is also effective in a myriad of other situations. I use the oil for insect bites and stings (most often from bees). The last time I was stung by a bee in the field it was in a knuckle of my hand. You may know that stings in the knuckles are often the most painful and long lasting. I grabbed some fresh lavender flowers from a bush at hand and rubbed them onto the sting site. Later when I went back into the barn I remembered to put some essential oil on it as well although I was not suffering from it. That was the last I ever had to deal with the sting. No swelling, no pain, no soreness and no stiffness in the joint. Amazing.
We cut our lavender with hand scythes. These are really sharp and I have cut myself with them many times. The first thing I do, no matter what the severity of a cut, is pour lavender essential oil right into it. It keeps the wound from infection and is said to reduce scarring. I never have that control cut to compare it to in order to confirm this but in truth I don't have terrible scars. ( I don't really care about scars but some of you may). The one on my wrist that went to the bone is now just a white line. No stitches...just lavender oil and a bandage. Unlike many commercial wound remedies lavender does not harm healthy tissue but just kills the germs leading to infection.
Lavender is a jewel at clearing up blemishes. Although I have a product I call Blemish Blend with has another essential oil in it, lavender does a darn good job on its own. My second son was having some minor skin issues in his teen years but once he started using lavender before bed that was the end of it. In his late 20's he still keeps lavender and Blemish Blend on hand.
Lavender is famous as a remedy for insomnia. This is because lavender relieves tension. This is a physiological effect not psychological. After getting into my car people will often say "Wow, you must be sleepy all the time!" No, no no! It doesn't make you sleepy.. it relieves tension. Tension is what causes most of us to have trouble sleeping. (More on that in my sleep series...stand by).
I am going to close for now but I will be back many times to tell you more about this essential essential oil. Once you have this in your quiver of remedies you will never be without it.