AKA Lavender, Nardus , Xun Yi Cao
Family | Lamiaceae (Mint Family)
Where it grows | All over the world! It is native to the Mediterranean. It likes dry and well drained soils that have full sunshine!
Herbal Actions | Antibacterial, Sedating, Antidepressant, Analgesic, Antiseptic, Expectorant, Vulernary, Carminative, Anti-inflammatory, Insecticide, Antispasmodic
Body Systems | Lungs, Skin, Nerves, Digestion
Parts Used | Flowers
Energetics |Bitter, drying and cooling
Medicinal Uses |
***Nervous system: Headaches, anxiety, emotional distress, confusion, anger, mood swings, stress, tension, worry etc.
Musculoskeletal system: arthritis, rheumatism, muscular aches and pains
Skin care: Dermatitis, Eczema, burns, wound healing, dry skin, acne etc.
Digestive: Great for gas, irritable bowel syndrome and nausea
Contraindications | Lavender essential oil can cause contact dermatitis in some people. Internal use of lavender essential oil can cause GI symptoms.
Preparation Methods | Tea (a little goes along way), Tincture, Essential Oil (most commonly used), Salve (great for the skin)
Dosing Guidelines |
Standard infusion: 4-8 ounces 1-4 times daily (Easley, 2016f).
Tincture: Dried flower and leaf (1:5, 75% alcohol, 10% glycerin) 1-3 ml (0.2 – 0.6 tsp.) 3 times daily (Easley, 2016f).
Essential oil: Use in baths with Epsom salts for stress, nervousness, depression, and anxiety. Blend in fixed oil for massage to relieve stress. Apply neat for burns and skin irritation (Easley, 2016f).
Aromatherapy: 3 drops lavender extract on cloth near face, breathed for upwards of 20 minutes.
Internal use: 80-160 mg of encapsulated lavender essential oil once per day.
Jewish take on it | Lavender is one of the herbs mentioned in the Talmud when giving examples of plants that require the following bracha, or prayer: "Anemones and lavender require the blessing "...who created fragrant trees." (Berachot 8:6)." It seems that our sages were familiar with the enchanting scent of lavender and used it, along with anemones, as an example of the prayer above! It’s the quintessential aroma plant.
Lavender is also mentioned in the Song of Solomon to describe the beauty of the lover…
Dear lover and friend, you're a secret garden, a private and pure fountain. Body and soul, you are paradise, a whole orchard of succulent fruits - Ripe apricots and peaches, oranges and pears; Nut trees and cinnamon, and all scented woods. Mint and lavender, and all herbs aromatic; A garden fountain, sparkling and splashing, fed by spring waters from the Lebanon mountains….
(Song of Songs, Chapter 4)
Maimonides was known to prescribe lavender as one of the herbs in his anti anxiety herbal formulas. According to the Practical Materia Medica of the Medieval Eastern Mediterranean according to the Cairo Genizah, “Maimonides states that lavender flowers are a component of in medications to lengthen life, to strengthen the heart and to treat asthma. The plant was a widespread drug…”
Herbal Therapy and Supplementsby Merrily A. Kuhn and David Winston
The Earthwise Herbal by Matthew Wood