It has one of the most recognisable fragrances. Its purple in colour is also famous.
However, did you know that Lavender comes in other colours? In addition to the purple varieties we are most familiar with, some lavender varieties have pink and even yellow flowers.
The use of Lavender goes back as far as Ancient Egypt where Lavender was used during the mummification process (Egyptians equated a pleasant smell with holiness). Later, during the 16th century, it was used to perfume linen and rooms.
The name that we know came later and is derived from the Latin “lavare”, which means to wash. This is because both the Romans and Greeks used to add it to their baths to perfume the water.
And if Bees love honey, then that’s got to say something about the plant! A study published in Functional Ecology (the journal of the British Ecological Society) found that an average of 90% of flying visits to the flower was from Bees.
Lavender is used in essential oils, perfumes and aromatherapy.
It is also popular with natural medicine and we start to see it being used more and more in the kitchen, as a way to give a fragrant flavour to dishes.
Lavender has many benefits. It can soothe muscle pain; has an invigorating and stress-reducing effect on the mind; promotes good sleep, and it is also a great insect repellent.
Lavender is perfect for the body as it has antibacterial and antiviral qualities that can boost immunity.
Finally, it would be wrong of me – being called a girl from the south of France – if I didn’t mention that Lavender is the symbol of Provence.
Maybe that’s why the South of France is très relaxing?!
Maya xSharon McCutcheon