Lavender: botanical image of the lavender plant


Lavandula angustifolia

Family: Laminaceae

Bio-Live: Lavender is a key herb in Bio-Live Sleep.

Description: Highly aromatic perennial shrub 30-80cm, higher when in flower. Leaves sessile, opposites (2-6cm), oblong to linear. White and hairy when young and grey green as adult leaves. The flowers are borne in spikes 3-7cm long.

Habit and cultivation: Originally from the Western Mediterranean, Lavender is now grown world wide for its aromatic scented flowers. Often called English Lavender as the finest, high grade oil is produced in the cooler English climate, with longer hours of daylight. Now grown commercially in many countries. Grown from seed or from heeled cuttings. Prefers open sunny soil with lime. Improved by winter cold. Drought and frost resistant. The bulk of the flowers are used in the distillation of the volatile oil and harvested in August.

Actions (known for): Caminative, anti-depressant, anti-spasmodic, rubefaciet, emmenagogue, hypotensive, anti-rheumatic, choleretic and cholagogue.

History: Nardus was the name given to Lavender by the Greeks, from Naarda a city in Syria and commonly called Nard. Angustifolia is Latin for “narrow leaf”. Lavender derives from the Latin lavare to wash. Mentioned in the ‘Song of Solomon’ and used by the Romans to scent their baths, beds, clothes and hair. They were also responsible for the discovery of its medicinal properties. Lavender is a ‘cure-all’ to the French.

Parts used: Flowers.

Constituents (bio available chemicals): Volatile oil 0.5-1% containing linalyl acetate with linalool, lavandulyl acetate, borneol, camphor, limonene, cadinene, caryophyllene, 4-butanolide, 5-pentyl-5-pentanolide. Coumarins including Umbelliferone, herniarin and coumarin. Miscellaneous: triterpenes e.g. ursolic acid, flavoniods e.g. luteolin.

Indications: Colic, digestive weakness, headaches, stress, depression, menopausal symptoms, insomnia. Topically: The oil may be used as a stimulating liniment to ease the aches and pains of rheumatism.

Dosage: Liquid extract (1:2): 15-30ml per week. Infusion of dried herb: 1-2g.

Cautions for therapeutic doses: Topically can caused dermatitis.

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