LAVENDER

Lavandula spp. 

Part/s Used:  Flowers 
Energetics:  Warming (internal), cooling (external), bitter, pungent, astringent, mildly sour
Actions: Nervine, analgesic, anti bacterial, anti fungal, anti-inflammatory carminative, vulnerary 
Constituents: Flavonoids, linalool, eucalyptol, limonene, tannins

Medicinal Preparations:

Tincture: 1:3-1:4                   Dry (ratio & % alcohol):  1:5 60% or 1:6 60%
Drops: 10-30                         Times a day: 3x
Glycerite:  Fresh 1:3             Glycerin: 50%   Alcohol: 50%  
Dry plant ratio: 1:7               Glycerin: 40%   Alcohol: 30%    Water: 30%

Drops: 5-30                           Times a day: up to 3x

Tea: Hot infusion                  Ounces: 2-8           Times a day: 4x
Lavender spirits: 1:10         1 part essential oil to 10 parts 95% alcohol          Drops: 1-3
 

Habitat: 

Lavender is a shrubby plant indigenous to the Mediterranean coasts and grows best in mild coastal climates in full sun.  It thrives in well-drained soil, and only needs an occasional deep watering

Medicinal Uses: 

Lavender is a beautiful aromatic herb used for its medicinal, culinary and cosmetic properties.  Lavender is a gentle nervine that is both calming and uplifting.  Used to ease tension, stress, anxiety, irritability and insomnia.  Its regenerative effects on the nervous system can be helpful in menstrual imbalances.

Lavender is an effective anti-bacterial, antifungal and antiseptic and useful for treating a host of infections such as staph, strep, colds and flus.  A lavender steam is a gentle expectorant and disinfectant.

A mild smooth muscle anti-spasmodic and carminative for the upper and lower digestive system.  Use for uterine cramping and gas.  You can treat by consuming internally or externally with poultices or compress. 

Harvesting:

The flowers should be gathered just before opening between June and September.  Cut as long of a stem as possible but leaving most of the leaves and the stem in place.  This will prune the shrub for continued optimal growth.  Bundle together (about ¾” bundles) with twine and hang upside down in a dark, well ventilated area until dry (2-4 weeks depending on humidity). 

Projects:

Herbal oil, dream pillows, wreaths, vinegar, salve, baking, bath salts. lemonade, tea, cocktails, bitters

Contraindications: 

Avoid in large amounts during pregnancy.  Lavender essential oil can vary in its medicinal properties by species.  L. stoechas and L. spike external use only.  Dilute with a carrier oil when using topically.  Can cause headaches in nausea if sensitive to the aromatic qualities.  In some rare cases can cause contact dermatitis.   

 

Sources:
A Modern Herbal, by Mrs. M. Grieve.
Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West  by Michael Moore. 
Northwest School for Botanical Studies by Christa Sinadinos.