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Uses of Lavender & Lavandin

Lavender originates from Mediterranean regions. The name comes from the Latin lavare – to wash (which is also the origin of the word ‘laundry’) and is indicative of its use in Roman times as a fragrance and insect repellent. The oil has also been prized for centuries for its antiseptic and healing properties. English lavender has always been recognised for its fine quality and in medieval times it was a favoured strewing herb for scattering on the floors of houses to mask other, less fragrant aromas!

At Castle Farm we have selected specific varieties for oil and flower drying – Lavandula angustifolia ‘Folgate’ (for colourful cut bunches and oil that has particular antiseptic properties), Lavandula angustifolia ‘Maillette’ (for the oil most prized for it’s fine fragrance) and Lavandula x intermedia ‘Grosso’ (for its powerful lavandin oil) – and we are working on a breeding programme to continually improve yield and quality.

LAVENDER or LAVANDIN. Which to use?

We take special care to distinguish between lavender and lavandin in our products because they have distinctly different characteristics and uses – which are important to know when you are buying or using them.

LAVENDER

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Lavendula angustafolia ‘Lavender’ variety

– Relaxing  – Soothing  – Sleep-inducing

Extracted from Lavandula angustifolia ‘Maillette’, our pure Kentish Lavender Oil is valued for its medicinal and soothing attributes as well as its fine fragrance. It has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, can act as a mild anaesthetic and has traditionally been associated with remedies for soothing headaches and tension and reducing stress. It is in high demand for use in aromatherapy, perfumery, skincare products and pharmaceuticals.

  • Relax with a few drops in the bath or on a pillow.
  • Massage gently into the forehead to help soothe headaches and reduce travel sickness.
  • Use (with a base oil) in aromatherapy massages to help relieve muscular tension and painful joints or to induce relaxation.
  • Massages with lavender oil can be especially helpful to both patients and carers in cases of illness or dementia.
  • Put in an oil burner to purify the air – the volatile oils are highly effective at controlling airborne bacteria.
  • Use as a traditional remedy for burns and sunburn.
  • The anti-inflammatory, anti-itching and mild anaesthetic properties are useful in treating stings.
  • Put a few drops on pets’ bedding to calm them, especially during transport.
  • Lavender heads can be combined with wheat grains to make ‘lavender warmers’ – small pillows or wraps that can be heated and are popular for helping to ease aching joints or muscles. The wheat retains the heat while the lavender gives off its soothing aroma.
  • Ideal for sleep pillows and for culinary use and calming herbal teas

LAVANDIN

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Lavandula x intermedia ‘Lavandin’ variety

– Envigorating – Penetrating – Energising

Extracted from Lavandula x intermedia ‘Grosso’, a high-yielding variety, Kentish Lavandin Oil has a different chemical profile with about 10–12% camphor. This gives it a powerful uplifting scent so it can therefore act as a mild stimulant. Therapeutically it can be an aid to breathing – helping to clear a blocked nose – and the camphor also makes it an effective moth and mosquito repellent. Its uses are therefore in outdoor candles, general household products, hand-soaps, room and linen sprays, and therapies for easing breathing or tired, aching muscles. It is NOT appropriate for a relaxing bedtime bath!

  • Inhale a few drops on a handkerchief to help clear a stuffy nose, dispel sleepiness or aid concentration.
  • Massage (with a base oil) into aching, tired muscles.
  • Add to washing powder to scent clothes or bed linen and to help repel moths.
  • Deter flies by painting around the edge of window glass.
  • Rub into wrists and ankles as a mosquito repellent.
  • Use on pets’ bedding or in grooming routines to deter mites and fleas.
  • Add to candles at summer barbecues.
  • Use to revitalise potpourri or room scents.
  • Use to flavour chocolate.
  • The best choice for ‘lavender’ bags for scenting linen.

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