Many of PHYTO5’s energetic skincare products in our seasonal Summer Fire element line contain lavender essential oil. It makes sense since lavender is a cooling agent and the very thought of Summer calls for cooling.
A Fire element imbalance according to traditional Chinese medicine tends to manifest as irritated, sensitive, blotchy, allergic skin, couperose, and issues of red blood (arterial) circulation, all of which denote fiery and hot.
Though we may immediately think of lavender as a flower, it isn't. Lavender is actually an herb and an evergreen shrub belonging to the mint family. Its origins are India, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean area but “it grows wild in the chalky dry ravines of the French Sea Alps,” according to Sharon Shipley, author of The Lavender Cookbook.
Only the buds contain the essential oil of lavender. Lavender essential oil is considered to be one of the most versatile of essential oils and very relaxing. It can be applied topically, most especially in careful skincare product formulations such as those produced by PHYTO5, and it can also be ingested in food and beverages with great health benefits.
In French, the word for washing or cleansing is ‘laver.’ We can readily see ‘laver’ as the root of the word, ‘lavender.’ The Romans used lavender in their baths. They also used it in their beds, clothing, and hair for freshening purposes.
Lavender bears wonderful soothing properties of all sorts. There are a whole host of ways to reap the benefits of using lavender, but here are just a few:
- In skincare, high-grade lavender essential oil is used by discriminating manufacturers like PHYTO5 for cleansing and soothing irritated, burned, sensitive, allergic skin.
- In medicine, soothe burns and wounds, insect bites, burns, cuts, and inflammatory conditions such as acne with lavender.
- Also in medicine, use lavender for assistance with indigestion, heartburn, migraine headaches, motion sickness, insomnia, nervousness, anxiety, depression, fatigue and an over-active mind. (For the latter four, apply lavender essential oil to the temples and back of the neck.)
- In cuisine, lavender is found in the beautiful Herbes de Provence herb mixture which connotes the sunny South of France in gourmet food preparation, not to mention the digestive benefit derived from consuming lavender. The flavor of lavender is, of course, floral and elegant, but it can also bear a touch of sweetness, depending on the type and grade of dried lavender you use. Lavender lemonade is a Summertime favorite. Gourmands sprinkle dried blooms on desserts and infuse ice cream, cakes, and cookies with lavender buds. There are entire cookbooks written based on the use of lavender in cooking and baking. Best results in cooking come from using dried culinary ‘Provence’ lavender buds since “other varieties can taste perfumey, bitter, and medicinal,” according to Shipley.
- In the home or office, some people love to aromatize desk and dresser drawers and storage boxes with dried lavender sachets.
- For celebrations, lavender is a powerful aromatic addition to spectacular floral arrangements sure to uplift anyone’s spirit. Lavender springs in mason jars as Summer celebration centerpieces are a work of simple beauty.
- For emotional support, lavender is considered to be an analog for Mother. When you’re feeling lonely or in despair, and Mother is nowhere near, let lavender fragrance can come to your rescue.
- Just for fun, make a lavender wreath, jazz up your Summer beverages with a single lavender stem as a stirrer, learn how to make lavender soap or sachets, find a great Lavender Lemonade recipe. HelloGlow.cohas a wonderful lavender soda recipe to follow that’s just right for hot Summer nights.
Shipley, Sharon.The Lavender Cookbook. Philadelphia: Running Press, 2004. Print