Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Did you know lavender has medicinal properties? Lavender oil is often used to treat anxiety, depression, insomnia, stress, and even menstrual cramps. What else does it do? Find out below.

The name lavender comes from the Latin word Laurus meaning tree or laurel. This plant was named after the Greek god Apollo who was known for his beauty and wisdom. In ancient times, lavender was used to perfume clothing and hair. Today, lavender is grown commercially for its essential oils.

Lavender is a perennial herb native to Europe and Asia. The flowers are often dried or distilled into essential oils. In addition to being used for its fragrance, lavender oil is also known to relieve anxiety, depression, insomnia, and muscle spasms.

There are several varieties of lavender plants. They differ in color, size, shape, fragrance, and growth habits. Some types of lavender are annuals, while some are perennials. Annuals bloom once and then die off. Perennial lavenders live for years and produce flowers year-round. The most common type of lavender is L. angustifolia which produces a strong scent.

It grows best in full sun with well-drained soil. Lavender is easy to grow and maintain. It thrives in sunny locations with good drainage and moderate moisture. It does well in average garden soils but prefers rich, moist loam.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

How To Grow Lavender

1. Choose your location carefully. Lavender needs full sunlight but not direct sunlight. If you have shade, grow lavender in partial shade. You can also use a south-facing window sill as a growing area.

2. Plant lavender seeds when the weather is warm and dry. Seeds germinate best between 70°F and 90°F.

3. When planting, make sure that you don’t disturb the roots. Water thoroughly before planting so that they will be able to absorb water easily.

4. Keep weeds away by using a mulch such as straw or leaves.

5. Don’t fertilize lavender until spring because this encourages new growth.

6. Once established, lavender requires little maintenance. Prune back any dead stems and remove any suckers that appear.

7. Harvest lavender when the buds begin to open. Cut them just above the ground and place them in a vase filled with water.

8. Store dried lavender in an airtight container.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)


Lavender can be propagated by seed or cuttings. Seed should be planted at least 30 days prior to the last expected frost date. Sow seeds indoors in late winter or early spring. If temperatures remain below 50 degrees F during the cold period, cover the pots with clear plastic wrap. When the soil warms up, uncover the pots. Seeds germinate best if they receive 12 hours of light each day. Germination may take as long as three weeks. Keep plants watered regularly.

Cuttings should be rooted in peat moss or sand. Cuttings will root within seven to ten days. Plant cuttings 18 inches apart in full sun. Water frequently.

Chemical composition and Medicinal uses of Lavender

Lavender oil has been used for centuries to help relax and calm the mind. The main active ingredient in lavender oil is linalool, which helps reduce anxiety and stress. Linalool also acts as a sedative and hypnotic agent. Lavender oil may be useful for treating insomnia, depression, and nervousness.

Lavender oil has been used for centuries to treat anxiety, depression, insomnia, migraines, and stress. The chemical compounds found in lavender include linalool, linalyl acetate, camphor, cineole, alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, limonene, myrcene, terpinen-4-ol, trans-beta-ocimene, gamma-terpinene, piperitenone, citronellal, geraniol, neral, neryl formate, and menthol.

Lavender has been used for centuries to treat anxiety, depression, insomnia, migraines, stress, and other conditions. The oil from lavender contains linalool, which may help relieve pain and inflammation. Lavender also helps reduce tension headaches and muscle spasms. Lavender oil may also be helpful for relieving symptoms associated with menopause.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

How to use Lavender

  •  Use lavender to create scented sachets, potpourri, or room sprays.
  • Add lavender to bath salts, lotions, and creams.
  • Make lavender tea by steeping 1 tablespoon of dried lavender in hot water for 10 minutes.
  • Try lavender-infused honey! Simply add 2 tablespoons of dried lavender to 4 cups of honey and let sit overnight. Strain and bottle.
  • Add lavender to homemade laundry detergent.
  • Create lavender lip balm by mixing equal parts beeswax and shea butter with 1/4 cup of lavender buds. Melt together over low heat and pour into molds. Let cool completely.
  • Use lavender to make herbal teas. Steep 1 teaspoon of dried lavender in 8 ounces of boiling water for 5 minutes. Cover and steep for 15 more minutes. Remove the lavender and strain. Serve immediately.
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

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Happy Gardening!

Dr. Vandana K.