This famous plant is known for its calming properties and its pleasant Provençal scent.
Lavender, a plant that has well-known calming benefits and a very characteristic taste.
Origins of lavander
This plant has existed for thousands of years. It is said that it originated in Persia. In the 1st century, Pliny, known as "Pliny the Elder" (naturalist, writer and author of the very impressive encyclopedia "Natural History") and Dioscorides (doctor and botanist) mentioned several species of Lavender in their works. They allow us to get to know Lavender "Aspic" and Lavender "Stoechas". These varieties are classified as precious plants by both men.
The word "Lavender" seems to date from the Middle Ages. The plant was named after its perfuming and washing power. "Lavender" comes from the Latin word "Lavandaria" meaning laundry to be washed. This plant was very quickly used by the Egyptian, Greek and Roman people for these purposes: laundry care, bath perfume, etc.
Around 1370, the cultivation of Lavender extended to France and particularly to Burgundy. Lavender is cultivated in the form of "medicinal plant gardens" in this region so that apothecaries can use it as an aromatic herb.
Nowadays, Lavender cultivation is less important in Provence. Indeed, the development of mechanical cutting has led to the displacement of Lavender crops. We are witnessing the emergence of new areas where the plant is grown in France: in the Rhône Valley, in the Ardèche, in the Gard, etc.
Characteristics of lavander
Name: Lavandula angustifolia
Species: Perennial sub-shrub
Lavender is a perennial sub-shrub from 20 to 60 cm high, abundant on the limestone slopes of the Midi mountains in France, between 400 and 2,000 meters above sea level. It is also found in Spain, Croatia and Algeria.
There are several species of Lavender. It should be noted that broad-leaved Lavender, also called " Lavender Aspic ", is higher than common Lavender. It grows in arid places throughout the South but at an altitude of less than 600 metres. Its branched stems carry opposite branches and fairly large leaves to the top. The smell of its flowers is clearly camphorated, stronger and less pleasant than at its altitude cousin. An essential oil rarely marketed is extracted from it.
Stoechade Lavender, another variety of Lavender, grows throughout the Mediterranean basin. Named after the islands of Hyères, the Stoechades, it is only found on the siliceous slopes, not far from the coast. Its appearance is intriguing: its stems are densely covered with narrow whitish leaves and are topped with ears of small, dark purple flowers. They are topped by a bouquet of large, cheerfully purplish bracts. It is said that its essential oil is sovereign against serous ear infections.
Uses of lavander
Lavender is a plant that can be used in many forms. It is of course used to perfume, thanks to its strong and pleasant Provençal scent. So you can perfume your linen, your house but also your dishes with Lavender (and especially desserts and syrups!)
Lavender is consumed as an infusion, its aromatic taste combined with notable beneficial properties, perfectly justify this type of use. You can also make Lavender wine, by letting the plant macerate for a fortnight in a litre of red wine.
Of course, Lavender oil and essential oil are also produced. Lavender oil, for example, is recommended for pain relief or simply used on the skin as a perfume. Simply macerate the Lavender flowers in a litre of Olive Oil in the sun for three days to obtain a beautiful Lavender oil.
Benefits of lavander
Lavender has many benefits. It is known in particular for its ability to soothe migraines and provide restorative sleep (it is said to require placing a sachet of Lavender under the pillow before bedtime) but it also visibly helps to fight against insect bites and even viper bites!
Lavender is well known for its calming properties. Stimulating and aromatic, Lavender is said to promote digestion. It is also recommended in case of coughs.