University lecturer, Dr. Christos Hasiotis, talked about lavender production at the November IWOG meeting. He has travelled in France and more specifically to Grasse, the perfume centre of France, to learn about lavender cultivation. Over the past six years, he has developed a new strain of high-yield lavender plants called Etherio. Dr. Hasiotis creates a number of lavender products from only the sweet flowers of this plant at his own distillery.
Lavender plants have been in documented use since ancient times, said to have been taken from the Garden of Eden by Adam and Eve. It is known primarily for its soothing and curative properties in cream or lotion form and for repelling insects. Dr. Hasiotis' products include Essential Oil of Lavender, Lavender Water (distilled) and Lavender Massage Oil as well as Lavender-filled sachets and dried plants. There are dozens of uses for lavender in a variety of forms. In the following paragraphs, I have summarized some of the uses for lavender products that were discussed in the talk.
Use 6-8 drops of essential lavender oil in bath after running the bath water. Stir up the water a bit before bathing. It is important to remember not to add the oil to the running water as the lavender will evaporate. Remember to drink at least 2 cups of (regular) water before bathing to be well-hydrated.
After washing hair, add 5 drops of essential oil of lavender to a cup of water and tip over head. Stand over running water and allow oil to rinse off. You can also use the scented water as a hand rinse.
Add 10 drops of essential lavender oil to a few tablespoons of WARM water to the top of a standard burner and light a tea candle in the bottom area to gently warm the oil and release the scent.
Add 5 drops of essential lavender oil per 10 ml of vegetable oil for a soothing, aromatherapy massage oil. Use only 1-2 drops for children or the elderly.
Sinusitis and Cold Remedy
Use 1-3 drops of oil in hot water and inhale immediately to clear sinuses and relieve cold symptoms.
Add 4-6 drops of essential lavender oil to a bowl of hot (not boiling) water. Lean over, about 10 centimeters away, and inhale deeply.
Hand and Foot Bath
Add 4-6 drops of essential lavender oil in large bowl of hot water. Soak hands and/or feet for 10 minutes.
Lavender Compress (for headaches, muscle aches, and to relieve stress)
Add 6-8 drops of essential lavender oil in a bowl of warm water, or cold water for mucsle injuries or sprains.
These are just a few of the many uses for lavender that were discussed in the presentation and interesting discussion. It was also noted that lavender can be used for depression, burns, sleep and relaxation, healing skin ailments (with camomile oil for eczema). It can also be used in the laundry and as a household cleaning agent in place of chemical detergents.