Latin Name: Lavandula angustifolia syn. Lavandula officinale.
Plant Family: Lamiaceae
Other Names: Alhucema, English Lavender, Garden Lavender, Lavanda, Lavande, Lavande Anglaise, Lavande Commune, Lavande du Jardin, Ostokhoddous & True Lavender.
Description: The angustifolia variety of lavender is a semi-woody perennial herb native to France and the western Mediterranean area, which is now cultivated in many regions of the world. The plants grow up to 1.2 metres in height with a spread of up to 1 metre. The leaves are simple, entire, oblong-lanceolate and 2-6cm in length, glaucous green in colour and grow in whorls at intervals on the square stems. The hermaphrodite inflorescences are composed of many 2-lipped flowers which form terminal spikes 2-8cm in length on top of stems; the flowers are bluish-violet to pale lilac in colour.
Brief History: In medieval times herbalists used lavender to prevent head lice and as a repellent, the flowers were tied into small bundles and placed into pillows or linens to make them smell pleasant and keep bugs and pests away. The Elizabethans used lavender for sweetening washing water and disguising foul smells. During the Black Death (Plague) in 1665, lavender was hung in bunches, so its fragrance would mask the smell of death and decay. Culpeper in the 17th century recommended consumption of the distilled water of lavender be taken by people who had lost their voices.
The dried flowers can be added to pot pourri, sleep pillows and scented sachets; they can also be added to herbal tisanes and infusions. Whole flowers can be used to flavour cakes, biscuits and desserts, a decoction of the flowers can be added to lotions and creams for the skin, and shampoos for the hair. An infusion can be added to washing water for floors and surfaces; it can also be used as a fragrant rinse for the hair. Lavender flowers can also be added to bath tea blends, facial scrubs, soaps, face masks, foot powders and bath salts.
Shelf life of two years provided that goods are stored in an airtight container in ambient conditions.
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