Cool Facts about Lavender

  • The word  ‘lavender’ originates from the latin verb ‘lavare’ which means to wash.
  • Lavender is renowned for its fragrance and beauty. It also has numerous medicinal, culinary and other uses.
  • The scent of lavender deters mice, flies, mosquitoes and other pests because they do not like the camphorous smell. Some varieties of lavender such as grosso, contain more camphorous elements than others.
  • On a spitiual level, lavender flowers represent purity, silence, devotion, serenity, grace, and calmness. Sprigs of Lavender were traditionally hung above door to deter evil spirits.

Plant Facts

  • Lavender plants are native to the Mediterranean region in Europe, the Middle East and India.
  • Lavender is a member of the Lamiaceae or mint family and is classed as a  flowering perennial shrub.
  • Lavender has over 40 known species and numerous cultivars. These are grown worldwide.
  • Lavender flowers come in many different hues of purple and blues. There are also some cultivars with pink or white flowers. And there are some cultivars with greenish yellow flowers.

Historical Uses 

  • The Romans used lavender oil to wash their clothes and their bodies, to  flavour their food, and in perfumes. Roman soldiers used lavender oil to clean wounds and reducte infection.
  • Egyptians used lavender oil for perfume and to embalm bodies because it helped to preserve the vital organs and made them smell sweet .
  • During the Great Plague in 17C London, people attached lavender bunches to their clothes to protect them from sickness.
  • Grave-robbers washed in Four Thieves Vinegar which contained lavender and other medicinal herbs. This helped prevent disease from transferring from dead bodies to the grave robbers. .
  • French glove makers in 16C France perfumed gloves with lavender because this helped to resist cholera.
  • Royalty loves lavender: Elizabeth I ate lavender conserve, and asked to be supplied with fresh lavender flowers every day. Charles VI of France demanded lavender-filled pillows when he travelled.  Louis XIV bathed in lavender water. Queen Victoria used lavender as a disinfectant, perfume and polish.