Famed for its medical and aromatic virtues, Lavandula still enchants us today with its crisp, floral scent.
The History of Lavender
Believed to hail from the Mediterranean, Middle East, and India, lavender has been admired and appreciated by numerous cultures. The ancient Egyptians used lavender for mummification and the Romans used it to scent their bathhouses. The English name lavender comes from the Old French lavandre, which comes from the Latin lavare (to wash).
Lavender for Love
It’s said that Cleopatra used lavender to seduce Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony. While this may sound far-fetched, there is evidence that suggests lavender is an effective aphrodisiac.
The Magical and Medicinal Power of Lavender
Lavender has strong anti-bacterial properties, but historical records show that lavender was once believed to have almost magical properties. It was hung above doors to ward off evil spirits, included in posies and nosegays to ward off the plague, and glovemakers in the 16th century perfumed their wares to prevent cholera.
Modern Uses for Lavender
While the miraculous power of lavender sound too good to be true, there are many evidence-based uses that hold up to scrutiny.
Insomnia and Anxiety
If you’ve ever used lavender pillow spray for a good night’s sleep, you’re on the right track. A study from 2014 suggested that breathing in a lavender aroma could improve sleep quality and research from 2015 shows that people who used lavender aromatherapy felt more refreshed upon waking up.
Headaches and Migraines
Lavender has been proven to help soothe migraine and headaches, as shown in a 2016 study where people received three months of lavender therapy. In another 2012 study, testers inhaled lavender essential oil for 15 minutes and experienced less severe and frequent headaches.
Lavender: The Ultimate Home Fragrance?
One of the most effective ways to enjoy lavender is with a lavender scented candle. While a pillow spray or lavender sleep bag is great for sleep, the scent is only concentrated on your pillow and dissipates quickly.
Lavender candles do more than just waft a soothing scent around your space—they offer an ambient cozy glow and last for hours and hours. If you’re looking for lavender candles with excellent scent throw but don’t overwhelm, look for plant-based wax candles, like a scented soy candle.
Soy candles or soy wax blends have excellent burn times and don’t overpower with headache-inducing scents. Other options include coconut wax and palm wax. These waxes are all biodegradable, so you can burn your favorite candle without damaging the environment.
The best lavender candles contain lavender essential oil, so make sure to read the label!
If you’re afraid of being bored by lavender but want the benefits, opt for a blend of lavender instead. Lavender vanilla candles are floral, warm, and rich, while lemon lavender candles are clean and bright.
Lavender and eucalyptus is also an excellent combo, for a cooling, soothing scent. There’s a lavender candle for every mood, so don’t be afraid to experiment with your relaxation routine.