Lavender fields are the first thing that come to one' s mind when you say you live in Provence. Indeed, it amazes me every year how those year-round grey fields turn violet in the beginning of June. Provence treasures lavender and there are numerous tourist shops and endless possibilities to buy everything 'lavender' in the area.
Lavandula (common name lavender) is a genus of 47 known species of flowering plants in the mint family. The most widely cultivated species, Lavandula angustifolia, is often referred to as lavender, and there is a color named for the shade of the flowers of this species. The lavandins, Lavandula × intermedia are a class of hybrids of L. angustifolia and L. latifolia. The lavandins are widely cultivated for commercial use, since their flowers tend to be bigger than those of English lavender and the plants tend to be easier to harvest.
How to (safely) use lavender essential oil
Lavender essential oil is a staple in my home as it is safe and can be also used with children. It is a powerful natural antioxidant, an antimicrobial and is highly effective against sunburns, dry skin, minor scrapes and cuts. Actually, it was lavender essential oil that Gattefosse instinctively covered his burned arm with, igniting a renewed interest in essential oils and inspiring the term aromatherapy. This essential oil is also very calming and is traditionally used to lower stress levels.
When choosing essential oils always chose the best quality possible. Essential oil should be pure and organically grown. Inhalation is a wonderful application technique for young children. For topical application, the bottom of the feet are the safest place to apply essential oils. Dilution of essential oils is especially important when applying them topically on children. To dilute, simply add a few drops of the essential oil into a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil. The ratios are: 1 tablespoon of carrier oil such as Almond, Jojoba, Olive, Avocado or Coconut Oil:
1-4 years: 1-3 drops
5-7 years: 2-4 drops
8-12 years: 3-7 drops
CAUTION: DO NOT use lavandin essential oil to substitute for lavender essential oil, they do not have the same healing properties!
Tips for using lavender essential oil
For a headache: apply 2 drops of lavender (mind the dilution ratios mentioned above)on your neck and forehead (adults can add 2 drops of mint essential oil).
For ear infections: apply 2 drops of lavender diluted in 1 tablespoon of carrier oil around ears.
For rashes: apply 2 drops of lavender (adults can add 2 drops of lemon essential oil) diluted in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.
For insomnia: diffuse lavender essential oil for 15 minutes before going to bed.
Lice prevention: 1 drop of lavender essential oil diluted in 1 teaspooon behind ears.