Hello Spring Equinox and hello friends. What a beautiful day in our area to welcome the arrival of spring again. With spring being with us, we wanted to take this season to learn about herbs we use in our products along with herbs we use around our home.
The first herb we want to introduce or revisit with you is, Lavandula. Lavandula has a long history with 45 different species and over 450 varieties. Lavandula also belongs to the Lamiaceae family which is the mint family. Many species are native to Eastern Europe, northern Africa, the Mediterranean, and western Asia. They prefer mountainous regions and grow as a shrub. The different species have different benefits and uses that span from medicinal, culinary, and cosmetic.
The first variety we would like to share with you is, Lavandula latifolia. This variety is also knowns as broadleaved lavender, spike lavender, or Portuguese lavender. We use this in our Mother's Kiss salve. This lavender is found in the mountainous regions of France and Spain. The soil they prefer is alluvial based soil. Alluvium is a loose clay, silt, sand, or gravel. It is usually found where water has been like stream bed, on a floodplain, beaches, etc.
The visual difference of this variety from the common lavender is the compact bracts of the inflorescense. The bracts are narrower while the leave are broader. The shape is more spatula shape. The flowers provides three times as much essential oils than other varieties. This essential oil has been labeled Spike oil in past but now you will find it under the name of Spike Lavender from companies like Mountain Rose Herbs. The fragrance is not as strong as common Lavender and comes across with a spicy almost as if it is a mix between the floral scent of lavender with a hint of rosemary.
Even though the fragrance is not what we typical experience with common Lavender, the medicinal properties are similiar. This variety has anti-inflammatory, sedative and antispasmodic, astringent, and antibacterial. Using this variety in our Mother's Kiss Salve aids in soothing the pain from the injury while protecting and aiding in healing.
As a gift, attached is a materia medica card to print out to aid you in your study of this plant.
Boettinge, J. L. (2005). Alluvium. Alluvium - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics. Retrieved
March 20, 2022, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-
Enrich, M., & Editorial. (2022, February 6). Lavender properties. Botanical online. Retrieved
March 20, 2022, from https://www.botanical-online.com/en/medicinal-plants/lavender
Grieve, M. (1971). Lavenders. In A modern herbal (pp. 467–475). essay, Dover Pub. Co.