Updated: May 23, 2020
"Look deeper into nature and you will understand everything better" Albert Einstein
When is lavender not lavender?
When it is lavandin!
There are many types of lavender of which three main varieties are used in aromatherapy or perfumery.
Fine lavender, lavandin, and spike lavender. It is important to know the Latin name of each, not to be pretentious, but because it will guarantee that you are buying exactly what you want.
Furthermore, with possible side effects of lavandin and spike lavender, you want to be sure to avoid any related issues.
The best lavender is from Provence, although Bulgaria will argue that theirs is!
It's the environment and growing conditions that determines the best quality of lavender.
Lavandin is a hybrid of fine lavender and spike lavender, it's non GMO but a result of cross pollination.
One trick for telling the difference is the abundance of flowers on lavandin and it has more stalks, whereas fine lavender has fewer flowers on a single stalk, making it much fin-er (see what we did there?!) And spike lavender looks more like thistle than lavender
DID YOU KNOW?
There is more “Lavender oil” on the market than what is actually harvested?
Meaning much of the lavender “oil” that is being sold is adulterated and not real. An aromatherapist can tell the difference but can you?
Fine lavender or “true lavender” (Latin name Lavandula angustifolia) is the absolute best type to use for calming and relaxing aromatherapy blends. Some companies will entice their customers by saying that their lavender oil is therapeutic grade, but all essential oils are inherently therapeutic! The most important thing to note is that it is pure. Look for the extraction method in this blog here.
Fine lavender oil is one of the few oils that you can use neat. You can put it directly on the skin without any harmful side effects. It is safe to use on children (diluted). It is also anti-bacterial and antiseptic, so effective to use on pimples, insect bites or skin grazes.
Spike lavender otherwise known as lavande aspic (Latin name Lavandula latifolia) should never be used on children, pregnant women or people with epilepsy. It is very high in camphor. It is actually native to Portugal and Spain, not France.
Why use spike lavender instead of the other varieties? It is excellent to make salves for muscle aches (add 50 drops of spike lavender oil to the Healing Salve formula video here).
If you want an alternative to eucalyptus, spike lavender oil is also great for chest rubs to reduce congestion, use the same salve for this natural alternative to Vicks Vapour Rub.
Although high in camphor, it has less than rosemary or eucalyptus, with the benefit of giving you a nicer fragrance!
PLUS there is even more to spike lavender: CELL REJUVENATION. One of the most incredible qualities of spike lavender is its ability to speed up the regeneration process of new skin cells
A few weeks after my husband's neck operation he had an ugly scar and I made a blend that included this oil to reduce the scar tissue, 1 month later you could hardly see it
I will be sharing this powerful four-ingredient blend for Patrons on the Rose Gold tier, so if you wish you to become a Patron of Scent Skin Spa go to my Patreon page here
Lavandin (Latin name Lavandula hybrida or Lavandula x intermedia) is a hybrid of the 2 above; fine lavender and spike lavender.
It is much more abundant in flowers, making it a significantly cheaper essential oil.
It is high in camphor, much higher than in fine lavender, so you want to be careful exposing it to children, pregnant women, and people with epilepsy.
Why use Lavandin instead of lavender? Due to the high camphor content, Lavandin is great for treating muscle pain, making it ideal for creams, rubs and sprays. It is cheaper, so your wallet will thank you if you wish to include it in a scent burner in your home.
Lesson du jour: Know your Latin names and understand the safety of essential oils before you start incorporating them into your everyday life. Your safety depends on it.