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INTRODUCTION

Activities:

Anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, anticolic, antispasmodic, antidepressant, sedative1,2

Important Chemical Components:

Tannins, coumarins (e.g., coumarin, umbelliferone), flavonoids (e.g., luteolin), triterpenes (e.g., ursolic acid), essential oil (i.e., linalyl acetate, linalool, 1,8-cineole, β-ocimene, limonene, lavandulyl acetate, terpinen-4-ol, borneol, β-caryophyllene, camphor, carvacrol, nerolidol, fenchone, perillyl alcohol)3–8

Origin Classification:

This ingredient is natural. Many organic options exit.

Personal Care Category:

Soothing, sedating, anti-inflammatory, analgesic

Recommended for the following Baumann Skin Types:

DSNT, DSPT, DSNW, DSPW, OSNT, OSNW, OSPT, and OSPW

SOURCE

Widely cultivated in southern Europe, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia for its essential oil, Lavandula angustifolia, better known as lavender, is a fragrant, hardy perennial shrub belonging to the Labiatae (Lamiaceae), or mint, family.9,10 Native to the Mediterranean region, seeds of the shrub were transported to England and France through migration several hundred years ago. Many species of lavender have been used for therapeutic, cosmetic, culinary, and commercial purposes for much longer, on the order of thousands of years. L. angustifolia, also known as English lavender, or true lavender, is a commercially important species in the lucrative perfume industry. Though all 28 lavender species are believed to impart some therapeutic benefits to varying degrees, L. angustifolia (previously known as L. officinalis) is the species included most often in medicinal formulations and is known to exhibit anti-inflammatory qualities.6 L. latifolia, L. stoechas (known as French lavender in Europe and Spanish lavender in the United States),2 and L. intermedia (a sterile hybrid of L. angustifolia and L. latifolia and also known as lavandin) are also popular for cosmetic and therapeutic uses.2,7,11,12 Topical application of lavender essential oil, extracted by steam distillation from the freshly cut aerial parts of the plant, is thought to alleviate the discomfort characteristic of rheumatism.6 Indeed, traditional uses of lavender oil include relaxation, wound healing, and improving circulation to the skin.4,9

HISTORY

Lavender was used in ancient societies for perfumery as well as medical purposes (Table 73-1). Derived from the Latin word lavare (“to wash”), the plant was named for its practical antiseptic and disinfectant applications in ancient Arabia, Greece, and Rome.9,10 Lavender blossoms, believed to be from L. stoechas, were used by ancient Greeks and Romans to scent bath water, bathe wounds, and prevent infections at communal baths. Its activity as an antiseptic formed the foundation of its earliest traditional uses.13 Lavender oil was used in ancient Egypt in the mummification process.9,10 In Iranian medicine, L. angustifolia has been used for several centuries to treat inflammatory conditions, with its roots dating back to ancient Persia when the herb (ostokhoddous in Persian) was cited by the physician/polymaths Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi (Latinized as Rhazes or Rasis) in his Continens circa 900 CE and, about 100 years later, Ibn Sina (Latinized as Avicenna) in his The Canon of ...

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