Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia or Lavandula officinalis) has been popular for its captivating fragrance since Roman times where it was used as a bath additive. In fact, the word lavender comes from the Latin word 'lavare' meaning 'to wash.' Over the centuries, it has been used in a variety of forms, including oil, distilled water, and alcohol solution. One species, Spike Lavender, is even an effective insect repellent. This form is also used in a combination to form Lavandin.
Lavender's medicinal value lies in the essential oil, customarily extracted from the flowers. Taken internally, Lavender has been found to stimulate the production and flow of bile. It also has a mildly sedating effect, and gets rid of gas. Used externally, it improves circulation and brings color to the skin. It has been used for the loss of appetite, insomnia, and nervousness. Still, the most popular use if as a soothing and delightful fragrance in aromatherapy as well as personal and body care.
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