The benefits of lavender essential oil

The name Lavender (lavare) appeared in the Middle Ages, it means to clean or wash. This plant was known in ancient Greece and Rome, where it was popular with healers, noble people and ordinary people.

Lavender in Southern Europe has long been known as a healing, spicy plant. Previously, this plant in almost every home was used for medicinal purposes and as a useful and tasty spice.

Plant description

Lavender is a drought-resistant evergreen dwarf shrub of the Yasnotkovye family.

It is grown on alpine slides, rockeries, gardens, tubs on terraces, and pots on the window. Lavender bushes adorn the paths in the parks and gardens. In many countries it is grown on an industrial scale and used in medicine, cosmetology.

Lavender in the wild is found in the mountainous and hilly areas of Arabia, in the Mediterranean countries, on the Canary Islands, in India, in North and East Africa. Cultivated plant in the Kuban, Crimea, Central Asia, Moldova, Ukraine, North Africa, southern Europe.

Lavender, despite being an evergreen, has a rest period. At this time, the bush drops part of the foliage. The branches are replaced every 7-10 years or after a strong freezing. To increase the flowering for bushes annual pruning is done. If the bushes do not trim decorativeness is lost, since the lower part is exposed and the upper is drawn out.

Lavender bush grows to 30-100 centimeters, some varieties reach 2 meters. Stems branched, numerous. Leaves narrow, linear-blunt, wrapped edges. Color is gray-green or green.

The inflorescences are collected from above, intermittent, spike-like. Flowers blue-violet, white or pink, are collected in false rings of 6 – 10 pieces. Flowers bloom from June to August.

The fruits are dry, consist of 4 single-seeded dark brown nuts. 1 gram contains up to 1000 seeds.

After planting in the ground bloom in the second year. Collection of leaves and stems produced during flowering.

The collection of flowers is made from the end of June, when the fragrance of flowers is stronger.

Lavender in dried form is used in the kitchen in medicine, cosmetology. The leaves are used in the form of spices. Lavender has a bitter, spicy-tart taste and a pleasant, spicy flavor. Lavender is widely used on the Mediterranean coast (in Italy, Spain, Corsica, France).

When collecting flowers, flower shoots are cut and formed into bunches. They need to dry quickly. With dry twigs, you can easily collect flowers. Dried flowers, leaves and twigs are used as spice. As a seasoning, you can also use fresh cut foliage.

Types and varieties of lavender with photos

Lavender genus includes 47 species and 7 hybrid species of this plant. Only 28 species are cultivated, and only a few are distinguished by their beneficial properties.

In folk medicine, only a few species of this plant are used: broad-leaved lavender, serrated lavender, spike lavender (medicinal), narrow-leaved lavender, hybrid lavender.

Lavender cog different soft silver or gray-green leaves. Flowers purple color.

The most popular variety of this plant is Royal Crown – purple.

Lavender serrated, Royal Crown grade

Broadleaf lavender is an evergreen shrub up to 1 meter in height. Leaves lanceolate. Flowers are gray-blue.

Popular varieties of the species:

  • Tiara with large flowers of blue color;
  • Papillon – flowers in the form of butterflies, mauve coloring;
  • Regal Splendour – dark purple.

Papillon Lavender

Narrow-leaved lavender (English) grows to 50-70 centimeters in height. Semishrub strongly branched at the base. Lignified branches reclining. Young straight-line branches.

The leaves are entire, 2–6 centimeters long, the edges are curled to the bottom, linear, lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, the lower part has a glandular margin. The color of young foliage is gray, of old leaves is green.

Inflorescences are atypical, apical, spiciform. The color of the flowers is dark, blue-violet. The fruits consist of 4 nuts in a cup. Flowering July – August. This type of lavender is suitable for growing in regions with a cool climate.

The benefits of lavender essential oil

In a culture known varieties of this species with a different color, it is:

  • Gem – dark purple flowers;
  • Alba – white;
  • Munstead with lilac-blue flowers;
  • Rosea – pink flowers.

Narrow-leaved lavender

Spikelet lavender (French or medicinal) is a low evergreen shrub. The plant is unstable to cold. The bush consists of a large number of branched woody stems that begin their growth from the root. Omitted, tetrahedral stems grow from 30 to 60 centimeters.

Foliage linear, pubescent, sessile. The color is grayish. The location is opposite. When rubbed, the leaves emit a spicy flavor. The root system is powerful, up to 2 meters long. The flowers are medium, bisexual, bluish-purple. In the bracts is 3-6 flowers. Flowering lasts from July to August.

The benefits of lavender essential oil

The plant is a hybrid. When propagated by seeds, the lavender of this species produces many different forms, different from the mother plant. For production purposes it is cultivated by layering and cuttings.

Lavender spikelet, French or medicinal

Hybrid lavender (Dutch, lavender) is a natural sterile hybrid of broadleaf and English lavender. Differs in large inflorescences and narrowed silvery leaves. The height of the bush reaches 2 meters.

  • Olympia with deep purple flowers;
  • Grosso – purple color;
  • Arabian Night – dark purple color of flowers;
  • Seal – blue-lilac flowers.

Lavandin, Lavandula hybrida, Lavender Hybrid

Also to the best varieties include:

    High varieties of lavender – Melissa Lilac, Vera and Hidcote Giant.

Lavender Melissa Lilac

The middle varieties are Beechwood Blue, Man Davis, Buena Vista, Hidcote, Folgate and Pink Perfume.

Lavender Pink Perfume

  • Dwarf (low) varieties – Lady Lavender, Hidcote Superior, Sarah and Little Lottie.
  • Growing seedlings from seed

    This useful spicy plant can be grown in your garden or vegetable garden. The easiest way to reproduce lavender is the seedling method. Seedlings are grown in low boxes with drainage holes at the bottom. Instead of boxes, you can take containers with a lid, pots. Seeds before sowing are stratified (cold treatment).

    Then the seeds are sown in the prepared soil. Land can be bought ready-made or made at home.

    After 2-3 main leaves appear on the seedlings, they are seated in separate pots. Closer to the summer, lavender can be transplanted in open ground.

    Some varieties are suitable for growing in pots and for the summer are brought to fresh air, and in winter they grow on a window sill or balcony. In this case, the bush remains evergreen all year round.

    When planted in the ground, the roots of the plants are cut a little, it stimulates the growth of the plant.

    Seedlings grown in indoor conditions, it is easy to take root in the open field, as it is more durable.

    When to sow on seedlings

    Sowing seeds in boxes made in February – March. Sowing time depends on the region. The warmer the climate, the earlier you can begin to grow seedlings. In regions with a temperate climate, vice versa, sowing is best done later, with the expectation that the seedlings will be planted in late May or early June, after passing through the last frosts.

    Sowing seeds of lavender in the open ground is made in the middle of May. Seeds are sown according to the scheme 30 to 30 centimeters.

    In warm winters, seeds can be sown immediately in the ground for the winter. The plot of crops is covered with a layer of snow or covering material, and in spring, in May, young plants appear.

    Seed and Ground Preparation

    Seeds are best bought in early winter or late autumn. Lavender quickly loses its ability to germinate. When choosing seeds you need to pay attention to the expiration date.

    Two months before sowing, the seeds are placed in a damp cloth and kept at room temperature for 2 days. Then the seeds are moved into the bag and laid out on the top shelf of the refrigerator.

    Also, the seeds can be mixed with sterilized wet sand and placed in a cold place, and he and the other method is quite effective.

    Seeds remain in the cold before sowing. To improve the germination of seeds are placed in a solution Epin or succinic acid.

    In February – March, the seeds can be sown in the prepared soil. The soil can be taken ready-made or made independently.

    3 parts of turf land is taken 2 parts of humus, part of the washed dry river sand. The mixture is mixed and sieved. In the soil, you can add fine perlite, vermiculite.

    The finished mixture is calcined in the oven at 110 degrees and spilled with a weak solution of potassium permanganate. A drainage layer of river sand or small pebbles is poured at the bottom of the tank.

    Seed Stratification: Video

    Sowing and caring for seedlings

    Seeds mixed with sand (if stratified without it). Sowing is done using a sheet of paper, bent in half or in the form of an envelope. Seeds are distributed in a thin stream.

    If there is snow, you can lay out a thin snow layer and pour out seeds on it; places where many seeds will be scattered can be spread over the surface.

    For more rare sowing, you can use a moistened toothpick.

    Depth of the seeds produced by 2-3 millimeters in the ground. A thin layer of washed and dried river sand is poured on top. The soil is sprayed with warm water (from a spray bottle) and covered with a film or transparent cover, glass.

    The best place to place a seed container is a sunny, cool place with an air temperature of 15-22 degrees.

    After emergence of shoots the film is removed. The removal is not immediately, but gradually. Plants should get used to the cooler and drier air of the room. First, the shelter is removed for 10 minutes, then 20 and further.

    Seedlings with 2 main leaves are seated in separate pots. For better growth, plants need additional lighting with a fluorescent lamp. The air when growing should not dry out. Next to the seedlings, if necessary, install a container with water.

    Watering is carried out after the earth dries up, excess moisture is drained from the pan. Lavender does not like dampness and with the accumulation of moisture may die.

    Top dressing is made half a month before transplanting to the ground. For top dressing, you can take any mineral fertilizers with nitrogen impurities.

    By the end of May, the seedlings will get stronger and can be taken for planting plants in open ground.

    When planted in open ground

    Seedlings in the ground can be planted from late May to early June. The weather should be warm and sunny.

    Lavender is grown on high, sunny, protected from the wind sites. At one place the bush can grow 18-25 years. To protect against wind, it is best to choose the south-western or southern, well-lit slopes.

    Lavender is not demanding on the soil, but still has its own preferences. The soil should be light and moisture permeable. Moist, dense, clay soil for cultivation is not suitable. The best option is humus limestone soil. Close proximity of groundwater or accumulation of moisture in the lowlands is detrimental to plants.

    For better growth, fine crushed stone and washed river sand are added to the soil. Before planting, a bucket of compost or humus, 50 grams of superphosphate, 25 grams of potassium salt is put into the soil per square meter. The soil should be alkaline, if necessary, the ground is lime to pH 7-7.5. For liming, you can use slaked lime, bone meal, wood ash.

    Saplings are planted according to the scheme 70 to 50, where 70 centimeters is the distance between the rows, and 50 between the plants. For bulk varieties, the distance increases to 55 per 100 centimeters.

    Lavender care in summer

    Lavender care includes watering, weeding, loosening, fertilizing and pruning.

    Watering is done using a watering can with a nozzle, every day, in the morning or in the evening, from the time of planting to the end of summer. Water for irrigation must be warm and separated. Moisture should not stand, the soil should be slightly moist.

    In dry times, you need to make sure that the ground under the plants does not dry out. To preserve moisture among the bushes of lavender are distributed plant mulch. If the summer is rainy, watering is done as needed, and the mulch moves away from the bushes in order to avoid the appearance of rot.

    If mulching is not used, after each watering the aisle between the lavender should be loosened to supply the roots with oxygen.

    At the beginning of summer, nitrogen-containing fertilizers are introduced into the soil. Until the beginning of August organic fertilizers (humus) or potassium salt, ammonium nitrate and superphosphate are applied. Nitrogen is eliminated in this case, otherwise the green part will grow, and flowering will be scarce. From August feeding stops.

    Pruning the bushes allows the bush to grow faster. Once in 7 years, complete pruning of the branches is performed.

    Lavender is rarely affected by pests and diseases. Plants under adverse conditions can be damaged by gray rot, pennitsa, aphids, the rainbow beetle, two-bladed agalmatium. When diseases and insects appear, plants are treated with protective preparations (pesticides and insecticides).

    Removing weeds and prophylactic treatment of bushes and soil allows you to protect plants and simplify care.

    Breeding

    Lavender breeds seed method, dividing the bush, layering and cuttings. Seed propagation is used in the cultivation of varietal plants. Hybrids mainly breed by cuttings, layering, dividing the bush. When seed reproduction varietal features are lost.

    When cutting the aerial parts of the bush, you can get a large number of seedlings. Pruned bush spuds. After a while, up to 200 new appearances appear, which are transplanted to a new location.

    Instead of cutting, you can do this: stronger branches lean to the ground, covered with soil. When sprouts appear, the seedlings are transplanted to new places.

    Cuttings are taken from adult bushes. Stems with a length of up to 10 centimeters are cut from the mother plant. The cuttings are planted in cold greenhouses according to the scheme 4 by 5 centimeters, to a depth of 5 centimeters. In May, they can be planted on the site or in the nursery. In the second case, the plants are seated at the main place in the autumn.

    Planting of seedlings occurs according to the scheme 50 for 70 or 55 for 100 centimeters (depending on the variety and place of growth of lavender).

    Lavender – growing, planting, reproduction, planting lavender from seeds into the ground: video

    Preparing for the winter

    In regions with a cool climate, only narrow-leaved lavender can winter in open ground.

    Other species are thermophilic and freeze through during a snowless winter.

    Bushes loosely cover with spruce branches or any non-woven material. In snowy winters drifts cover up on plants.

    In the spring, the snow from the bushes is removed, which accelerates the heating of the soil and accelerates the awakening of the root system.

    Shrubs are cut to reduce evaporation. It protects plants from freezing.

    When pruning, shoots are shortened by a third length. In warm regions pruning is done in autumn, in regions with a temperate climate in spring.

    Useful properties of lavender

    Lavender is an essential oil plant.

    For medicinal purposes, the stems, leaves, flowers, essential oil from the plant. Most of the oils are found in flowers, in the leaves and stems of them much less.

    Lavender flowers contain 3 percent essential oil. It contains about 50 percent linalyl acetate. Up to 12 percent tannins. The oil also contains: bitter substances, lavenululol, coumarin derivatives, borneol, geraniol, amyl alcohol, free linalool, nerol, resins, cinnamon and valerian aldehydes.

    Lavender has a calming, anti-depressive, healing, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, choleretic and diuretic action. The plant helps with palpitations, neurasthenia, neurosis, migraine, gastrointestinal colic, bronchitis, asthma.

    Diuretic and antispasmodic action allows to improve the state in case of diseases of the renal pelvis, kidneys, bladder.

    Lavender reduces flatulence in the intestines, relieves pain in the stomach and intestines. Tannins act fixatively and help with diarrhea. The plant removes toxins from the body, improves the general condition of the body.

    Lavender tea accelerates the treatment of influenza, cough, helps with rheumatism in acute form, helps normalize sleep. Therapeutic baths soothe, relieve tension, help with inflammatory processes in the female genital organs.

    Essential oil has a bactericidal and antiseptic effect, is used in the treatment of purulent wounds, rashes, diseases of the female genital organs. Lavender oil with the addition of alcohol helps with nervous disorders, migraines, irritability.

    Medicine, lavender is a part of helene preparations (medicinal teas, tinctures, aromatic alcohol).

    Aromatic oil is used in cosmetology and perfumery industry. Lavender scent scares away moths and mosquitoes.

    Lavender is a very beautiful, fragrant plant that can decorate any garden or windowsill, balcony. And the properties of the plant allow you to get not only an aesthetic enjoyment of the type of plant and aroma, but also benefit.

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