The versatile world of lavender

Lavender has one of the most delightful fragrances and its uses for health and wellbeing and household purposes are far and wide.

This relaxing plant can be used in baking, lotion making, cooking, tea making, tinctures and more.

Lavender has been used for over 2,500 years. Back in the days, ancient Persians, Greeks and Romans added the flowers to bathwater to help wash and purify the skin. And Egyptians used it in the mummification process, wrapping mummies in lavender-dipped garments.

In aromatherapy, lavender essential oil is one of the most well-known and widely used. If you own just one essential oil, it may just well be lavender. Carry a small bottle of lavender essential oil in your bag and it can be used as a first-aid kit, perfume or to help you relax when you are in need of physical, mental and emotional balance.

Lavender flowers are used in pot pourris, crafting and home décor, while the essential oil is added to bath and body care products, such as soaps and perfumes, candles and household cleaners.

Lavender oil is known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-depressant, antiseptic, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.

Here are three lavender products on Life & Soul Magazine’s hitlist:

Stamford Lavender Incense

Stamford Lavender Incense is an inexpensive incense whose aroma does the lavender plant justice.

There are many different incense brands on the market, and given the choice, you could be working with several before you find the one that resonates with you.

Stamford Lavender Incense is a distinctive, natural-smelling incense that works wonders if you want to freshen up your home, or simply charge the incense with a specific intent. The scent is strong yet delightful, and changes the vibes instantly.

When working with lavender as an incense, it can be burned for the purposes of cleansing, healing, happiness and relaxation. A good way to use lavender as an incense is to burn a stick in the bedroom before you sleep to induce rest and sleep, or burn lavender incense to attract love in your life.

Stamford are an affordable incense brand from India that make great alternatives to fragrance-only oils or scented candles. The burn time of the Stamford Lavender Incense is fairly long, and at 20 sticks in a box, you can’t go wrong really. I’ve also found the Stamford Incense sticks work well if you combine with complementary scents. So work the Stamford Lavender Incense with the Stamford Rose Incense to raise the love vibes in the boudoir.

Stamford Incense sticks are available online

Baldwins Lavender Essential Oil

Given the awareness of lavender and its benefits, you can find the essential oil pretty much anywhere. There are many brands that offer lavender essential oil, and I have tried many from the high street chains such as Boots Botanics Aromatherapy, Holland & Barrett’s Miaroma, as well as the well-known brands such as Tisserand and Neal’s Yard Remedies. But the one that stands out from the crowd is Baldwins Lavender Essential Oil, made using a steam distillation process.

I discovered Baldwins, a herbal store near London’s Elephant & Castle, a few years back and it’s one of those stores that you would have to literally drag me by the heels to get out of there. For anyone who’s into natural health and making their own remedies, Baldwins is where the magic starts as you collect the supplies to go about your craft. It is the go-to store for herbs, essential oils and household products – as well as selling noted brands, the real joy is in Baldwins’ own range of herbs, tinctures and essential oils which to any alchemist is a Goddess/God send.

I’ve been using the Baldwins Lavender Essential Oil for a myriad of uses. I enjoy making my own lotions and potions, and have created a soothing scalp blend mixing lavender oil in a base of extra virgin coconut oil. Lavender oil has powerful antiseptic qualities, which is great for treating dry, itchy scalp. The first thing you become aware about the Baldwins Lavender Essential Oil is its strong aroma – which was my indication that a little goes a long way. That said, when it comes to blending oils, always follow your gut, and my intuition was telling me that given the high quality, strength and potency of Baldwins Lavender Essential Oil, 1 or 2 drops in a base oil was sufficient to make a scalp treatment, and it was.

Baldwins Lavender Essential Oil is an outstanding, exquisite oil that feels luxurious when used on the skin, either by mixing it with a base oil or lotion. At £22.35 for a 50ml bottle, Baldwins Lavender Essential Oil is value for money, especially given that I’m finding I have to use a lot less of this essential oil than previous lavender essentials oils that I have bought and for the same uses. This 50ml is certain to last me a long time, even with daily and everyday use.

Baldwins Lavender Essential Oil can also be used in an oil burner, which I found gave a sense of having a huge lavender field overlooking my city dwellings. There are so many uses for lavender oil, and it can be used by adding a few drops to a bottle of distilled water and used as a hair detangler, room spray or to freshen clothes when ironing.

So if lavender oil is the only essential oil you ever purchase, make sure that it’s Baldwins Lavender Essential Oil. And for the alchemists among us, no doubt Baldwins is on your radar but if it ain’t, then make it so. Baldwins is like London’s little shop of magic.

Baldwins Lavender Essential Oil is available online from Baldwins

Yorkshire Lavender

Get yourself a large bag of dried lavender and you can use it for all kinds of household needs.

Yorkshire Lavender, which is highly fragrant, is perfect for use in home crafts and as pot pourri. Chuck in a handful of dried lavender into wooden bowls and place each bowl in rooms throughout your home. The Yorkshire Lavender in all its potency retained its scent for weeks when used in this manner. Top up the scent with a few drops of lavender essential oil or better still use lavender fragrant oil, which is cheaper than the essential oil, meaning you can keep the lavender essential oil for more therapeutic means instead.

When working with dried lavender, it’s worth buying organza bags to put the flowers in. Not only do they come in handy to give as gifts to people, they can also be put under the pillow at night to aid a restful sleep.

There are numerous beauty brands selling specific lavender ranges. However I’ve never been drawn to purchase any of these, preferring to have lavender in its most natural state – so the essential oil and the dried herbs – allowing me the flexibility to do what I want with it from there. If this is your preference too, buy a base body lotion and empty the contents into a wide-neck glass jar, add 15-20 drops of lavender essential oil and crumble some dried flowers into the jar. Mix it with a wooden spatula and what you have is a body lotion that captures the fragrance and the beauty of this elegant flower, whilst giving your body the benefits of this herb.

Dried lavender is available online

Rosalind Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She is a journalist who writes about sustainable life & style, music, entertainments and wellbeing. Rosalind also works as a spiritual life coach and intuitive advisor helping people to become who they truly are and manifest their heart & soul’s desires into their lives: www.rosalindmedea.com


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