How to Make Lavender Oil
A lady loves Lavender
Beauty of Lavender ~
The aromatic and visually breathtaking Lavender plant is one that I have grown up with as far back as I can remember.
The long slender stems of purple, blue, pink and white hues flowing in the gentlest summer breeze grew in great quantities in our garden, providing a very dramatic Mediterranean feel.
Grown for medicinal and decorative reasons, Lavender is the best example of a multi-purpose plant there is.
Beauty lotions, creams, gels, soaps, incense sticks, insect repellent, potpourri, oil burners and candles are just some of the many popular cosmetic and beauty products that feature Lavender with its numerous therapeutic benefits.
It is widely used and available in many other forms including
- Lavender Essential Oil
- Lavender Infusion
- Lavender Extract
- Lavender Tincture
- Lavender Tea
- Dried Lavender
History of Lavender ~
Lavender is a member of the mint family and classed as a herb with 25-30 known flowering species. Native to the Mediterranean countries, it can be traced back to the Greeks and Romans who both used it to scent their bathing water and it is believed the word Lavender stems from the Latin word lavo meaning to wash.
In ancient timesThe Egyptians, Arabs and Phoenicians were known to use Lavender in their traditional mummification of the dead and in perfumes.
The Arabs are then credited with spreading the domestic Lavender plant through Europe. With conquerors and voyagers during this period it is believed that the plant was reintroduced to France, Italy, England and Spain. It was not until the 17th century that Lavender made its way into the Americas with the pilgrim fathers.
Using Lavender Flowers
Lavender in bloom
Culinary Uses of Lavender ~
- Mouth wash
- Ice creams
Medicinal Uses of Lavender ~
- Relieves stress
- Migraine headaches
- Analgesic Properties
- Abdominal complaints
- Loss of Appetite
- Acne treatment
- Hair restorer
- Head lice
- Scalp infections
- Floor cleaner
- Insect and moth repellent
Lavender Information ~
When used in cooking, the Lavender herb is used very sparingly due to its highly pronounced fragrance and taste and can be easily overdone rendering the dish overwhelming to the senses. Care must be taken to use the herb in tiny amounts when being used as a flavouring.
Caution should always be taken when using Lavender in any form if an allergy is suspected and never used with a known Lavender allergy. Medical advice should be sought before using this herb.
Profusion of colour
Distillation for Essential Oil
How to Make Lavender Oil ~
Firstly there are two types of Lavender Oil, Essential Oil and Infused Oil. Another product made from Lavender is Lavender Water.
Lavender Essential Oil
This oil is primarily extracted from the flowers of Lavender through the distillation process. Not recommended for the home gardener as the quantities of flowers needed to produce a small amount of oil is vast. Essential oils are primarily produced on mass by commercial growers and end up in perfumes, oils and cosmetics. English Lavender, in particular Norfolk Lavender, is reputed to be the best Lavender producer in the world. Fields upon fields of stunning Lavender grow here and are well worth a visit.
Lavender Infused Oil
These oils are easy to make at home, requiring no distillation process and only two ingredients. The oil can be used in many beneficial beauty ways such as massage oil, bath oil, body moisturiser and hair treatments at home. If you grow lavender it is the best way of utilizing your Lavender flowers into a multi-purpose product.
Lavender Water ~
This product is produced by combining Lavender Oil with alcohol and additives. Through the centuries this was used as a restorative tonic to combat fatigue, giddiness and fainting.
Making Lavender infused Oil ~
Large Quantity of Lavender
Good quality Olive Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Almond Oil (amount will vary depending on glass jar used as your container)
You Will Need:
2 Glass Jars with lids
Cling film (saran wrap or food wrap)
1 rubber band
Newspaper or Kitchen Roll
Mesh Sieve (needed later not initially)
- Sitting at a table, lay down a sheet of newspaper or about 3 attached sheets of kitchen roll.
- Start removing all the flowers and leaves by holding the Lavender between your thumb and index finger and gently running along the stem.
- When you have removed all the flowers and leaves lightly crush to release the oil.
- Fill your clean glass jar with the flowers and leaves nearly to the top of the jar.
- Pour in your oil until covering the flowers.
- Cover the top with a lid OR use cling film placed over the top secured with a rubber band.
- Leave for at least 2 weeks, shaking daily to mix the blended oil. A month is recommended for maximum infusion.
- Pour contents into a mesh sieve and using the back of a large spoon, press the oil through into the 2nd glass jar. The oil in your jar is now ready to keep and use.
Recycle any used Glass jars in the kitchen.
Great Gift Idea for a friend, family member or work colleague.
Stir once a week to infuse oil more evenly.
Lavender Facts and Trivia ~
- Bulgaria is the world’s biggest producer of Lavender Oil.
- Queen Victoria of England requested her furniture be polished with a Lavender solution.
- Lavender was used in water to bathe the wounds of soldiers during World War1.
- Used during the Bubonic Plague, glove makers would scent the leather with Lavender as it was said to ward off the plague.
- Cleopatra is thought to have seduced Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony with a Lavender infused perfume.
- The Romans used to Scent their linen with Lavender.
- Rene- Maurice Gattefosse (1881-1950), a French chemist was the founder of Aromatherapy of which Lavender plays a major part in.
- Irish brides traditionally wore a garter of Lavender to ward off witchcraft.
- Lavender was said to be a charm against the devil himself.
- Rubbing yourself with a drop of Lavender is claimed to entice suitors.
- English and French Lavender is reported to be the best in the world.
- The Lavender plant does not have seeds.
© 2012 Suzanne Ridgeway