For the love of lavender
I was first interested in aromatherapy beginning in the seventh grade. I went to a natural health store with my mom and found a beautifully packaged essential oil boasting about it’s ability to attract the opposite sex. I was intrigued immediately and purchased the oil without hesitation. The next day at school, I showed all of my friends, telling them “ This magic oil will get you noticed by boys!” Of course they were also very interested in this so we all took turns sharing the bottle, scenting ourselves in the lovely lavender aroma.
I don’t remember it having any effect whatsoever on our middle school crushes, but it opened me up to a whole new world of essential oils. The magical promise of this oil was too exciting to my thirteen year old self, that I had to give it a try. From then on, lavender has been one of my top favorite flowers and essential oils.
I enjoy growing lavender in my garden, specifically the Goodwin creek gray variety, and enjoy the intoxicating aroma on windy warm evenings. I can personally relate to the pleasant and loving feelings this herb and it's oil is thought to bring about.
I have never seen lavender oil marketed as a man magnet again since my middle school days. Thinking back on this early experience, I wondered where the part about attracting love by way of lavender came from. I usually see lavender marketed as a calming, sleep inducing, and skin healing oil so I went looking for more on the subject of it’s use as a love potion, as well as it’s history, and the history specifically linking it to love and attraction.
Lavender and it’s uses have been documented for over 2,500 years by many many cultures. It has been thought that lavender originated from the Mediterranean, areas of the Middle East, and parts of India. It’s now being grown all over the world including Australia, The US, Southern Europe, France, and parts of Asia. Lavender has a rich history that can be linked to advanced ancient civilizations. Egyptians, Romans, and the Greeks are just a few civilizations that reaped the benefits of the herb.
Lavender has many uses in today’s world as well. It’s widely used in the cosmetic industry to fragrance creams and lotions and has massive therapeutic benefits in modern aromatherapy. There are so many uses for this lovely oil. Some of it’s most celebrated benefits are it’s skin healing properties, It’s assistance in the relief of emotional tension, relief from cramps, digestive discomfort, and the list goes on and on. It’s truly an amazing herb and essential oil.
So why does lavender make a good oil for a love? After reading so much about this oil and the herb itself, Lavender has so many practical uses and while love is not always practical, Lavender has been a fragrant symbol of love and fidelity exchanged by lovers as a sign of undying devotion for centuries. As it was previously stated, several cultures throughout history used it to excite their partners, to attempt to keep them chaste, or give it to one another as a symbol of their love.
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Lavender is often associated with love spells according to Patti Wigington, the author of an article discussing lavender in the pagan/wiccan tradition on about.com. Patti suggests carrying a sachet of lavender flowers on your person or hanging it in your home to bring love into your life. After reading about this, I was able to discuss it’s use in love spells with a few people I met in my aromatherapy group online who practice wicca. I came to find out that it’s not always the main ingredient but it is more of a helper herb in many spells. If you were wishing to create a love spell using lavender essential oil, you could make it as simple or as complicated as you wish. A “spell” is really just an intention setting ritual directed towards yourself. Diffusing lavender oil while meditating on love and setting an intention of loving someone or something could be a simple ritual.
It was just pure intuition that gave this herb it's reputation in the beginning. Now we have GC/MS testing that can tell us the chemical components of an oil. Knowing which components make up an oil can help us understand it’s therapeutic value, then we can blend or use oils in a more clinical way. Gas chromatography and mass spectrometry are analytical tests that are done on samples of oils to determine exactly what is in your essential oil bottle. This is very important because oils are not regulated so there are no real standards imposed on companies who advertise and sell EOs. Not only will GC/MS testing discover synthetic components, the tests will determine the chemistry of your oil, giving you an idea of how to use it from a clinical standpoint. If you are a clinical aromatherapist, this information is very important to you because it will determine how you will blend for your clients.
According to the information I have on my lavender oil, lavandula agustifolia, the report shows high levels of monoterpenols and esters. These chemical components tell me that this oil would be wonderful to calm, soothe, and balance body systems. It would also help reduce fear and panic and offer relief to tight muscles and headaches from tension.
When you feel calm and comfortable with no stress or fear, most people would agree that connecting with others is much easier. Intimacy is bound to happen if all of these effects took place. So now we have a little science on lavender to back up the intuition of our ancient ancestors.
Surprisingly, there's quite a lot of information out there on the correlation between lavender and love. For over 2500 years, people have been enchanted with it's beauty and comforting fragrance. They have used it’s oil in perfumes, spells, and therapeutic applications. The herb itself has been hung in bedrooms to invite love and romance, it’s been placed in wedding bouquets, planted for it’s beauty, utilized for protection, and has been offered as gifts to ancient kings.
While there are many oils labeled as having an aphrodisiac type effect, lavenders uses are many and it has found it's way into peoples hearts.
I hope you enjoyed my blog post. This comes from my paper I recently wrote for my aromatherapy certification.
Are you into aromatherapy?
Which oils or smells are you naturally attracted to?
I'd love to read your answers in the comment section below!
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