Let's Talk About Lavender... Bulgarian, Spike, and 40/42
Let’s talk about lavender! There are 47 known species in the genus lavender.
It’s a favorite essential oil for many but lavender can refer to many species and offers a wide array of benefits.
Lavendula angustifolia or English or garden lavender is grown throughout the world. Bulgarian or French lavender are often renowned for their beneficial properties and floral beauty. It's typically rich in linalool and linalyl acetate which lend to its calming and soothing benefits. This type of lavender also offers analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties.
Lavendula latifolia or spike lavender is lavender with attitude. It offers the calming effects of lavender a refreshing burst of camphor and oxides. It’s like a cross between lavender, eucalyptus, and rosemary. It's delightful. Its main aromatic compounds include linalool and 1,8 cineole. It offers calming and relaxing properties, supports open airways, supports focus, and helps ease aches. I love using it in diffuser or inhaler blends to address head ache or bath fizzes and massage oils to address muscle soreness. I'm a big fan of rosemary and eucaplytus so I love the aroma of the floral yet camphoraceous essential oil.
Lavender 40/42 is like a red wine blend— a lavender that offers consistent aroma and 40/42% linalool to linalyl acetate ratio. It’s beautifully consistent. It’s often a perfect choice for formulating lavender blends with a consistent aroma. Essential oils being a natural product can change in aromatic and chemical composition in response to many natural factors. 40/42 tries to mitigate such changes. While this blend definitely offers therapeutic benefits, I use this only in bath and body products where I'm looking for gorgeous lavender aroma. For therapeutic applications I do typically stick with Bulgarian lavender or spike lavender.
We could go into more species of lavender but just wanted to share a bit about a few of the varieties of lavender available to aromatherapists and cosmetic chemists.
Did you know that there is an oral preparation of lavender that was approved to help ease feelings of anxiety called Silexan.
Are you a fan of lavender or see it as overused?
Feel free to leave a comment...
aromatic blessings my friends,