Lavender essential oil has been used since antiquity. Some believe that the ancient Egyptians used lavender essential oil during embalming procedures, and for beautification. The Romans, to enjoy the scent, added the flowers to their bath water. And used it in cooking and soaps. During medieval times, the healer Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179 CE), used lavender for lice infestation and to ward off evil spirits. Her book, Physica, makes mention of it.
Lavender is known for its many benefits to the skin. A well known story about Rene Gattefosse, a French chemist, and now commonly referred to as the father of aromatherapy, circulates among essential oil users, on how following an explosion at his lab, he used lavender essential oil to treat the severe burns on his hands which he described as rapidly developing gas gangrene. The year was 1910. His recovery was nothing short of amazing!
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil is known as the "Swiss army knife" of essential oil because of its many uses. Its name comes from the Latin lavare which means to wash.
Lavender essential oil not only supports the skin, it also supports the gastrointestinal tract by soothing the bowels. It supports the muscular system by helping to relieve stiffness. It is even helpful in supporting our bodies immune system.
Lavender is well known for its support of emotions. It can balance emotions that are overwrought with stress bringing about a sense of calm and tranquility.
But not all Lavender essential oil is considered equal. Most essential oils on the market, including Lavender, are passed off as pure essential oils, but are mostly adulterated with synthetic chemicals and fillers. These oils may smell like the real thing to an untrained nose, but they are far from it.
True Lavender essential oil has over 1200 components that act to support our bodies in varying degrees unlike their synthetic counterparts. If your Lavender essential oil is adulterated with the hybrid lavandin, synthetic linalool, and other synthetic compounds and fragrances, of what value is it to your body? It is of no value, and may even be harmful. Synthetic compounds are known to cause allergies, disrupt hormones and cause disease. It makes you think twice doesn't it?
Back in 1999, just six years after establishing Young Living, Gary Young wrote In an article for Consumer Health Organization of Canada:
"France is the lavender capital of the world and has been for many years. It has been said that there are 7,000 acres in totality of French lavender production, producing only 20 to 25 lb. of oil per acre. There are approximately 52,000 acres of lavendin in production producing 150 lb. of oil per acre, so the cost of lavendin is substantially cheaper... when you add all of that up you soon discover that there is not enough lavender produced to supply even two oil companies. How can it be? It is called synthetic. The biggest scam that has been perpetrated on the North American continent has been the scam of adulterated and synthetic oils being marketed as pure essential oils... So what are they doing? They are replacing lavender with lavendin. They have found they can heat the lavendin up to 17,000 degrees centigrade and flash off the camphor. In lavender, the camphor runs at 0.2 to 0.5 %... So they are removing the camphor and adding up to 6% synthetic lenolol acetate and that came on the market last year as pure lavender oil in America. They are not just doing this to one oil; this is happening with many oils."
In a post on his blog on April 7, 2011, titled, Are You Buying Lavender or Lavandin, Gary Young wrote:
"Why then are the farmers switching to lavandin hybrid grosso or super? First of all, the yield is five to six times more per acre than lavender. It can be harvested with a four-row harvester, making the harvesting cost four times less, and the same machinery can be used to plant and harvest.
The big perfume houses do not care about the camphene content in the lavandin, which alters the smell and gives the feel of the oil a bite on the skin. They prefer Lavandin super over Lavandin grosso, because the camphene in super can run from 8 to 15 percent, whereas the camphene in grosso is anywhere from 19 to 30 percent. The percentages depend on soil, nutrients, sunshine, and rain, which can vary substantially
Oil cartels have discovered how to heat lavandin, flash off the camphene, and then add synthetic linalols and lavandulol to make it smell like lavender. These are the fragrance molecules that create the aroma that is recognized as lavender.
Now that you have a little understanding of business costs, ask yourself, if you were a farmer, would you grow lavender? This helps to explain why you do not see lavender farms being developed around the world, except in China where wages are $2 to $5 per day. If you farm in China, the Chinese government will give you the land free. Tractors are one-third the price, and so is fuel. Farms growing cloned lavender are being developed in northwestern China, the very area that was heavily contaminated from the Chernobyl atomic energy plant explosion a few years ago. This lavender is not even pure Lavandula angustifolia.
I leased my first lavender farm in 1991 in Provence, France, the lavender capital of the world, and then bought our present farm in 2000 in the Simiane Valley. Over the years I have watched a steady negative evolution of the lavender industry."
Having read this now are you comfortable with your source of Lavender essential oil? That was in 2011. Now in 2017 with more synthetic chemicals being developed the fragrance industry is booming. And the price we pay for fake essential oils is high. Maybe not at the cash register, but with bodies overrun with toxins.
Next time you pick up a bottle of Lavender essential oil make sure it is free of toxins, pesticides, synthetic fragrance and fillers. Know under what conditions the Lavender was grown and harvested. See if you can actually visit the farm where it was grown. Make sure the company that sells it guarantees that it 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oil. I know of only one company that makes that promise, Young Living.