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Lavandula angustifolia, the officinal lavender with a thousand properties

Natural virtues and healing powers of lavender soaps


Lavender is a plant that has always been used for therapeutic, cosmetic and healing purposes, due to its special properties. What is commonly referred to as lavender is actually one of numerous species in the world that go by the scientific name lavandula angustifolia: let’s find out more about the characteristics and virtues of this plant, a common ingredient of solid and liquid soaps.


True lavender: origins and characteristics

The scientific name lavandula angustifolia comes from Latin: lavandula refers to the ancient custom of using this natural cleanser for washing the body, whereas angustifolia means “narrow leaved”, differentiating it from the broad leaved lavandula latifolia. Lavandula angustifolia is also known as true lavender and officinal lavender. This evergreen plant reaches a maximum height of 70 cm and has green, narrow leaves; its purple flowers blossom in July and August; at this time of the year, lavender fields cover Mediterranean hills like immense, impactful carpets bursting with colour.

Provence is renowned for its lavender fields and has even developed tourism around them; however, officinal lavender also grows in other mountain areas, up to 1300 metres above sea level, on sunny alpine slopes. Indeed the ideal habitat for lavender is a dry and warm climate. In addition to its wonderful colour, lavandula angustifolia is also a renowned aromatic plant with a delicate and floral fragrance characterised by woody undertones; it is still widely used to add fragrance to wardrobes and linen drawers.


Beneficial properties of lavandula angustifolia or officinalis

A fluid essential oil is extracted from officinal lavender and is widely used in cosmetic and beauty products; 100 kg of lavender flowers typically yield between 500-850 ml of oil. The properties of true lavender are manifold and make it a veritable balm for the body and soul:

  • it is an excellent antidepressant, with a rebalancing effect on the central nervous system;
  • it alleviates headaches, migraines and flu symptoms;
  • it exerts a sedative and calming effect, reducing mood swings;
  • it is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibacterial, with healing properties;
  • it is effective as a painkiller and even as a local anaesthetic;
  • aids digestion, sweating, circulation and plays a diuretic role;
  • suitable for applying in case of muscle aches, burns or irritations on skin, as well as on insect bites.

Thanks to all these benefits, along with its characteristic and delicate fragrance, officinal lavender essential oil is commonly used in aromatherapy and features in numerous body care and well-being products, including natural and plant-based lavender soaps by Alchimia Soap, which masterfully combine excellent quality ingredients and original fragrances.

Discover lavender soaps by Alchimia Soap

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