We use lavender flowers (Lavandula angustifolia) cultivated in Provence, France. Lavender has strongly scented violet flowers in summer.
The flowers are picked as they begin to open and used fresh, distilled for oil, or dried for use in infusions, spirits, and tinctures.
Herbalists use lavender externally for burns, sunburn, muscular pain, skin complaints, cold sores and insect bites.
We boil lavender flowers in water to make our decoction. It is soothing and antiseptic.
The early 20th century French chemist, Rene Maurice Gattefosse, once burnt his arm during an experiment and accidentally put it in a vat of pure lavender oil, thinking it was a vat of cool water. His skin healed quickly with little scarring.
Gattefosse became fascinated by the oil and studied it more closely. He has since come to be known as ‘the father of modern aromatherapy.’ This leads us to believe that the oil may also help to heal damaged or burnt skin.
We use the decoction to protect and calm the scalp in our Jumping Juniper shampoo bar.