The Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a plant of Laminaceae family. It's a small size (60-100 cm) perennial and evergreen shrub with erect stems, wooded base and lateral branches a little bit prostrate. It has lanceolate and linear leaves greenish-grey colored. Flowers, quite scented are grouped in thin violet blue ears. The lavender which originates from mediterranean areas, is a plant that resists very well both in torrential temperatures and in stormy winter ones, you can find it in dry and stony lands forming bushes of particular beauty. The common name "lavender" was transposed into italian language from the latin gerund "lavare" (that is to be washed) to suggest that these species were widely used in ancient cultures (particularly in the Middle ages) to clean the body. Lavender, was in fact, a precious plant for the Romans who put bouquet of flowers in the water of thermal baths and used it as base of refined perfumes and for the preparations of infusions and decoctions used for the beauty of skin and hair.
The lavender, normally is not used for food purposes. It is used to flavour white wine and vinegar, to prepare jellies and to flavour sweets. The lavender honey is very particular and it's indicated for broncho-pulmonary infections.
Responsible for the characteristic lavender fragrance are essential lavender oils produced by the glands located in all green parts of the plants (flowers, leaves and stems) and concentrated in particular in the flowers. Lavender flowers are used in phytotherapy for their different properties, presence of essential oil and other active substances giving the plant a soothing and calming action on the central nervous system. They are utilized against anxiety, agitation, nervousness, headache, stress and insomnia. For the balsamic action on respiratory tract, the lavender is used for flu, coughs,cold and catarrh. Its antispasmodic and carminative properties are well renowned. For outdoor use it has cleansing, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antibacterial, cicatrizing and decogesting properties. The plant is used for cleansing sores and wounds, used against insect bites and to relieve itching. In cosmetology lavender essential oil is used as a perfume. Dried lavender flowers keep their perfume for a long time, so they are usually stored in muslin bags or canvas to perfume linen.