Why are People so Crazy for Lavender?

Lavender, with its enchanting scent and versatile properties, has captivated people for centuries. But why do people love lavender so much? Let’s explore the reasons behind this enduring fascination.

I, personally, fell in love with lavender when Paul introduced me to Pelindaba lavender farm on San Juan Island. On that trip in 2015, I learned that lavender hydrosol is a natural cleaner and I came home with a gallon of it!

In winter of 2016, my daughter told me I could benefit from essential oils, as my old lady hormones were raging. Hot flashes, no sleep, oh my! So I started dabbling in essential oils in the diffuser and found lavender as my go to essential oil!

We decided to “summer” (never left, haha) in Michigan in 2018. Our truck hauling our 5th wheel broke down in Park City, UT and we were stuck there for a week while a brand new engine was being installed. We went to the Sunday Park City Farmers Market and I stopped at Blue Canyon Farm‘s booth and they gave me more education about lavender hydrosol. I walked away with a tidbit that it is a natural mosquito repellent and bought another 8 ounces of lavender hydrosol. I used the lavender hydrosol all summer long and it worked very well against the Michigan mosquitoes.

Please keep in mind that the studies posted here used Lavandula angustifolia. “English Lavender.” Please be cautious when buying lavender for eating or aromatherapy. There are over 14 species of lavender and, when in doubt, stick with English Lavender! The other common species is Lavandin. Lavandin is high in camphor. It tastes like “soap” when you cook with it and it may have unintended consequences when used in aromatherapy. Here is a blog post on how you can tell the difference between Lavender and Lavandin.

Why do People Love Lavender? hide

Natural Bug Repellent

One of the key reasons for lavender’s popularity is its natural bug repellent properties. The plants and its processed hydrosol and essential oil provides a distinct aroma that acts as a deterrent to pesky insects, making it a favorite choice for those seeking a chemical-free solution.

It doesn’t matter if your lavender plants are not in bloom, the green leaves also have the distinct lavender aroma. Brush your hands against the lavender leaves to release the aroma and help deter pests. You may also squeeze the leaves in your hands to release the fragrance and rub your lavender scented hands directly on your skin.

True distilled lavender hydrosol also makes a nice mosquito repellent. You do need to spray it directly on the skin to work with your body chemistry to help repel mosquitos.

Lavender Bug Repellent Studies:

Click on the study to read more at NIH. Please note that all of these studies use species Lavandula angustifolia. This is the gold standard of lavender for aromatherapy. Lavandin MAY be used as a natural repellent but be advised that it is not as safe as Lavender. Lavandin may cause adverse reactions in seizure prone and pregnant individuals.

Effectiveness of plant-based repellents against different Anopheles species: a systematic review
Repellency of oils of lemon eucalyptus, geranium, and lavender and the mosquito repellent MyggA natural to Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) in the laboratory and field
Repellent activities of essential oils and monoterpenes against Culex pipiens pallens

Naturally Calming

Furthermore, lavender is renowned for its calming effects. Its soothing scent has been proven to promote relaxation and reduce stress levels. Many individuals turn to lavender essential oils, hydrosols or products distilled or infused with lavender to create a tranquil atmosphere in their homes or during self-care routines.

Lavender Calming Studies:

Click on the study to read more at NIH. Please note that all of these studies use species Lavandula angustifolia. This is the gold standard of lavender for aromatherapy. Using Spike or Lavandin may produce the opposite consequences (stimulant) due to high camphor content.

Effects of lavender on anxiety: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
Effects of Lavender on Anxiety, Depression, and Physiological Parameters: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Does aromatherapy with lavender affect physical and psychological symptoms of menopausal women? A systematic review and meta-analysis
Lavender and the Nervous System

Natural Skin Care

In addition to its calming qualities, lavender has gained recognition in the realm of natural skin care. Its gentle yet effective properties make it an ideal ingredient in various skincare products. From moisturizers to cleansers, lavender offers nourishment and rejuvenation for the skin.

Lavender Hydrosol pH mimics the pH of skin so it is good for all skin types. Keep in mind, it must be a true distilled hydrosol. Lavender essential oil drops in water, called hydrosol, is not a true hydrosol. We have incorporated our lavender hydrosol in all of our water based skin care products, not just for scent, because it is generally recognized as safe for all types of skin!

Lavender Skin Care Studies:

Click on the study to read more at NIH. Please note that all of these studies use species Lavandula angustifolia. This is the gold standard of lavender for aromatherapy. Using Spike or Lavandin may cause irritation, burning or stinging when applied to skin due to its different constituents than Lavandula angustifolia.

Wound healing potential of lavender oil by acceleration of granulation and wound contraction through induction of TGF-β in a rat model
Effect of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Essential Oil on Acute Inflammatory Response
Use of Lavandula angustifolia essential oil as a complementary therapy in adult health care: A scoping review
Chemical Composition of Two Different Lavender Essential Oils and Their Effect on Facial Skin Microbiota
Deep skin wound healing potential of lavender essential oil and licorice extract in a nanoemulsion form: Biochemical, histopathological and gene expression evidences

Floral & Herbal Addition to Culinary Dishes

Lavender Buttercream Frosting

Beyond its practical uses, lavender also adds a delightful floral tone to culinary dishes. The delicate flavor profile of lavender enhances both sweet and savory recipes, adding a unique twist to desserts, teas, cocktails, and even main courses.

Lavender must be infused correctly to have a subtle taste! Check out 6 Ways to Infuse Lavender Into Your Cooking and Baking.

Celebrity Chefs Who Love to Incorporate Lavender in Food:

You will also note, again, many chefs use Lavandula angustifolia for cooking. Many other popular lavender varieties (such as Lavandin) are too camphorous (think soap taste) for culinary dishes.

Click on the celebrity chef to get recipes or learn of their lavender culinary adventures:

Martha Stewart
Emeril
Rocco DeSpirito
Adrian Richardson

Natural Cleaner

clothesline in a lavender field

Lastly, lavender’s versatility extends even further as a natural cleaner. With antimicrobial properties, it can be used as an eco-friendly alternative in household cleaning routines. From freshening up linens to purifying surfaces, lavender hydrosol provides an aromatic solution that leaves spaces feeling refreshed. A true lavender hydrosol will have its oils entrained in the water so it will not stain cloth. Go crazy with spraying it in your closets, drawers, clothes and on your yoga mats and bedding!

Check out Tisseraund Institute’s resources for hydrosol properties. I highly recommend anything by Suzanne Catty.

Why Do Lavender Farmers Love Lavender?

Because it Makes Me Happy

I love lavender because it makes me happy. It helps me get a “good night’s rest.” I initially fell in love with the plant and all the possibilities when I lived in Anacortes, WA. I would visit Pelinadaba lavender farm on San Juan island when I was visiting my brother, who lives there.

Paul D, Twin Flame Lavender Farm

Lavender Allows Us to Bond Together in Creation

Why we love lavender… It gives us the opportunity to bond together in Creation as a young family with 4 children. We also appreciate the plants’ versatility in food & drink, cosmetics, housewares, and more.

Lydia & Scott, Abundantly Blessed Farm

Overall, the allure of lavender stems from its multifaceted nature – from being a natural bug repellent and calming agent to offering benefits in skincare routines and culinary adventures. Its widespread appeal lies in its ability to enhance various aspects of our lives while providing a touch of nature’s beauty at every turn.