Lavender, (Latin: Lavandula angustifolia) is one of the world’s most ancient, and commonly used herbs. The first recorded use of the sweet smelling herb appeared in ancient Phoenician inscriptions dating back to 1000 BC. The ancient Romans were also very fond of the herb and used it as a fragrant bath scent in their public bathhouses. In fact, it is believed that the genus name Lavendula stems from the Latin word lavare meaning « to wash. » Modern botanical science indicates that there are at least 28 known species of Lavender – some of these are wild and some are commercially cultivated – the plant grows everywhere from parts of Africa to China.
The version that we offer here is a wonderfully fresh smelling organic variety that comes from Eastern Tibet – no chemicals or pesticides were used in its cultivation. No one is certain exactly how long the people of Tibet have harvested Lavender. Archaeology indicates that at least as far back as a thousand years Tibetans were using the plant for its physically restorative, and spiritually uplifting qualities. Ancient scrolls indicate that Buddhist monks believed Lavender had a strong « grandmother energy; » they believed its scent contained elements of comfort, compassion, and the wisdom of a long lifetime of experience.
The monks also believed that Lavender had the ability to promote a sense of personal peace and stability, and freedom from mental and emotional stress. The herb still plays a large part in the meditative ceremonies of certain temples and shrines in Tibet – the Dalai Lama himself counts Lavender as one of his favorite herbs. For the Tibetans, Lavender has many other uses as well. The flowers are often prepared as a tea or distilled into an oil and used to treat ailments ranging from headaches and muscle cramps to dizzy spells. It goes without saying that the scent of fresh Lavender is intoxicating. Open a packet and you’ll see what we mean. Close your eyes, inhale the delicate aromas and enjoy the meditative qualities of this herb today. (Incidentally, Lavender makes an excellent ingredient to your own custom tea blends, lending an added layer of depth and delicate floral notes.)