Lavender is a flowering plant of the mint family known for its beauty, its sweet floral fragrance and its multiple uses.The origin of Lavender is believed to be from the Mediterranean, Middle East and India. Its history goes back some 2500 years. Ancient Egyptians used lavender for mummification and perfume. Romans used lavender oils for cooking, bathing and scenting the air and the name is derived from the Latin verb lavare—which means, “to wash.” In Medieval and Renaissance France, women who took in washing for hire were known as “lavenders.” Lavender was used to scent drawers, perfume the air , as well as ward off infection and heal wounds. First recognized in Roman times for its antiseptic and healing qualities. The Ancient Greeks used lavender to fight insomnia and back aches. For centuries lavender was used as a remedy for the plaque, cholera and other diseases.
Lavender has Biblical referenced by the name “spikenard.” In John, Chapter 12, Mary is said to have anointed the feet of Jesus with the very costly “ointment of spikenard” and wiped His feet with her hair.
Cultivated commercially today in countries such as England, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada: southern of France, in Provence is still the creme de the creme of lavender. Blooming in late June, the countryside is filled with the wonderful fragrance. Festivals and craft fairs are a travelers dream with the sweet fragrance of lavender.