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French Lavender

INTRODUCTION Lavandula stoechas, commonly known as French Lavender, may also be referred to as Spanish Lavender or “topped” lavender. This species of flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae is native to multiple Mediterranean countries such as France, Spain, Portugal, Italy or Greece which allows for its various common names.

FACTS TO NOTE Lavender blooms are nicknamed in two parts for their resemblance to having “rabbit ears”(also known as bracts) which top “pineapples”. These sections are easy to identify in the above photo. Lavenders attract various pollinators of the insect variety including bees and butterflies. They are also considered resistant to deer and rabbits, along with many insects considered to be pests, due to their high essential oil content. Famously known for its fragrance, the distillation of lavender to extract its essential oils is a very old practice. For example, it is believed ancient Greeks and Romans used lavender as an aromatic in their baths. Research has supported the benefits of essential oils in soothing conditions such as depression, anxiety, migraines, insomnia and various skin problems. Lavender is no stranger to these practices and may be administered by inhalation, ingestion, or topical application. However, one should consider that the FDA does not monitor or regulate the purity of essential oils so it is best to do research and consult a medical professional before diving into these regimens.

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