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Lavender essential oil

The use of lavender for healing has a long history, extending from ancient Egypt to more modern conflicts. While there is no specific historical record of lavender being used by...

The use of lavender for healing has a long history, extending from ancient Egypt to more modern conflicts. While there is no specific historical record of lavender being used by the ancient Egyptians during a particular war to heal wounded soldiers, lavender was indeed highly valued for its medicinal properties. In modern times, lavender's use was notably prominent during World War I and World War II for its antiseptic and soothing effects on wounds.

Historical Context

The aromatic and therapeutic qualities of lavender were the main reasons for its everyday use in ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptian medical papyri, including the Ebers Papyrus (c. 1550 BCE), describe the application of different herbs and oils in the treatment of various illnesses. Although lavender isn't addressed by name in ancient writings, its benefits correspond with the ways that other comparable herbs and oils have been used to treat infections and wounds

The Healing Power of Lavender Through History

Lavender has been prized for its medicinal properties for centuries, playing a significant role in various wars from ancient Rome to the modern era. The plant’s antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties have made it an invaluable resource in treating wounded soldiers across different historical periods.

World War I:

Due to the high rate of infections in battlefield casualties during World War I, antiseptic use became essential. Natural treatments were sought as alternatives because medical supplies were frequently scarce. Wounds were cleaned and disinfected using lavender oil, which is well-known for its antibacterial and restorative qualities. The analgesic properties of lavender also assisted in relieving wounded troops' pain and suffering. Lavender oil was administered topically to wounds by nurses and medical professionals. It was also occasionally mixed into field dressings and ointments.

World War II:

Lavender was still used during World War II, when its antibacterial qualities were again employed. Lavender oil was utilized for treating wounds, burns, and other injuries in temporary medical stations and field hospitals. In the frequently unsanitary circumstances of wartime medical care, the oil helped to prevent infections and promote speedier healing.

Roman Wars

Lavender was frequently employed for its medicinal properties in ancient Rome. Lavender water was a common medical kit item carried by Roman soldiers. They cleaned wounds with it, taking advantage of its antibacterial qualities to stave off diseases. The fragrant herb's ability to relieve pain also assisted in lessening the discomfort associated with wounds. Roman doctors used lavender in an effort to relieve soldiers and encourage quicker healing for soldiers in the field.

German Soldiers

During the war, lavender was also used by German medics and soldiers. Natural treatments such as lavender became invaluable during the later phases of the war, when medical supplies were sometimes few. Similar to how it was utilized during World War I, lavender oil was applied to wounds to help them heal and avoid infection. When feasible, the Germans used lavender in their medical practices because they understood how important it was to provide good wound treatment.

Medieval European Wars

During the Middle Ages, European soldiers continued to benefit from lavender’s healing properties. Lavender was highly valued for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory characteristics, making it a crucial component in treating wounds. Medieval medical practitioners applied lavender-infused solutions to cuts and abrasions to fight infection and reduce swelling. Its calming scent also provided psychological comfort to injured soldiers, aiding in their overall recovery process.

American Civil War

Throughout the American Civil War, lavender was used extensively and was essential to battlefield medicine. Using lavender's antibacterial qualities to treat wounds helped soldiers and field doctors avoid infections amid the unhygienic surroundings of battle. Lavender was also employed for its sedative properties, which helped injured individuals cope with their pain and anxiety. For wounded warriors, the comforting scent of lavender offered a sense of relaxation and tranquility that was essential to their mental health.

Lavender Essential Oil: Medicine chine in a Bottle

Lavender is often called "MEDICINE CHEST IN A BOTTLE"  due to its versatile use in aromatherapy.  The name lavender originates from the Latin verb "lavare," which means “to wash.” The Romans used Lavender to scent their baths, beds, clothes and even hair.  It has many medicinal uses too; lavender can soothe burns, induce sleep, reduce anxiety and stress, and treat aching muscles and joints. 
(Flowers of Lavender)

Highly Symbolic

Lavender is commonly associated with purity, devotion, serenity and calmness. These themes are often related to the ways lavender is used. Calmness and serenity point toward lavender's uses in aiding sleep and easing anxiety. Purity is shown through lavender's use throughout history in cleaning and its associations with cleanliness.  

It Has Ancient Roots

The origin of Lavender is believed to be from the Mediterranean, Middle East and India. Its history goes back some 2500 years. Lavender is a flowering plant of the mint family known for its beauty, its sweet floral fragrance and its multiple uses.

  1. The ancient Egyptians made use of lavender during their mummification process, embalming the corpse with perfume.
  2. The ancient Greeks, on the other hand, used lavender to treat insomnia and ease back pain.
  3. During the Bubonic Plague in the 17th century,  lavender was used as a remedy to ward off potential disease.
  4. Lavender is actually quite an effective bug repellent! 
  5. When it comes to plant symbolism, lavender represents purity, devotion, serenity, grace, and calmness.
  6. Unsurprisingly, Queen Victoria was also a huge fan of lavender. She made sure that all of her furniture was cleaned with a lavender-based solution, and her drink of choice was lavender-infused tea to help ease her stomach.


(Queen Victoria)


What makes lavender work?

Like most medicinal plants, lavender contains different active chemicals, and it’s the combined effects of these chemicals that make this plant work like a skilled car mechanic: adept at finely tuning the whole body to make it run smoothly.

For lavender, the chemicals are:

  • polyphenols like Rosmarinus acid
  • flavonoids like apigenin
  • volatile aromatics

The main anxiety-relieving components are linalool and linalyl acetate. They’re also found in other relaxing aromatic plants, including citrus fruits, like bitter orange (neroli).

Lavender oil also contains the terpenes cineole and camphor. These are also found in memory-boosting European sage and rosemary.

When purchasing lavender essential oil, see if you can ask about its chemical formulation. The composition of essential oils can vary depending on many factors (such as time of harvest), and some oil can be adulterated with synthetic chemicals.

Lavender should contain:

  • 25 to 38 percent linalool
  • 25 to 45 percent linalyl acetate
  • 0.3 to 1.5 percent cineole


Lavender is one of the safest plants for general use, and even the essential oil has very low toxicity when used at the correct dose. It may be applied undiluted in minute quantities on the skin, too.

But it’s not without its contraindications. For example, people with sensitive skin may find it irritating. Lavender may also exacerbate sedative or anticonvulsant drugs.

  •  Lavender oil is mentioned in the Bible numerous times and was the oil that was used to wash Jesus’ feet.
  • During the middle Ages, crushed lavender was a popular condiment and remains a common ingredient in French recipes today.
  • Lavender oil is best for sleep and anxiety issues.



(Lavender promotes relaxation and sound sleep.)



  • Diffuse it with aroma diffusers.
  • Add undiluted lavender oil to your body lotion for a pleasing scent.
  • Make a sugar scrub with sugar, undiluted lavender, and oil.
  • Rub diluted lavender oil into your scalp to treat dandruff.


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Diffuse in an aroma diffuser


How to use an Aroma Diffuser?

See the video: 




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