The lavender plant, which is native to the Old World and is characterized by its beautiful hues and invigorating fragrance, has been used for more than 2,500 years as a cosmetic aid. The ancient Egyptians and Phoenicians, for instance, would use lavender as a natural perfume. The Romans loved to use lavender to scent their baths (in fact, “lavender” is derived from the Latin “lavare,” which means “to wash”), while the people of Medieval and Renaissance Europe used lavender to deodorize the stone floors of their castles.
Despite its significant cosmetic benefits, however, lavender is also a medicine of considerable potency. This is especially true of its oil, which is widely regarded as one of the most versatile essential oils in existence.