We all love body, skin and hair care products that work to hydrate the skin and also give the body an overall clean, fresh smell. Many people prefer natural products, specifically those that do not irritate the skin, and that can even lead to skin disorders. So, our research took us to the naturally beneficial properties of lavender.
Lavender plants are aromatic, evergreen small shrubs grown here in the African region. The plant has small blue or purple flowers which are harvested and distilled to make lavender oil. The flowers are also cultivated extensively for the use of perfumes and as potpourri.
The natural qualities of lavender oils help us in our everyday lives whether it is in foods, in the home or in medicines.
The products made from lavender oils are all free from petrochemicals, parabens, synthetic fragrances and harmful chemicals. The lavender essential oil is known as the miracle oil and is good for relaxation, headaches, muscular pain, flu and sinus problems, hair growth, skin problems, healing burns, insect bites and infections. According to dermatologists and aroma therapists, lavender essential oil is one of the most beneficial oils in the treatment of acne.
This powerful essential oil inhibits the bacteria that cause the initial infection. It helps to regulate the over-excretion of sebum and reduces the signs of scarring after the acne has begun to heal. Adding just a drop of lavender oil to skin creams or ointments can greatly increase the relief to acne skin and aid in the healing process.
Lavender essential oil is also widely used for various respiratory problems, including throat infections, flu, cough, cold and tonsillitis. The oil is either in the form of vapor or is applied on the skin of the neck, chest and back. The stimulating nature of lavender essential oil can also help to loosen up the phlegm and relieve the congestion associated with respiratory conditions. The vapor of the lavender oils also has antibacterial qualities that assist the respiratory tract infections.
However, as with all essential oils, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using lavender essential oil. This could cause an allergic reaction to some who have unusually sensitive skin. The oils should never be ingested; they should only be topically applied, or inhaled through means of aromatherapy burner.
We found an organization in Lavender Hill which is run by Marcelle Van Zyl. Here the community is taught about the beneficial effects of lavender, how to plant trees and cultivate the flowers to make body, hair and skin care products. A percentage of the profit is ploughed back into the community through education sessions, business opportunity creation and the donation of plants. The aim of this organization is the creating of entrepreneurs, job creation and income generation. The products are available at most health stores in Cape Town and the Waterfront Market.(Visit www.lavenderinlavenderhill.co.za for more information.)
If you would like to test these quality products, send your name and “Lavender” in the subject line in an e-mail to WIN@48hours.co.za before 12pm Tuesday, September 9, and you could be a lucky winner of a magnificent Lavender hamper. Good luck!