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INNER BEAUTY: Genie in a Bottle

Though many essential oils provide a range of benefits, lavender is the most versatile of all. It is often referred to as "a first aid kit in a bottle" and "the Swiss army knife" of essential oils. If your wishes include managing stress, calming anxiety; uplifting spirits; soothing pain; headache relief; relaxation; and sound sleep, lavender can help. If you wishes include antiseptic and antibacterial properties; and therapeutic skin care, lavender can provide that too. And if that isn't enough, lavender's lovely de-odorizing and purifying scent attracts humans and repels insects. How can an essential oil from one plant do all of this?

Lavender is classified as an "adaptogen", a natural and non-toxic botanical that increases the body's resistance to stresses such as trauma, anxiety, biological and chemical agents and physical fatigue. It increases the body's ability to adapt to internal or external stress by strengthening the immune system, nervous system and/or glandular systems. "English lavender" (Lavandula angustifolia) yields the most effective oil, though there are other lavenders which are better known for their fragrance or color.

Throughout history lavender has been used to clean, refresh and protect both the body and the home. From the famous baths of ancient Rome to modern-day bathing with a new lavender Ivory Soap®, lavender's popularity continues. Queens Elizabeth I and Victoria, used lavender in one form or another, in every one of their rooms. It was used it to wash floors and furniture, freshen the air, and linens. They ate lavender conserves for flavor, drank lavender tea (for migraines) and wore lavender fragrance. Their passion for lavender was responsible for the establishment of the lavender industry in England. Click here for a more detailed history of lavender.

Today we can find lavender in candles, potpurri, home fragrances; cleaning products, air freshners, dryer sheets, linen sprays, not to mention perfume; body lotions; bath and body products and foods. Always read the labels to be sure your choice includes pure essential oil of lavender, and does not include a lot of other synthetic ingredients. What makes real lavender the "genie who can grant multiple benefits with one wish" are the vital ingredients and living intelligence of the natural oil. Synthetic lavenders whose purpose is only to smell good, does not include the hundreds of natural compounds that help us heal and thrive.

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