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Lavender: Medicinal Plant of the Year 2008

Its purple-blue flowers are resplendent in the summer and hardly anybody can resist its pleasant, fresh, aromatic scent - lavender, Medicinal Plant of the Year 2008.

The blue gold of Provence

Like purpley-blue shimmering waves, the lavender fields stretch out in early summer over the gentle slopes of southern France and beguile our senses with a herby floral scent. Even at our latitude, garden lovers are caught in the spell of the scent of lavender. As we begin to smell it, we begin to dream: Of fantastic holidays in southern climes and of grandma's wonderful lavender scent bottles. But lavender can do a lot more than just smell fabulous and look good. This medicinal plant with blue flowering panicles is a true all-rounder: It calms, relaxes, energises, repels mosquitos and moths, refreshes, disinfects and can even be used to add aroma to your cooking. This is why lavender was chosen as Medicinal Plant of the Year 2008 by an expert panel from NHV Theophrastus. "The importance of English lavender (lavandula angustifolia) as a plant for treating nerve disorders was crucial to our choice because maintaining healthy nerves and spirits in times of stimulus satiation is particularly vital' said the panel.

Medication today and yesterday

For a long time, lavender was just a wild plant that grew virtually unnoticed in the windy mountain ridges and hills of Provence. Although its properties were sufficiently well-known to doctors and natural scientists, it wasn't until 1870 that it set out on its road to success. The essence of English lavender is more topical than ever. Its relaxing and calming effect makes it a top-quality anti-stress oil: Simply rub a few drops onto the inside of your wrist and the oil penetrates your body through your skin and gets straight to work. Lavender in the form of an aromatic oil with health-promoting properties is particularly useful in the winter. An essential oil mixture of English lavender, eucalyptus and thyme disinfects ambient air. The essence evaporates into a thousand tiny droplets as it is heated on a burner and destroys harmful germs naturally. If you need rest and relaxation, adding the essential oil of this magic Mediterranean herb to your bath is recommended. It promotes equilibrium and sleep.

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