Aromatherapy Lavender


Lavenders belong to a genus of as many as 39 species of blossoming plants in the mint family (Lamiaceae). It is generally believed that this genus is native to Asia, but over the centuries, it has been introduced in several regions, including the Mediterranean, Africa, Arabia, India and Western Iran. Lavenders include a variety of plants that may be perennial, subshrubs, small shrubs and even herbaceous plants. Usually, the cultivars are grown in gardens across the globe, but several varieties are also found growing naturally in open spaces. Plants belonging to this genus are able to cross-pollinate without much effort and, hence, you may come across numerous variations within the same species.

While some of the species belonging to this genus produce long and slender leaves, other may have pointed, jagged and occasionally dissected leaves. Lavenders bear flowers in whorls and they are supported by spikes that rise above the shrubbery. The blooms of lavender may vary in hue – violet, blue or lilac. The essential oil of lavender, which is extensively used in aromatherapy, is obtained by distilling the fragrant floral spikes of a number of lavender species.

Lavender essential oil is highly valued by people around the world for its multi-purpose utility. This natural oil is mostly used in aromatherapy owing to its assorted properties. In fact, if you are given the option to buy only one essential oil, you ought to purchase lavender essential oil. Almost all the parts of the lavender plant are fragrant and, hence, its oil may be obtained by distilling the leaves, blossoms and even the stems of this species.

Going through the pages of history, you will find that lavender and the essential oil obtained from it has been in use since times immemorial. In fact, different ancient cultures of the world valued and used it aromatic natural oil for several purposes. While the Romans are known to have bathed in water mixed with lavender essential oil, in Egypt, the Pharaohs used this genuine essential oil as a perfume. On the other hand, people in England used lavender essential oil to add fragrance to their linen boxes as well as an effective pest control. Since lavender essential oil has the aptitude to easily blend with several other essential oils, it has always been the preferred natural oil while manufacturing cosmetics and perfumes.

The essential oil obtained by distilling the fragrant flowers, leaves and stems of the plant possesses several therapeutic properties and is especially useful for treating skin irritations because it has the ability to promote quick and smooth healing of the cells of the harmed or damaged skin. This natural oil of lavender is an excellent remedy for treating skin conditions, such as sunburn. In addition, it is also very beneficial to skin care as it generally suits almost all types of skin. This oil may also be used to treat other skin conditions, including psoriasis, eczema, burns, wounds, abscesses, ulcers and cuts.

For ages, lavender essential oil has been traditionally used for different remedial purposes. In fact, the list of therapeutic benefits of this natural oil is not only very long but also varied. While it is beneficial for treating respiratory conditions, such as bronchitis and colds, it is also an effective analgesic and widely used for getting relief from muscle spasms and rheumatic pains. At the same time, lavender essential oil helps in regulating blood pressure and is used as a tranquilizer for disorders of the central nervous system. In addition, the lavender oil is also effective in providing relief from headaches, tension, nervous anxiety and treating gentle depression as well as insomnia. It is also wonderful natural oil for baths and its pleasing aroma makes lavender essential oil excellent for use in air fresheners or potpourris. Add a few drops of this oil on a tissue paper and inhale its exquisite aroma; it will act as an instant refreshment of the body and mind. Unlike many other essential oils, lavender may be applied ‘neat’ or in an undiluted state on the skin and this is considered to be one of the major advantages of using this natural oil.

Over the centuries, the classic floral or herbal aroma of lavender essential oil has been a prized item for people who used it as a washing herb. Its usage for this purpose has scented and refreshed numerous bed linens over the ages. The herb owes its name to the Latin term ‘lavare’ that literally translated into English denotes ‘to wash’.

It may be mentioned here that genuine lavender essential oil is obtained from several species of lavender and, hence, the quality and aroma of this oil varies depending on the type of lavender it has been extracted from.

As mentioned earlier, lavender essential oil possesses numerous therapeutic benefits and is, hence, used for treating several medical conditions. Below is a brief discussion of the condition specific benefits of this fragrant natural oil used extensively in aromatherapy today. Hope you find it useful and interesting.

  • The essential oil obtained by distilling the fragrant flowers, stems, and leaves of the herb possesses a soothing aroma which works as an effective stimulant for the nerves. Owing to this characteristic of lavender essential oil it is beneficial in healing headaches, nervous anxiety, migraines, depression, and tension of the nerves as well as emotional stress. The revitalizing scent of lavender essential oil facilitates in eliminating exhaustion of the nerves as well as restiveness. At the same time, this natural aromatic oil helps in enhancing cerebral activities – promote memory and bring in the clarity of thoughts.
  • Lavender essential oil is a wonderful cure for a variety of aches and pains associated with throbbing muscles, rheumatism, tense muscles, muscular aches, sprains as well as a backache and lumbago (pain in the lower or lumbar region of the back or loins). This is primarily attributed to the analgesic property of the oil. If you use this natural oil for the massage on a regular basis, it will help to provide you relief from muscle and joint pains.
  • The oil of lavender also possesses sedative or tranquilizing properties and, hence, the use of this natural oil helps to promote sleep and treat insomnia. Therefore, it is natural that herbalists around the world recommend this natural oil for treating sleeplessness.
  • Lavender essential oil also possesses mild diuretic properties and hence is effective in treating urinary problems. Using this natural oil not only stimulates urination but also ensures that the body does not retain unnecessary water/ fluids. This action of lavender oil helps the body to get rid of toxins, waste materials and also reduce weight. Additionally, this aromatic oil helps to regulate the blood pressure. The diuretic attribute of lavender essential oil also helps to sustain the hormonal balance and diminish cystitis (inflammation of the urinary bladder). It is also beneficial for treating cramps of any type.
  • The essential oil obtained by distilling the fragrant leaves, flowers, and stems of the lavender plant is known to be effective for hair care. Besides nourishing the hair, promoting hair growth and keeping its shine, using lavender essential oil facilitates in getting rid of lice, nits or eggs of lice.
  • The essential oil of lavender is widely used to treat numerous respiratory problems, such as flu, cough, throat contagions, cold, sinus congestion, asthma, bronchitis, laryngitis, whooping cough as well as tonsillitis. In aromatherapy, lavender essential oil is used as a vapor for inhalation or applied topically on the skin, especially on the back, chest, and neck. In addition, this aromatic natural oil is also applied using several types of inhalers and vaporizers to treat conditions like colds and coughs.
  • Lavender oil offers several benefits for the skin and this is attributed to the anti-fungal and antiseptic properties of this natural oil. As aforementioned lavender essential oil is recommended for treating a number of skin disorders, including wrinkles and psoriasis (an inflammatory skin disease distinguished by scaly patches) as well as other skin inflammations. In addition, this natural oil is also beneficial in rapidly healing cuts, wounds, burns, and sunburns since it facilitates the formation of scar tissues. To treat conditions like eczema, lavender essential oil is blended with chamomile essential oil and applied on the affected skin area.
  • Lavender oil is also beneficial for the circulatory system as its use helps to promote blood circulation throughout the body. In addition, it is very useful for people suffering from high blood pressure or hypertension since it helps to lower blood pressure.
  • The essential oil obtained from the aromatic parts of the lavender plant is also stomachic and it helps in improving digestion as well as in enhancing the mobility of the intestines. Using lavender essential oil also promotes production and secretion of digestive juices and bile and, thereby helps in curing indigestion, colic (paroxysmal pain in the abdomen or bowels), stomach aches, flatulence, diarrhea, and vomiting.
  • Lavender essential oil is also known to strengthen the immune system and people who use this oil on a regular basis are able to resist several diseases.

The essential oil of lavender also possesses several other health benefits and is especially effective in the treatment of leucorrhoea (a whitish or yellowish mucous discharge from the vagina indicating some kind of infection). In addition, this aromatic natural oil is also effective in treating insect bites and is often used to repel moths and mosquitoes. In fact, several insect repellents available on the market contain lavender essential oil as an important ingredient.


  • anti-inflammatory
  • antiseptic
  • antispasmodic
  • balancing
  • carminative
  • circulatory
  • detoxifying
  • diuretic
  • relaxing
  • stimulant
  • stomachic
  • tonic
  • uplifting
  • vulnerary


  • eucalyptus
  • geranium
  • jasmine
  • lemon
  • orange
  • rose
  • ylang-ylang


  • aging / mature skin
  • allergy
  • anal fistula
  • anorexia
  • arthritis
  • athlete’s foot
  • boils and carbuncles
  • bronchitis
  • bruises
  • burns
  • catarrh
  • chilblains
  • childbirth
  • circulatory problems
  • colds and flu
  • cold sores
  • colic
  • colitis
  • coughs
  • cystitis
  • depression
  • dermatitis
  • digestive disorders
  • diarrhea
  • earache
  • enuresis
  • exhaustion
  • fainting and vertigo
  • fast breath
  • fever
  • fibrositis
  • flatulence
  • fluid retention
  • glandular fever
  • hair loss
  • headache
  • high blood pressure
  • hysteria and panic
  • immune system
  • inflammation
  • insomnia
  • liver
  • menopause
  • migraine
  • mood swings
  • motion sickness
  • myalgic encephalomyelitis
  • nausea and vomiting
  • oily and open pores
  • oversensitivity
  • pains
  • palpitations
  • premenstrual tension and other menstrual problems
  • psoriasis
  • rejuvenation
  • rheumatism
  • rhinitis
  • irritability
  • scabies
  • shortness of breath
  • sinusitis
  • sprains and strains
  • stiffness
  • stomach pains
  • sunburn
  • throat infection
  • tonsillitis
  • thrush
  • ulcers
  • urination (difficulty of)
  • whooping cough


Despite being multi-purpose oil that has widespread use in aromatherapy, one ought to exercise certain cautions before using lavender essential oil for therapeutic purposes. Using this oil obtained by distilling the leaves, flowers and even stems of the lavender plant may result in miscarriage or forced abortion. Hence, pregnant women should be careful to keep off this valuable essential oil during the initial four months of their pregnancy. In addition, patients undergoing chemotherapeutic treatments of any type of cancer should also never use this natural aromatic oil.

Like in the case of several other essential oils, nursing mothers and women who are breastfeeding their infants should also never use lavender essential oil as it may pass on to the breast milk and prove to be detrimental to the infant’s health. People suffering from diabetes are also advised to keep off this essential oil. Moreover, lavender essential oil has the potential to cause allergic reactions among people with sensitive skin and, hence, they too need to avoid using this natural oil. Using lavender essential oil may result in adverse after-effects, such as vomiting, nausea, and headaches in some people. Therefore, it is advisable that this oil should be used only after consulting any professional familiar with the use of essential oils and with great caution.

Lavender Fragrance and Fancies {How To Make Potpourri}

Making your own potpourri is a delightful hobby and easier than you may think….
The ancient and fragrant art of potpourri is one of the few truly civilized and civilizing processes left for the twentieth century inhabitant to partake of. This ‘preservation of garden souls’ is a work worthy of time and loving care and its products can bring delight not only to the maker but to so many others.
We will disdain the often quoted and unworthy translation of the French ‘rotten pot’, and proceed hastily to the fact that there are two distinct techniques for potpourri production, ‘moist’ and ‘dry’.
Moist potpourri is an old method of production and its presumably the source of the French title, for it is the fragrance, and most certainly not the appearance  that is the attraction with this variety. Moist potpourri are reputed to retain their fragrance for up to fifty years, so the process results in much longer staying power. They are made from floral materials that are partly dried, despite the name.
The peak time to pick any floral ingredient is just as it is coming into full bloom. Pick after the dew has dried but as early as possible on a sunny day. Dry the flowers on papers or preferably on screens, out of sunlight but in an airy place. For moist potpourri they should be only partly dried. leathery when finished rather than crisp. Aim for a very limp appearance. Around one third of their bulk will be gone.
We use large straight sided glazed pottery crocks with good fitting tops to hold and mature moist potpourris. These should really be set aside for the purpose as it takes a number of weeks to mature a batch. Never use metallic spoons to turn the mixture. Buy some long-handled wooden spoons and keep them for this purpose alone. To make your job pleasant the crock needs to be sufficiently large and wide-mouthed to hold all the ingredients comfortably during the necessary turnings and stirrings as the mixture ages. The shortest time needed to mature the mix is two weeks. This is really far too short. The best results come with longer maturation. We wait at least six to eight weeks, but in previous centuries, far more noted for their patience than our own, the crocks were left to stew for months.
The general principles are simple. Place a layer of ‘leathery stage’ petals at the bottom of the crock, then cover with a layer of common {not iodized} salt. Add another layer of petals, then salt, alternating them until the crock is about three quarters full. A batch requires at least two weeks ageing before the remaining ingredients are added. Weigh the mixture down with a plate on which is placed some heavy non-corrodible object. A large bottle of homemade preserves is an answer. A large glass jar filled with sand and tightly capped will do the job well too. Each day the mix needs to be stirred well from the bottom. A kind of ‘petal soup’ appears and should be mixed back into the petals. If a hard crust appears, remove it and allow it to dry. Reserve this for the final mixing when it should be crushed and added back.
Next the spices, ground roots, dried peels, fragrant leaves and fixatives are added and blended. Leave for one month, stirring daily and covering again, to mellow and mix the fragrances. Finally add whatever essential oils may be required and allow the mix to continue to ‘stew’ {the word is too appropriate to be avoidable}, stirring daily, for a few more weeks.
If all this sounds tedious in the extreme, interrupting a very busy schedule, you are probably one of those who would most greatly benefit from its therapy! The fragrance alone is sufficient reward as the mixture is stirred each day, and it is no more difficult to build this routine into your day than any other daily routine.
Now is the time to move the potpourri into its final containers. Remember how long it will give pleasure to its owner and choose something worthy of the contents. Old Chinese ginger jars, oriental porcelain jars, even old-fashioned tea-caddies and marmalade jars in fine pottery are suitable. Haunt secondhand and antique shops for suitable potpourri jars. The only provisos are that there is a solid cover and that it is made of glazed pottery of some kind. Once you are looking, it is amazing how many unusual and attractive old containers suggest themselves.
The mixture in its new container will still be a little raw in its quality of fragrance, but in a few weeks will be a delight. When you wish to scent a room, remove the cover and a delicious subtle fragrance will gently pervade the whole area. Otherwise keep the lid on the mixture.
Here are a few recipes for moist potpourri. Once you have mastered the basic technique you will be able to devise your own mixes.

Sweet Lavender Tisane.

Queen Elizabeth I reputedly consumed countless cups of this tisane.
3 tablespoons fresh English lavender flowers
2 cups boiling water
Allow the flowers to steep for 3 to 4 minutes, strain and serve with a slice of lemon and honey if liked.
If using dried flowers, halve the quantity used. A little mint or rosemary can be added for an interesting flavor variation.
The English long served their equivalent of the modern fruit salad with lavender flowers and on a bed of lettuce and lavender leaves. This is a delicious modern adaptation of that old idea.

Herbal Bath Bags.

Lavender has a relaxing effect on the peripheral nervous system and has long been used to treat headaches originating from nervous tension. Not surprisingly with these medicinal properties combined with its sweet clean smell, lavender has long been a constituent of bath bags. These are made from squares of muslin or voile. A cupful of the mixture is placed in the center of the square, the sides drawn up and tied into a bag with appropriate colored ribbon.
Lavender Mist Bath Bags
1/2 cup dried sweet cicely
1/2 cup dried sweet woodruff
1 tablespoon dried valerian roots
1/4 cup dried lavender leaves
1/2 cup dried lavender flowers
1/4 cup dried angelica leaves
1 1/2 cup medium ground oatmeal
1/2 cup almond meal
20 drops oil of lavender
Divide the mixture into 3 equal portions and tie into bags as previously described.
Soak the bag thoroughly in hot water at the bottom of the bath before topping up with cool water.
Squeeze the bag repeatedly until no more milkiness emerges. The water will now be silky soft and fragrant.
Use the bag as a final gentle skin scrub. The bag is reusable once provided it is used the next day.
Aromatic Bath
This recipe is adapted from the Toilet of Flora published in the seventeenth century.
Combine half a cup of each of the following dried herbs: lavender, sweet marjoram, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, wormwood, peppermint, pennyroyal, lemon balm.
Add the mixture to two litres of water in an enamelled pan, boil for ten minutes, then allow to cool.
Strain through a double layer of cloth and add half a bottle of brandy.
Bottle. Add a little to the bathtub when bathing.
The Beauty Bath
Ninon de Lenclos was a celebrated and exceedingly beautiful French courtesan of the seventeenth century.
She died at the age of 85 {rare indeed at that time} and reputedly retained her smooth youthful skin and curves until the end. She attributed this to her special daily herbal bath.
Here is her secret recipe.
1 handful crushed comfrey root
1 handful dried lavender flowers
1 handful dried mint leaves
1 handful dried rosemary leaves
1 handful dried Centifolia rose petals {recommended by famous French herbalist Maurice Messague for its anti-wrinkle properties}
Mix together, tie in a muslin bag and place in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over the herbs and leave to steep for 20 minutes. Pour the resulting infusion into a warm bath, squeezing the bag hard to extract all the active principles.
An Eighteenth Century Sweet Bath
This bath is refreshing, antiseptic and deodorising.
1 cup dried rose petals
1 cup dried orange flowers
1 cup dried Jasminum officinalis flowers
1 cup dried bay leaves
1 cup dried mint leaves
1 cup pennyroyal leaves
1 cup dried citrus peel {yellow part only}
6 drops essential oil of lavender
6 drops essential oil of musk
6 drops essential oil rose geranium
Mix well and store in a glass jar.
To use, tie 2-3 cups of the mixture in a muslin square, place in a bowl and pour boiling water over the herbs.
Allow to infuse for twenty minutes, remove the herbs squeezing the muslin bag firmly to extract all the herb extract, and add this concentrated infusion to a warm bath.
The Ultimate Tranquility Bath
Save this bath until evening.
You will find yourself unwinding wonderfully with this fragrant bath.
1 cup dried lavender flowers
1 cup dried linden flowers
1 cup dried chamomile flowers
1 cup dried valerian root chips
1 cup dried sweet marjoram
1/2 cup dried angelica leaves
1/2 cup dried lemon verbena leaves
Mix well together and use in the same way as the previous recipe.

Lavender Antiseptic Washes & More..

Lavender Antiseptic Wash.
This is a favorite treatment for eczema, cuts, acne and minor burns.
Take a good handful of the flowers and boil together with half a liter of water for ten minutes. Filter and allow to cool before using.
Since Roman days this has been used in hot baths, to relax the body, and it is known to have a marked effect on the peripheral nervous system. It has also been widely used as a gargle for sore throats and sore or infected gums, due to its antiseptic properties and relaxant effect on the nervous system.
Hungary Water.
1 gallon brandy or clear spirits {equal to 16 cups}
1 handful of rosemary
1 handful of lavender
1 handful myrtle
Handfuls are measured by cutting branches of the herbs twelve inches long. A handful is the number of such branches that can be held in the hand. After measuring, the branches should be cut up into one-inch pieces, and put to infuse in the brandy. You will then have the finest Hungary Water that can be made.
Four Thieves Vinegar.
This antiseptic vinegar is attributed to a gang of four thieves who robbed the bodies of victims of the plague in Marseilles in 1722. They washed their bodies with it, frequently disinfecting their hands, and sprinkled it on their clothes and around their houses. It is said that all four survived without infection.
Actually it is not surprising that this famous aromatic vinegar was so successful. Many of its ingredients are among the most powerful natural antibiotics in the world. Another case of empirically gained knowledge long preceding that obtained by scientific investigation.
*Infuse garlic cloves, lavender flowers, rosemary, sage, calamus root, mint, wormwood, rue, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a glass flagon of wine vinegar and leave sealed in the sun for 3-4 weeks to release the powerfully antibiotic oils into the vinegar. Filter, pour into smaller bottles, add a little camphor and seal until ready for use.
Soothing Massage Oil.
1/2 cup safflower or sunflower oil
Dried pot marigold petals
12 drops essential oil of rose geranium
12 drops essential oil of lavender
10 drops essential pine oil or oil of cypress
Place the safflower oil in a glass jar and add as many freshly dried pot marigold petals as possible.
Cap the bottle and place in the sun for 4-5 days. Filter off the petals and squeeze out any retained oil from them before discarding. The oil will now be deep orange and fully charged with the active healing principles of calendula. Mix the other essential oils into the infused oil of marigold, bottle and store in the refrigerator.

Recipe: Lavender Water.

Of course this can be bought commercially. My favorite comes from Norfolk Lavender in England. But for home purposes you can enjoy making up your own supply.
In a clear glass bottle steep 100 g of lavender flowers in half a liter of alcohol {brandy or vodka are both good}. Place in the sun for a few days, then strain. Repeat until the fragrance is very strong.
Strain and seal in a glass bottle. If your hair is weak, falling out and breaking, try an old idea and rub lavender water into your scalp several times a week. Try it too as a rub for rheumatism. It has a long tradition of usage for both problems.

A Few of Our Favorite Old-Fashioned Lavender Ideas for the Home.

Sweet Scented Armchair

In one of my favorite old books Pot Pourri from a Surrey Garden {1900}, by Mrs. C.W. Earle described a delightfully fragrant household idea: ‘On the backs of my armchairs are thin Liberty oblong bags, like miniature saddle-bags, filled with dried Lavender, Sweet Verbena and Sweet Geranium leaves. This mixture is much more fragrant than the lavender alone. The visitor who leans back in his chair, wonders from where the sweet scent comes.’
This is a Victorian elegance developed from early ideas described by Parkinson in the seventeenth century of tying fragrant bundles of lavender, costmary and rosemary to ‘lie upon the tops of beds.’
A more sophisticated way of dealing with the ever present problems of moths in clothing was developed in the seventeenth century. Clothing was sprinkled with a fragrant concentrated moth-repellent liquid before being folded.
Here is a seventeenth century recipe:
To make a special sweet water to perfume clothes in the folding being washed. Take a quart of Damask-Rose Water and put it into a glasse, put unto it a handful of Lavender Flowers, two ounces of Orris, a dram of Muske, the weight of four pence of Amber-greece, as much Civet, foure drops of Oyle of Clove, stop this close, and set it in the Sunne a fortnight; put one spoonful of this Water into a bason of common water and put it into a glasse and so sprinkle your clothes with it in your folding.
Lavender Wash Days
Plant a bush, or better yet a hedge, of lavender near the laundry door-French, Mitcham or English-and on sunny days dry lingerie and pillowslips over the bushes.
An old tradition.
We grew lavender in our old Maryland garden and the sheets in my Mother’s house always smelled of it. What sweet slumbers come to one between Lavender-scented sheets!
Louise Beebe Wilder, The Fragrant Garden
Store sheets fresh from the sun and wind with lavender bags between each folded sheet.
Lavender Tea Cozy
Nothing could be more old-fashioned or more deliciously fragrant than the warmth of a hot pot of tea releasing the fragrant oil of English lavender flowers.
Make a tea cozy from a flower sprigged cotton with wadding between the layers. Fashion two large pockets to line the two inside layers of the cozy. Place inside each pocket a large flat sachet of lavender potpourri. This way of making the tea cozy allows you to remove the old potpourri and replace with fresh when necessary. A pot of herb tea with the fragrance of lavender floating in the air is one of the most relaxing of indulgences in the middle of a tiring and busy day.
Lavender Insect Repellent
Lavender oil is a powerful insect repellent.
Rub a few drops diluted in a little safflower oil on your skin before indulging in the great outdoors to repel flies, midges and mosquitoes.
Or throw a handful of the dried stalks and branches left over from the harvest onto the barbecue or picnic fire.
With stored fruit, sprinkle dried lavender leaves over it.
Moth Repellent Sachet Mixture
Lavender oil and lavender flowers have long been recognized for their powerful insect repellent properties.
Lavender was always an ingredient in moth repellent sachets to store among winter woolens.
Here is my favorite mixture of dried herbs for moth bags which are made of voile or silk or organdie and tied with bows of satin ribbon.
2 cups dried lavender flowers
1 cup dried lightly crushed camphor laurel leaves
1/2 cup dried lightly crushed costmary leaves
1 cup dried wormwood leaves
1/2 cup dried pennyroyal
1/2 cup dried peppermint
1 cup dried lavender leaves
This fresh mint-and-lavender scent with astringent undertones really seems to keep the moths at bay.
Hang a sachet on hangars and pop one in each drawer.
Lavender Incense
If you have a little incense burner, this is an easy incense to make and use. It is particularly useful in the sick room that has remained closed up for some time, quickly dispelling mustiness.
Even better, it need cost nothing.
2 tablespoons fine sawdust which has been sieved to remove coarse pieces
2 tablespoons finely crumbled dried lavender leaves and flowers
5 drops essential oil of lavender
Bath toiletries and cosmetics are another way of incorporating sweet lavender fragrance into your life.
Make your own soap is a great deal easier than many people imagine. Homemade soaps can be incredibly luxurious, rich, fragrant-and good for your skin!
Making soap to save money is a very minimal goal. You should consider making soap because it is fun, because it is creative and because it opens up a whole new world of fragrance experiences-and the end of it all, you will save money.
Washing balls are a good way to start working with soap products. They are a very old idea. The washing balls are compounded of a finely grated pure quality unscented soap such as Castile, mixed with skin softening and aromatic ingredients.
Ipswich Balls were once very popular. For ‘almond cake’ use 14 g of finely ground almond meal from your health food store or other suppliers. Oil of spike is lavender oil. Use a few drops of oil of musk or tincture of musk in place of the musk and ambergris in the recipe and you will have a creditable Ipswich Ball.
Here is a famous recipe from The Queen’s Closet Opened by W.M., Cook to Queen Henrietta Maria, published in 1655.Take a pound of fine white Castile Sope, shave it thin in a pinte of Rose-water, and let it stand two or three days, then pour all the water from it, and put to it half a pint more, and let it stand a night more, then put to it half an ounce {14g} of powder called sweet Marjoram, a quarter of an ounce [7g} of powder of Winter Savoury, two to three drops of oyl of Spike, and the oyl of cloves, three grains of Musk, and as much Ambergris, work all these together in a fair Mortar, with the powder of an Almond Cake dryed, and beaten as small as fine flour, so roll it round in your hands in Rosewater.

The final rolling in rosewater helps to smooth, polish and scent the ball. Let it stand for up to six weeks to harden otherwise the ball is used up too quickly. The soap is prevented from darkening if you add 14 g of powdered gum benzoin to the original recipe.
Here is the ‘delicate washing ball’ described in Ram’s Little Dodoen in 1606:Take three ounces {83g} of orris, half an ounce {14g} of cypress, two ounces {37g} of Calamus aromaticus, one ounce {28g} of Rose leaves {petals}, two ounces of Lavender flowers: beat all these together in a mortar sieving them through a fine sieve, then scrape some Castile sope, and dissolve it with some Rose-water, then incorporate all your powders therewith, by labouring of them well in a mortar.

Form the mixture into small balls about the size of a large golf ball and set aside to dry thoroughly for six weeks.
It is possible to fashion all manner of fragrant soap balls based on finely grated Castile soap and incorporating finely ground cosmetic aromatic herbs, herbal oils and finely ground almond meal.The only limitation is one’s imagination.

Lavender Sweet Breath Lozenges & Lavender Inhalant.

egg white
icing sugar
lavender oil
These sweet lavender pastilles were once most fashionable among ladies as a breath freshener after indulging in a little wine. A few drops of essential oil of lavender were added to well sieved icing sugar and mixed thoroughly. It was then bound with sufficient lightly beaten egg white to form a stiff paste, and small portions shaped into lozenge shaped pastilles.
These were then set aside to dry and harden in a warm place.
While these pastilles were an emergency social measure, a mouth wash made from an infusion of sage leaves was much favored for everyday use, as was sage toothpaste.
Lavender Inhalant.
Make a hot infusion of one good handful of lavender in 3 1/2 cups of water. Add a few drops of oil and inhale the steam under a cloth. If you wish, add one or more of the following:
thyme, sage or peppermint.
As an alternative, you might like to try William Turner’s suggestion from the New Herball {1551}:
“I judge that the flowers of Lavender quilted in a cap and worne are good for all diseases of the head that comne from a cold cause and that they comfort the braine very well.”

Lavender Cream & Lavender Night Cream.

This is an antiseptic cream and has been traditionally used for all manner of minor cuts, abrasions, bruises etc.
* 125 g white wax
500g sweet almond oil
370 g distilled water
10 g essential oil of lavender
2.5 g spike oil
Lavender Ointment:
25 drops essential oil of lavender
10 drops essential oil of lemon or neroli
5 drops essential oil of thyme
2 tablespoons oil of lavender
60 g pure beeswax
Warm the beeswax in a small pot in a roasting pan of hot water and, when melted, beat in the oil of lavender; then, as the ointment cools, add the essential oils, continuing to beat until cool. Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator.
Oil of Lavender.
This is not the commercially distilled essential oil, but a rubbing oil which can be used at full strength. {Essential oil of lavender obtained by distillation of fresh lavender flowers should be diluted in light vegetable oil for use as a massage oil when needed.}
To make oil of lavender, take a clean glass bottle and add to it a good large handful o fresh lavender flowers and cover with one litre of olive oil. Cover and leave to macerate in the warmth of the sun for three to five days. Strain through a cloth, add fresh flowers to the bottle and return the lavender-infused oil. Repeat until the oil is highly perfumed and charged with the active principles of lavender.
Lavender Night Cream
1 tablespoon avocado oil or apricot oil
1 tablespoon almond oil
3 tablespoons lanolin
1 teaspoon oil of lavender {see
‘Oil of Lavender’}
If you work outside a lot this is the ideal answer to sore chapped hands and weather beaten skin.
Put the lanolin in an ovenproof bowl and place in a roasting pan half full of hot water.
Pour in the avocado and almond oil and beat well to completely combine.
Remove from the heat and continue to beat as the mixture cools and thickens.
Add the oil of lavender. Continue beating until mixture is thick and creamy and cool.
Pour into a small pot, cover and store in the refrigerator.
Vitamin E can be added by squeezing the contents of 2 or 3 capsules at the same stage as oil of lavender is added.

Oil of Lavender.

This is not the commercially distilled essential oil, but a rubbing oil which can be used at full strength. {Essential oil of lavender obtained by distillation of fresh lavender flowers should be diluted in light vegetable oil for use as a massage oil when needed.}
To make oil of lavender, take a clean glass bottle and add to it a good large handful of fresh lavender flowers and cover with one liter of olive oil. Cover and leave to macerate in the warmth of the sun for three to five days. Strain through a cloth, add fresh flowers to the bottle and return the lavender-infused oil. Repeat until the oil is highly perfumed and charged with the active principles of lavender.