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Lavender, or Lavendula, which sounds ancient, but it is always her, the plant that will be known to almost everyone: small, perennial, with its lilac flower in the shape of a spike. More scientifically speaking, it is a real genus of plants belonging to the Lamiaceae family, in truth it is the only genus of the Lavanduleae Caruel tribe.
There lavender it loves the typical temperate or subtropical climate and is currently widespread in the Mediterranean basin, in North Africa and in Asia from the Arabian Peninsula to India. As for the name, and I'm talking about lavender or lavendersimilarly, it comes from the Latin gerund "to wash", "which must be washed". It is an explicit reference to the use that in ancient times, especially in the Middle Ages, was made of this plant. Body cleanser.
Even the Ancient Romans already used it, but by putting bunches in the spa water to perfume the environment, or transforming it into perfumes, base for decoctions and infusions intended to heal skin and hair and make them as beautiful as possible. Actually the lavender, as we'll see, it's not just smell: it has interesting active ingredients that make it a natural remedy for headache, insomnia, cough and insect bites.
Lavender: plant and flower
The plant called lavender, even if we often think only of the dry flower that we put in the drawers to perfume them, it is an evergreen and perennial shrub of small size: from 60 cm to 1 meter, maximum. The stems are straight and woody at the base, then gradually become more flexible until they offer the flower to our eyes.
The leaves are not particularly visible, they do not attract attention because they are linear and lanceolate, of a rather anonymous grayish-green color. Especially compared to the flowers that, in addition to being extremely fragrant, are violet in color and grouped in thin spikes. Hermaphrodites, in series ranging from two to 10 elements, the flowers can actually take on colors from blue-violet to purple or whitish, almost never dark purple or yellowish.
Used often and willingly in phytotherapy, lavender flowers are very precious because they are rich in active ingredients that make them sedative and calming for the nervous system, to be used in case of anxiety, agitation, nervousness, headache and stress and insomnia.
There lavender it also has a balsamic action on the respiratory tract, so a treatment inspired by it is recommended in case of flu, cough, cold and phlegm. Thanks to its magical antispasmodic properties, it limits the presence of gas in the gastro-intestinal area so it calms abdominal pains and spasms, relaxing the stomach muscles. As an antispasmodic, and soothes nerves, it is a widely used herb too for dizziness, migraines and nervous headaches.
In the field of cosmetics, l'Lavender essential oil it is very frequently used as a perfume, similarly we find it as a base for soaps and detergents generally boasting properties anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antibacterial, healing and decongestants. Not only, therefore, scented creams and soaps, but specific for cleaning wounds and sores or to relieve itching due to insect bites or other.
Lavender in vase
The best lavender to successfully grow in pots is the "Lavandula angustifolia " of the Nana Alba variety, but we can also attempt the feat with other species, it is not one mission impossible and, once successful, we will have an excellent natural repellent for mosquitoes. Of course, you need to guarantee her 8 hours of sunshine a day and some care, but without anxiety.
You can choose, whether in a pot or in the garden, whether to start from seeds, from a plant to be transplanted or from a branch at least 10 centimeters long. The pot should be chosen rather high and filled with soil enriched with a little sand that favors rooting. After about a month from sowing, recommended between April and June, we will see sprouts sprouted: the flowering is expected between June and July.
A trick by passionate lavender growers is to place a layer of expanded clay balls on the bottom of the pot, obviously it is necessary water whenever the surface looks dry, possibly not by focusing on the nascent plant, we would ruin it.
Lavender: how to prune it
In conjunction with the collection of flowers, we can give ourselves to pruning: it is usually the most practical choice, for us, and healthier for the plant. It is important not to overdo the cuts, and wait for the moment to pick the flowers maximum flowering. In order not to risk killing the plant thinking of just pruning it, the advice is to wait when we see the new shoots born at the base, so we know that it is ready to regenerate. "For more information you can read our article:"How to prune lavender”
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