In the Medieval times, lavender was used in homes to deodorize and disinfect. It was believed that lavender warded against illness, so it was grown in many gardens. When the Great Plague of London hit, lavender was being used everywhere as a means of fighting off the disease. People carried satchels, gloves makes used lavender oil to scent their leathers, and looters who ransacked the homes of victims of the Plague washed in a concoction containing lavender oil to cleanse away any remnants of the Plague they might have caught.

The Quakers used lavender as well, and this is who the use of lavender and lavender oil was introduced to the United States and Canada. They produced their own herbs, crafted medicines, and sold them to the neighbors outside of their sect. As the Quakers were a celibate sect, they more than likely never looked into the romantic and sensual effects of lavender oil. However, it is rumored that Cleopatra used lavender oil to beguile her men, such as Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.

Production of Lavender Essential Oil

There are three different ways that lavender oil, and any other essential oil, is produced. The oldest is by using steam distillation. The plants are put into a steam chamber, the heat breaks down the plant, and it is taken away to another chamber to cool. Here, the oil and water portions are separated, and the oil is extracted.

A somewhat newer way being used to produce lavender oil is by carbon dioxide extraction. The equipment used in this process is quite expensive, and therefore not being used everywhere, however there are benefits to producing the lavender oil this way. A high amount of lavender oil can be extracted, carbon dioxide extraction is cool than the steam method, and therefore is more gentle to the plants, and the aromas produces are extraordinary.

The last method of producing lavender oil is by absolutes. An absolute is an oil that is used as a solvent, and is used to extract oil from particularly delicate things, such as the petals of roses and jasmine. This method is mainly used for perfumes, not for therapeutic oil.

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