Lessons in Lavender: This timeless herb can enhance lifestyles—but only if it’s the real deal.
Jul 02, 2019 08:48PM
Lavender’s versatility makes the fragrance one of the most highly coveted products in the quickly expanding essential oil market. While the potential of essential oils is yet to be fully understood, as clinical trials are just beginning, many experts and consumers believe lavender oil eases tension, heals skin and can even promote restful sleep.
Like other essential oils, lavender interacts with the body beyond simply emitting a perceptible fragrance. A 2013 article published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information concluded that “continuous exposure to lavender essential oils for seven days significantly inhibited anxiety- and depression-like behaviors” in mice and resulted in their “increased social interaction and decreased aggressive behavior.”
Essential oils can’t cure disease, but they can improve lifestyles, says Joshua Thomerson, CEO of Anatta Marketplace, an online global market that sells pure, sustainably sourced essential oils. But not all lavender is equal, he says. Consumers planning to use the fragrance to enhance their lifestyle must be certain they are purchasing a quality product.
“Not all lavender is lavender,’’ he says. “Different batches can have very different chemical compositions. Locally sourced material for scientific studies is often not even the same species of lavender—and even if it were, the percentages of each individual molecule can change drastically from one batch to another, based on growing conditions.”
Look for the Latin
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is grown worldwide, primarily in Bulgaria, China, France, Ukraine and Australia. The plant is hardy; it can survive most conditions and adapts to its environment with little human intervention.
While there are inexpensive substitutes, Lavandula angustifolia is the only true lavender, Thomerson says. Consumers of lavender essential oil should search for the Latin name on the bottle before purchasing it.
“People should buy from responsible companies who do proper testing and sourcing to ensure the quality is what you are expecting, and that the farmers are compensated fairly,” he adds. “Steer away from lavender as a commercial profile. If you want pure quality, always look for Lavandula angustifolia.’’
Anatta has been a game-changer in the essential oil marketplace, he says. The company allows its customers to meet and communicate with the farmers that grow the plants used in its products, and it pays its farmers 50 percent or more than competitors.
“Anatta allows customers to purchase the highest possible quality essential oils, while allowing us to inject a massive amount of investment into the betterment of the production and the farmers’ lives in the communities we support,’’ he says.