ALL ABOUT LAVANDIN ESSENTIAL OIL
- The Lavandin plant is a non-fertile hybrid of the Lavender varieties Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia. Lavandin Grosso, introduced by Pierre Grosso in the early 1970s, remains the most popular Lavandin variety for commercial cultivation.
- Lavandin Essential Oil first rose to fame in the perfumery and household care sectors as it was relatively inexpensive compared to Lavender Essential Oil. It therefore made an excellent natural fragrance to incorporate into low-priced detergents, soaps, and cleaners.
- Due to its aromatic qualities and tart scent, Lavandin Oil is still widely featured in the manufacturing of many body care products and cosmetics, including soaps, shower gels, shampoos, and body lotions, as well as laundry detergents, dish soap, and cleaners. It is also a popular choice for all-natural, vegan, and eco-friendly household products.
WHAT IS LAVANDIN ESSENTIAL OIL? HOW IS IT DIFFERENT FROM LAVENDER?
Lavandin is a hybrid plant produced via the cross-pollination of the Lavender varieties Lavandula angustifolia (also known as 'True Lavender' or 'English Lavender') and Lavandula latifolia (also known as 'Spike Lavender' or 'Portuguese Lavender'). In the winding hillsides of the French mountains, the Lavandin plant was naturally formed when the bees carried pollen from higher altitudes, where True Lavender is grown, to the lower altitudes, where Spike Lavender is found. Due to the unique benefits of Lavandin for the perfumery and cosmetics sector, the cultivation of Lavandin was quickly commercialized.
Far from just being an 'affordable Lavender', Lavandin Essential Oil displays its own distinctive benefits and rich characteristics. It has a bright and intense aroma, with a fragrance body that is more herbaceous and camphoraceous but still has light, underlying touches of Lavender's sweet-floral scent. Being a middle-to-top note, it registers quickly and then dissipates away. Lavandin can be said to combine the freshness of True Lavender with the camphor tones of Spike; indeed, aromatherapists note that the fragrance itself is a hybridization of the two Lavender varieties, falling somewhere in between the two aromas. Some may also find Lavandin to be somewhat less complex and more 'masculine' than True Lavender. Overall, like most other top notes, it can be described as a clean, sharp, and refreshing scent.
Today, there are many commercial cultivars of Lavandin that exist, the main ones being Lavandin Grosso, Lavandin Abrialis, and Lavandin Super. Of these, Lavandin Grosso is the most popular, with approximately 75% of total Lavandin production thought to be devoted to the Grosso variety.
Although True Lavender and Lavandin are considerably similar in their appearance, one key difference remains: Lavandin is a taller, bigger plant growing up to 18 inches, with fuller blossoms. Another difference lies in the hues of its calyces (buds that support the flower petals). While True Lavender has green-tinged calyces, Lavandin shows off an elegant lavender hue.
The botanical name of Lavandin is Lavandula hybrida, and is sometimes also referred to as Lavandula x intermedia. The 'x' symbolizes that the species is a hybrid.
HISTORY OF LAVANDIN ESSENTIAL OIL
The Lavandin plant initially grew in the wild in the valleys of France. In the late 1920s, wild Lavandin was propagated by growers who noted that the crop yield was much greater relative to True Lavender. Following the Second World War, France saw a huge spike in demand for an economical alternative to Lavender that could be used for the fragrancing of cheaper cleaning products such as soap and washing detergents. Distillers and growers believed Lavandin to be the solution.
Commercially, it was like the industry had stumbled upon a treasure trove. The production of Lavender Essential Oil dropped significantly in favor of the more robust Lavandin, which was not only more convenient to grow, but also yielded up to five times more essential oil than Lavender! In the 1950s, the average annual production of Lavender in France dropped from 330,000 lbs (150,000 kg) to a mere 110,000 lbs (50,000 kg). At the same time, production of Lavandin Essential Oil skyrocketed to roughly 662,000 lbs (300,000 kg). Although the harvesting of flower tops at the time was done meticulously by hand, it was still considered to be very economical; later, when machine harvesting came into play, Lavandin production indeed became very lucrative.
In the 1970s, a farmer by the name of Pierre Grosso created the Lavandin cultivar 'Grosso' in Vaucluse, Provence. Lavandin Grosso is now the most commercially produced cultivar due to its resistance to disease compared to Abrialis and Super varieties. Today, Lavandin remains far more popular commercially compared to True Lavender, and Lavandin production (especially Lavandin Grosso) is truly cost-effective due to its higher essential oil yield. This is a result of it being easier to cultivate and, being a larger plant with bigger flowers, it carries much more essential oil. To extract 1 lb (0.45 kg) of Lavandin oil, only 80 lbs (36 kg) of Lavandin is needed. Compared with Lavender, which requires up to 150 lbs (68 kg) of raw material to gain just 1 lb (0.45 kg) of essential oil, the difference in output is remarkable.
Unfortunately, another prominent aspect weaved into Lavandin's history is that of adulteration; to this day, profiteers continue to use its essential oil as an easy way to adulterate the more expensive Lavender essential oil, either by itself or by isolating its natural aromatic compounds.
LAVANDIN ESSENTIAL OIL BENEFITS AND COMPOSITION
The main constituents of Lavandin Essential Oil include Linalool, Linalyl Acetate, Camphor, and 1,8-Cineole. Other constituents, present in smaller proportions, include Terpinen-4-ol, Borneol, β-Caryophyllene, and Lavandulyl Acetate. The table below shows the characteristic concentrations of principle constituents in NDA's varieties of conventional and organic Lavandin Essential Oil (it is important to note that natural variations in composition are possible from lot from lot).
|MAIN CONSTITUENTS||LAVANDIN GROSSO
Compared to True Lavender, Lavandin consists of relatively larger proportions of Camphor and 1,8-Cineole, contributing to its sharper, more invigorating scent. This stronger scent profile, coupled with its lower price point and natural resemblance to Lavender, makes it an excellent natural fragrance for soaps, body care products, perfumes, air fresheners, and household cleaners.
In aromatherapy, Lavandin was initially disregarded as a therapeutically mediocre oil compared to True Lavender. Indeed, due to its higher percentage of Camphor, the therapeutic applications of Lavandin Essential Oil do not display the same versatility and gentleness that is associated with Lavender Essential Oil. For instance, Lavandin Essential Oil should not be used as a remedy for burns as it can worsen symptoms of irritation. In addition, the sedative and relaxing qualities seen in Lavender Essential Oil are not as evident in Lavandin Essential Oil due to the presence of more energizing constituents such as 1,8-Cineole, which likely counteract the calming effects of Linalool and Linalyl Acetate.
It is therefore recommended that Lavandin Essential Oil be used for its aromatic and fragrance benefits rather than strictly for therapeutic purposes.
CULTIVATING, HARVESTING, AND EXTRACTING QUALITY LAVANDIN OIL
The essential oil of Lavandin is mainly concentrated on the calyces of its blossoms, but can be found throughout the flower head. As a sterile hybrid, it can only be propagated using plant cuttings. Compared to True Lavender, which is typically grown at altitudes of about 1000 – 1500 meters, Lavandin is grown at a comparatively lower elevation of between 0 – 700 meters. The plant thrives under warm weather conditions with plenty of sunshine; it is not as responsive to the colder environments at higher altitudes and requires soil with good water drainage. The pH level of the soil is also critical, with Lavandin growing best with a neutral to very slightly acidic or very slightly alkaline soil conditions. Going outside this range can result in stunted growth or lackluster blooms. Overall, compared to True Lavender, it is a less fussy plant and is much more robust.
The major production countries of Lavandin include France, Spain, Italy, and Germany. In France, Provence is the region where most of the Lavandin Grosso crops can be seen. The timing of the harvest is carefully approached in order to produce the highest-quality essential oil. If it is done too early, the oil may not be as concentrated, and if done too late, the oil may lose most of its 'energy' and therapeutic properties. Sunshine and hot afternoon weather is also critical as it is under these conditions that the plant produces the highest amounts of essential oil. In France, Lavandin flower tops are machine harvested around three years after initial planting in the summer months between July and August.
One acre of Lavandin Grosso can yield roughly 4000 lbs (1800 kg) of raw material, which in turn can produce about 58 lbs (26 kg) of essential oil. The raw material is subjected to high-pressure steam distillation, with the resulting products being Lavandin Essential Oil along with its hydrosol.
LAVANDIN ESSENTIAL OIL USES
Today, the uses for Lavandin Essential Oil are abundant, ranging from personal care, to household cleaning, to detergents. Its deodorizing aroma makes it popular in bath and body, including soaps, shower gels, bath bombs, shampoos, as well as cleaning products and air fresheners.
Due to its strong yet Lavender-like scent, Lavandin is preferred in many body care and personal hygiene products such as soap, shaving creams, and body lotions. When used by itself or combined with other synthetic or natural fragrances, it can provide a pleasant and naturally refreshing aroma at a very economical price. In natural products, Lavandin is often blended with purifying essential oils such as Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Spearmint, or Lemon. Lavandin is also sometimes combined with True Lavender Essential Oil to enhance and concentrate the Lavender aroma, especially for soaps and other bath products. While used extensively in cosmetics marketed to women, handcrafters and commercial manufacturers will find Lavandin an excellent fragrance choice for men's products as well.
Lavandin Essential Oil's fresh, clean scent is an excellent addition to natural cleaning products and room sprays. For an all-purpose surface cleaner, add 1 cup of White Vinegar, 1 cup of Water, and 10 drops each of Lavandin, Eucalyptus, and Lemon Essential Oils to a spray bottle. Cap and shake vigorously to help combine the contents. This natural cleaner can be used to clean countertops and other kitchen surfaces, kitchen appliances such as microwaves, bathroom surfaces, glass, and more. For a purifying and uplifting room freshening spray, fill a 16 oz. (470 mL) spray bottle with Distilled Water and add 15 drops of Lavandin Essential Oil, 6 drops of Bergamot Essential Oil, and 6 drops of Orange Sweet Essential Oil. Cap and shake vigorously to combine the contents, and spray immediately into any rooms that require deodorization.
In household care, Lavandin Essential Oil can also be used to help freshen up laundry and other fabrics such as cushions, couches, and carpets. To keep clothes smelling delightfully clean, add a few drops of Lavandin Essential Oil to your liquid laundry detergent or fabric softener and run your washing machine cycle as usual. This can be particularly helpful when washing odorous clothes such as towels, socks, or gym clothes. For a basic Lavandin linen spray, fill half a 16 oz. (470 ml) spray bottle with Distilled Water and top up with Witch Hazel Distillate along with up to 30 drops of Lavandin Essential Oil. Cap before shaking thoroughly to combine the ingredients, and spritz onto bed sheets, rugs, mats, and curtains to immediately brighten and deodorize them. For deep cleaning couch cushions and thicker carpets, simply add up to 30 drops of Lavandin Oil to 1 cup of Baking Soda. Sprinkle this purifying mixture and leave on for at least one hour to absorb any bad odors while allowing the Lavandin aroma to permeate through the fabric. Vacuum once done.
A GUIDE TO NDA LAVANDIN ESSENTIAL OIL VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS
|LAVENDER VARIETY & BOTANICAL NAME||COUNTRY OF ORIGIN||BENEFITS OF ESSENTIAL OIL|
Interested in discovering the history and therapeutic properties of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oils? Check out our in-depth article here.
CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR LAVANDIN ESSENTIAL OIL
It is important to enjoy Lavandin Essential Oil benefits while keeping in mind relevant safety considerations. As per NAHA guidelines, New Directions Aromatics (NDA) does not recommend the ingestion of essential oils. Lavandin Essential Oil is thought to interact with certain medications if ingested and may also interfere with blood clotting. For this reason, individuals taking anticoagulant medicine as well as those with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders are particularly cautioned to avoid using this essential oil without medical guidance.
As is the case with most other essential oils, pregnant and nursing women are advised not to use Lavandin Oil unless recommended by a medical practitioner. Those with the following health conditions are also especially recommended to consult the advice of a physician: cancer, heart-related ailments, skin disorders or allergies, hormone-related ailments, or epilepsy. Individuals that are taking prescription drugs, undergoing major surgery, or who are at a greater risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis are additionally advised to seek medical consultation prior to use.
Before topical use, Lavandin Essential Oil must always be diluted appropriately with a carrier oil. It must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Prior to using this essential oil, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by diluting 1 drop of Lavandin essential oil in 4 drops of carrier oil and applying a dime-size amount of this blend to a small area of non-sensitive skin.
In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the products and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.
New Directions Aromatics Inc.
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