This month....

September 2019

September, a change of weather & a change of pace. Crises everywhere & as seasonal energy draws in more time to focus on things closer to home. Like last month's wasp sting & aromatherapy.

The trouble with aromatherapy is you always feel like you're starting from scratch. You have to convince people first of all, then to make sure no one can do themselves or others any harm health warnings must always follow. The result is it all comes across as quite laborious & serious. Unadventurous even when the same oils are mentioned time & again. They are cited in clinical trials. A citrus perhaps, a herb or a floral but nearly always the ubiquitous lavender. Lavender appears in everything.

We can't, however, talk about lavender without going through a list. We need to list its botanical name, Lavandula & Lamiacae, its plant family. We list the type or species, lavandula angustifolia & the area it grows in, France or Spain for example. We need to list its chemical constituents, for example linalyl acetate, a chemical compound known as an ester, the amount, 35%, & its properties, calming & antispasmodic. The method of application, inhalation, bath, cream, oil. How many drops per 10 or 100 ml, then contraindications such as not during pregnancy, or for the vulnerable, those with sensitive skins.

This is before we've even mentioned lavender in any context. It's somewhat dry, we might have heard it all before but if we leave any of it out we neglect our duty & might even end up liable if anyone taking our advice is misinformed.

So no wonder the selection of oils written about is quite narrow & repetitive. There has been a lot of research concerning lavender & so we all feel we're on safe ground. But oh for something new.

So back to the wasp, or rather, multiple wasp stings. Extremely painful, numbness followed by warmth & discomfort eased by the immediate application of an ice cube. Subsequent swelling, redness & heat followed by extreme itching eased by a commercial salve containing, but not exclusively, lavender oil. 2 weeks later, itching, inflammation & minor swelling persist over a greater area yet. Out of desperation a neat (yes you can with lavender) topical application of some Himalayan lavender oil languishing on the bathroom shelf & miraculous near instant relief! 2 days later & the whole episode is thankfully forgotten.

So there we have it. Good old boring lavender. Nothing else came close. Perhaps the reason lavender always appears is that it works?

© Susan Mumford, 2019