Austin, TX—The American Botanical Council (ABC) announced in a press release that the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) has adopted true lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) through ABC’s Adopt-an-Herb botanical research and education program.
NAHA’s adoption supports ABC’s HerbMedPro database, a comprehensive, interactive online database that provides access to important scientific and clinical research data on the uses and health effects of more than 265 herbs, spices, medicinal plants, and fungi. The adoption helps ensure that this resource remains up-to-date for researchers, health professionals, industry members, students, consumers, and other members of the herbal and dietary supplement and natural medicine communities.
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Annette Davis, President of NAHA, said in the release: “NAHA is pleased to support ABC by adopting true lavender, which is one of the brightest stars of aromatherapy. Its use can be documented from the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs, to the pharmacopeias of ancient Greek and Asian physicians, to the courts of French kings and English queens, to the prescription pads of modern-day healers. Our adoption of true lavender will help educate practitioners and the public alike, helping realize our mission for this iconic aromatic plant. We also want people to become more aware of applicable safety recommendations.”
The lavender genus belongs to the mint family and includes 25-30 species or more, according to the release. True lavender is native to the low mountains of the Mediterranean basin. It can grow to three feet tall and has narrow gray-green leaves and small bluish-purple flowers. Lavandin, a hybrid of true lavender and L. latifolia, is cultivated more widely and exceeds true lavender in essential oil production, but true lavender “is said to have a finer fragrance.” It has been used for its antiseptic properties and to ease anxiety; in the Middle Ages, the release says, it was used for colds, coughs, infections, rheumatic aches, and wounds. The release notes that studies show that true lavender essential oil may improve balance and prevent falls in elderly people.
Stefan Gafner, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer at ABC, said in the release: “Lavender has a long and rich history of medical and cosmetic use. Its anxiolytic effects have been investigated in more than a dozen clinical trials. We are deeply grateful to NAHA for its adoption of true lavender, which supports ABC’s HerbMedPro database and allows us to make the science behind this popular ingredient available to a wider audience.”