Spike Lavender has similar properties to ‘true’ Lavender’ but has a sharper more herbal aroma with strong camphor and woody notes. Its high camphor and cineole content make it a more stimulating oil that can be used as a decongestant and for pain relief, but as it is slightly stronger than ‘true’ lavender, it should be used more sparingly.
- Latin Name
- Lavandula Latifolia
- Lamiaceae (Libiatae)
- Middle to top
- Steam distillation from the fresh flowering tops.
- Mainly cineol and camphor (40-60%) with Linalyl acetate, linalol among others.
Spike Lavender is an excellent relaxing oil and generally regarded as one of the most versatile essential oil. It is widely used in aromatherapy for its relaxing, calming and skin soothing properties. Its antiseptic properties and soothing nature can help to tone and revitalize the skin and be helpful for a range of skin problems including; abscesses, acne, athletes foot, boils, bruises, boils, eczema, spots, sores, wounds, sunburn, insect bites and stings (it can alos be used as an insect repellent).
It has a great soothing effect on the mind and can be beneficial in treating depression, headaches, insomnia, migraines and other stress related conditions. It’s pain relieving properties can also advantageous for muscular aches and pains, rheumatism and sprains, so it is often added to sports massage blends.
Native to the mountainous regions of France and Spain, Spike Lavender grows wild, at a lower altitudes than true lavender, and has a higher yield, making it more cost effective to produce. The hardy shrub grows up to 1 metre tall with long lance shaped leaves, that are much larger, broader and rougher than true lavender. The flowering spikes are also much taller and the flower is more compressed with a dull grey-blue colour.
Traditionally Spike Lavender has been used for a variety of aliments including headaches and muscle pains, however as early as the 17th century herbalists were advising that it should be used sparingly, as it has a powerful effect, the same as lavender.
Spike Lavender is non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitising, but only use a small amount. If you suffer from epilepsy avoid spike lavender as the camphor content could cause seizures.