Oh, lovely Lavender. Your beautiful fragrant purple flowers wrap me in a warm embrace, helping all that is causing me stress and worry to roll off my shoulders. Your aromatic bouquet is soothing in subtle amounts, but overwhelming to me in larger amounts. I am always thankful for your gifts and respectful of your strong meditative scent.
Lavender is one of those herbs that people either absolutely love or hate. I had an interesting experience at an herb conference a few years ago. Our teacher, Caroline Gagnon, passed around a bottle of lavender essential oil. You could see waves of the whole room just relax. Their shoulders dropped, stress lines in the forehead faded, and body language was just so relaxed. All except for me. Here I am, sitting in a room with 40 other herbalist, about to start coughing because of the overpowering stench of lavender essential oil.
Now, I’m not allergic to lavender and don’t have any sort of a chemical sensitivity to it, but for some reason, I never had enjoyed its scent. I mentioned it in that class, and Caroline said that people who have an aversion to lavender often have a strained relationship with their mother or someone in their maternal line. There is no science backing this up, and it obviously isn’t a problem with everyone who has mother issues, but for some reason, some people with mom issues tend to have a problem with the scent of lavender.
I found this an interesting concept and held tight to it while watching in my practice as an herbalist to see how others react to lavender. I found some people with strained maternal relationships who love lavender and others with great maternal relationships who hate it; but interestingly, the majority of people with an aversion to lavender did in fact have some mother problems they were working on, if not with their own mother, then with mother figures in their lives.
Now let me say right now, I love my mom and I think we have a pretty good relationship, but there was definitely a history of mother-to-daughter trauma in our family’s past. Perhaps Lavender has such a motherly feel to her that those with an aversion to their own mothers are repulsed by it. Perhaps some people just don’t like floral scents. What we do know is Lavender evokes strong emotions and feelings from most of the people that she touches.
As for me, I have made an effort to keep my relationship with my mother strong, and can use lavender in small amounts when working with clients, family and friends. It even makes its way into some of my relaxing formulas for myself and my kids, as well as into our culinary repertoire in kombucha, chocolate mousse, Herbes de Provence, and in balsamic vinaigrettes that need a little extra kick to ‘em.
I hope you enjoy this lavender issue and learn some ways in which this popular garden herb can be incorporated into your life.