First let’s talk about the Botanical family to which these two species belong. Both are a part of the Lamiacea botanical family and they all have the name Lavender (Lavandula) in common. The full botanical names of each plant is Lavandula angustifolia, which is “True Lavender”, and Lavandula x intermedia, which is Lavandin, often passed off in essential oils as “Lavender”, which it is, but it’s very different in many ways from “True Lavender” (Lavandula angustifolia) in regards to it’s properties and what the essential oil’s intention is.
As I mentioned above, Lavandula angustifolia, is “True Lavendar” in its purest form, and is the oils derived from this species was used even back in the Middle Ages for pains in the hear, fainting, restlessness and sleeping issues, and other ailments. However, Lavandula x intermedia, also known as Lavandin, is a hybrid plant that was created during the 1920’s era. This was created by introducing two plants together, the Lavandula angustifolia “True Lavender” and the Lavandula latifolia species, which caused properties of the “True Lavender” essential oils to change. Oils are distilled from the plant using steam distillation in both plant species.
The chemistry makeup between the two species can lead to differences in how the oils from each should also be used, so let’s break each of these two Lavender species down a bit:
Lavandula angustifolia “True Lavender”
True Lavender has medicinal properties such as antifungal, antiseptic, analgesic, antiumoral, anticonvulsant (epilepsy), anti-inflammatory, relaxing, reduces blood fat/cholesterol, aid in healing of burns, cuts and bug bites.
It is most widely used for respiratory infections, sleeplessness, high blood pressure, menstrual problems, PMS, many conditions of the skin, such as eczema, acne, psoriasis, scarring, stretch marks, burns and bites), hair loss, insomnia and nervous tension (promotes relaxation of your jaw muscles to help symptoms of TMJ).
The chemistry makeup of the “True Lavender” causes this species to have the “balancing, calming, cell regenerating, anti-inflammatory properties…” “It also has a significant amount of Alcohols which bring them antifungal, antiviral, strong bactericidal, balancing, and innumostiumlant properties.” West Coast Aromatherapy.
Lavandula x intermedia, Lavandin
Remember, Lavandin is a hybrid plant so the properties will differ due to it’s modification and introduction of two different species of Lavender.
Lavandin is similar in properties to “True Lavender” in that it also has “the largest amount of Alcohols…which means that it is antifungal, antiviral, strong bactericidal, balancing, and immunostiumlant.” West Coast Institute of Aromatherapy. It also contains the same properties commonly known as “Esters”, but in the Lavandin species, these esters are much lower than those seen in the “True Lavender” species, so even though it may mirror such effects as balancing, cell regeneration, and anti-inflammatory, the potential medicinal outcome of the properties are not as strong as that found in the “True Lavender” species.
Main Safety Concern Between The Two Species When Using Essential Oils
The most important difference between the two species that needs to be addressed when safely using essential oils is that Lavandin also contains “camphor” which invalidates Lavandin to be used to soothe burns. In fact, it will create the opposite effect.
You must understand the safety concerns of not just Lavender essential oils and it’s use, but for all essential oils that you use. It is very important to know where the plants derived from, how the plant’s oil is extracted, what parts of the plant are used in the oils, the properties and how to use them in difference situations. For more information on how to safely use essential oils, please contact me for a one-on-one “Essential Oils 101” course, or you can benefit from holding an online class by receiving free oils. Ask me how, It’s free! firstname.lastname@example.org
Essential Oils Pocket Reference
Seventh Edition, by Life Science
West Coast Institute of Aromatherapy
Written by: Dawn M. Draper
Young Living Distributor/Member
Email me at: email@example.com
Become a Member