自然科學 4 分鐘閱讀
Bruce, Angela, Wesley
Chances are good that you have smelled or even tasted lavender without knowing it. In addition to being a colorful garden plant, lavender is used in a variety of perfumes and colognes. It is used as a spice in culinary dishes, like pasta, salads, dressings, and desserts. It can also be found in cosmetics.
While the above uses of lavender are well known, more controversially, lavender is considered by some to be a medicine. Lavender is native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Today it can be found nearly everywhere. Indeed, in parts of Australia, it grows so well that it is displacing native plants and is regarded as an invasive species.
Lavender was a commonplace herb in the Roman Empire and even earlier in ancient Egypt, where it was placed in tombs. The Greeks and Arabs were also fans. Some people of historic note are rumored to have fallen in love with lavender. Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt during Roman times, is said to have used it to attract her lovers Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Queen Elizabeth I of England insisted on having fresh lavender placed in vases daily. Charles VI of France ordered that his pillow contain lavender so that he could get a good night’s sleep. Napoleon Bonaparte, another Frenchman, was keen on lavender, too.
Most people agree that lavender is attractive in sight, smell, and taste, but whether it has medicinal properties is another story. Though lavender is used to make medicines for anxiety, insomnia, relieving pain, and many other conditions, no well-documented studies prove its effectiveness for many of these uses. That being said, we can always enjoy this natural, fragrant treasure.