Karoo Lavender .... where the breathing is easy. Take your spirit where it really wants to be – to a place where space is wide and the people wave. Take it to the Karoo, that expansive semi-desert on a plateau at the heart of South Africa where life feels good.
Our original and distinctive range of products enhance body and home, making Karoo Lavender your easiest escape route to stillness and clarity.
To be in the Great Karoo is to glimpse infinity.
For this is a place of magnitude, a vast plain that breeds silence, stillness . . . and space.
Here, where the views unfurl forever, the Karoo Lavender operation lies beneath an ancient mountain range.
With commitment and attention, women and men of this valley work together to package distinctive lifestyle products, sourced from trusted, hand-picked suppliers.
Whether produced on or off site all have passed strict Karoo Lavender quality control and are approved by an independent qualified cosmetics consultant .
It is a process that ensures quality and purity in every item.
Buying from Karoo Lavender means buying a breath of Karoo air.
It means taking hold of infinity.
At the Worcester Hospital in Hereford, England, a six-month trial showed that vaporising lavender through the air caused patients to sleep in a more natural pattern, and made them less aggressive during the day. Some patients were weaned off their tranquillisers – simply by substituting lavender in the atmosphere, which has a calming effect on the brain.
Lavender is an adaptogen – a natural balancer – so that small quantities are usually relaxing, while high concentrations can be stimulating.
Lavender could be called the mother, or grandmother, of essential oils, able to care for a multitude of physical and psychological problems and, like a mother, accomplishing several jobs at the same time.
Take it neat
Generally, the application of undiluted essential oils directly onto the skin should be avoided as many are highly irritant. However, there are exceptions which have been safely applied to the skin undiluted for centuries. These include lemon oil, which can be applied neat to warts; lavender, which can be applied directly to burns, cuts, bites and stings; and tea tree, which can be dabbed on spots. Any other oils must used in dilution.
“God of his infinite goodnesse and bounty hath by the medium of Plants, bestwed almost all food, clothing and medicine upon man.” – Gerarde’s Herbal (1636)
Good Lord – it’s lavender!
The Greeks ascribed a divine origin to all aromatic plants. And the Egyptians often asbribed the efficacy of aromatic medicines to the belief that they had been originally formulated, or used, by one of the gods.
Salmon’s Dispensatory, of 1696, contains a recipe for an “apoplectick balsam” which includes the oil of lavender. According to Salmon: “ It chears and conforts all the spirits, natural, vital and animal, by anointing the extremities of the Nostrils and the Pulses. It cures Convulsions, Palsies, Numbness, and Diseases proceeding of cold.” Salmon’s aromatic recipes are a curious mixture of genuine herbal medicine and quackery, and aptly reflect the then current state of affairs.
William Whitla’s Materia Medica, first published in 1882, contains 22 official essences (of which lavender is one), and three unofficial.
René-Maurice Gattefossé was a chemist at Grasse, France, during the nineteenth century. At first, his interest and his research were confined to the cosmetic uses of essences, activities which reflected the steady growth of the perfume industry at the time in southern France. Two things happened to help extend his interest. Firstly, cosmetics often contain antiseptics and Gattefossé had soon gathered enough information to convince him that many essential oils had greater antiseptic properties than some of the chemical antiseptics in use at that time. Secondly, one of Gattefossé’s hands was badly burned when a small explosion occurred in his laboratory during an experiment. He instantly immersed it in neat lavender oil, and was only partly surprised when the burn healed at a phenomenal rate, with no sign of infection, and leaving no scar.
Lavender bites back
In 1938 French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé published an article relating the progress of a M. Godissart, who was a friend and colleague. M. Godissart had recently set up an aromatherapy clinic in Los Angeles, and reported remarkable cures of skin cancer, gangrene, osteomalacia, the successful healing of wounds which had refused to heal for years, facial ulcers which had been treated in record time, and “bites from the Black Widow spider until now considered to be fatal, are rendered harmless, thanks to the anti-toxic power of lavender”. In fact, the lavender oil combines chemically with the spider venom to form an innocuous compound. This also applies to snake and insect bites (and to other essences).
Recipe to cleanse the body and make it comely
Take of sage, lavender-flowers, rose-flowers, each two handfulls, a little salt, boyl them in water, or in a lye, and make a bath not too hot, in which bathe the body two hours before meat.- from Arts Master-Piece or the beautifying part of Physick by Nicholas Culpeper
Romans come clean
The word lavender comes from the Latin lavare, meaning to wash. It was one of the favourite aromatics used by the Romans in connection with their bathing activities. They probably introduced the plant to England – by the end of the 13th century, lavender was already being cultivated in Mitcham, Surrey, and lavender water was becoming popular.
The distilled water of lavender smelt unto, or the temples and forehead bathed therewith, is a refreshing to them that have the Catalepsy, a light migram, and to them that have the falling sicknesse, and that use to swoune much . . . It profiteth them much that have the palsie, if they be washed with the distilled water of the floures, or anointed with the oile made of the floures . . .”- John Gerarde, 17th century herbalist