Lavandula spica, Linne'. A volatile oil distilled from the fresh flowering tops, yielding not less than 30 p.c. esteres, calculated as linalyl acetate.

Habitat. S. Europe (France, Italy, Spain), N. W. Africa -- sunny hills and mountains; cultivated.

Syn. True (Garden, Spike, Common) Lavender, Flores Lavandulae; Fr. Lavande Vraie, -- officinale; Ger. Lavendelbluten; Ol. Lavand, Oleum Lavandulae Florum, U.S.P. 1900; Fr. Essence de Lavande; Ger. Lavendelol.

La-van'du-la. L. fr. laso, lavare, to wash -- i.e., medieval name, in allusion to the use made of its distilled water for bathing.

Spi'ca. L. Spica, a point, spike -- i.e., flowers arranged in a spike: terminal cluster.

Plant

Shrub .3-1 M. (1-3 degrees) high; stem crooked, branched, bark brownish-gray, much cleft when old; leaves linear, sessile, entire, revolute margins, with whitish down, crowded at bases of the quadrangular branches; flowers June-July, lilac-color, terminal spikes, 2-lipped, hairy, glandular; entire plant delightfully fragrant.

Constituents

Volatile oil 1-3 p.c., resin, tannin.

Oleum Lavandulae. Oil of Lavender. -- A colorless, yellow liquid, characteristic odor and taste of lavender flowers, soluble in 3 vols. of 70 p.c. alcohol, sp. gr. 0.881, levorotatory; contains a terpene, CH, 2 alcohols -- geraniol, CHO, and (chiefly) linalool, CHO, also, its compound ester -- linalyl acetate, CHCHO, 30-36 p.c., upon which the value depends, and a little cineol -- a large quantity of this latter proving the presence of oil of spike (wild broad-leaved variety). When cold deposits stearoptene, and if distilled from leaves and stalks the odor is more rank. Tests: 1. Shake in a narrow glass cylinder with equal volume of distilled water--volume not diminished (abs. of alcohol). The French oil is from flowers, sometimes including leaves, of wild plants collected July-Sept., the late and high altitude products being best -- chief commercial article; the English oil (oil of garden lavender) is solely from flowers of cultivated plants, the yield being small and price high. Should be kept cool, ark, in well-stoppered amber-colored bottles. Dose, mj-5 (.06-.3 cc.).

Adulterations

Oil of turpentine -- less soluble in alcohol; oil of sweet basil (Oc'imum Basil'icum), Asia, Africa -- plant cultivated in gardens for seasoning food and for its white or reddish flowers; oil balsamic, aromatic, possessing a cooling taste.

Preparations

1. Spiritus Lavandulae. Spirit of Lavender. (Syn., Sp. Lavand.; Fr. Alcoolat (Esprit, Eau) de Lavande; Ger. Lavendel-spiritus.)

Manufacture: 5 p.c. Dissolve oil 5 cc. in alcohol q.s. 100 cc. Dose, 3ss-1 (2-4 cc.).

2. Tinctura Lavandulae Composita. Compound Tincture of Lavender. (Syn., Tr. Lavand. Co., Compound Spirit of Lavender, Lavender Drops; Fr. Teinture de Lavande composee; Ger. Zusammengestzte Lavendeltinktur.)

Manufacture

4/5 p.c. Similar to Tinctura Cardamomi Composita, page 137 -- using oil of lavender .8 cc., oil of rosemary .2, cinnamon 2 Gm., clove .5, myristica 1, red saunders 1, macerating powders in alcohol 75 cc., in which the oils have been dissolved, and water 25 cc., finishing with 75 p.c. alcohol. Dose, 3ss-1 (2-4 cc.).

Prep.: 1. Liquor Potassii Arsenitis, 3 p.c. (arsenic trioxide 1 p.c., potassium bicarbonate 2 p.c.).

3. Linimentum Saponis Mollis, 2 p.c. 4. Spiritus Ammoniae Aromaticus, 1/10 p.c. 5. Unguentum Plumbi Oleatis, 1 p.c. 6. Acetum Aromaticum, N.F., 1/20 p.c. 7. Mistura Oleo-Balsamica, N.F., 3/5 p.c. 8. Oleum Hyoscyami Compositum, N.F., 1/5 p.c. 9. Petroxolinum Liquidum, N.F., p.c. 10. Petroxolinum Spissum, N.F., 3 p.c. 11. Spiritus Odoratus, N.F., 2/5 p.c.

Unoff. Preps.: Water, 1/5 p.c. Infusion and Fomentation (flowers).

Properties

Stimulant, carminative, nervine, errhine.

Uses

Gastralgia, nausea, flatulence, to correct nauseating medicines, nervous headache; mostly in perfumery.

Flowers, U.S.P. 1840-1880. Oil of Lavender Flowers, U.S.P. 1880-1900, distilled from the fresh flowers. L. Stae'chas. Arabian (French) Lavender, has dark purple flowers aromatic camphoraceous odor, and is used with other varieties for obtaining the oil.