Lavandula officinalis* a.k.a. Lavandula angustifolia

The Romans tossed fragrant freshly cut blooming prigs of this plant into their heated swimming pools to enhance the pleasure and the relaxation associated with bathing. In the Middle Ages, lavender was used in combination with other herbs to treat insomnia, anxiety states and migraine headaches. Because of the strong antiseptic and antibacterial properties of its essential oil, lavender preparations were used in the past to treat wounds. Lavender is one of the medicinal herbs that in 1620 the Pilgrims brought to Plymouth on the Mayflower.

Currently, what may be considered aromatherapy takes many forms in products made from the dried blossoms and from the volatile essential oils distilled from the dried leaves of this plant.

lavare (Latin) to wash oneself, to bathe
lavatio (Classical Latin) a heated swimming pool
lavandula (Medieval Latin) a soaking hot bath such as in a swimming pool or present day jacuzzi
officinalis (Botanical Latin) an adjective meaning used in the practice of medicine