Lavender is a flowering herb producing a variety of colors in their blooms. Lavender plants can produce flowers ranging from a light purple, yellow, violet, and all the way to white Lavender is grown best in hot climates and is native to the Mediterranean area. They are typically very hardy plants that can handle some neglect. Overwatering is a common problem with lavender plants, as well as being put in an area that receives too much shade. The soil where lavender is grown must drain well in order to prevent the plant from getting root rot. Lavender is a woody perennial, meaning it will come back year after year if you care for it properly. Woody perennial stems remain upright in the ground during winter, but herbaceous perennials retreat underground until winter is over. When lavender is grown in proper conditions, the plant is known to produce lavender for about 10 years, though plants have been known to live up to 20 years.

Where is Lavender Grown: Photo of a lavender field in low sunlight focused on a few plants
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Lavender generates profit

There are many different lavender cultivars, but according to a report released by ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture, “An acre of true lavender (L. angustifolia) produces from 300 to 1,800 pounds of dried flowers (12 to 15 pounds of essential oil = about two gallons).” Lavender farmer Jody Byrne explains that lavender is a low maintenance crop that turns a high profit. Byrne says the “average return on investment, for fresh or dried bundled lavender, is about $13,600 per acre ($5 per dried 2-in. bundle from each plant.) Peak harvest is 2 1/2 bundles per plant x 2,720 plants x $5 = $34,000 per acre.”

Though E5 chooses to work with a fragrance house as opposed to using essential oils (see why here), examining the lavender essential oil market is still a way to see the profit and demand the lavender plant brings to the consumer packaged goods industry. “The global lavender oil market is expected to reach US$ 124.2 Mn, reflecting a CAGR of 6.2% between 2016 and 2024” according to Persistence Market Research. The use of lavender for aromatherapeutic purposes can extend far beyond essential oil, meaning other areas of the lavender market will explode right alongside it. 

Where Is Lavender Grown: A picture of a chart on a wooden surface displaying a bar and line graph
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Lavender holds potential as a remedy for common ailments

According to a Farm Show Magazine feature article on Byrne, she “calls lavender the “Swiss Army Knife of herbs” because it can be used and sold for crafts, cooking, perfumery, health and healing aids, bath and beauty products. When taken as a tea, lavender has been used to treat insomnia, depression, stress, headaches, and a variety of gastrointestinal ailments.”

The anxiolytic effect of lavender ranked superior to a placebo treatment in 221 patients according to a published study. The study also notes the lavender’s ability to promote a restful night’s sleep and better quality of life. “In addition, lavender improved associated symptoms such as restlessness, disturbed sleep, and somatic complaints and had a beneficial influence on general well-being and quality of life.” 

Lavender’s use in history

The name lavender comes from the Latin root, “lavare” which means to wash. According to Tumalo Lavender, the use of lavender has been well documented for over 2,500 years. They say “women in Medieval and Renaissance France who took in washing for hire were known as “lavenders.” Clothes were washed in lavender and laid to dry on lavender bushes.” Ancient Egyptians also used lavender for mummification and perfume. It has been said that when Egyptologist Howard Carter entered King Tut’s tomb in 1923, he could still detect a faint lavender scent, even after thousands of years had gone by. 

Researchers also speculate the oil or nard mentioned in John chapter 12 is derived from lavender. “Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, ‘Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?’” John 12:1-8. The verse has a few compelling pieces that could lead someone to that conclusion. It was mentioned in two different ways that the oil (or ointment/nard) is expensive. The verse also says the house was filled with its fragrance leading one to believe it may be fragrant lavender. 

Where is Lavender Grown: The Bible open on a desk in low light as lavender is speculated to be in the Gospel
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E5 offers years of experience in the consumer packaged goods industry. We are ready to partner with you and your brand to bring high-quality, third-party tested lavender products to your unique customer base.