There are many plants in the lavender family, but the type most commonly used medicinally is English lavender.

Traditionally, the essential oil of lavender was applied externally to treat joint pain, muscle aches, and a variety of skin conditions, including insect stings, acne, eczema, and burns. Lavender essential oil was also inhaled to relieve headaches, anxiety, and stress. Tincture of lavender was taken by mouth for joint pain, depression, migraines, indigestion, and anxiety.

Lavender was additionally used as a hair rinse and as a fragrance in “dream pillows” and potpourris.