Spike Lavender; (Lavandula latifola).
Spike Lavender is one of the many types of Lavender plants that are grown primarily as donor plants for the purpose of obtaining an essential oil. When the Latin name is looked at you will find a long list of Lavender essential oils that have the first name of Lavandula. The second name is where the big difference is found between the various Lavender essential oils are found. A more simple way to think of it is to compare the names on a comparative basis, you can say that the latifola would be the first given name of the person and the Lavandula would be the last name or surname if you were looking at it in a Latin name aspect. But the normal people out there just calls it Spike Lavender. Many people out there will have their favorite type or versions of Lavender. Some versions will work better than others for a given use/purpose/application. This idea is consistent, across the board, with almost any other essential oils.
As we look specifically at Spike Lavender, the first thing that jumps out is the Camphor aspect of this oil. This particular aspect is what makes this oil unique. You might say that you get most of the benefits of Lavender oil with the jump-starting part that Camphor usually contributes to any oil. As a general rule, outside of a clinical setting, the single type, vs in a blend, Camphor essential oil is not advised to be used as a single offering oil. In addition, Camphor oil is highly frowned upon for internal use. However, a Camphor essential oil in a blend is a very effective way to use Camphor. Camphor EO works well on sore muscles and this is primarily where most applications take place. Although Spike Lavender can be used effectively as a respiratory type oil when an essential oil is indicated for throat and chest infections and can be used for children and adults alike.
Spike Lavender is sourced mostly from Spain, as Spain tends to naturally produce Camphor type oils. Another oil that has a variation like Spike Lavender from most Lavender EO's is Spanish Rosemary. Most of Rosemary EO's that are used are of the 1,8-Cineole type. The 1,8-Cineole will tend to remind people of a Eucalyptual fragrance and taste. Whereas the Spanish Rosemary and the Spike Lavender will have a distinct Camphor fragrance and taste. Other characteristics of Spike Lavender that differ from most other Lavenders is that the Spike Lavender is lower in alcohol and contains fewer esters than does the other traditional Lavenders. If you were to visit a place where Spike Lavender is grown you would observe a much bigger/robust plant with correspondingly larger florets than traditional type Lavender plants.
One of the differences that you will see in Spike Lavender from other Lavender EO's is the absence of Linalyl acetate and Lavandulyl acetate which are usually found to be quite high in the more commonly used Lavenders. Most all of the Lavender oils will contain Linalool specifically, but the two previously mentioned acetates are replaced with 1,8-Cineole and Camphor. There is another Lavender EO that comes out of Spain and it is even heavier with Camphor and that is Spanish Lavender. That one carries the Latin name of (Lavandula stoechas). So don't confuse the Camphor related properties of the Spanish Lavender with that of the Camphor containing Spike Lavender. The Spike Lavender contains considerably less Camphor than the Spanish lavender. They all have some common properties and yet contain vastly different properties and at various levels. A person would have to compare and contrast the GS/MC reports from each oil to understand and appreciate the unique and specific component profiles.
When it comes to cautions for this Spike Lavender essential oil, there really aren't many. When used diluted, one would find very little negative skin sensitivity issues. Although the Camphor level is much higher in Spike Lavender than in most common Lavender EO's, considered to be slightly more of a skin irritant oil and slightly more toxic than common Lavender. Normally with Camphor EO, a caution is given and that is that the Camphor is a lower level neurotoxin, most aromatherapists maintain that since the Linalool is considered to be anticonvulsant that the two components will balance each other out and therefore this issue is mute. From appearances, that idea seems to be valid. Spike Lavender contains no known carcinogens. Also, there are no real pregnancy concerns as the main components are not considered to be toxic when used in the form of Spike Lavender oil. Otherwise, Spike Lavender essential oil is a safe type of Lavender oil to use when used as directed by most Aromatherapists. The overall aroma of this oil is that of Lavender with a slight camphor note. Generally, this oil will blend well with almost any oil that common Lavender will blend with, but usually, most people will use it with muscle type use blends and respiratory type blends, but its use is not limited to those areas only. Spike Lavender works well in diffused applications either as a single or in certain types of blends.
Spike Lavender is a moderately priced oil coming in at a little under the common Lavender prices. So in light of this, a watchful eye has to be kept because the temptation to adulterate is there and when this is done it is usually done with Eucalyptus oils or other cheaper Lavender oils or the hybrid Lavender, specifically Lavandin or even elements of these oils. Overall this Essential oil is a very effective and useful oil. As with any essential oil, this oil has its place from a historical use aspect as well as new possible applications that are open for your discovery.
End of Info Sheet. KK.