Lavender is Indigenous to the mountainous regions of the Mediterranean areas. It has been used a herb in the monasteries in these area. Now Lavender is grown throughout the world including India Himalaya, France, United States, Tasmania, Russia, Southern Europe, Turkey, Japan and many other part like Argentina.
All the variety of Lavender grown throughout the world are different. And in aromatherapy we stick to three major varieties. One is True Lavender, other is Lavandin, and third is Spike Lavender.
True Lavender is most important here as it is highly awarded in aromatherapy, as well as perfumery.
The cultivation of True Lavender aka High Altitude French Lavender in Kashmir region in India started almost 12 years ago. Yes, it is the same lavender which is grown in France. That’s is why we call it Fine French Lavender, or True Lavender or High Altitude Lavender. There are certain climatic conditions to grow such lavender, and Kashmir region is very perfect for that.
When we started to grow it the main wish was to use the land for high quality of aromatic crops and also increase the source of income without any burden of distillation process. So we had to find a balance with traditional crops like mustard, maize, coriander, fennel, rice etc. Because our first priority is always staple food. Once we realized that aromatic plants like French Lavender can be cultivate in snowfall areas of the Kashmir, and also give good return without any burden of land, we embraced the French Lavender Cultivation.
We noticed that the French Plant is very adaptable to our Kashmir climate. Initially we were worried about the snowfall that whether the plant can survive in snowfall or not. However, to our surprise, it survived very well, and due to snowfall the quality of Kashmir Lavender is very amazing. If we grow the same plant in non-snowfall areas then we won’t get the same quality. Of course, it might also bring some challenge to French Lavender from France as a tiny part of their sale decreased because we started to cultivate it in India and offer at cheaper price then them.
For many years most of the aromatherapist did not know about Kashmir aka Himalayan Lavender. Yes, people took interest in the name, but they were not sure whether it is real Kashmir Lavender or some other Lavender. When we showed them photo of our farm, distillation process, pristine and clear atmosphere, small scale farming they trusted us. We also showed aromatherapist lab tested Gas Chromatogram to prove scientifically that our lavender is as good as for perhaps better than French Lavender especially for therapy.
Later on aromatherapist and herbal skin care formulators found that Our True Kashmir Lavender is very potent and has to be used up to 1/3 less than other Lavender essential oils in their recipes.
Will come back soon with the story of growing True Lavender in Kashmir and also will talk about conditions that have influence on high quality and make this oil really special.
We would love to read your comments. Please feel free to ask questions.