Uses of Lavender
The relaxing, calming, aromatic properties of lavender has been used throughout history for use around the home in potpourris, sachets, crafting, as well as for medicinal purposes, to encourage love and passion, and in the preparation of food dishes. There are so many creative ways to use lavender and benefit from its amazing properties. Below we list a few.
Lavender has many aromatic uses inside the home. A simple way to enjoy it is to cut large bunches of fresh flowers, place them in a vase and display them on a table. Lavender is wonderful with old-fashioned, cottage garden fresh flower arrangements.
Dried displays with lavender or dried buds can be enjoyed almost indefinitely, complimenting any home with baskets, wreaths, posies, tussie mussies, potpourris or sachets.
The lavender scent is enhanced when blended with citrus scents, spices such as cinnamon and cloves and with flowers such as chamomile, roses or calendula.
For scent, a few drops of lavender essential oil can be added to perfumes, candles, melters, wicks, air fresheners, linen sprays and dryer sheets to bring the sweet fragrance of summer to your home anytime.
Lavender deters mosquitoes and other pests from your garden, making the outside of your home a haven instead of a hunting ground for insects. Cluster in-ground plants or pots of lavender around seating areas to keep the mosquitoes away. Our all-natural Bugaway, made with no artificial ingredients or synthetic preservatives and will leave you smelling fresh rather rather than like bug spray all day, and will keep mosquitoes, gnats, black flies and other pests at bay while you are outside.
The Swiss Army Knife of Herbs
The word “lavender” comes from the Latin, lavare, which means to wash because it was used in Roman times for its sanitizing and healing properties.
It has been shown to heal scrapes, cuts, burns and sunburn. Lavender has antiseptic and antifungal properties. It is used to treat dry skin, psoriasis, eczema, acne, insect bites and stings, seborrhea and other skin inflammation.
Although lavender is largely used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes, it is perfectly suited for cleaning, especially as an addition to homemade cleaning products mixed with water and then sprayed on kitchen or bathroom surfaces for a people-friendly and an environmentally safe cleaning product. Adding a few drops in the rinse cycle of your washer or in the dryer leaves a fresh lavender scent on your clothes and linens.
Lavender is known for its relaxing properties and for alleviating stress and anxiety. When lavender is inhaled, the evaporated molecules are taken up by receptor cells that transmit electrochemical messages to the limbic part of the brain, which controls emotions and the neuroendocrine functioning of the body.
This is due to the compound linalool in lavender, which is known for producing calming effects. Add a few drops in a warm bath, candles, an aromatherapy burner or a lavender pillow or sachet.
Lavender may also relieve the pain of headaches, including migraines. Simply apply a few drops of lavender essential oil to your temples or the back of your neck when you start to feel tension around your head, neck or shoulders. Or try our own natural headache reliever made with Lavender and Peppermint Essential Oils.
Topical use of lavender essential oil has been shown to reduce inflammation and promote circulation, thus easing joint stiffness and providing relief from chronic pain, muscle soreness and arthritis.
Cooking with lavender is an adventure involving tasty rewards and new discoveries. Lavender can be used to add flavor and color to culinary recipes in either fresh or dried form.
Lavender is in the same family as the herbs thyme, rosemary, mint and sage and is often used together such as in Herbes de Provence.
Lavender can be used alone or to enhance other spices and foods as it is both a savory and a sweet herb.
Many cooks find that the addition of lemon intensifies and accompanies well the taste of lavender. Just don’t use too much lavender or the taste can become overwhelming.
To dry lavender for culinary use, snip the stems off the plant just after the flowers have opened and hang the stems upside down or lay them flat to dry.
You can also make lavender-infused sugar for baking and swap it out for regular sugar in your favorite recipes. Simply layer 1 tbsp of our dried culinary lavender for every cup of granulated sugar in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Close the lid and let the sugar rest for a day before using. The sugar will keep for six months or longer. Shake the jar up now and then to distribute the lavender oils in the sugar.
Lavender tea is calming and refreshing and very easy to make by the simple addition of hot water and steeping for five minutes.
Recipes using lavender can be found at our cottage store.