Lavender – Lavendula Officinalis
Lavender comes in many varieties. The color of the flowers differs from white to the well-known purple-blue. Lavender needs good drainage. It would be a good idea to blend sand in the soil.
All lavender plants thrive best in full sun. Lavender is grown in many parts of the world. It is an evergreen perennial.
Lavender comes from the Latin word “lavare” meaning “to wash”. In Ancient Rome lavender was added to the water in public baths.
The Ancient Greeks called lavender “nard” after Naarda, a Syrian city.
Lavender is used exceedingly in the commercial industry in many products such as soaps, shampoos, balms, perfumes, candles, incense and potpourri.
Both the leaves and the flowers are edible, but it is mostly flowers that are used in cooking. Only use organically grown flowers. Never use flowers that have been sprayed in any manner in your dishes.
Lavender is one of the herbs used in the famous herb mix called “Herbs de Provence”.
Lavender flowers go best with sweet dishes as ice cream and chocolate cakes. Crystallized lavender flowers make beautiful cake decorations.
Crystallized Lavender Flowers (for cake decorations)
You will need: Lavender flowers that never have been sprayed.
One egg and a teaspoon of water
Fine sugar (caster sugar)
a bowl – a fork - baking paper - a clean small paint brush.
1.Take one egg white into a bowl. Add a teaspoon of water.
2. Beat the egg white and water with a fork. Stop when the egg white shows signs of small bubbles.
3. Dip a thin painting brush into the egg white.Coat the lavender flower with egg white. You only need a very thin layer. If the coating is too thick you may experience that your flower will not harden.
4. Sprinkle some fine sugar (caster sugar) on the flower. Sprinkle the sugar on all sides.
5. Place the flower to dry on baking paper. It could take a day or two to dry.
6. Put the crystallized flowers in an airtight container when they are completely dry.
Lavender tea has helped many relax. Queen Elizabeth l of England used to drink lavender tea to fight tension headaches.
Lavender tea can also be used as a gargle. It is said to reduce toothaches and sore throat pains.
Lavender Essential Oil is a must have in the home. Lavender essential oil is highly antiseptic. Try to rub some on insect bites to reduce the pain. It helps the healing of burns and sores. It is also used as an herbal remedy to fight head lice.
Lavender is also insect repelling. Use dried flowers and leaves to make lavender bags that those nasty moths hate. Small bowls with dried lavender flowers around the home will also work well.
For those of you who love the smell of lavender; take a cotton ball and add a sprinkle a few drops of lavender oil on the cotton ball. Place the ball inside the bag in your vacuum cleaner. The next time you vacuum your home it will have that lovely lavender scent.
Make your own detergent; pour some distilled white vinegar into a spray bottle, add lavender flowers and leaves. Use it to clean. Lavender is antiseptic and does a wonderful job cleaning. It does not matter if you use fresh or dried lavender.
If you ever have a mild headache, try rubbing a few drops of lavender oil on your temples.
Lavender has a soothing effect and is often used to fight depression and to help the body relax. Lavender is often used in aromatherapy. Taking a bath with lavender flowers or a few drops of lavender oil in the bath water is just what a tense and stressed person may need to find peace and tranquility.
Lavender taken internally can be allergen and should be avoided by pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding. As always consult your doctor if you have any concerns.