|Uses for Lavender|
Lavender is highly desired as one of today’s most popular scents. As an essential oil, Its used both in homes where people have discovered its sweet aroma and practical uses, as well as in professional settings like massage, aromatherapy practices, hospitals, and therapist offices. Whether in the garden, dried, or in a high quality essential oil, lavender has uplifting qualities that provide a sense of calm and balance.
Lavender is a highly versatile herb, with a fresh, sweet scent. When dried, the flower buds are used in sachets, pillows, crafts, home décor, and even in food dishes. When distilled, lavender essential oil can be added to bath and body products, soap, massage oil, candles, laundry detergent, and even household cleaners. Herbalists have used lavender as a medicinal plant for centuries. It is honored for healing properties in salves and tinctures. Lavender teas have been produced for years to help with stomach ailments. Lavender is also an insect repellant, deodorant and room freshener! Lavender clippings are useful in mulch, helping to deter mildew and repel insects.
Aromatherapy is known as the “controlled use of essential oils to promote and maintain physical, psychological, and spiritual well being.” Lavender is well revered in the aromatherapy world since it is one of the most versatile essential oils, valuable for both physical and psychological application. Due to their condensed properties, essential oils must be handled and stored with care. Typically carrier oil must be used in order to apply an essential oil. However, since lavender is non-toxic and non-irritating, it is one of the only essential oils that can be applied “neat” or directly on the skin in small doses. For storage purposes, lavender essential oil should be kept in an air-tight dark glass container away from light, heat, children, and pets. There is a large amount of research available about how lavender essential oil can be used in massage, compresses, inhalation, bathes, ointments and creams, and vaporization.
Lavender is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and wound-healing, which make it an excellent treatment for external injuries and infections. This is why many people find lavender useful for household first-aid for minor cuts, stings, burns, and bites. It is also valuable for a wide range of common skin conditions like acne and eczema as well as rejuvenating aging skin. As an analgesic, lavender is quite useful as a soothing remedy and pain reliever for conditions such as arthritis, muscular aches and pain, cramps, earaches, and indigestion. Perhaps most widely known is the regulating effect lavender has on the nervous system, especially its harmonizing, balancing, and calming properties. Lavender is a helpful aid in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression thus allowing for more restful, deep sleep. Also, lavender oil is a useful preventative agent for fighting off infections such as colds, influenza, and respiratory problems.
Helpful Uses for Lavender Essential Oil
One of the most common questions here at our lavender farm is how to use lavender essential oil. Here are some ideas!
* Note: Do not ingest lavender essential oil!
Many people do not realize that lavender is a wonderful herb to use in baking and cooking because it provides a unique twist to familiar recipes. Many varieties of lavender taste differently, with some being sweeter on the pallet than others. Lavender is a delicious addition to drinks such as teas, hot chocolate, and lemonade on a hot summer day! It pairs well with lemon and chocolate, especially in sweets such as sugar cookies, pound cakes, ice cream, and syrups. Lavender has been used for years as a main ingredient in "Herbs de Provence,” a popular rub for meat and fish. In savory dishes like salmon, pork roast, roasted vegetables, and bisques, lavender can often bring out the best in the other ingredients.
Generally, a little lavender goes a long way. The English lavenders tend to be the best for culinary purposes because they are a bit sweeter. Lavender can be used fresh or dried in recipes. If it is dried, keep the lavender stored in a dry, sealed container so it can stay good for up to a year. There is a world of possibilities to explore in the culinary world, so enjoy experimenting with us!
Lawless, J. (2001). Lavender Oil: Nature’s Soothing Remedy. Hammersmith, London: Thorsons.
Mojay, G. (1997). Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit: Restoring Emotional and Mental Balance with
Essential Oils. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.
Wildwood, C. (2000). The Encyclopedia of Aromatherapy. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.