Lavender - Featured Herb


The word lavender is derived from the Latin "lava", to wash. When the Romans introduced this plant into Britain, they used it in their bath water. It was also used as a strewing herb for its insect-repelling properties and included in tussie-mussies to mask household and street smells.

Culinary Uses

There are numerous ways of using lavender in cooking;

Household uses

  1. Can be put into lavender sachets or pillows for perfuming rooms or drawers.
  2. Perfuming linens (sprigs).
  3. In the dryer (in a lavender bag which can be used several times).
  4. Blend with other herbs eg roses, lemon verbena or mint to make potpourri (see below for a recipe).
  5. Lavender Wreath.
  6. Wedding bouquet.
  7. Basket weavin.

Medicinal uses

  1. Filling for a "dream pillow" (see below for a recipe). Lavender has calming, sleep inducing properties so is often used in sachets tucked into a pillowcase.
  2. Lavender sprinkled into a hot bath is calming,
  3. Disinfecting sick rooms (the stems or "straw" left after stripping the flowers can be burned like incense)

Healing Powers

Lavender acts as a sedative to both the nervous system and the digestive tract. Lavender flowers make a relaxing and refreshing tea which has basic medicinal properties. A weak infusion sweetened with honey was a traditional treatment for insomnia, irritability and nervous headache. The tea can also help with:
Tea Recipe
  1. Use 1 tsp of lavender flowers for each 8 oz of water
  2. Bring water to a boil, add lavender flowers,
  3. Let tea steep for 4-5 minutes before drinking.
Lavender Honey Recipe
  1. 8oz clover honey; 4 tablespoons of dried lavender buds.
  2. Heat honey in double boiler till fully heated.
  3. Add lavender and stir.
  4. Continue over heat for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and allow to partially cool.
  6. Place in sun for 3 hours (optional).
  7. Strain out lavender.
  8. Put honey in jar.
Lavender Sugar
  1. For tea sweetener or baking.
  2. Blend in a food processor
  3. 2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers with 1 cup sugar.
  4. Store in airtight container.
Lavender and Geranium Potpourri
  1. Use
    • 4 cups of dry lavender blossoms;
    • 2 cups dry rose geranium leaves;
    • 2 cups dry rosemary;
    • 1 oz. orris root;
    • 3-6 drops of lavender oil.
  2. Mix the herbs and oil with the orris root and place in a tightly sealed container.
  3. Age 4-6 weeks, shaking daily.
Lavender Dream Pillow or Eye Pillow
  1. Silk scarf or piece of silk 5 inches by 20 inches or 10 by 10 inches
  2. 1 cup of flaxseed; 1/2 cup of lavender buds.
  3. Fold silk with right sides together so it is about 5 by 10 inches.
  4. Stitch the silk together leaving a small opening at the end.
  5. Turn silk right side out.
  6. Mix flaxseed and lavender buds.
  7. Fill the silk with the lavender flaxseed mixture.
  8. Sew closed.

Sources

  1. http://www.madaboutherbs.org/lavender/
  2. http://www.lavenderenchantment.com/Uses/medicinal.htm
  3. http://www.laurelalexander.co.uk/membersarticles/article_31_uses_lavender.php
  4. http://www.naturestealeaf.com/herbal-tea/lavender-herbal-tea.html