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How to Use Medicinal Herbs: Lavender
I wanted to take a moment to leave you guys a quick note. When I started this series I had planned on going up and down the alphabet of medicinal herbs. However, I received a special request and decided to get a little sidetracked from the original plan. That being said, this hub is dedicated to the marvelous billybuc!
Healing Herbs: Lavender
- Healing Herbs: Lavender
Find out what lavender is, and how it can be used to as a powerful medicinal herb.
Although most people know lavender for its sweet, mellow scent, few people are aware of its many health benefits. Not only is this marvelous medicinal herb calming, it is also believed to be useful in treating a variety of skin conditions, speed along the healing process of common illnesses like the cold and flu, and promote a strong, healthy circulatory system. Because of its beautiful odor and plethora of health benefits, it is no surprise to find that, over time, people have devised a number of different ways to consume the lavender plant.
Lavender As a Supplement
Because most people prefer to indulge in the scent of these marvelous plants, pill form lavender supplements can be difficult to find. If you want to take advantage of the health benefits, but don't have the time to soak up the sweet smell, you can easily create your own pill-based lavender supplements with inexpensive, empty gel caps and crushed, dried flowers. You can also use lavender oil as a supplement. This oil can either be taken in small drops by mouth, or inhaled in a steam bath. Should you choose this method, please be certain that your oils are food grade, as perfume oils can be damaging to the body is taken internally.
Lavender in Liquid Form
Lavender tea is not only soothing, but also incredibly delicious. Pre-made teas are readily available on the market; however, many prefer to make their own, either by infusion or by placing homegrown or store bought lavender buds in empty tea sachets. You can also place drops of a food grade lavender tincture into pretty much anything from regular tea to plain water. Natural lavender honey is also a great way to get a healthy dose of this natural medicine, as it is not only tasty, but also filled with an abundance of nutrients.
Lavender in Homemade Beauty Concoctions
There is no question that the lavender plant is a favorite in the world of cosmetics. For those who want to reap all of the beautifying benefits of lavender without all of the excess, there are plenty of options. For instance, a homemade lavender shampoo can be made with lavender oil, Castile soap, filtered water and vitamin E oil. Leave out the Castile soap and replace it with either shea butter or coconut oil, and you have yourself a fantastically moisturizing lotion that can be used on both the face and the body. Lavender oils and teas can also be used to create healing toothpastes, fragrant face scrubs, and soothing bath bombs.
Lavender in Recipes
Though lavender is frequently used in sweet foods, it is also sometimes used to add a bit of pep to more savory dishes. It is also commonly baked into breads and pastries, placed into salad dressings, and used to give soups a unique flavor. If you have never cooked with a lavender plant but have always wanted to, give this simple recipe a try:
Grilled Asparagus with Lavender Aioli
2 sprigs of fresh, bruised lavender
6 cloves of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1 cup of olive oil
1 bunch of cleaned, cut asparagus
1. Combine lavender and garlic with olive oil, and, on a very low temperature, heat the oil in a small saucepan for roughly 15 minutes.
2. Before the oil mixture begins to bubble, take it off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
3. Strain any pieces of garlic and lavender from the oil mixture. Throw away the herbs, and set aside a few teaspoons of the oil.
4. In a blender, mix the eggs and lemon juice until everything is blended. Put your blender on a low setting, take off the lid, then slowly add in the oil.
5. Once everything is well mixed, pour the aoili into a dish, and roll your asparagus pieces in the dish until well coated.
6. Place coated asparagus pieces onto the grill, occasionally turning them, until they are soft but not mushy.
7. When you have finished grilling, sprinkle some of the non-egg-and-lemon-juice sauce over the top of your vegetables and enjoy!
This recipe allows for a hint of lavender flavor. If you would prefer a more intense taste, you may want to let your asparagus marinate in the aioli over the course of a few hours. This dish is also amazing with a bit of lavender infused wild rice.