Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia, or Lavandula officinalis) is native to North Africa and Mediterranean regions. Lavender has a very distinct appearance. Its long velvety green stems are square instead of tubular. Its blue violet blossoms are cylindrically perched at the very top. Lavender is a wonderfully fragrant plant with many uses.
Lavender has many culinary usages. Its edible flowers are used to make herbal teas, candies, and garnishes. Many chefs add lavender flowers to chocolate desserts, crème Brule, jellies, stews and sauces.
Lavender essential oil has some antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and is used as a remedy for a variety of ailments. Some have used lavender oil to remedy skin ailments such as eczema and psoriasis. Lavender oil can be placed on the temples to relieve a headache. Diluted Lavender oil is also good for soothing acne prone skin. (Consult your physician before using lavender medicinally).
The smell of lavender produces feelings of calmness and offers some relief from anxiety. You can apply a couple drops of Essential lavender oil to your pillow for a more restful night’s sleep. Lavender oil can be diluted with water and used as a calming room spray. Adding it to carrier oils such as sweet almond oil, transforms it into relaxing massage oil. The Ancient Romans sprinkled lavender flowers in their baths to perfume their bodies. Historically lavender blossoms were dried and burned for sweet smelling incense. Lavender oil can be mixed with castile soap and used as a gentle body wash or shampoo. Dried Lavender leaves make excellent potpourri, ideal for freshening drawers and bathrooms. A simple ribbon can be used to make a lavender sachet, a charming compliment to any gift basket.
Has all this talk of lavender left you longing for a day at the spa? Here are a few homemade lavender beauty treatments.
Lavender Body scrub recipe
- All you need is Essential lavender oil, olive oil, sea salt, honey, wide mouth jar, ribbon (if you like things fancy).
- In an 8 oz glass jar combine 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1tsp of honey, with a few drops of lavender oil (as desired).
- Next add 1 cup of sea salt to the mixture and mix.
- When you’re finished you can tie a ribbon around the jar.
- Simply add 5 or 6 drops of essential lavender oil to 4 0z of witch hazel. Apply the toner with a cotton puff, and enjoy