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LAVENDER is part of the broad botanical genus (Lavandula)

Updated on October 19, 2015

LEARNING ABOUT LAVENDER

LAVENDER IS A WONDERFUL HERB

"Lavender" is part of the broad botanical genus - Lavandula. This is thought to be made up of 50 different varieties. Lavender is a member of the herb mint family.

Many uses of Lavender are: cosmetic, medicinal, crafts, culinary and decorating.

LAVENDER LAVENDER LAVENDER SO LOVELY SO FRAGRANT

GROWING LAVENDER

I started growing lavender in 2008 and it is coming along nicely. I started some with seeds and I bought some plants at the garden center. Mumstead grows well in Zone 5. The lavender will be more plentiful for me this year than in other years as the plants are bigger.

Lavender(Lavandula) is a native of the Mediterranean, it loves to be planted where it is dry,sunny and rocky, in well drained sandy or gravelly soil Lavender is drought resistant

Hidcote and Mumstead are two of the hardiest lavender plants. When choosing lavender plants for your zone it is best to check with your local garden center as not all plants are hardy in all locals.

During the past 6 years my Lavender has grown and have more plants just starting. The fragrance is so very refreshing when the wind blows as I smell this as I am working around the yard.

Types Of Lavender To Grow

Photo Credit:

Everything-Lavender.Com

English Lavender (Lavandula Agustifolia)

is the most widely grown

used in cooking and baking

has a sweet soft fragrance

"Hidcote" English Lavender:

is the most popular

has silvery foliage and dark purple-blue flowers

"Mumstead" English Lavender:

a favorite among gardeners

is compact and has violet-purple flowers

Lavandins:

Lavandins (Lavandulas x intermedia)

are taller than their English cousins

have lighter flowers on longer stems

commonly seen in the fields of Provence, France

grown for perfumes

tolerate hotter temperatures than English Lavender

'Provence' (Lavandin):

has light lavender-blue flowers and narrow spikes

strongly scented and grown commercially for its oil

BOOKS FOR GROWING LAVENDER

THIS IS A LOVELY PLACE TO GET THINGS TO BEAUTIFY YOUR GARDEN

WAYS TO USE LAVENDER

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia AND Wikimedia-

Photos by User:Aviad2001

There are many sways to use Lavender.

CULINARY USE

Flowers yield abundant nectar from which bees make a high-quality honey. Monofloral honey is produced primarily around the Mediterranean, and is marketed worldwide as a premium product. Flowers can be candied and are sometimes used as cake decorations. Lavender flavors baked goods and desserts (it pairs especially well with chocolate), and is also used to make "lavender sugar".[15] Lavender flowers are occasionally blended with black, green, or herbal tea, adding a fresh, relaxing scent and flavor.

Though it has many other traditional uses in southern France, lavender is not used in traditional southern French cooking. It does not appear at all in the best-known compendium of Provençal cooking, J.-B. Reboul's Cuisinière Provençale [16] In the 1970s, a herb blend called herbes de Provence usually including lavender was invented by spice wholesalers,[17] and lavender has more recently become popular in cookery.

Lavender lends a floral and slightly sweet flavor to most dishes, and is sometimes paired with sheep's-milk and goat's-milk cheeses. For most cooking applications the dried buds (also referred to as flowers) are used, though some chefs experiment with the leaves as well. Only the buds contain the essential oil of lavender, from which the scent and flavor of lavender are best derived.

In the United States, both lavender syrup and dried lavender buds are used to make lavender scones and marshmallows.

MEDICAL USES

The essential oil was used in hospitals during World War I.[9]

Lavender is used extensively with herbs and aromatherapy. Infusions are believed to soothe insect bites, burns, and headaches. Bunches of lavender repel insects. In pillows, lavender seeds and flowers aid sleep and relaxation.[9] An infusion of flowerheads added to a cup of boiling water is used to sooth and relax at bedtime[citation needed]. Lavender oil (or extract of Lavender) is used to treat acne when diluted 1:10 with water, rosewater, or witch hazel; it also treats skin burns and inflammatory conditions.[citation needed]

A recent clinical study investigated anxiolytic effects and influence on sleep quality. Lavender oil with a high percentage of linalool and linalyl acetate, in the form of capsules, was generally well tolerated. It showed meaningful efficacy in alleviating anxiety and related sleep disturbances.[18]

Lavender can be used to treat different types of cancers, such as, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and liver cancer. Although it has not been completely proven that lavender is effective towards these cancers, many studies have shown that lavender has led to disease stabilization or tumor regression.[19]

Lavender may be very effective with wounds; however, Lavender Honey (created from bees feeding on lavender plants), instead of lavender essential oil has the best effects of uninfected wounds. [20]

OIL PRODUCTION

Commercially the plant is grown mainly for the production of essential oil of lavender. This has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.[11][12] These extracts are also used as fragrances for bath products.

English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) yields an essential oil with sweet overtones, and can be used in balms, salves, perfumes, cosmetics, and topical applications. Lavandin, Lavandula à intermedia (also known as Dutch lavender), yields a similar essential oil, but with higher levels of terpenes including camphor, which add a sharper overtone to the fragrance.

The lavandins Lavandula à intermedia are a class of hybrids of L. angustifolia and L. latifolia.[13] The lavandins are widely cultivated for commercial use, since their flowers tend to be bigger than those of English lavender and the plants tend to be easier to harvest, but lavandin oil is regarded by some to be of a lower quality than that of English lavender, with a perfume less sweet.[14]

OTHER USES

Flower spikes are used for dried flower arrangements. The fragrant, pale purple flowers and flower buds are used in potpourris. Lavender is also used extensively as herbal filler inside sachets used to freshen linens. Dried and sealed in pouches, lavender flowers are placed among stored items of clothing to give a fresh fragrance and to deter moths. Dried lavender flowers have become recently popular for wedding confetti. Lavender is also popular in scented waters and sachets.

In history and culture

The ancient Greeks called the lavender herb nardus, after the Syrian city of Naarda (possibly the modern town of Dohuk, Iraq). It was also commonly called nard.[29] The species originally grown was L. stoechas. [30]

Lavender was one of the holy herbs used in the biblical Temple to prepare the holy essence, and nard is mentioned in the Song of Solomon (4,14)

nard and saffron,[31]

calamus and cinnamon,

with every kind of incense tree,

with myrrh and aloes,

and all the finest spices.[32]

During Roman times, flowers were sold for 100 denarii per pound, which was about the same as a month's wages for a farm laborer, or fifty haircuts from the local barber. Its late Latin name was lavandārius, from lavanda (things to be washed), from the verb lavāre (to wash).[33] The Greeks discovered early on that lavender if crushed and treated correctly would release a relaxing fume when burned.[citation needed]

The name lavender comes from the Latin word Lavare, which means to wash. The Romans in the 16th century hardly ever took baths and soap was too expensive. However, it was far easier to grow Lavender so the Romans used Lavender as a perfume to smell good, instead of using soap. They believed it was good to grown Lavender because, it was not only good for their hygiene, but also for their noses. [34]

In medieval times powdered lavender was used as a condiment. [35]

LAVENDER RECIPES

There are many ways to cook with Lavender.

The Lavender Cookbook by Sharon Shipley oswner and director of Moni Cheri Cooking School in Sunnyvale California

It has 120 recipes such as Petite Lavender Scones, Lavender Chicken Chili with White Beans, California Lavender Pasta Salad. These all sound delicious

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    • Tiddledeewinks LM profile image

      Tiddledeewinks LM 8 years ago

      I have a garden but I'll need to add lavender now for putting in vases and drying for sashets. I tried some once to no avail. I have good luck with sunflowers.

    • Pierce This 2 profile image

      Pierce This 2 9 years ago

      I'm a big lavender fan. Love the smell, love the look. How to measure a belly button ring