Lavender – Its Origins And Uses
Lavender is a flowering plant which is used in several different ways because it is renowned for its diverse benefits. Besides being used for decoration purposes, such as in ornaments and for landscaping purposes, it is also used in various medical and home remedies. It is also used for the extraction of essential oils.
Essential Oil Production
There is English lavender which yields essential oil and is used mainly for balms, and perfumes. It is also ideal for certain types of cosmetics too. Another type is Dutch lavender, which yields similar essential oils but with a slightly sharper fragrance.
Lavender has several relaxing qualities and a very distinct flavor. Lavender adds a sweet flavor to a number dishes. In fact many people use it while cooking.
The scent and flavor of lavender is derived from the buds of lavender for its essential oils. It is healing and soothing, and so it is used a lot for massages. Dried buds are also used in various ways too.
The flower spikes can be used for dried floral arrangements. The fragrant flowers and buds can also be used in potpourris and sachets to freshen up linen and the buds can also be used as wedding confetti. There are endless uses for lavender and using it in the kitchen is not something new. English lavender has a very sweet fragrance. It is used a lot for cooking different types of dishes. Some of the most common ones include shortbread and cookies.
Tips for Growing Lavender
- Lavender is easy to grow and thrives in the hot sun with well-drained soil. It is grown for its essential oil mostly, but there are others who grow it for other reasons as well.
- Lavender is drought resistant. If you have had a wet winter the plant might be water logged and should be placed in the sun with good drainage and air flow. Make sure to do regular pruning.
- Lavender likes a tight space in the pot and if you are indoors, the pot can be moved to different spots in the house where it is dry and sunny and with some fresh air.
Did you know that during World War 1 lavender oil was used by cleaners in hospitals as a way of disinfecting the floors? Lavender oil is an essential ingredient and is used with other herbs for aromatherapy. Infusions of lavender seeds are believed to soothe any skin burns, and headaches. It can also help to repel insects.
- A hot cup of boiled water with lavender is also soothing and helps in sleep and relaxation. So it is worth trying it out if one is suffering from insomnia.
- Lavender oil has also been used to heal acne and treat inflammatory skin conditions too. It is easy to prepare the mixture of some lavender oil diluted in water. It is best to mix ten times as much.
- Lavender is renowned for its skin treatment properties. It is a form of antiseptic. Cuts, scars and even sunburns can be healed thanks to it. It is even helpful against psoriasis.
Lavender is used in various types of home remedies. For example, it is easy to make lavender tea. Just use some dried flowers in hot water, and drink it while it is still warm. It is ideal to relieve stress, depression, nervous headaches and even indigestion.
Lavender can also be used as a helpful home remedy for hair loss. Some studies have shown that when some lavender oil was massaged on such areas of the scalp, hair re-growth was experienced after some time.
When some lavender is smelled, or a few drops put on one’s temples, it helps to relieve headaches. It is also ideal to soothe one’s senses, and thus helps to relax and sleep better. It is best to dip at least three flower heads of lavender in some boiling water.
Lavender can also be used to relieve muscle aches. Just try to massage some lavender oil in areas where you are feeling joint pain or muscle pain. It has helped many people feel much more relaxed and pains are relieved. It is much better than taking pain killers as it is a natural remedy.