Herb of the Week: LAVENDER


Lavandula is a genus of 39 species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. The name lavender comes from the Latin root lavare, which means “to wash.” Lavender may have earned this name because it was frequently used in baths to help purify the body and spirit. However, this herb has also been used as a remedy for a range of ailments from insomnia and anxiety to depression and fatigue.

Name: Lavender (Lavandula officinalis); English Lavender (Lavendula augsutfolia)

Parts Used: flowers

Collection: Flowers should be harvested just before coming into bloom between June and September. They should be dried in a shady area with a temperature below 95* F to maintain the essential oils

Actions: Carminative, antispasmodic, antidepressant, rubefacient, antifungal

Indications: This beautiful herb has so many uses including culinary, cosmetic, and medical. This little flower is amazing effective when used to headache especially related to stress. Lavender is quite effective in alleviating depression, but should be used in conjunction with other remedies. Lavender can be used as a gentle strengthening tonic for the nervous system. Externally, the oil may be used as a stimulating liniment to help ease rheumatism.

Cultivation: Drought- tolerant, heat- tolerant, and wind-tolerant, lavender doesn’t like poor drainage, waterlogged soil, or high humidity. Raised beds can enhance drainage; surrounding plants with a gravel mulch can help increase heat around roots. After flowering, shear plants to induce bushiness and subsequent bloom. Avoid cutting plants back to the ground. Dried blooms retain fragrance for a long time; crush dried flowers to release aromatic oils anew.

Light: Sun
Zones : 5-10
Plant Type: Perennial, Herb, Shrub
Plant Height: 1-3 feet tall
Plant Width: 1-3 feet wide
Flower Color: Deep violet, lavender, white
Bloom Time: Flowers early to midsummer
Landscape Uses: Containers, Beds & Borders, Slopes, Groundcover
Special Features: Attractive Foliage, Fragrant, Cut Flowers, Dried Flowers, Attracts Birds, Attracts Hummingbirds, Attracts Butterflies, Drought Tolerant, Deer Resistant

 

The following is just a brief introductory to the many uses of lavender.

Lavender Toner
1 TBL lavender buds
1 Cup witch hazel
6 drops lavender essential oil
Combine all the ingredients in a jar with a tightly fitted lid, store in a cool dark place. Allow mixture to macerate of 2 weeks. Shake jar every other day. After 2 weeks strain mixture into a bottle with a mister top.
This toner does not need to be refrigerated; but is quite refreshing cooled during the hot months of the year.

Aches and Pains Oil
5 drops     lavender essential oil
5 drops nutmeg essential oil
5 drops rosemary essential oil
15 ml sweet almond oil (carrier oil)
Mix essential oils into the almond oil. Massage into skin where you are having pain.
 
Lavender Cream
1 TBL dried lavender buds
1 Cup heavy cream
Lightly crush lavender buds, mix into cream. Cover and chill for three hours. Strain the lavender buds out of cream. The lavender cream can be used in place of regular cream for baking, coffee, tea etc.

About Airmeith Naturals

Anna has over 25 years of experience working with herbs. She trained as a chef specializing in classical French cuisine. Anna has extensive knowledge of herbs used in cooking, as well as having researched the historic use of culinary herbs & spices. She is a Certified Community Herbalist who has completed multiple apprenticeships and classes with renowned Herbalists along with her own studies. Her concentration is in Western European Herbal Practices. She has attended college for Environmental Science as well as earning her certificate in Massage Therapy and is licensed in the state of Massachusetts. In addition, Anna is a Certified Reiki Master Teacher. Anna lives in Western Massachusetts with her family and has over an acre of gardens to play in. Anna is the herbalist at Airmeith Naturals in Holyoke Massachusetts
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