Growing your own lavender is easy and can be done out in a large garden space or even indoors. Native to the mountainous regions of the Mediterranean and northern Africa, lavender has been used in skin products for centuries. This herb comes in an array of colors and is believed to have anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties, a well as antiseptic qualities. A few varieties exist, each with different qualities, but English lavender tends to be the most common type used for many of the following products. Creating lavender oil or drying parts of the plant will enable you to then utilize this herb to its fullest potential.
Whether you use lavender for aromatherapy stress relief, as a tea, or in your evening bath, you’ll reap the benefits of the relaxation qualities lavender contains. Rub some lavender oil on your temples to reduce anxiety and tension. Add some of the oil to water and mist your pillow with it. The scent will help you sleep better. Using bath salts infused with lavender helps relax muscles, which will also enable you to rest better. You can also make a cup of lavender tea by pouring boiling water over a tablespoon, or two, of lavender flowers. This is great at the end of a hectic day.
The same spritz I mentioned above, for your pillow, can also be used on skin that’s irritated, chapped, or sun burned. Rubbing alcohol can irritate skin, especially the delicate skin of children. Use some lavender oil on mild scrapes instead. Sometimes dandruff can be an issue. You can try making your own hair wash and/or rinsing with lavender water. It’s best to make some lavender tea, allow it to cool and use this highly concentrated version as a hair rinse until the dandruff has cleared up. Continue to use it from time to time, to prevent dandruff from reoccurring.
Not interested in overly potent perfumes? Try dabbing some lavender oil on your neck and wrists. Make up some sachets of dried lavender flowers to put in your dresser drawers or to hang in the clothes or linen closet. You can make your own laundry soap and add a bit of lavender oil to the mix. You can also tie up a bundle of lavender flowers, put them in a cloth or clean sock, and toss them into the dryer for fresh smelling laundry. Body lotion or scrub made with lavender is always pleasant, especially if you make your own. You can even use lavender in cooking, whether it’s in cooking salts or simply crushing up some dried flowers to sprinkle on top of your grilled meat.
As with most herbs, lavender will dry easily by a few methods. You can tie up a bundle of lavender flowers on long stems and hang it up to dry in a dark, cool place. Don’t tie too many flowers together or the bundle will begin to mold before it has a chance to dry. If you have a gas oven, the pilot light produces a low, even warmth that is perfect for drying a layer of lavender flowers on a baking sheet. You can also use an electric oven in the same way, but you’ll have to turn it on 200ºF to dry the flowers more effectively. People who live in a warm, sunny location can spread flowers out on a cookie sheet and let the flowers dry in the sun, instead of inside an oven. Of course, a food dehydrator is always an option too! Any dried flowers that aren’t used right away, can be stored in a jar and out of the light.
However you decide to use your dried lavender or homemade essential oil, I’m sure you’ll agree the benefits of raising lavender are many!
How do you plan on using your lavender harvest?
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