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Archive for April, 2011

 

My love affair with lavender started long ago.  It began with lavender’s intoxicating scent. This calming, complex, sensual fragrance is not one that is easily forgotten. The scent of lavender has followed me from New York where I first encountered it in an essential oil, to the South of Spain where I saw dried lavender buds in a market, bought a bag and placed buds in my pillowcase nightly. Lavender’s scent is a lullaby, the herb is known for inducing sleep, sweet dreams and relaxation. Lavender’s small delicate buds are surprisingly powerful, they have a way of smoothing rough emotional edges and soothing tense physical ones. The essential oil, or an infused one, is a popular addition to many massage oils because of these qualities.

When I was in Spain a poet friend told me that lavender could also help heal cuts and burns. I had first-hand experience with this when I scalded my eyelid with just boiled water (long story). I used a lavender infused honey to soothe the pain and an hour or so later when friends came to visit, no one could see any evidence that I’d burned my eyelid!  Of course you don’t have to be in dire straits to enjoy this herb. Lavender infused honey is delicious in tea and on bread. My good friend, Lorenza, even makes a delectable cake using dried lavender buds.

Recipe: Lavender Infused Honey

  • Harvest or buy fresh lavender (summer)
  • Put the buds in a glass jar, cover them with the best honey you can get your hands on.
  • Cover and let this sit for four weeks.
  • Enjoy!

When I have a headache, particularly one caused by nervous tension, I’ll rub a bit of lavender oil on my temples or my wrists. A lavender bath is also a wonderful way to get rid of a tension headache.

And did you know you can make delicious tea with lavender?  I learned this when my sister gave me a lavender travel kit. (yes, my family knows me) Put a half teaspoon of dried buds in a cup, cover with just- boiled water, let it steep about 10 minutes (do not let it sit too long –the bitterness will make the tea impossible to drink). Enjoy. A rose and lavender infusion is also a heavenly mix. Again, make sure not to let the roses steep for more than 60-75 minutes. Add the lavender during the last ten minutes or brew it separately and add to taste.

Now speaking of rose and lavender, These two ingredients feature prominently in my home made cosmetics.  My facial scrub includes lavender, rose and oats. These are all great for the skin, they exfoliate gently and the rose and lavender are toning and delicious smelling. My bath salts are a heady lavender experience with rose petals sprinkled in for good measure.

Homemade lavender bath salts

Lavender is a soothing, powerful, healer in a delicately regal body. Is it any wonder I feel my medicine bag is incomplete without lavender in it? Is it any wonder my love affair with lavender has spanned continents and time and shows no signs of ever ending?

Are you in love with lavender? How do you use it?

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