Lavender Basic

What is it about lavender?

Few plants have proved to be as useful, fragrant and healthful as the delicate yet versatile lavender. Originating in the region from the Mediterranean down through Eastern Africa and into Southwest Asia and through southeast India, lavender has long been prized for its unique medicinal properties.

Today this hardy plant is cultivated and used around the world. Lavender is still used medicinally, but there are dozens of other uses for this purple wonder. Our site is dedicated to helping you get the most from lavender, whether you are looking to grow it, buy it, use it or even eat it. Here is a glimpse into the sweet lovely world of the amazing lavender plant.

Lavender is versatile. The list of uses is nearly endless, but nonetheless here some favorite ways to put the lavender flower to good use.

  • Aromatherapy. Lavender oil is beautifully fragrant and floral so it is pleasing to the senses. Not only that, but it can be a useful and safe aid to sleep. A mist on the pillow can calm nerves and quiet the mind. Be sure to look at the other benefits to using the alluring fragrance of lavender.
  • Health/ Medicine. Lavender is a natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. This makes it a must have in any medicine cabinet. Use it to treat burns and minor cuts and bruises. It can help reduce scarring, cleanse the skin as well as soothe irritations.
  • Food. Bees use the nectar in the lavender flower to make a high quality honey that is floral and delicious. It does not end there, flowers can be candied, dried for tea or paired with chocolate for exquisite and perhaps unexpected palate pleasers. Check out what other tasty treats can be made with lavender here on the site.
  • Other. The classic color of the lavender is beautifully preserved when dried and makes for gorgeous accents in home decorating. Wreaths, fragrant sachets and more can add color and aroma to any home or room. Lavender has been used for ages in cosmetics, soaps and fragrances. Besides making you beautiful, it can also protect linens and clothing. It is a potent insect repellant and can be used to keep moths out of closets and drawers.

Lavender used to be found in the region mentioned earlier, but today is grown in gardens around the globe. This hardy flower can flourish just about anywhere, even in your garden. With proper care and with the right variety, you can successfully cultivate this elegant flower and benefit from all it has to offer. This site will help you to choose the type of plant that works for you, help you care for it and give you advice and suggestions so that you continue to reap the benefits that come from this timeless purple flower.

Lavender Basic

Top 4 Benefits of Lavender

There are so many benefits of lavender that it really is amazing. The lavender plant itself provides a wonderful aromatic option for gardening or landscaping. Lavender essential oil that is extracted from the plant has a wide range of therapeutic applications.

Lavender is used to make many pleasant smelling and useful products, and it has even become popular as a unique ingredient in flavoring special culinary dishes.

Growing Lavender –

Lavender has long been a favorite of gardeners in the United Kingdom and of course it remains popular in Mediterranean countries where it grows wild. But growing lavender is increasingly popular in countries around the globe. There are large lavender farms for commercial production in the USA, Australia, and Europe. Many homeowners are also discovering that one of the benefits of lavender is that it makes the ideal landscaping plant due to its wide range of growing environments, low maintenance and low water requirements.

Therapeutic Lavender –

The therapeutic benefits of lavender are a surprise to many people because they don’t expect a natural substance to have anesthetic (pain killing), antiseptic (cleansing) and antibiotic (bacteria killing) properties. The essential oil of lavender has all of these characteristics and is used to treat minor wounds and burns. In addition, it is one of the most popular oils used in aromatherapy . Simply being exposed to the scent of lavender has been shown by scientific studies to be soothing to many people. It is commonly used to treat mild insomnia due to the relaxing effect that is commonly experienced with the lavender aroma.

Household Lavender

Many manufacturers of household goods have discovered that including lavender in their products has many benefits. Most have added lavender for the pleasant scent, but its disinfectant properties make it a valuable ingredient in cleaning products.

Culinary Lavender –

Cooking with lavender is gaining popularity in gourmet restaurants and home kitchens alike. It can add a unique taste to a wide variety of foods ranging from meats to desserts. Used in a way similar to rosemary for flavoring, recipes are widely available for a variety of dishes, such as lavender roast beef, lavender cookies, lavender ice cream, lavender potatoes, or even beverages such as lavender lemonade.

The world has been blessed to have such a wonderful plant with so many benefits. It will be a rewarding experience for those who choose to explore the aspects of lavender that interest them.

Lavender Basic

What is Lavender Aromatherapy?

What is aromatherapy?

It is a form of alternative medicine involving the use of certain aromatic substances distilled from plants called “Essential Oils”. Different essential oils and mixtures of these oils are used to treat different symptoms. You have probably used this therapy without even realizing that you did. Remember the strong smelling salve that your mother rubbed on your chest when you had a cold? The aroma tended to help open your sinuses and allowed you to breathe better. It likely contained eucalyptus or another aromatic essential oil. Over-the-counter commercial products for treating cold and flu symptoms using aroma can even be found at your local pharmacy. Air fresheners with essential oils are being marketed based on the moods they induce. While this approach to wellness is just beginning to go mainstream, it’s not something that is just practiced by the societal fringe that couldn’t escape the sixties.

What does Lavender have to do with aromatherapy?

Lavender Oil is the most common essential oil used for this purpose. This is primarily because lavender is effective in treating a wide variety of ailments. It also has a smell that is pleasing to most people. Of course it doesn’t hurt that Lavender Oil is one of the less expensive essential oils. Check out our specific web page on aromatherapy and aromatherapy and lavender for more information.

Does aromatherapy work?

While nobody is yet claiming that it will cure cancer or any other serious diseases (although research is underway), there are multiple scientific studies that show that it is effective in relieving symptoms of many common discomforts. These include relief from pain, stress, nausea, cough, insomnia, and many others. Some essential oils have been shown to have anti-bacterial and anti-viral abilities.

This field of treatment has not been researched as extensively as traditional medical treatments. One reason for this is that much of the research in the medical field is funded by pharmaceutical companies who lack the incentive to research anything that won’t give them exclusive profits. However, interest in this area is growing and some studies are currently in progress.

How do you practice aromatherapy?

One application of this therapy is simply through inhaling the vapors or aroma of the essential oil. There is a wide variety of methods to release the molecules of the essential oils into the air. One simple approach is to absorb a dilute solution of the essential oilwith a cotton ball or tissue and allow it to evaporate on a warm surface. A few drops of essential oil such as lavender can be added to a hot bath to effectively release the aroma. Using hot water on a stove or adding the oil to the water in a humidifier will work well too. There are other methods that include candles,diffusers, nebulizers, lamps, and burners.

Topical application through massage is another way to experience the benefits. While most essential oils must be diluted with a carrier oil for use, lavender oil can be used full strength to treat pain and wounds. The combination of the aroma and its impact on your brain, the massage and its impact on your nervous system, and the oils and their special properties is a powerful therapy for the human body!

Is aromatherapy for you?

To get the most benefit, it’s recommended that you consult a reputable aromatherapist. However, there’s no reason why you can’t practice some simple applications on your own by trying some easy recipes like adding some lavender oil to your bath for a relaxing soak or go for some major stress relief by getting a massage with lavender massage oil. There are several good books on the subject that will help you learn about the many applications. You are sure to enjoy the experience as one of the finer, yet simpler things in life.

lavender Tips

5 Tips for Lavender Weed Control

Unluckily, lavender bushes often do not endure from weeds, which fight with weeds in terms of expanse, access to daylight, rain and ground nutrients. The appearance of weeds bestowal a negating effect on the number of green matter accumulated as well as in the variety of fundamental oil.

It is important for all lavender farmers to have a quality weed administration strategy alike to using the best gas weed eater, which may vary among countries, law structure, means of increasing the industry at which the product targets.

First tillage and frequently

The initial control against weeds is attained with the first tillage, well before transplanting the seedlings. A next really significant step towards efficient weed restriction is the regular tillage or the handpicking the weeding of the field within the ranks of the shoots in the row of the plants, the best gas weed eater normally does not allow weeds to appear, due to its ability to kill all weeds. Nevertheless, expert lavender farmers monitor regularly for the presence of weeds after using best gas weed eater between the row and precisely remove weeds by hand if it really needed.

Mulching the rows

Mulching of each row is to an option as a method of weed-elimination. For a non-organic generation, there are several farm chemicals that will provide good weed restriction. Cover the part of the soil and propably before using the best gas weed eater Remarkable lavender growers treat the part of the earth that is placed between the plant rows with a unique black cloth. They further covered by the black mesh the space within the tender shoots inside the row. The black cover prevents the development of weeds while raising the soil warmth. In different cases, farmers put mulch approximately the plants’ bottom.

Using weed mat

If you are beginning your farming in a natural way and not practicing weed mat, next is that proper administration of hand-weeding is needed. Lavenders prefer a fine-grained soil so weeds will not do well in such kind of soil that becomes dry due to the sunlight for much time of the day.

Drought and winter control method

Although lavender is commonly considered as a drought receptive plant once established it will destroy the weeds underneath. Drought intensity can influence the attainment of planted crops, greatly decreasing the flower end yield. In critical, the flower crowns are sensitive to damage from warm, wry, salty blasts. Lavender is very receptive of cold winters rendering that the soil continues free-draining hence weeds which are very sensitive to winters will not do well in Lavender crops. This is a natural way of controlling the weeds instead of the best gas weed eater.

Using Farming chemicals and herbicides

The cost and labor associated in weed restriction are constantly underrated and product yields can experience poorly hence it’s advisable to use some of the best gas weed eaters. Some modest farmers have resolved into farm chemicals and fully determined to be an attractive option for weed controller and despite it is costly originally it returns for its own cost in the longer term. High-grade weed restriction is necessary to increase the fertility and durability of the lavender harvest. To reduce oil pollution, the crop needs to be weed-free at reaping time.

Lavender DIY

What are Essential Oils?

What are Essential Oils?

They are oils that are derived from plants and have wide variety of uses; from ingredients in commercial products to home health remedies. The term “Essential” is due to the fact that the oils are a concentrated form of the “Essence” or intrinsic nature of the plant.

One of the characteristics of these oils is that they contain the concentrated scent of the plant and they are very aromatic. The use of these special oils for therapeutic purposes has a long history and has given rise to the term “aromatherapy”. There are about 300 essential oils in use today.

How are the oils extracted?

A process called distillation is the primary method used to extract the oils from the plant materials. This is the same process used to extract alcohol from corn (think moonshiner’s still). Water containing plant material is boiled. As the steam exits it carries molecules of the oil with it. The steam is cooled and the water condenses back from a vapor to a liquid. As the liquid settles, the oil rises to the top and can be skimmed off. The amount of plant material required to extract a given amount of oil varies greatly from plant to plant. It may only take a couple of pounds of lavender buds to yield an ounce of oil, but about 500 – 600 pounds of rose petals may be required for an ounce of rose oil.

Other methods such as solvent extraction or expression may be used to coax the oil from the plant material. The particular method used is dependent on the type of plant. Some methods work better than others with various types of plants.

What About Lavender Oil?

There are 3 main reasons why lavender oil is probably the most popular of all the essential oils. First, it has a wonderful aroma. It is used as a natural fragrance in perfumes, air fresheners, bath products and candles. Second, it has a wide variety of therapeutic uses. Lavender oil is used as an antiseptic for killing germs, a topical pain killer, and for treating wounds, sores, burns and even headaches. In aromatherapy lavender oil is used to relieve stress and promote sleep. Third, lavender oil is affordable. Compared to most of the other oils, the cost is quite reasonable. Few natural products are as pleasant, versatile, effective and yet relatively inexpensive as lavender.

What About Aromatherapy?

Essential oils are what aromatherapy is all about. Different oils and mixtures of these oils are used to treat different symptoms. You have probably used this therapy without even realizing that you did. Remember the strong smelling salve that your mother rubbed on your chest when you had a cold? The aroma tended to help open your sinuses and allow you to breathe better. It likely contained eucalyptus or another aromatic oil. Over-the-counter commercial products for treating cold and flu symptoms using aroma can even be found at your local pharmacy. Air fresheners with different oils are being marketed based on the moods they induce. While this approach to wellness is just beginning to go mainstream, it’s not something that is just practiced by the societal fringe that couldn’t escape the sixties.

How do you buy Essential Oils?

The most important factor when making a purchase is to ensure that the oil is 100% pure and natural. There are synthetic copies of some oils on the market that are less expensive than the real thing, but they don’t have the same healing and beneficial properties as the natural product. If you are only planning to use the oil for its aroma, it might be OK, but if your intent is a therapeutic use you will want the natural oil.

If you have never used essential oils before, start with the smallest quantity you can buy so you that you can make sure you really like it before making a large investment. If there is an aromatherapist in your neighborhood, you may be able to sample some oils before you buy. Some of these oils can be purchased at many health food stores, and just about anything you want can be bought online. Before buying online try to find independent reviews to learn if the seller is reputable and the products are of high quality.

Another thing you might consider before making a purchase is the possibility of buying your oils in a kit. This is often a good way to get started in your experience.

How do you use Essential Oils?

With hundreds of oils, and thousands of combinations of those oils, and hundreds of applications, you can see how this could become a significant area of study.The two primary means that are used to apply the oils are through inhalation of the aroma and massaging the oil into the skin with a carrier oil. I highly recommend purchasing a reference book on essential oils, which will contain many recipes and directions for application.

Caution – Essential oils should never be taken internally, and should never be used on the skin undiluted, they should always be mixed with a carrier oil. The one exception is lavender, which can be used in very small amounts to treat pain or aid in healing wounds.

Another interesting use for these oils that is often overlooked is for natural flea control . It is a great way to battle the parasites without applying toxic substances to your pet.

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History of Lavender

The History of Lavender stretches back to the early days of civilization. There is evidence that the ancient Egyptians used lavender oil in their mummification process.

It’s likely that knew of lavender’s healing properties and may have also ascribed some spiritual powers to it too. But there is no doubt those responsible for preparing the pharaohs for the afterlife appreciated the pleasant aroma of this special plant.

Some believe that the perfume that was used to anoint Jesus as mentioned in the Bible was lavender oil. There are many legends surrounding the history of lavender, including one that claims that lavender was brought from the Garden of Eden by Adam and Eve.

The term “lavender” is probably derived from the Latin word “lavere” meaning “to wash”. This may be due to the fact that the ancient Romans are known to have added lavender oil to the water in their famous public baths. Another possibility for the origin of the word is that women would spread their freshly washed clothes on the lavender bushes, allowing them to absorb that wonderful smell as they dried.

It’s not clear at what point in the history of lavender that people discovered the healing power of lavender essential oil. Soldiers in the Roman army carried lavender oil to clean wounds suffered in battle and promote healing.

During the Great Plague of the Middle Ages in Europe, some criminals who looted the belongings of plague victims were rarely affected by the disease themselves. When caught, the robbers credited their health to cleansing with “Four Thieves Vinegar” after their “work” was done. Legend has it that they were released after sharing that the secret of their “Vinegar” was lavender oil.

There are many mentions of lavender in documents from the Middle Ages. Monastaries and convents were places where rudimentary research into medicinal herbs was common. Outside these cloistered communities lavender was thought to have aphrodisiac properties, or alternatively to keep one chaste.

In the early 20th century a French perfumer named René-Maurice Gattefossé was working in his laboratory and experienced a serious burn. He treated the it with the substance nearest at hand – lavender essential oil . Gattefosse noticed that the wound healed much more quickly and with less scarring than would be expected without the treatment. This led him to research aromatic oils and their healing properties. He published a book on his findings – Aromathérapie: Les Huiles Essentielles Hormones Végétales in 1937. The book was later translated into English, bringing us the term “Aromatherapy”. Lavender played a major role in leading to this area of scientific research.

Lavender essential oil is still the most popular oil in aromatherapy . The aroma is very calming and relaxing and it is often used to treat insomnia. Many commercial air fresheners contain lavender and it is a common ingredient in household products products, including cleaners that take advantage of its antiseptic properties. Many lavender soaps, lotions, creams and other products are hand made by small scale cottage manufacturers.

Lavender grows wild in many Mediterranean countries from Spain to North Africa, so the history of lavender is a part of the history of the region. From Italy, to Greece, to the Holy Land and Egypt, lavender was used by commoners and royals alike.

The history of lavender cultivation goes as far back as the Middle Ages in Europe, but probably much farther in the Mediterranean countries. There is mention of lavender in a royal pleasure garden in Paris in the 1300’s. It was probably cultivated in England around the time also, but definitely during late 1400’s to early 1600’s when herbs and herb gardens were popular. The peak of this popularity occurred during the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603).

Today lavender is cultivated all over the world. There are lavender gardens and farms from Australia to England, from Asia and Europe to the United States. It is grown for personal herbal use, landscaping, and large scale essential oil production.

There are few plants in the world that can claim a history like the history of lavender. The plants and their wonderful produce have healed and pleased many for centuries. It’s popularity seems to be continually growing and likely will for generations to come.

Lavender Products

Types of Lavender Crafts: How to Make them?

Making lavender crafts is another way to enjoy your lavender plants long after the growing season is over.

Whether you choose to make a lavender wreath or a lavender wand from your fresh cuttings, or you decide to work with dried lavender for your creation, you’ll have many options to choose from. Let’s explore the possibilities and jump start your creativity.

Fresh Lavender

  • Lavender Wand – A fun and decorative way to keep your lavender fragrance close at hand is to make a lavender wand.
  1. Cut 7 or 9 lavender stalks, keeping the stems as long as possible.
  2. Tie the stalks together in a bundle with a length of ribbon a short distance below the buds.
  3. Fold the stems up over the buds, doing your best to space them evenly.
  4. Tuck the end of a ribbon inside the bundle and weave the other end over and under the stems, working your way around the bundle and pulling it snug as you go.
  5. Continue weaving the ribbon until you have covered all of the buds and to the end of the stems.
  6. Tie several lengths of ribbon to the end of your wand to have a decorative “train”.
  • Lavender Wreath – Making a lavender wreath is one of the most rewarding lavender crafts that that you can attempt, and it is not difficult.
  1. Using craft wire, make a circle or even a heart shape frame for your wreath. This works best with for small wreaths. You may need to go around the circle several times to make sure your frame is sturdy enough.
  2. Wrap your frame with lavender colored ribbon to mask the wire frame.
  3. Bundle 5 or 6 stalks of lavender together, cutting the stalk to about 1 inch (2.5 cm) long. Tie the bundle together using light garden wire and secure to the frame with the garden wire or florist tape.
  4. Repeat the previous step covering the stalks of the previous bundle with the blooms of the current bundle.
  5. Work your way around the entire frame until it is all covered.
  6. When you work your way back to the beginning, tie a ribbon around the stalk of the first bundle to cover the stalk and to use for hanging.

For a larger wreath it is best to use a commercial wreath frame and follow the instructions for that particular style. Try adding in other dried flowers or decorative plants to suit your occasion, such as holly or evergreen to create a lavender Christmas wreath.

Dried Lavender

Many lavender crafts can be made using dried lavender buds which hold their aroma for many months. A slight touch of dried lavender will cause it to release its wonderful aroma time and time again.

  • Lavender Sachet – A sachet is a simple way to add that sweet lavender aroma to a drawer, closet or room. There are many creative possibilities when it comes to making a lavender sachet. The easiest sachet could be simply putting lavender buds into a decorative stationary envelope. Use a pin to poke some holes in the back of the envelope to allow the smell to escape. Another alternative is to use your computer printer to print a pattern or image on a plain sheet of paper, then fold it into an envelope that will contain your lavender buds.

If your craft skills include sewing, you can make your own lavender sachet using organza material. Sew the material into a pouch to hold your lavender buds and tie it closed with a ribbon. Another option is to cut a long strip of material that is about 4 inches (10 – 11 cm) wide, fold it in half along the length, place lavender buds in between the folds as you sew it into 2 inch X 2 inch (5 cm X 5 cm) squares. This will result in a sachet that is as long as you want and will work well to hang near a window to allow the fresh breeze to spread the lavender aroma around the room.

  • Dried Lavender Flower Arrangement – Dried lavender bundles are a great addition when creating a dried floral arrangement. Many beautiful dried grasses and plants are available in craft stores or in nature. Arrange these in a vase along with your dried lavender bundles and you can create an attractive and aromatic table centerpiece or shelf decoration. Dried lavender flowers are lovely by themselves and add a country charm to a bathroom or kitchen. Place them on a window sill or hang them out of the way near a cabinet or in a corner and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere that is created.
  • Other Lavender Crafts – The ways to use lavender in making sweet smelling crafts are only limited by your imagination. Besides sachets, lavender buds can be sewn into pot holders, oven mitts, napkin rings, cushions, you name it. Lavender pillows and lavender eye pillows are a relaxing way to enjoy the fruit of your craft making. Is there a wedding in your future?

Plan a lavender wedding and create lavender wedding favors – throw lavender buds instead of rice. Dried lavender can be used to make wall hangings, pomanders, or various displays. If you feel really adventurous, try making your own lavender soap, lotion or cream.

It doesn’t matter whether you are using fresh or dried lavender to make your lavender crafts, you are sure to have fun. With just a little effort you can have a unique creation that will make a great gift or you can give yourself something that will provide months of aromatic enjoyment.

Lavender DIY

How to Cook with Lavender?

When they hear about cooking with lavender, some people are surprised. Lavender’s sweet smell is becoming well-known as an enhancement to many household products such as soaps, lotions and air fresheners. Many have enjoyed growing lavender in their gardens.

More and more people are learning of the powerful therapeutic properties of lavender essential oil. But using flowers as a seasoning? Cooking with lavender can add a unique flavor to a variety of dishes.

Culinary Lavender – All types of lavender are edible, but some are better for cooking than others. It’s most important that the lavender be pesticide free, so it is best to purchase lavender that is specifically marketed for cooking. The other alternative is to grow your own lavender, knowing that you kept it away from any pesticides or other toxic substances. Probably the most common variety of lavender used in cooking is provence. It provides a light sweet flavor without overpowering. If you are interested in adding infusions with color, hidcote is a good option.

General Usage – When cooking with lavender, use it lightly as you would with any dried herb such as rosemary. Remember that a little goes a long way, and too much will leave a bitter taste. In addition to seasoning, lavender will add color to your dishes and fresh lavender blossoms make a beautiful garnish. To keep blossoms fresh until ready to use, wrap in a paper towel and place it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Desserts – One of the favorite uses of culinary lavender is in preparing desserts. An easy way to add the taste of lavender is to make lavender sugar. Simply mix one tablespoon of dried lavender with four cups of sugar and let it sit for a couple of weeks. Sift out the lavender and use the sugar normally. Lavender can be used in many dessert recipes such as cakes, cookies and ice cream.

Meats – Lavender provides a unique flair to meat seasoning, including beef, pork, chicken and fish. Whether you prefer meat seasoning that is spicy or sweet, in the form of a rub or a marinade, cooking with lavender adds special flavor that is tasty and aromatic. If you are grilling your meat, try sprinkling some dried lavender on the hot coals. Not only will this add savor that is pleasing to the taste buds, it will also add scent that is pleasing to the nose.

Beverages – Adding lavender to drink recipes is another way to enjoy this wonderful herb. Lavender Lemonade and limeade are summer favorites. This will add a great spin to the taste, and it can also add beautiful color to the beverage (try hidcote). Lavender punch is a great hit at parties. Try dropping a few fresh lavender florets into a glass of white wine, or use a lavender stem with the flowers still attached as a swizzle stick.

Vinegar – Lavender vinegar provides an extraordinary way of cooking with lavender. But since vinegar has so many different uses, adding the scent and color of lavender will make even common uses seem extravagant. Use lavender vinegar for salad dressing, dipping bread or marinading meats. Try it as a hair rinse or a facial scrub. Clean with lavender vinegar or use in the rinse cycle of your dishwaser for spot free dishes.
The possibilities of cooking with lavender are only limited by your imagination. Experiment with some of your favorite recipes or try some new ones. If you have never cooked with this exceptional herb, you are in for a whole new adventure in delighting your palate!

Lavender Products

Types of Lavender Products

The variety of lavender products that are available is amazing. The produce of the lavender plant has therapeutic properties, is beautiful, is edible, and smells great!

Lavender scent is quite popular in many mass produced items, but the best place to find high quality, unique lavender products is in the booming cottage industry. Small scale manufacturers generate many hand made products with great care, and many of these are associated with lavender farms. With many of these enterprises the farmer, product developer, manufacturer and salesperson are all the same person. Since you are making a purchase directly from someone with such a vested interest in a product, you can usually be confident of superior quality and service.

Bath – Certainly one of the most popular categories of lavender products is bath related items. Lavender soap in various forms can be found from small scale manufacturers. Handmade bar soaps with moisturizers such as goats milk or shea butter and lavender scent give your skin a treat. Liquid soap, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner make every day special. Want a spa treatment at home? Try a long soaking bath with lavender bubble bath, milk bath or tub tea.

Body Care – Relax and be nice to your skin from head to toe! There are many lavender products that take advantage of the healing properties of lavender or simply the wonderful scent. Lavender massage oil , lotions, creams, or body butter will soothe dry skin. Smell good with lavender powder, perfume, deodorant or after shave. Give yourself a spa treatment at home by cleansing with salt scrub, sugar scrub or facial cleanser. Give your aching feet some relief with a lavender foot soak or foot balm. Going outdoors? Try lavender insect repellent, or a lavender skin treatment with aloe to heal sunburn.

Food Products – There is a huge variety of lavender food products available. If you would like to try cooking with lavender , you can season your food with herbs de provence or a lavender basil blend, or spice things up with lavender sea salt or lavender and lemon pepper. Try baking with lavender sugar or other lavender cooking basics such as herbs de provence oil or lavender vinegar. Lavender is available in many beverages such as your favorite tea, coffee or hot chocolate. It can be found as a special ingredient in lemonade mix or margarita mix. Lavender provides a unique taste to sweets such as chocolate, truffles or cookies. Favorites like chocolate chip, oatmeal, ginger, and almond lemon are available. Many jellies, jams, and marmalades are available with lavender, and you can find condiments with lavender such as salsa, chutney, or even honey. As you can see, the line up of lavender products of the culinary variety is quite impressive.

Home – Lavender’s wonderful aroma and its antibacterial properties make for an ideal ingredient in products around the home. For fresh smelling clothes you can find lavender laundry soap, dryer sachets, or clothes hangers. Also available are lavender based dish soap, furniture oil, carpet freshener, linen spray, and car fresheners. I even found an algae inhibitor for keeping ponds clear that is made from lavender.

Therapeutic Products – No discussion of lavender products would be complete without mentioning products intended to improve health through lavender’s therapeutic properties. Aromatherapy products would fall into this category including diffusers, burners, candles, and incense. There are therapeutic salves for pain and tension relief and a hand sanitizer to kill germs.

Pillows – Since lavender tends to have a relaxing effect and is often used as a sleep aid, some of the most popular lavender products are pillows. There are lavender eye pillows for blocking out light while you relax, neck pillows for relieving muscle tension and headaches, and dream pillows to slip inside your pillow case and help you sleep at night. You can even find pillows to rest your wrist on while you use your keyboard or computer mouse.

Pet Products – One of the more recent developments in lavender products is that many are now designed specifically for pets. Pet shampoo, pillows, litter box fresheners and dog biscuits are all available that include lavender.

Themed Products – With the recent rise in the popularity of lavender products, many people have fallen in love with everything lavender. For those of us who are “Lavender People” there are many products that do not have lavender as an ingredient, but are focused on the wonderful plant. Lavender colored and embroidered clothing, lavender themed jewelry, photos and paintings of lavender fields, and stationary with a light lavender scent can all be found. You can get a vase with lavender painted on it to hold your fresh lavender blooms. Hot pads for handling hot pans and ceramic tile are available with lavender designs. You can find books about lavender and books about cooking with lavender. As you can see, there is no shortage of products available to satisfy your lavender desires.

Plant Products – Last, but certainly not least on this extensive list of lavender products are those from the lavender plant itself. If you are growing your own lavender you might have these already or mighteasily make them. Obviously the lavender plants themselves can be purchased, but you can also buy fresh cut or dried flowers depending on the season.

The buds of the lavender flowers are popular in making sachets, pomanders and pot pourri. Culinary lavender buds are used in cooking. Another twist on an old tradition is to use lavender buds instead of rice as a wedding toss.

Fresh lavender is often used in making crafts such as wreaths or wands that will dry and make a long lasting, beautiful, aromatic decoration for the home. Lavender stems are popular for use as fire starters or add flavor to foods by tossing them on the fire of an outdoor grill.

Lavender oil is distilled from plant material into lavender essential oil . This oil has many uses from aromatherapy to pain relief to an aid in sleeping. It is indeed the key source of lavender that is included in many of the products mentioned on this page. The hydrosol, or lavender water that is a by-product of the distillation process has many uses also, such as a linen spray or deodorizer.

Even if you are a “Lavender Person”, there are probably lavender products mentioned here that you didn’t know were available. The versatility of this plant and the products that are derived from it are simply amazing. There are likely many products that escaped my extensive research, and many more that will be developed in the future. As I hear of new products I’ll do my best to include them here.

lavender Tips

What is Lavender Farms?

Lavender farms are growing (pun intended) in popularity around the world. Since growing lavender is relatively easy, and its blooms are so popular for so many uses, you probably don’t have to go far to find a lavender growing operation. Lavender has grown wild for all of recorded history in the countries of the Mediterranean and has spread through trade, settlement, and conquering armies.

Commercial production of lavender seems to have been started in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These farms were started to provide the essential oil to the perfume industry.

Today they can be found in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, United States of America (USA), Canada, United Kingdom, and of course Mediterranean countries such as France. In the USA lavender farms can be found from New England to Hawaii, from the Pacific Northwest to the Atlantic Southeast, and even in the desert Southwest!

Lavender farms come in many shapes and sizes, from the large commercial operations covering a hundred acres or more to the small boutique farms that are not much more than a large garden. The primary focus of the large farms is to harvest the aromatic blossoms to extract the essential oil through distillation. Often the stills are large self-contained units on trailers that are pulled into the fields. The harvested lavender is loaded directly into the still and the essential oil is put into large containers as it is extracted.

Many of the small to medium sized farms build their operation around the few weeks of summer that the lavender blossoms are at their peak in aroma and beauty. Many of these farms are open to the public and are geared to giving their visitors a unique “Lavender Experience”.

Tours – Many farms provide tours to allow their guests to soak up the relaxing atmosphere of a lavender field in bloom. The tours will be as varied as the farms themselves. You might simply take a stroll through a field on your own, or you might get a guided tour of the facilities including drying and distilling areas. You might even get a hayride on a horse drawn trailer to visit the fields of a larger farm. Regardless of the lavender tour details, you are sure to enjoy the atmosphere you experience on the farm.

Festivals – Lavender festivals are becoming very popular events that celebrate all things lavender. Some small farms sponsor their own festivals, and farmers in areas that have multiple farms may cooperate to have a larger festival. Some of the attractions that are common at many festivals may include:

Pick your own lavender. Walk through the field and harvest your own bounty.

Taste the lavender. Opportunities to dine on lavender seasoned delicacies.

Sample lavender products. Try everything from massage oil to pet shampoo

  • Weddings – Some lavender farms offer the use of their facilities to couples who want to tie the knot among the beautiful and sweet smelling lavender blossoms. Lavender bouquets, decorations and colors become a part of the once in a lifetime experience of a lavender wedding .
  • Products – Many lavender farmers also make and sell products made from lavender. Some of the common products in this cottage industry include soaps, lotions, creams, and bath salts. Other products are made from the dried lavender stalks and buds including sachets, wands, and wreaths.

If you ever get the opportunity to visit a lavender farm while the plants are in bloom, you’ll enjoy an experience that will likely draw you back again and again.