There are so many uses for lavender that it really must be just a gift to humans. Lavender is beautiful, aromatic, easy to grow, tasty, and has healing, calming properties to boot. There is just about nothing negative you could say about this sweet, purple herb.
Throughout history is has been used to beautify and perfume people’s homes and bodies. Its calming, and anti-fungal properties gave it almost magical status in the middle ages. During the Black Plague grave diggers would bath in lavender spiked vinegar after doing their dirty work. Few of them contracted the disease. Here are some more pleasant uses for us modern folk.
This is probably one of the most tried and true uses for lavender. The calming effect of the scent of lavender cannot be matched. Few people can deny that the smell of lavender just makes you feel better. Lavender has even been incorporated into baby products to help calm fussy infants. To best reap lavender’s aromatic benefits you can rub essential oil directly onto your wrists or neck, much like you would perfume. You can also use lavender oil in an aromatherapy inhaler or vaporizer for instant stress relief.
Some people do not realize that lavender is edible, but it is actually a great addition to many recipes. The subtle floral taste can turn some run of the meal foods into exotic experiences. Lavender can be used in all types of dishes. Everything from meats, vegetables, desserts and bread can be enhanced with this versatile plant. One very popular recipe that incorporates lavender is lavender lemonade. Pour 2 cups of boiling water of ¼ cup of dried lavender and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain out the lavender and mix with ¾ cup of sugar and the juice of 8 lemons. Stir well and top off with cold water to fill a 2 quart pitcher. Combine with ice for an amazingly refreshing drink.
For centuries lavender, along with aloe, has been used to naturally treat the pain from burns. Lavender has also been shown to speed up the time it takes to heal from a burn and to possibly reduce the appearance of burn scars. Keep in mind that severe burns may require medical attention to avoid infection. For mild burns mix 10 drops of lavender oil to about half a cup of aloe gel. You can apply this mixture after running cold water over the burned area. This mixture is especially helpful for steam burns.
Lavender is greatly loved by humans, but greatly despised by many insects. Lavender growing in your yard can actually discourage many annoying bugs from hanging around. Flies and mosquitos will usually keep their distance from lavender plants. Lavender oil is also an effective mosquito repellant when applied directly to the skin. When applied to the skin it can also alleviate the itching and irritation from previous bug bites. Lavender sachets in your closet can also discourage moths from ruining your clothing.
Cuts and Scrapes
Lavender is one of the few essential oils that are safe to apply directly to skin undiluted. It is also one of the few essential oils that can be applied to an open cut or scrape. Lavender oil can be used to clean a cut, alleviate the pain and to reduce the appearance of a future scar. For this purpose you should have a variety of lavender oil that is of medicinal grade. To use on cuts or scrapes, add a drop or two of essential oil to the area. If you do notice some skin irritation you can slightly dilute the oil.
We all know how nice a room can smell after you sprinkle the carpet with deodorizing powder and then vacuum. Not everyone can enjoy this, though, because that powder can have a bad reaction with some noses. Many pets also find carpet deodorizers to be very irritating. If you have very small babies that spend time on your carpet you may also be concerned with sprinkling the carpet with synthetic products. Lavender can provide you with a lovely, aromatic, natural alternative to commercial carpet powders. Take dried lavender and crush it till you have a coarse powder. Mix the crushed lavender with baking soda. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer. Sprinkle the mixture on your carpet and allow it to sit for a few minutes. After you vacuum, the room will be infused with a gentle lavender scent
Not being able to fall asleep can really affect your health and productivity. The calming effects of lavender can be especially helpful in the bedroom. Combine a few drops of lavender oil with water in a spray bottle. Spritz your pillow with the mixture right before you lay down to ensure sweet, lavender filled dreams.
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