Posted by: ktzefr | January 6, 2017

10 Things To Do With Lavender

Lavender on my window sill, a mini winter garden; Photo:KFawcett

Lavender on my window sill, a mini winter garden; Photo:KFawcett 

The holidays are over.  A new year has begun.  I’m already thinking about spring.  Gardens.  Herbs and flowers.  But, until it’s time to plant outside, here are 10 things to do with lavender — whether it be the herb still green in your garden or a scent that still lingers in your thoughts…

1.  Snip and root.  I snipped my two big plants outside and put the clippings in old medicine bottles and mini vases on my kitchen window sill.  A tiny “garden” is taking root.

2.  Sing about it!  “Lavender’s blue, dilly dilly, lavender’s green…”  Most people have heard this English folk song from the 17th century.  It’s been a drinking song, a ballad, and a nursery rhyme, sung by Burl Ives, Leon Russell, and David Bowie.  It’s been written about in short stories, children’s stories, and even a horror novel.  And it’s been sung on television shows, in an opera, and in the movie Cinderella.

3.  Light a lavender candle.  The essential oil is also used in soap, perfume, and cosmetics. 

4.  Add the herb to salads and dressings.  Lavender sugar flowers also make tasty cake decorations.  There’s lavender syrup in scones and marshmallows, lavender flowers in tea.  I especially like Rishi Tea’s Earl Grey Lavender.  And the sweet flower goodies go great with chocolate.  But, then, everything is better with chocolate.

5.  Eat honey!  Around the Mediterranean the bees make high-quality honey from the nectar of lavender.  Monoflorel honey is marketed worldwide.  Try Olivier’s Wild Lavender Honey.

6.  Use lavender as medicine to help you sleep, lift your mood, cure a headache, or clear up eczema.  According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, “research has confirmed that lavender produces slight calming, soothing, and sedative effects when its scent is inhaled,” in addition to treating the above-mentioned ailments. ***

7.  Unwind with a lavender-infused back massage the next time you to go the spa.  Or add a cup of Epsom salt with a few drops of lavender oil to a hot bath at home.

8.  Read a “lavender” book.  A quick-read Romance for a snowy day?   Lavender Morning by Jude Deveraux (a woman inherits an 18th century house and a letter with clues to a mystery).  Or a historical novel?  The Lavender Keeper by Fiona McIntosh (set in France during WW2 about a lavender farmer who joins the Resistance).  Or a children’s book?  Lavender by Karen Hesse (a lovely little book about a secret, handmade gift). 

9.  Dry a few sprigs from the garden and slip into a cloth pouch to place in bureau drawers and closets to keep away moths.  People like the scent; insects do not.

10. Bring pots of lavender inside for the winter or clip and use in dried flower arrangements or potpourri to add a springtime scent to the house after the fir-scented Christmas greens have all been taken down.

***Check out warnings about the use of lavender oil, allergies, and toxicity on the NIH site.


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