Lavender is by far is one of the more versatile plants we grow in the garden.  Aside from it’s beauty and fragrance the virtues of lavender continue long after it is cut and dried.  By tapping into its fragrance for use in perfumes and aromatherapy we can air out our rooms without chemical sprays and use the oils and buds to calm us down through its aromatherapeutic properties.  And we don’t just use this plant for its flowers!  Makes sense (or should I say "scents"!) when you find out that this flowering plant is part of the mint family (Lamaiceae to be exact) so it is perfect for dicing up in the kitchen or extracting the oils for herbal medicine.

Did you know that…

  • The scent of lavender deters pests like mosquitoes and mice.  
  • Using sachets near your woolens will keep the moths away, a nice alternative to mothballs and your clothes will smell terrific.   
  • Lavender is a great anti-microbrial and anti-fungal and not only helps to heal cuts, scrapes and burns, but speeds healing too.

Trouble with aphids on your roses?  A lavender plant nearby will keep them at bay.

sublimebirdy natural moth repellent sachets

Use natural mothball alternatives for storing baby clothes for later reuse because mothballs can be an irritant to little noses (and big noses for that matter!).

And, speaking of the health benefits of Lavender, sniffing the oil or massaging the oil into your temples is a good way to get rid of headache pain and pain from muscle spasms and tension.  If you are dealing with menopausal hot flashes one study has proven that breathing lavender aroma for 20 minutes a day twice a day had noticeable benefits. 

Ahhh, that wonderful scent of lavender can really brighten a room but it is also a proven calming agent and when used in aromatherapy it can help with anxiety and depression.  If you’re tossing and turning at night lavender can help with bedtime too!  Use a lavender sachet under your pillow, breathe the scent from some sprigs at your bedside or try putting the lights out with a lavender filled sleep mask sending you off to dreamland before you count all your sheep. 

Sublimebirdy lavender filled sleep mask

Wearing a lavender filled sleep mask is a soothing way to drift off to sleep, sublimebirdy.com

Want to try lavender in the kitchen? Try it in a sweet or savory recipe with English lavender which is best for culinary flavor, look for varieties with the names ‘Hidcote’, ‘Sharon Roberts’, ‘Loddon Blue’ and  a pretty pink ‘Melissa’.  It is recommended to use the leaves and flowers but to avoid your food tasting like perfume use a light hand when adding lavender.  And, don’t be so quick to toss the greens, these can be used like rosemary or combined with rosemary to flavour your meat or vegetables.  The leaves can also be used to make tea (just like tea made from the pretty flower buds) that is milder but gives the same soothing benefits of the flower tea.

lavender tea

What better way to handle a stressful day than with a cup of lavender tea!

Try these additional and easy ideas to get more lavender in your life…

  • Make a bath bouquet by tying sprigs of eucalyptus and lavender on your shower head, the steam will diffuse the scents for a luxurious shower experience.
  • Stir in some sweetness with lavender vanilla sugar.  Mix 4 cups of sugar, 2 vanilla beans and 4 tbs. of lavender flowers in a closed container for a week and use for baking, drinks or gifting.
  • Drift off to sleep with a spritz of lavender linen spray on your pillow.

What do you use lavender for?  Are you growing it in your garden this summer? Share your ideas with me!