The healing power of lavender has been used for a myriad of applications through thousands of years.
Its name derives from the Latin Lavare meaning “to wash”. It is no wonder then that through the ages it has predominantly been used to cleanse and its gorgeous aroma evokes a freshness and renewal.
MS Guardio is writing a series of short articles about the healing properties some plants, flowers and foods at this time of pandemic and national crisis.
A timeless classic, a heady scent from yesteryear. What a beautiful sight to behold, a field of purples or pots of mixed colours in our gardens.
The buzz of bees and the butterflies flitting around the flowers just floods our senses with a calmness that can only be gained from being surrounded by nature.
The healing power of lavender
There is no doubt about it, we all know and love the scent of lavender.
The healing power of lavender cannot be denied. It evokes a calming sense of peace and relaxation almost as if passed down through time and down the generations. It is no surprise then that lavender’s most famous use is for reliving stress and anxiety.
Crushing the flowers and rubbing into your temples is one simple way to harness the healing power of lavender and incredibly effective.
A soothing cup of lavender in hot water can work wonders in creating a feeling of calm. What better way to unwind than cosying up with a favourite book and a nurturing cuppa to induce a contented feeling.
The healing power of lavender is perhaps most commonly used in the form of an essential oil. In its simplest form, there is something comforting about gently drifting off to sleep on a pillow lightly infused with this delightful aroma.
You may not know that lavender essential oil has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Great for healing burns, acting as a pain reliver, it calms the skin quickly and a drop can kill any nasty bacteria hiding and cleanse you.
Add some dried lavender to your favourite ceramic bowl and place next to your bed to fill your room with the restful scent. Aromatherapy lavender oil droplets can be added to a bowl of warm water or your diffuser to infuse your home.
Perhaps a little extra pampering is needed after a stressful day. Taking a bath is a great stress buster and adding some lavender to the tub can soothe aching body and mind.
If you have a little tea left over, why not give your hair a treat too, by applying direct to the roots. Your hair will love you for it! It would also be beneficial directly to the skin to relive symptoms of eczema and other irritating skin conditions. A soak of dreams that will promote a peaceful sleep and therefore an ability to cope a little better with the following day ahead.
The healing power of lavender includes great antiseptic healing properties. You can apply crushed flowers or a drop of essential oil to wounds which can prevent further infection and speed up the healing process. The antioxidant properties of Lavender, much like the day lily, can help heart health, lowering the risk of stroke.
Eating and cooking with Lavender
English lavender is great for cooking with and has the sweetest fragrance of all the lavender varieties. Ensure the flowers you are cooking with are truly organic.
If you are cooking with your own home grown lavender, ensure chemicals have not been used on or near your plant. As lavender has such a strong perfume it is wise to use little at first and add further to taste.
A top tip is to add roughly chopped lavender buds to a mixture of herbs de provence. This can then be added to a late evening summer salad.
For an extra special desert add ground buds to a vanilla ice cream for a flowery sweet treat. Add sprigs of the flower to the top of sorbet to instantly add a touch of charm that is bound to impress. For that party to remember add to sparkling wine or, if you are feeling particularly fancy, Champagne!
Lavender can be used in savoury dishes much like Rosemary. Add to bread or meat marinades to infuse its unique flavour. Your guests or family will be pleased you did!
To make the flowers last beyond summer into Autumn, hang a bunch of lavender upside down in a cupboard for about two weeks and then store in Tupperware in the freezer. A great way to banish the onset of winter blues and keep summer memories alive, even if it has started to get chilly!
The healing power of lavender in your garden
The healing power of lavender extends to growing and nurturing it in our gardens. We are so used to seeing pots and pots of lavender in our local garden centre, supermarkets and florists, what a great way to easily add a burst of colour and fragrance to our gardens. But let us think about having a go at growing it from seed.
You have the luxury of sowing seeds from February to July so there is plenty of time to enjoy this simple delight. Grab a seed tray or some small pots and fill with slightly damp seed compost and sprinkle the lavender seeds on top.
Cover with a light covering of sieved soil and pop into a propagator or clear polythene bag. Keep the soil moist and in a light sunny position. These conditions will be perfect for germination, which should be about 21 days.
Once the seedlings are big enough, pinch them out and transfer to slightly bigger pots. They should now get bigger and stronger and will look more familiar to you as the plant we know and love.
Now comes the exciting bit! The planting out! If you are planting earlier in the year, ensure that the last frost has gone. Your young plants will need to get acclimatised to being outside so introduce them slowly and mindfully over about 7 days.
Your Lavender is now ready to adorn your garden, patio or balcony. Make sure it’s in a sunny position with well-drained soil and prune back in at the end of summer when the flowers have finished. This encourages the following years growth and ensures a full plant. If you do not prune, over time the plant will become woody.
The spent flower stems can be harvest and dried for use throughout the year in the home.
MS Guardio has also written about the healing properties of the oregano.
Carefully goes it!
The healing power of lavender is well documented. But any medicinal plant, however you use it, should be treated with care.
When using lavender, especially in its essential oil form take care, it can cause skin irritation and headaches or if incorrectly ingested nausea, vomiting.
Always ensure you dilute well and a patch test is advisable. Consult a doctor if you feel unwell.
It should not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
Enjoy the healing power of lavender
Whatever way you choose to enjoy the healing power of lavender, immerse yourself in its scent and transport yourself to a simpler time. Revel in its beautiful, calming colours and allow yourself to relax.
Lavender’s blue, dilly, dilly
When l am King, dilly, dilly
You shall be Queen!
Call up your men, dilly, dilly
Set them to work
Some to the plough, dilly, dilly
And some to the pond.
Some to make hay, dilly, dilly
Some to cut corn
While you and I, dilly, dilly
Keep ourselves warm.
Lavender’s Blue is an English folk song dating back to the late17th century.
- Sweet Alyssum
– Alyssum has powerful health benefits
– Essential nutrients to the body
– Prevent kidney diseases
– Natural diuretic
– Prevent an excessive retention of water in the body
– Widening blood vessels
– Treating atherosclerosis
– Packed with nutrition
– High levels of vitamin C
– Improve the immune system
– tackling sore throats, coughs, and colds and
– bacterial and fungal infections.
– Immunostimulatory and anti-inflammatory properties,
– Reduce alleviation of cold symptoms
- Day Lily
– Daylilies are edible, herbs for cooking purposes
– A treat to sight
– Helps in detoxifying and curing insomnia
- Garlic Chives
– Rich in vitamins C and A, potassium, iron, beta carotene
– Maintaining blood pressure
– Increasing immunity power
– Lavender oil has antiseptic properties.
– And anti-inflammatory properties
– Counteract hair loss
– Relieve toothache
Our kind planet supports many flowers and plants that offer completely natural medicinal properties.
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