I loooove lavender. It bears one of the most relaxing smells and also has sooo many uses. I've grown it outdoors before (my hunny & I love gardening) and I've bought dried buds in bulk as well. I LOVE that stuff. I even use it for my facials:
Lavender also has a lot of benefits and uses:
- Lavender produces a high quality honey that is most commonly sold around the Mediterranean areas
- It repels insects
- It has antiseptic qualities
- It's an anti-inflammatory aid
- Lavender is one of the most used flowers in aromatherapy - it's very soothing and said to be the most effective herb
- It's blended with black tea to make "Lavender Tea"
- Lavender soothes muscles and comforts the stomach
- If you apply lavender essential oil to your temples, it can soothe a headache
- It is one of 2 essential oils than can be applied directly to the skin without diluting it
- Lavender is known for treating acne
- You can grow lavender at home and dry it - the buds can go into so many things!
To dry lavender, cut it shortly after it blooms - this is when it's the most fragrant. Don't be afraid to cut it - it actually encourages growth. There are a couple methods for drying:
- Spread lavender over a screen in dark, well ventilated area & let dry for at least a week
- Bundle with hands and roll back and forth if you want to loosen the buds
- Bundle lavender 3/4 of an inch from the ends with a rubber band (if you use a string, make sure to tie it tight enough!) The stems shrink when drying.
- Hang upside down in a dark, well ventilated area
- Let dry for at least a week
- Roll the bundle back and forth if you want to loosen the buds
You could also tie up some dried buds in a cheesecloth and toss it into the bath along with some epsom salts (the salts are really good for your muscles). Ahhhh....
** some people do have a lavender allergy; luckily I'm not one of them