Lavender: Eat, Sleep, Love

lavender fieldWe know that Romans enjoyed to take baths in addition to their other epicurean habits. But only recently I learned that the name of one of my favorite plants—lavender, is associated with the Roman practice of taking a bath. Apparently, the word lavare (hence, Lavandula, the Latin name for lavender), means “to bathe”. Yes, you guessed it right—Romans loved taking a bath perfumed with lavender flowers. Ah, these Romans.

Our family recently returned home from a trip and the first thing I did was rub lavender sachets, that released familiar and welcoming scents. It is said that the scent of lavender is soothing to the human spirit and I believe its true. Here my ten favorite ideas for using lavender, all joyful ad fragrant.

1. Make a lavender sachet or sock

Dry lavender flowers can be strategically placed where their fragrance is most desired: near your pillow, desk or in your drawer. I make a lavender bag by putting dry lavender flowers into an old sock. Just tie a knot and you’re done. It’s a super easy solution for drawers and other places such as closets where looks don’t matter (but scent does).

Also, it’s a great way to reuse and repurpose that sock without a pair (typically my daughter’s). Once the lovely fragrance is (sadly) gone, you can untie the sock and replace it with the fresh batch.

If you are a parent to a school kid who is occasionally sleepless (due to worries about a coming test) you be will pleasantly surprised to learn that lavender sachets placed near pillow will relax and put your kid at ease at bedtime. My daughter likes sachets very much (keeps three of them next to her desk), but finds a simple sock “boring”, so she prefers to put a bow and a pair of wiggle eyes onto her lavender socks. I think it looks very funny.decorated lavender sachet

Lavender can also be carried around. Why not? I have a friend who carries a lavender sachet in her purse and uses it for instant relaxation during her (stressful) workday.

2. Make a lavender tea that promotes sleep

You can drink lavender by making a tea. Add one teaspoon of dried lavender flowers to 2 cups of boiling water. Infuse for 5 min and drink with lavender honey. This tea is a pleasant, non-invasive means of promoting and improving sleep.

3. Make a lavender tincture

Cover lavender flowers with 2 cups vodka and leave for one week in a cool, dark place, shaking daily. Filter and massage to calm aching muscles or just to relax.

4. Make a lavender massage oil

Add several drops of lavender essential oil to olive oil and massage it into your body for instant relaxation, soothing and the feeling of goodness.

5. Put it into your toiletries and cleaners

For quick results, just add several drops of lavender essential oil to your shampoo, soap, laundry detergent or homemade house cleaner.

6. Have it in your kitchen and put on burns

Amazing but true, essential lavender oil is the best solution for burns due to oil splatters. Also, it helps with the scaring.

7. Grow it and love it

Lavender is known as a no-fuss plant that can grow well in a pot or a garden. What a joy to harvest something that you’ve grown yourself, even from a single pot.

8. Look at lavender in your home and feel good

Arrange spikes of lavender around your home to extend the feeling of summer even in February. Looking at lavender (especially if you harvested it yourself) can very well bring sunshine into the winter gloominess. If you live in a region with severe winters like I do, you will know what I mean. Whenever I look at lavender, I always think that summer will come again, no matter what.

LAVENDER FIELD

9. Give or decorate gifts

Give lavender as a gift or add a spike of lavender for a very personal (and fragrant) touch to your eco-friendly gift wrapping.give lavender or decorate gifts with lavender

10. Make a lavender syrup

Lavender not only smells divine, it also tastes great in cocktails and food. Here is how to make basic lavender syrup that has versatile uses.

1 ½ cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons dried organic (or food grade) lavender

3 cups water

Bring water to a boil and add sugar. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar melts, 10 minutes. Add lavender flowers. Let cool and strain through a sieve. Syrup will keep in the refrigerator, about three months.

So, now you can enjoy your lavender cocktail

Take 4-5 mint leaves, 2 ounces lavender syrup, 2 ounces white rum, juice of 1 lemon or lime, sparkling water. Mix all ingredients except sparkling water and stir. Pour into cocktail glass. Add ice. Top with sparkling water. Enjoy!

…or your lavender ice cream!

To make lavender ice cream replace the sugar with the lavender syrup in your basic ice-cream recipe. Decorate with lavender flowers. Mmm…yum!

lavender ice cream

Image Courtesy: Andrea Goh

You may also like:

Speak Your Mind

*

Current day month ye@r *