Lavender Fragrance and Fancies {How To Make Potpourri}

Making your own potpourri is a delightful hobby and easier than you may think….
The ancient and fragrant art of potpourri is one of the few truly civilized and civilizing processes left for the twentieth century inhabitant to partake of. This ‘preservation of garden souls’ is a work worthy of time and loving care and its products can bring delight not only to the maker but to so many others.
We will disdain the often quoted and unworthy translation of the French ‘rotten pot’, and proceed hastily to the fact that there are two distinct techniques for potpourri production, ‘moist’ and ‘dry’.
Moist potpourri is an old method of production and its presumably the source of the French title, for it is the fragrance, and most certainly not the appearance  that is the attraction with this variety. Moist potpourri are reputed to retain their fragrance for up to fifty years, so the process results in much longer staying power. They are made from floral materials that are partly dried, despite the name.
The peak time to pick any floral ingredient is just as it is coming into full bloom. Pick after the dew has dried but as early as possible on a sunny day. Dry the flowers on papers or preferably on screens, out of sunlight but in an airy place. For moist potpourri they should be only partly dried. leathery when finished rather than crisp. Aim for a very limp appearance. Around one third of their bulk will be gone.
We use large straight sided glazed pottery crocks with good fitting tops to hold and mature moist potpourris. These should really be set aside for the purpose as it takes a number of weeks to mature a batch. Never use metallic spoons to turn the mixture. Buy some long-handled wooden spoons and keep them for this purpose alone. To make your job pleasant the crock needs to be sufficiently large and wide-mouthed to hold all the ingredients comfortably during the necessary turnings and stirrings as the mixture ages. The shortest time needed to mature the mix is two weeks. This is really far too short. The best results come with longer maturation. We wait at least six to eight weeks, but in previous centuries, far more noted for their patience than our own, the crocks were left to stew for months.
The general principles are simple. Place a layer of ‘leathery stage’ petals at the bottom of the crock, then cover with a layer of common {not iodized} salt. Add another layer of petals, then salt, alternating them until the crock is about three quarters full. A batch requires at least two weeks ageing before the remaining ingredients are added. Weigh the mixture down with a plate on which is placed some heavy non-corrodible object. A large bottle of homemade preserves is an answer. A large glass jar filled with sand and tightly capped will do the job well too. Each day the mix needs to be stirred well from the bottom. A kind of ‘petal soup’ appears and should be mixed back into the petals. If a hard crust appears, remove it and allow it to dry. Reserve this for the final mixing when it should be crushed and added back.
Next the spices, ground roots, dried peels, fragrant leaves and fixatives are added and blended. Leave for one month, stirring daily and covering again, to mellow and mix the fragrances. Finally add whatever essential oils may be required and allow the mix to continue to ‘stew’ {the word is too appropriate to be avoidable}, stirring daily, for a few more weeks.
If all this sounds tedious in the extreme, interrupting a very busy schedule, you are probably one of those who would most greatly benefit from its therapy! The fragrance alone is sufficient reward as the mixture is stirred each day, and it is no more difficult to build this routine into your day than any other daily routine.
Now is the time to move the potpourri into its final containers. Remember how long it will give pleasure to its owner and choose something worthy of the contents. Old Chinese ginger jars, oriental porcelain jars, even old-fashioned tea-caddies and marmalade jars in fine pottery are suitable. Haunt secondhand and antique shops for suitable potpourri jars. The only provisos are that there is a solid cover and that it is made of glazed pottery of some kind. Once you are looking, it is amazing how many unusual and attractive old containers suggest themselves.
The mixture in its new container will still be a little raw in its quality of fragrance, but in a few weeks will be a delight. When you wish to scent a room, remove the cover and a delicious subtle fragrance will gently pervade the whole area. Otherwise keep the lid on the mixture.
Here are a few recipes for moist potpourri. Once you have mastered the basic technique you will be able to devise your own mixes.

Recipe: Lavender Water.

Of course this can be bought commercially. My favorite comes from Norfolk Lavender in England. But for home purposes you can enjoy making up your own supply.
In a clear glass bottle steep 100 g of lavender flowers in half a liter of alcohol {brandy or vodka are both good}. Place in the sun for a few days, then strain. Repeat until the fragrance is very strong.
Strain and seal in a glass bottle. If your hair is weak, falling out and breaking, try an old idea and rub lavender water into your scalp several times a week. Try it too as a rub for rheumatism. It has a long tradition of usage for both problems.

Lavender Cream & Lavender Night Cream.

This is an antiseptic cream and has been traditionally used for all manner of minor cuts, abrasions, bruises etc.
* 125 g white wax
500g sweet almond oil
370 g distilled water
10 g essential oil of lavender
2.5 g spike oil
Lavender Ointment:
 
25 drops essential oil of lavender
10 drops essential oil of lemon or neroli
5 drops essential oil of thyme
2 tablespoons oil of lavender
60 g pure beeswax
Warm the beeswax in a small pot in a roasting pan of hot water and, when melted, beat in the oil of lavender; then, as the ointment cools, add the essential oils, continuing to beat until cool. Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator.
Oil of Lavender.
This is not the commercially distilled essential oil, but a rubbing oil which can be used at full strength. {Essential oil of lavender obtained by distillation of fresh lavender flowers should be diluted in light vegetable oil for use as a massage oil when needed.}
To make oil of lavender, take a clean glass bottle and add to it a good large handful o fresh lavender flowers and cover with one litre of olive oil. Cover and leave to macerate in the warmth of the sun for three to five days. Strain through a cloth, add fresh flowers to the bottle and return the lavender-infused oil. Repeat until the oil is highly perfumed and charged with the active principles of lavender.
 
g=grams
Lavender Night Cream
1 tablespoon avocado oil or apricot oil
1 tablespoon almond oil
3 tablespoons lanolin
1 teaspoon oil of lavender {see
‘Oil of Lavender’}
If you work outside a lot this is the ideal answer to sore chapped hands and weather beaten skin.
Put the lanolin in an ovenproof bowl and place in a roasting pan half full of hot water.
Pour in the avocado and almond oil and beat well to completely combine.
Remove from the heat and continue to beat as the mixture cools and thickens.
Add the oil of lavender. Continue beating until mixture is thick and creamy and cool.
Pour into a small pot, cover and store in the refrigerator.
Vitamin E can be added by squeezing the contents of 2 or 3 capsules at the same stage as oil of lavender is added.

Lavender Water for Fever and Headaches.

2 tablespoons dried lavender leaves
1 tablespoon Sweet Cicely
1 tablespoon marjoram
1 tablespoon red rose petals
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large pinch ground cloves
Powder all the ingredients as finely as possible and mix with four cups of either surgical spirit or brandy.
Allow to steep for 14 days, strain and bottle, sealing tightly. Add a few drops to cold water, wring out a towel in the liquid and place on the forehead. Repeat until relief is obtained.
In my experience, a sachet of the same mixture makes an excellent portable headache reliever.
In the once Imperial Library of Hungary lies a handwritten manuscript inscribed long ago by Queen Elizabeth of that country and dated 1235. In it is written the original prescription for the famous Hungary Water. The Queen was paralysed, but was cured by a secret herbal recipe invented for her by a hermit. The preparation was rubbed each day into her limbs and eventually restored her. The Queen’s formula for Hungary Water became well known throughout Europe and was particularly widely used in southern France. The original recipe given here is on a queenly scale but can of course be made in much smaller quantities.

5 Lavender Craft Ideas To Try At Home..

Lavender Bottles.

19, 21 or 23 fresh supple lavender stalks in full flower
Lavender-colored satin ribbon 0.5-1.0 cm wide

Tie the bunch of heads together tightly just below the flower spikes. One end of the lavender should be about 30 cm, the other as long as possible.
Gently turn all the stalks up around the bunch of flower spikes to make a cage. Tie the stems together above the flowers so that they are completely enclosed in a cage of green stems evenly spaced.
Use a bodkin {or thread onto a hairpin or use a safety pin} to weave the long end of the ribbon in and out of the stalks, working round and upward until the flowers are enclosed.
The short end of ribbon should be brought down with the flower heads so that it is enclosed in the weaving. Now wind the long end several times around the stalks to secure them and finish with a bow of ribbon. I like to tie a second bow at the top of the stalks.
Dry the lavender bottles, preferably on drying frames in a well-aired, warm place out of direct light.

Lavender Dolls and Lavender Mice

Lavender dolls are a pleasant pastime for rainy days, but you must first locate a source of old-fashioned wooden clothes pegs. Use a strongly lavender-scented potpourri and place it in an 8 cm wide circle of pretty sprigged cotton fabric.
Tie onto the top of the peg with lavender satin ribbon to create the effect of a mob cap finished with a bow.
For a truly professional effect, tie a bundle of some fine black or brown wool at one end to form a little wig on the top of the peg, and fasten it on with PVA glue. It can be plaited in various ways.
Paint a face on the peg. Then tie on the mob cap of lavender when hair and face are fully dried.
Paint the base of the two prongs to imitate shoes. Then either paste on a simple wrap around cloak, or, if inspired to finer things, make a pretty little neck to ankles old fashioned dress with a lace ruff at the top.
The loveliest Lavender Mice by far that I have seen were being sold at the popular Salamanca Market held each week in Hobart in Tasmania. The upright body, made of grey felt, with a very pretty bewhiskered face was filled with fresh fragrant dried Tasmanian lavender. The mouse was finished with a lavender sprigged white cotton mob cap, lace trimmed Victorian dress gathered around the neck and lavender ribbon.
The effect was pure Beatrix potter.
Lavender Fragrance Wreaths

Frame
Florist’s wire
Fresh lavender flower spikes and fresh herb foliage eg. silvery artemisia, thyme, rosemary, lavender cotton, sweet marjoram etc. {Cut more than you expect to use.}Frames for herbal wreaths vary according to tastes. You can make your own from a single circle bent from heavy gauge wire. This is then encircled with dry sphagnum moss, binding it on tightly and evenly to make a padded base for the wreath. Raffia or thick natural string are best for creating the herb base.
Frames can also be made from various vines such as grape, Japanese honeysuckle, wild clematis {which can reach pest proportions on our property, smothering valuable shrubs}, or wisteria. Create the basic circle, then twine lengths of vine continuously in and out around the basic circle until it has reached the required thickness. Tuck ends into the wreath base as you go so that a neat but rustic effect is created.
Or visit your local florist for a wire frame which should then be bound with sphagnum as above, or a straw wreath base, or a professionally made grapevine base.
To obtain a professional appearance for the wreath, all materials need to swirl in the one direction. I prefer to work with fresh materials for the base and allow the  wreath to dry almost completely before wiring or glueing on the flowers and other ornaments. Dried foliage is brittle to work with and it is far easier to work with fresh flexible stalks of herbs. It’s important to cut much more material than you imagine you will need. Wreaths positively swallow herbs.
Gather the chosen foliage material into numerous small bunches and begin wiring these to the frame with florist’s wire. Spread each bunch over the frame carefully to cover it and overlap progressive bunches so that they will hide the stems of previous bunches. Continue swirling the material in the same direction until the frame is complete. Now tuck in extra sprigs of foliage all around the outside and inside edges, continuing to work in the same direction.
Small bunches of lavender are now wired into position in a swirl through the center of the wreath. It can now be given to a friend as a fresh green herb and lavender wreath, or placed in an airy, cool,  dimly lit place to dry and further decorate.
Dried lavender and herb wreaths can be further prettied up with small bunches of dried flowers like pinks, oregano, lavender mint and sage flowers, pink yarrow or pink and lavender statice  wired to florist’s picks and arranged around the wreath to hide the stems. Tiny lavender potpourri bags secured with lavender ribbon can also be wired or glued into place.

Lavender Basket

I began making these several years ago and they proved so popular that I have continued ever since. They can be of any size, from tiny cane baskets with handles up to substantial ones.
 Lavender baskets are very fragrant as they are filled with dried lavender potpourri as a finish to the product.
Basket with handle
Dried whole stems of lavender flowers {French L. dentata looks great but English will look good if used generously}
Lavender potpourri
Oasis cut to fit the basket and reach half its height {florist supply shops are a source}
Florist wire
Dried stems of thyme, silver flowering stalks of wormwood, oregano flowering stalks, golden achillea flowers, dried pink rosebuds wired through the base, dried sprays of white baby’s breath {gypsophila}, pink everlasting daisies, dried sprays of silver lavender cotton, cream, pink and lavender statice, dried stalks of pink larkspur, or any other dried flowers and foliage you like.
Loop the florist wire over the oasis and push through the basket to secure. Push the ends back into the basket neatly. Make sure the oasis is firmly fixed.
 Arrange the dried foliage material in the basket to form a framework for the arrangement, making sure all pieces are securely embedded in the oasis. Now fill in with lots of dried lavender spikes which should predominate and a selection of golden or pink dried flowers to add color, Gypsophila will give a lovely misty airy appearance to the basket.
 Finally sieve lavender potpourri into the basket so that the oasis is well covered.
 No two lavender baskets are the same, and they can be very individual expression of their maker. A few drops of essential oil of lavender can be added to refresh the scent of the basket from time to time.
 If you are doing a substantial pruning of large lavender bushes you can even fashion the basket itself from dried lavender twigs.
Lavender Drawer Liners
There are quick and easy ways of doing these, but for something very special try this version.
Lavender colored poster paint
Silver green poster paint
Flowering spikes of lavender
Short sprigs of lavender leaves pressed for 2 to 3 days
Watercolor paper in appropriate sized sheets, around 140 – 170 g weight preferred
Lavender potpourri
Large plastic rubbish bin liner
The paper is decorated by means of flower and leaf prints.
Squeeze out each paint into a separate saucer.
Mix with a very little water to keep a reasonably thick consistency.
Use a lavender head to do some practice printing on spare paper. Place one side of the lavender head in the paint, then press gently along its full length to obtain a print. If the paint is still too thick, or you press too hard, you will end up with a sludged effect and no details will show. Adjust the consistency of the paint with a few more drops of water if necessary. If it is too diluted it will flood the paper.
Print the pressed sprigs of leaves by placing on one side in the paint, placing on the practice sheet, covering with a second sheet of paper and gently pressing down.
When you are satisfied you have mastered the art of print painting with the leaves and flowers, design you own pattern of lavender sprigs and flowers across each sheet of watercolor paper.
Dry the sheets overnight, then place flat in the plastic bag with a good layer of lavender potpourri. Seal and store flat. After a month the paper will be fully impregnated with the scent.
If giving this paper as a present, roll and tie with lavender ribbon and decorate with a little bunch of fresh or dried French lavender flowers.

Lavender Bath Cream & Moisturising Cream.

Lavender Bath Cream
 
This recipe makes the bathwater feel ultra soft, fragrant and luxurious, leaving the skin satiny and moisturized with no greasy residue on either you or the bath tub.
Add 1/4 cup to each bath tub when the water is adjusted to body temperature.
Very hot water will curdle it like custard!
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup almond oil or peach kernel or sesame oil
10 drops oil of lavender
10 drops oil of bergamot
4 drops oil of verbena
2 cups water
Place the egg yolk in the blender and whirl.
Mix together the oil with the various essential oils and, with the blender on, gradually add the oil.
Now turn the blender to high speed and add the water in a thin stream into the bowl.
If there is no blender to call upon, the same procedure will work with ab egg beater or whisk-it’s just tougher on the muscles!
The cream can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Shake well before use.
Lavender Body Moisturizing Cream
 
1/3 cup white beeswax {chips or grated from block}
3 tablespoons lanolin
12 tablespoons sweet almond oil
4 tablespoons distilled water
20 drops oil of lavender
20 drops oil of orange
10 drops oil of rosemary
10 drops oil of bergamot
Melt the wax chips in a double boiler over hot water, add the lanolin and blend, whisk together then slowly add the almond oil.
Continue to whisk the mixture for a few minutes, then add the water a little at a time, still continuing to whisk.
Remove from the burner and, while still whisking, add each of the essential oils.
Store in a closed glass container.
Lavender Bath Moisturizer
 
Bath moisturizers leave the skin feeling silky smooth.
Pat rather than rub dry with the towel to get the full moisturizing effect.
This one smells just like early morning with the dew on the herb garden.
3 tablespoons sesame oil or almond oil or safflower oil
3 tablespoons gum Arabic powder from the chemist
1 1/2 cups water
15 drops oil of lavender
2 drops of rose geranium
Place the gum Arabic in a bowl.
Blend the oil with the essential oil, then mix with the powder until a completely smooth consistency is reached.
Place in a blender and, with the blender switched on high, gradually add the water in a stream to produce a rich silky emulsion.
Store in a glass bottle and refrigerate.
Allow to mature for two days before using. Shake well before using and add 1/4 – 1/2 cup to each bath.

Lavender Fans.

These can be quite exquisite but should be treated as strictly ornamental and hung from a mirror or used to ornament a pillow or dressing table. They are better made as miniatures.
English lavender is freshly cut with long stems when approximately half the flower spike is open. Tie at the base of the bunch and about one-third of the way up the stems.
Cut two pieces of lavender organza or lace into a fan shape to cover the upper two-thirds of the lavender stems when gently teased out to form a fan shape. The lavender stems {I use pairs of stems for strength} form the ribs of the lavender fan. These are now sown into the lace casing, sewing both sides of each rib.
Press flat between books until dry and retaining their fan shape. Finish each little with lace and lavender ribbon bows, and wrap the satin ribbon tightly around the handle as a final touch, tying off with a bow and sprig of dried French lavender.

Lavender..A Story Of.

Lavender was once a virtual medicine chest in every home. It was used for everything: as a nerve stimulant and restorative, for the relief of muscular aches and pains and sprains, to induce peaceful slumber and ease the ache of rheumatism and nervous headaches, to promote the appetite following illness, and to relieve flatulence.
Merck said of true lavender {L. angustifolia} that it was ‘a stimulant, tonic, and used internally and externally in hysteria, headaches, fainting, nervous palpitation and giddiness’. The ‘vapours’ so beloved of susceptible victorian ladies were frequently treated with lavender water. No doubt loosened stays contributed to the cure!
As has so often occurred when old herbal remedies have been tested by modern science, many of lavender’s medicinal uses have been found to be solidly based in fact. Lavender oil has been shown to have antibiotic activity and will kill pneumococcus  streptococcus, Koch’s bacillus, diphtheria and typhoid bacilli. So the traditional use of oil of lavender in the treatment of mild burns, abrasions, cuts, sword wounds, sores, varicose ulcers ans stings, and also for coughs, colds and chest infections with a lavender tisane or steam inhalation, would have been effective. An infusion of the flowers of true lavender was also used as a douche for leucorrhoea.
Lavender oil was used extensively as an antiseptic in World Wars I and II when surgical supplies became scarce. Lavender farms, herb farms and every grower of a lavender bush in England were asked to contribute lavender for the cause. Britain, cut off from Continental sources of much needed drugs, appeals to its citizens to assist the war effort by gathering various herbs from the seashore and countryside. Among the herbs requested in World War II were foxgloves, comfrey, wormwood, marigolds, yarrow, elderflowers and hawthorn berries from the hedgerows and woods, and seaweeds rich in agar from the coast. Some 750 tonnes of dried herbs were gathered by the Woman’s Institute, Girl Guides, Boy Scouts and men and women in the various services. And should that quantity not sound enough, the quantity of fresh required to produce that amount of dried herbs was 6,000 tonnes!

In France, it is still quite common for housewives to keep a bottle of essence of lavender for use on bruises, sprains and bites.
Anyone who has stripped dried lavender flowers from their stalks on a warm summer day in a fairly closed room will know that the temptation to fall asleep is utterly irresistible. Its sedative action is amazingly strong and often, by just opening a bottle of oil in a confined space, I have seen visible relaxation in a person who is very anxious or stressed.
A week infusion {5 g of dried flowers in a litre of boiling water} sweetened with honey was a traditional treatment for problems of nervous origin such as insomnia, irritability and nervous headaches. A few drops of oil of lavender rubbed on the temples was considered equally effective. And if your sleeplessness is of the tossing and turning variety compounded by summer heat, try my favourite trick of sprinkling the pillow with cool fragrance lavender water. It is amazingly effective as it is old-fashioned. Sleep pillows containing fresh dried lavender are the answer for those who make a habit of seeing the dawn in.
A rub-down of lavender oil before retiring to bed completely relieves night-time symptoms of constantly spasming leg muscles, which is a truly exhausting condition to suffer from. For those with weary legs at the end of a hard day’s work, a few drops of oil of lavender in a hot footbath can relieve fatigue remarkably. A few drops of oil rubbed into the skin has also been used traditionally to ease neuralgic pain. And an old countryman’s trick in both England and France was to tuck a spray of lavender under a hat to prevent or cure a nervous headache.
Lavender water rubbed on the back and chest can, in my experience, do much to quieten irritating chest coughs and has traditionally been used for this purpose in France. Lavender is sedative to both the nervous system and the respiratory tract.
Compound tincture of lavender or tincture of red lavender was listed in the British Pharmacopoeia for over two hundred years. It was known in the eighteenth century as Red Hartshorn or Palsy Drops. The early formulation was a complex one involving the distillation of lavender flowers, sage flowers, rosemary flowers, cowslips, betony flowers and others with French brandy. A maceration was then prepared from the distillate and various aromatic spices. Finally fixatives, colourants and fragrance were added in the form of the Apothecary’s Rose {R. gallica officinalis}, musk, ambergris, saffron and red sandalwood. The 1746 Pharmacopoeia saw a considerable simplification in the formulation, consisting of the oils of rosemary and lavender added to spirits of wine and macerated with nutmeg, cinnamon and red sandalwood. This formulation remained virtually unchanged thereafter.
Red lavender lozenges were also favoured as a mild stimulant against faintness and giddiness. Other traditional formulations included the famous Oleum Spicae, which consisted of one part of oil of lavender and three parts spirits of wine and was popularly used on sprains and stiff or aching joints. Pure oil of lavender was once commonly used rubbed into paralysed legs to stimulate them. I imagine that in cases of hysterical paralysis caused by trauma of various kinds it might well have been very effective.
The volatile oil obtained from distillation of L. angustifolia contains lavenderyl acetate, terpineol, pinene, borneol, camphor, cineole, linabol, limonene and linalyl acetate.
Spanish lavender oil, which is distilled in Spain, has a chemical composition resembling that of spike lavender oil. L. stoechas {Italian lavender} is similarly distilled and is likewise low in the esters present in L. angustifolia. They are used to add fragrance to soaps, disinfectants and other household items, in the manufacture of some fine varnishes and lacquers and by porcelain painters.
While its medicinal use appears to be restricted to veterinary practice, there is a traditional use of spike lavender oil in promoting the regrowth of hair that is falling out Where the problem is of nervous origin there may well be a particular basis for such a tradition. Lavender also had a reputation as a stimulant to the scalp. Arab women have traditionally used a lavender and basil based tonic to perfume and strengthen their hair, To make it, mix together in a glass bottle 2 cups of vodka, 30 ml lavender water, 30 drops of essential oil of lavender and 30 drops essential oil of basil. Allow to mature for two months, shaking thoroughly at regular intervals.
Even the ‘straw’, the stems of dried lavender after the flowers have been stripped, has found medicinal use, being burned in bundles as a deodorant and disinfectant of sick rooms.
Many lavender products are available on the market, but if you grow your own lavender it is possible to make up some of these old-fashioned fragrant formulas for yourself. Be sure to use English lavender {L. angustifolia}.

Lavender Sleep Pillow.

Mix together the following ingredients:
3 parts of lavender flowers
Hop flowers or lemon verbena leaves
Rosemary leaves
Marjoram leaves
Sweet Cicely leaves
2-3 drops lavender oil {recipe under page entitled; Recipe: Oil of Lavender}
Sew the mixture into a bag made of thin material which allow the fragrance to escape eg. Organza or muslin.
Make a pillow slip to contain the sleep pillow. Silks are ideal.

Lavender used as an inhalant is considered to speed recovery from colds, bronchitis, tonsillitis and flu.Many people who have used the lavender-based herbal sleep pillows from us have reported not only overcoming insomnia but that they were helpful in cases of asthma, and particularly in breaking up pulmonary congestion. The ingredients of sleep pillows vary but it is important to make the mixture around 3 parts of dried lavender flowers and leaves. The fourth part, made up of various tranquilizing or sleep inducing herbs, can be mixed in different proportions according to what you have available.

Lavender and Aromatherapy.

Lavender is one of those scents that have the power to evoke the senses.  Most notably, feelings of relaxation and well-being.  In fact, it was long believed that Cleopatra’s secret weapon, in love, was Lavender.

Calm and refreshing it’s not surprising the word Lavender in Latin (Lavoie) means for wash or bathe.  Because of its sweet aroma, it was widely used in Europe as a herb to wash linen.  Later, Lavender’s antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties were discovered, giving rise to its use as an aid to bug bites, burns, and skin abrasions.  This essential oil is also used to repel mosquitoes.  Planting Lavender in one’s garden is a great way to naturally repel unwanted pests.  If you like to make your own honey, bees LOVE Lavender flowers or if you prefer to buy honey, you can make a Lavender honey infusion using dried Lavender buds (organic preferably).

Part of the Mint family, there are 39 known species of Lavender.  The most popular being Lavandula Angustifolia formerly L. Officinalis.  Native to the Western Mediterranean it is often referred to as True Lavender.  This species is highly favored for its sweet aroma with minty and camphor undertones.  This species is grown at high altitudes which are responsible for its unmistakable sweet overtones.  In ancient Greece, Lavender was so highly favored; sonnets and poems were written as a tribute.  Ancient Greeks referred to Lavender as nardus, after the Syrian city of Naarda.  We are so taken with this wonderful perennial we’ve even named a color after it.

Lavender Essential Oil is used in Aromatherapy to relieve headaches, anxiety, stress and insomnia. There are a variety of ways to employ its properties beyond using it as a flowering plant in your home or garden.  Try filling a sachet with Organic Lavender buds or use bath salts infused with Lavender essential oil in a warm bath.  You can use Lavender in an aromatic and relaxing candle or use loose Lavender buds in a sachet which can be placed in clothes drawers, hung in closets or over doorways.  Lavender buds release their aroma for long periods of time which allow you to take pleasure in this truly enjoyable and relaxing flowering plant.