For centuries, lavender has been heralded as one of the greats - praised by horticulturalists for its hardiness, aromatherapists for its calming fragrance, traditional and alternative medical practitioners for its healing properties, dermatologists for its benefits on the skin, beekeepers for the symbiotic relationship between happy bees and the resulting (delicious) honey, hikers for its pest-repelling abilities.. the list goes on and on.
Here at the farm, we are asked about the many properties and uses of this incredible plant, so we'll answer the most commonly asked questions below, followed by a more comprehensive list of uses and remedies (please remember that this is not to be substituted for professional, medical advice).
The name ‘Lavender’ is a derivative of the Latin word lavare, meaning "to wash", and was a bathing ritual herb in Roman times. Because of its unique scent, it was (and continues to be) used primarily for perfume, bathing, cooking, and freshening the air. However, lavender packs a one-two punch due to its additional holistic properties. It is also known for its calming, restorative, and healing benefits - something that few other herbs can rival.
As an herbal medicine, lavender is used for stress relief and aids in the treatment of hyperactivity, depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Aromatherapists frequently use lavender as a promising tonic in inhalation therapy to help with nervous disorders and exhaustion. It is also purported to help alleviate migraines and motion sickness. Those who take daily baths with lavender oil (L. Angustifolia) may experience improved mood, reduced aggression, and a more positive outlook.
Externally applied, the oils treat a wide variety of bacterial and fungal infections, as well as relieve discomfort relating to skin irritations, acne, and eczema. It can even be used on burns (True English) after the affected area has been immersed in cold running water for at least 10 minutes. Massage therapists use lavender balm to treat strained muscles and rheumatic ailments.
Evidence suggests this to be true. The scent of lavender has a positive and calming effect on the central nervous system, which can help most people (including children) sleep better. Be sure you are using products made with pure essential oils and not synthetic chemicals. Our organic EO is steam-distilled right here on the farm and may ease restlessness, insomnia and agitation.
Suggestions for use:
We have some great recipes on our Cooking with Lavender page - take a look! For starters, be certain you are using a true culinary variety of lavender, as it gives off a sweet, delicate flavor and scent. You can use whole lavender buds, or crush/grate them lightly to add as a rub to enhance the flavor of meats (especially white meats and fish) or sprinkle on veggies and use in desserts.
We are pleased that a local cupcake company began using our Royal Velvet buds to create delicious cupcakes - combining lemon and lavender and several other flavors. A Seattle Baker also creates a lavender cookie mix that ships nationwide. Most recently, a local casino featured our product in their Panna Cotta dessert, receiving rave reviews!
Lavender is frequently alluded to as the “Swiss Army Knife” of natural remedies for a large variety of ailments. It is primarily used in connection with anxiety, depression, insomnia and mood disturbances. Recent studies show lavender’s effectiveness in producing calming, soothing effects in those who use it.
But that's not all! Here are some other uses/treatments (PLEASE NOTE - this is provided anecdotally and should not be treated as medical advice):