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).

What is the history of lavender and why is it considered so special?

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.

What are some of the medicinal uses of lavender?

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):


  • Insect bites and stings. Lavender helps neutralize pain and swelling almost immediately. Apply a drop of oil to itchy mosquito bites or mix with baking soda to draw out toxins from stings.

  • Sunburns. Mix a few drops of oil with aloe vera or buttermilk to treat sunburns.

  • Antifungal treatment. Lavender is an effective at-home treatment for athlete’s foot and other fungal infections (in both powdered and oil/hydrosol form).

  • Respiratory relief. Help ease coughs and colds by rubbing a few drops of oil on the chest and the bottoms of feet at bedtime.

  • Anti-inflammatory. The oils in lavender have be used to treat aches, pains, and muscle soreness, and may also help with rheumatic discomfort and joint stiffness. For added relief, use a warmed, lavender-bud neckwrap to ease away tightness.

  • Flea and pest repellent. Spray lavender hydrosol (non-toxic) or place a few drops of oil on pet bedding to dissuade fleas from sticking around. Also great as a pet refresh in place of toxic commercial shampoos and fresheners.

  • Skin care. Lavender oil helps stimulate growth of healthy new cells and may help reduce scarring when applied regularly during the healing process. Use the nontoxic hydrosol spray as a facial toner and as a finishing mist to set makeup.

  • Stress and mild headache relief. One drop of oil on each of the temples or the back/nape of the neck, a tall glass of water (or lavender-mint iced tea), and a quiet place to rest will do wonders to relieve tension and anxiety.

  • Aphrodisiac. The scent of lavender has been thought for centuries to enflame the passions!

    PLEASE NOTE: Lavender essential oils are very concentrated and NOT recommended for consumption or internal use without the supervision of a medical professional. Also keep out of the reach of children and avoid direct contact with eyes.

Will lavender help me sleep better?

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:

  • Bath/shower: Place a few drops of oil in the bath or on the shower floor before bedtime and soak up the calming steam.

  • Diffuser: place a few drops of oil on a clay tile (or commercial) diffuser and place near your headboard.

  • Spray: lavender hydrosol (also known as linen water) is the gentle, nontoxic, condensed-steam byproduct created during the distillation process. Spray on your pillow before bedtime (or simply use to freshen the air, sheets, curtains, pets..)

  • Sachet: keep a small bag of buds under your pillow and crush it up, just before bedtime, to release calm-inducing aromatherapy that will last all night.

How can lavender be used in cooking?

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!

How is lavender essential oil distilled?

Lavender essential oil is extracted from the fresh flower heads and stems. Our direct-steam distiller has four basic components: a heating source, a still vessel (ours is a 15 gallon stainless keg), a condenser, and a separator. Once heated to 212 degrees, the steam rises up through the lavender material, which is suspended above the water in 2 4″x2′ copper cylinders. The copper holds the Lavender and keeps it out of the boiling water.


As the steam moves through the organic matter, the oil glands on the flowers are ruptured, and the oil is quickly vaporized and moves upward with the steam. The steam then escapes, taking the oil with it. As it reaches the top of the still pot, it diverts into a condenser. The condenser removes enough heat to allow the water vapor to condense and re-liquefy. Our condenser is a series of long copper tubes that are bathed in cool water, which removes heat.


Since lavender oil is lighter than water, it floats to the top in the separator. The oil layer on the surface of the water is then skimmed off, while the water is removed from a lower outlet and saved. This hydrosol (or “Linen Water”) is then used to make various products.


We then filter and store the oil in in glass carboys that are filled to capacity, and keep them in a cool, dark place . Next, we use air-sealed caps that will keep the oil from oxidizing.


Some ageing of the oil in storage may be beneficial for a few months, however, essential oils stored for long periods of time will eventually deteriorate in quality.


And there you have it!

Photography Questions

Beautiful fields of purple, a white gazebo, a red barn, sunflowers towering next to a charming Gift Shoppe, a Fairy Garden, rustic implements, whimsical backdrops, flowers spilling out of pots, the entire property dotted with color, and the sunsets.. *gasp* ..a photographer's dream! For personal enjoyment, we invite you to bring your camera to capture your visit.


HOWEVER, to preserve the natural beauty and experience for our other visitors, we do not allow professional photography or gear (lighting, reflectors, diffusers, off-camera flash, etc) to be used during operating hours, without prior permission from the owners.

*Private sessions are available by appointment only

*Available from 5pm-8pm, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, during July only.

*Rates: $50 for the 1st hour, and $25/hour thereafter.

*Note: "Mini" sessions no less that 1/2 hour each. 15 minute minis are no longer available.


Please visit the Contact page for dates or submit a request to check availability.

Enjoy!


Weddings and Events

At this time, we are not hosting private events. However, you may reach out to The Chateau le Fleur at hello@theflowerandvine.com (10mins away), to inquire about intimate occasions in a private setting.