As lavender is in full bloom across the country now’s the time to know a little more about how you can use this wonderful plant.

As most people know lavender is one of the best known plants for relaxation – along with chamomile – so lavender anywhere near bed time is soothing and calming. A bunch under the pillow or near the bed is one way of inhaling its benefits, or I love a few drops of essential oil in the bath. It’s also a mild anti-depressant, so inhale deeply to keep the blues at bay.

Lavender is native to the Mediterranean region and it was the Romans who introduced it to Britain, they used the flowers in their communal baths, not just for the smell but also for its antibacterial actions.  It’s an excellent healer as a topical application to sores and sprains, as well as good for fungal infections like athletes foot, though best not to use the essential oil direct on your skin as it can sting - always dilute it with plain oil, like sunflower oil.

There are many ways to use the flowers from your garden – make a lavender rich oil by soaking the flower heads in sunflower oil for several days,  or slowly warm it on your cooker - never let it boil.  Or gently simmer the heads in water to make a lavender infusion, which you can use as a final hair rinse.

 

lavender  Picking over the lavender flowers    lavender