Flowers, essential oil.
The soothing and calming action of the herbal lavender remedy is well known to herbalists. The lavender is often combined in mixed remedies with different sedative herbs to treat problems such as sleeplessness, nervous irritability, chronic headaches, as well as persistent migraine problems in affected individuals. The herbal remedy made from the lavender is also very useful in alleviating depression and related mental disorders. Similar to other herbs that also contain significant amounts of volatile oil, the lavender helps soothe problems such as indigestion and colic in affected individuals, the lavender remedy also brings relief from excess abdominal gas and bloating in the abdominal region. Some types of asthmatic conditions can be treated using the lavender; it's relaxing effect helps treat such problems particularly if the condition is accompanied by symptoms such as excessive nervousness. The volatile oil present in the lavender plant is a very effective first aid remedy for treating topical problems of all kinds. The potent anti-septic effects of the lavender beneficial in many instances, the remedy helps heal all kinds of burns, it helps in treating wounds, as well as sores on the skin. The remedy made from the lavender when rubbed on injuries caused by stinging insects can relieve the pain and the inflammation in the area. The remedy made from the lavender is also used in the treatment of problems such as scabies and head lice in affected individuals. Chronic headaches can be eased by massaging or rubbing the forehead and temples with a few drops of the volatile oil. Muscle tension can be relived by adding five drops to a bath at night, this bathing will tone the nervous system, and help the person get a good night's sleep - this is particularly beneficial for individuals affected by sleep disorders of all kinds.
The lavender is also used in cuisines, the dried parts of the lavender plant including the leaves, the floral buds, and the flowers are used as a seasoning for many kinds of meat and vegetable dishes in Europe. The freshly chopped leaves and the diced flowering tips can be added to dressings, vegetable salads, to wines, and to vinegars of all kinds. Dishes used as desert including puddings, ice cream, jellies and fruit, particularly berries can be flavored with the blossoms of the lavender. It is best to use the seasoning sparingly as the sweet lemon floral flavor of the English lavender can be rather potent. An aromatic and refreshing herbal lavender tea, can be prepared by steeping five ml or one teaspoon of the dried flowers or fifteen ml or three teaspoons of fresh lavender flowers in two hundred fifty ml or a cup of boiling water. The herb must be allowed to infuse into the water for sometime before the infusion is drained and cooled for consumption. The term "gourmet's delight" is deserved by the honey derived from lavender flowers; this honey is used as a sweetening agent in many cuisines of Europe. The classic French herbal blend called the "Herbes de Provence," is made from a mixture of lavender blossoms and other common fragrant European culinary herbs such as the thyme, the savory herb, the basil, and the fennel. The oil extract of the lavender is commercially employed as a flavor for food items like candy, all kinds of baked goods, to flavor chewing gum, in various gelatins, in puddings, and to enhance the taste of various beverages and drinks.
The beautiful and graceful appearing lavender spikes are a good addition to fresh floral arrangements sold in floral shops. The fragrant and aromatic quality of dried lavender spikes persists for a number of years; this makes them very nice additions for potpourris and floral sachets.
The lavender is a herb originally found only in France and the western Mediterranean region. These days, the lavender is cultivated around the world mainly for its aromatic volatile oil. The lavender is also a popular garden plant and is a common sight in gardens even as far north as Norway in Europe. The lavender is a perennial herb. The lavender comes in many varieties, which also includes a dwarf variety of the plant. The English lavender which is the hardiest variety is ideal for regions with harsh winters, it is best to mulch it over the winter season. The best way to propagate the lavender is by the process of root divisions. All types of soils can be used to grow the lavender as the plant is tolerant of different types of soils; however, optimal growth is achieved on dry, sandy and well drained soils which are in the alkaline range. Acidic soils must be neutralized initially using ground limestone before lavender is planted at a site. The pH range tolerated by the plant is from a slightly acidic 6.4 to an alkaline 8.2 pH. The lavender plant requires good exposure to sunlight for optimal growth. The lavender must not be planted in shady, damp locations or sites - the plant may not flower well and development may be impaired at such sites. The seeds of the lavender can be sown indoors approximately ten to twelve weeks before the last spring frost dates of the year. The rate of germination of the seeds can be boosted by chilling the seeds in a refrigerator for a few weeks before the planting is carried out. The seeds stored in a refrigerator should be kept moist at all times. Each of the seeds must not be planted deeper than six mm or one fourth of an inch in the seed bed. Germination typically occurs in fourteen to twenty right days time. The growing seedlings can be transplanted outside after all the danger of late frost in the year has passed. Lavender that has been propagated using seeds tends to be variable in size and other characteristics, the distinctive characteristics of the cultivar from which the seed is taken may not be re-produced in the seedlings or progeny - this is one reason for the preference for propagation via cuttings. The other reason is that the germination time for the seeds of many lavender cultivars can take up to six weeks; the seedlings tend to grow at a very slow rate. Hence it is relatively easier to propagate the lavender from stem cuttings, and these cuttings are normally done in the spring or fall season. When planting at a site, the optimal growth of each seedling is ensured by spacing the plants thirty to ninety cm - one to three feet - from each other. This spacing of the growing plants ensures optimal growth rates and successful development in the seedlings. The plants grown in pots can be encouraged to flower at a proper time by the addition of a liquid fertilizer to the soil bed at regular intervals. The longevity of the English lavender is about twenty to thirty years. However, even though this time is long, the plant becomes rather untidy within a few years of growth - it is necessary to trim the plant once during the spring as well as in early in the fall season to ensure a neat appearance. The floral spike of more compact plants can be nipped off just before the bloom during the first year to ensure proper growth of the plants. The lavender is vulnerable to spittle bugs and the caterpillars of many Lepidoptera species. The lavender is also vulnerable to fungal diseases such as the leaf spot disease. Root rot disease also tends to affect lavender plants that are growing in overly moist soils or water logged areas. The chances of disease are minimized by improving the drainage and by planting seedlings in raised soil beds. The plants must be pruned near the stem to allow the air to circulate well in the area around the base of the growing plants. The seedlings can be planted outdoor, the seedbed must be mulched, and covered with straw, or evergreen boughs to protect them from cold weather during the winter.
Scientist have been researching the main chemical constituents of the essential oil for many decades now, from the results, it is believed to have a very low toxicity in the human body and possesses significant antiseptic and bactericidal effects. Nervous excitability, irritability and pain are also reduced by the lavender. The flowers of the lavender plant taken as a whole are also believed to have potent bactericidal and anti-septic effects. The remedy made from lavender calms the nerves, helps in reducing muscular tension, and actively relieves muscular cramps and excess gas in the abdominal region. The insecticide and rubefacient effects of the lavender are also potent as a topical remedy. Rubefacient means irritant and stimulating effects on the local circulation in an area.
The remedy made from the lavender can be taken in the form of an herbal infusion for the treatment of indigestion, to treat such problems doses of one hundred ml or four fl oz can be taken two times every day. The tincture of lavender can be used as a remedy for the treatment of chronic sleeplessness and other related sleep disorders, a dose of three to five ml - about half a tsp to one tsp - can be used at night for such disorders. The infusion or the essential oil of the lavender can be added to bath water and used for washing before bedtime, this helps relieve emotional and physical stress and aids in alleviating tension, this remedy can also be used in a diffuser to induce sleep in sleepless individuals. A topical lavender treatment can be used to treat persistent headaches, two drops of lavender essential oil added in a bowl of cold water can be used as a remedy - a cloth soaked in this solution can be used as a compress and placed across the forehead to bring relief from headaches. Physical and nervous exhaustion can be treated by adding five drops of lavender oil to a footbath, washing the feet with this solution brings soothing relief from tension. The lavender oil and infusion can also be used as a rub or massaging oil for treating arthritic complaints, one drop each of lavender essential oil and the essential oil of the wintergreen added to fifty ml or four tbsp of carrier oil can be used as a topical remedy to treat various problems affecting the human body. The essential oil of the lavender can be used as a direct application in treating insect bites or stings of all kinds.
Topical use of the essential oil of the lavender can induce problems such as dermatitis in some individuals. The essential oil of the lavender is widely available for use in aromatherapy, and an herbal tea is often made from a few drops of this oil as well. Using large doses of the lavender oil is not advised for any reason, the lavender is a narcotic poison which can easily induce muscular convulsions and death in some cases. The oil must be used in small quantities to avoid these side effects.
The remedy made from the lavender induces a calming and relaxing effect on the human body, making it an effective remedy to treat the disorders affecting various organ systems in the body. The remedy made from the lavender is very effective in treating disorders affecting the digestive system, it helps calm problems such as indigestion and alleviates related physical symptoms including excess abdominal wind and bloating in the stomach. The lavender is used for the treatment of chronic headaches, to treat long term depression, and sleeplessness - it is also useful in treating other problems affecting the nervous system. The remedy made from the lavender is also useful in the treatment of asthma and related respiratory problems, particularly in cases where a nervous element contributes to the physical symptoms in the disease. The lavender remedy is also useful in the treatment of topical problems, when added to different creams and rubbing oils - it can be effective as a rub in treating arthritic complaints of all kinds. The lavender also effectively acts as a painkiller remedy and helps relieve painful joints and related arthritic type conditions. The remedy is also beneficial in treating nerve pain and neuralgia, the external remedy is useful and helpful when included in creams and oils meant for topical use.
INFUSION - The herbal infusion of the lavender is a good remedy for treating problems such as chronic nervous exhaustion, it can help relieve tension headaches and is very relaxing during labor. The remedy is also useful as a remedy for treating colic and indigestion related issues. Babies and infants can be given diluted infusion, about twenty five per cent of normal strength, to treat colic, nervous irritability, and excitement. TINCTURE - Chronic headaches and prolonged depression can be treated by taking doses of up to five ml of the remedy, two times every day. MOUTHWASH - The floral infusion is also useful for treating halitosis and as a general mouthwash.
CREAM - The essential oil can be added to various topical creams, a few drops in chamomile cream is good for treating eczema and other skin disorders. LOTION - Dilute a few drops of oil in a little water and use the solution to treat scalds, burns and sunburn on the skin. CHEST RUB - The essential oil of lavender can also be used as a rubbing or massage oil, mix one ml of the oil and five drops of chamomile oil to ten ml of a carrier oil, this can be rubbed on the chest to alleviate asthmatic and bronchitic spasms and related problems. HAIR RINSE - The essential oil diluted in water is also useful as a rinse, five to ten drops of the oil in water used as a rinsing on the hair can rid the person of lice. A few drops of undiluted lavender oil applied on a fine comb is also an effective treatment for nits. MASSAGE OIL - One ml of lavender oil can be mixed in twenty five ml of carrier oil, and used to massage sore and painful muscles in the body. The temples and the nape of the neck can also be massaged using ten drops lavender oil diluted in twenty five ml carrier oil - this massage will relieved tension headaches, alternately it can be used at the first sign of a migraine for immediate relief. OIL - The undiluted lavender oil is an excellent topical remedy for insect bites and stings on the skin. Ten drops of the oil can be mixed with twenty five ml carrier oil as a treatment for sunstroke, this rubbing of oil can also help prevent sunburn on the skin. This treatment is not an effective sun block and must not be substituted for commercial sun blocks.
The best time to pick lavender flowers is before the last blooms on each individual stalk has fully opened up. Typically, dry days are chosen when harvesting the flowers, the collection is carried out in the morning before sunlight has not evaporated too much of the essential oils present in the flowers. The floral stalks are harvested and tied in neat bundles and hung to dry in a warm, shady and airy area. Several weeks may pass before the flowers become completely dry. When the floral stalks become crisp to the touch, the flowers are stripped off the flowers and these are stored in airtight containers and kept in a dark place. Cookie sheets may also be used to dry the stalks; the stalks are laid flat on the surface and dried slowly. To make the best potpourris, it is ideal to use flowers in buds that have just begun to open up.
A mixture of cotton lavender and other herbs makes a useful moth repellent. Make sweet bags filled with the mixture and hang in wardrobes or place in cupboards or drawers to ward off moths, and to impart an aromatic scent to clothes and linen. Equal parts, dried and crumbled.
Store two or three dried heads of lavender in an airtight jar of caster sugar. This will scent the sugar beautifully. The sugar may be used sparingly in delicately flavoured dishes, such as simple sponge cakes, custards or ice cream.