Sunday 17 May 2009

How To Apply Lavender

Herbs can be used for a number of reasons, and this applies
with lavender. One of the world's most cherished herbs, lavender
is famed as much for its soothing properties as it is for its
colour. In fact, you might just find lavender has more uses than
you thought.

Lavender environment

Surviving in arid climates naturally, lavender is a member of
the mint family, and is a small shaggy shrub with trademark
blue/grey flowers, growing in whorls. Lavender flowers through
the summer into autumn (June to August), and is found naturally
in the rich, warm soils of the Mediterranean. Lavender is
renowned in the region for its sweet aroma and calming agents,
and has been used for thousands of years for its sedative

How to Use Lavender

Common lavender, or lavandula angustifolia, is thought to be
one of the most versatile herbs, and is used in thousands of
cosmetic and beauty products across the world. Its oils can be
used to moisturise the skin, and provide a sweet perfume for
beauty products. Additionally, lavender is also used for
medicinal purposes, given its calming and soothing abilities,
making it an all-round valuable herb for home use. Having
trouble sleeping? Headaches? Painful bites or sores? Lavender
would be an extremely useful herb to resolve these conditions.

Lavender is used primarily for its strong, perfumed scent.
Dried lavender can be used in pot-pourri and other fragrant room
fresheners, as well as perfumes and lotions. On top of that,
lavender oils can be used for soothing and relaxing in a number
of circumstances, and are implemented in mainstream, as well as
alternative treatments for several conditions. Insect bites and
stings can be quickly and effectively eased by topically
smothering in lavender oils, as can burns and scolds. When
applying, it is important to make sure high concentrations of
oils don't penetrate broken skin, as this can lead to further
irritation and discomfort.

Migraine and insomnia sufferers can also benefit from lavender
to sooth their pains, and help ensure a better nights sleep. In
fact, applying lavender oil to the bed sheets is said to be a
great way of ensuring a thorough good rest, given its relaxing
scent and sleep-inducing properties.

For soothing exhaustion or migraines, lavender oils can be
infused in a warm bath to help relaxation. By adding the oils to
a running bath, the beneficial ingredients are allowed to
properly fuse through the bathwater, ensuring the effectiveness
of the treatment. Additionally, the lavender steam helps clear
the airways and clear the head, leaving you ready for anything.
Why not try keeping lavender in a small Hessian bag beneath your
pillow, for a fragrant and relaxing sleep?

Cooking with Lavender

Alternatively, lavender can be used as an ingredient in
cooking, as can any other herb. Lavender is particularly
complimentary when cooking lamb and other meats. Its flavours
tend to fit in well with tender meats and delicate sides, in
addition to its aesthetic appeal on the plate. For something a
bit different, try lavender with un-smoked, grilled fished.
Alternatively, lavender also fits nicely with boiled new
potatoes to add more depth and flavour.

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