Common name for a genus (Lavandula) of fragrant herbs or shrubs of which a Mediterranean subshrub species (L. spica) is grown for ornament in the garden and for its sweet scent when dried. The dried flowers are used to fill sachets and to perfume clothing or linens. Commercially they, and the green parts, are used for making "oil of spike," aromatic vinegar and lavender water.
Internally, Lavender is historically believed to be of benefit for a multitude of problems, including stress, anxiety, exhaustion, irritability, headaches, migraines, insomnia, depression, colds, digestion, flatulence, upset stomach, liver and gallbladder problems, nervousness, loss of appetite, and as a breath freshener and mouthwash. Inhaling the essential oil in some cases has been reported to work as well as narcotics for inducing relaxation and sleep, easing symptoms of depression, and reducing headache pain. For inhalation purposes, boil 2 cups of water, add 2 drops of essential oil, and inhale the steam.
Externally, Lavender oil is one of the safest essential oils and can be used full-strength on the skin. It works wonderfully and can be applied directly for cuts, scrapes, wounds, burns, bee, wasp, and insect stings, rashes, muscle aches, rheumatism, arthritis, cold sores, canker sores, blisters, bruises, athlete's foot, and rubbed directly into the temples in case of headache or migraine.
Miscellaneous uses of Lavender include using unsweetened tea as a hair rinse to help reduce hair loss and dandruff, using the dried flowers in sleep and dream pillows, in potpourris, sachets and tucked in drawers to freshen clothing and repel moths. A few drops of oil dropped into warm bath water is a refreshing and relaxing treat. The stems with the leaves stripped can be burned like an incense stick, and can also be used in crafts such as basket weaving, and making Lavender wands.
Growing and Harvesting
Plant around tomotoes to encourage bees to pollanate your vegis. Grow in big tubs to give them lots of room in containers.
True lavender, not being fully hardy, is little grown in northern gardens, where it must be protected over winter by mulching. It is more popular, therefore, in the milder Pacific Coast and in the South. As seed produces variable plants, propagation is commonly by cuttings of selected plants. Taken of one-year-old "wood" in spring, these are set in a shady place, 4 inches apart, and kept cultivated for a year.
Then they are transplanted not less than 2 feet asunder in permanent quarters in dry, light, limy, friable soil and full sunlight. In such a location they thrive best, develop the maximum fragrance and are least likely to be injured in winter. In wet soils, they grow but poorly; in rich soils, they become lush and sappy, and in both types they lack fragrance and easily succumb to frost.
Water on a regular schedule, do not overwater.
Light, well-drained, deep, not overly rich soil.
Full Sun but will tollerate some shade
Disclaimer: This article is meant for information only. The FDA and AMA has not approved the content of this article. The information is not meant to prescribe or treat disease. Please consult your doctor before using herbs and herbal remedies.
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