Lavender is a shrubby flowering plant native to regions of the Mediterranean. The pilgrims brought lavender to North America. It is easily grown in a sunny area with well drained, slightly alkaline soil.
Lavender oil has been shown to depress the central nervous system in much the same way as prescription tranquilizers. For this reason it is quite effective as a sleep aid.
Lavender flowers can be brewed into a tea. Lavender oil can be used as a relaxing massage oil or for aromatherapy.
There are many different ways to use lavender in aromatherapy. You can can add the oil to your bath, or put a small amount on a cloth or tissue and breath in the fragrance. The dried leaves and flowers can be used as a sachet under your pillow.
If you use lavender oil on your skin you should test a small area first, as some people will have an allergic rash if applied directly to the skin.
While English lavender has a calming effect, it should be mentioned that not all varieties of lavender do. In fact, spainish lavender, can have the opposite effect.
Ingredients: (One serving)
* 1 teaspoon fresh lavender flowers (or 1/2 teaspoon dried lavender flowers)
* 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried mint)
* 1 cup boiling water
* Rosemary, lemon balm or lemon verbena, and rose geranium may also be added for an multi herb tea.
Combine the lavender flowers and mint (either loose or use a tea infuser) in a saucepan . Pour boiling water over the mixture; steep 5 minutes. The infuser can then be taken out or the leaves removed with a strainer.
Homemade Lavender Sachet
You will need:
* Lavender plant (stems, leaves or buds)
* Lavender essential oil
* A handkerchief
* 2 needles (1 large to fit 1/4″ ribbon and 1 regular size)
* Ribbon (1/4″ wide)
All the items listed above should be available from your local craft or floral supply store. You may use lavender harvested from your own plants or order the lavender buds online (just enter “lavender” or “lavender buds” into your favorite search engine to find an online retailer)
1. Fold handkerchief in half, and then fold it in half again. You can iron the handkerchief for a crisper look, or simply leave it as is.
2. Now, sew three sides together using needle and thread (or a sewing machine).
3. Open the unsewn side of the handkerchief and proceed to fill it (like a pillow) with lavender plant pieces and/or buds. Be sure to use a lot of plant material, but don’t stuff it too tight. The end result will be a lot like a beanbag. Sprinkle the pieces with lavender 8-10 drops essential oil.
4. Thread your large needle with 1/4″ ribbon and loosely thread to keep the plant materials inside your homemade sachet.
5. Tie the whole thing off with a knot.
6. Enjoy your new sachet.