April’s Abundance – Try Something Lovely and Lavender!

LAVENDERPLANTS copyavocadoandstrawberrySpring time still gives us many chilly mornings. There is nothing like a warm cup of tea to start the day or to wrap up a busy afternoon.

My lavender is blooming and I am happily brewing! Lavender tea that is.

Did you know….that lavender is not only fragrant and beautiful but that it also has many health benefits?

Lavender’s fragrant aroma has traditionally been used to induce relaxation. Because of this property it can slow the nervous system and help with anxiety, depression, insomnia, and stress.

Lavender also provides relief for indigestion and a nervous stomach.

This comforting herb is so multi talented! It is an ingredient in perfumes and cosmetics, in baking and gourmet cooking, as an air freshener, in tinctures, as an ingredient in insect repellants, and it is used as a therapeutic oil, to name only a few.

eyepillow

sachetsI love my lavender eye pillow. Placing one over my eyes at bedtime helps me to relax and it induces restful sleep when my mind won’t stop racing.

Often, I sit and read outdoors, rubbing a little fresh lavender between my fingers, and gently inhaling. Heavenly!
I have been known to have a friend over, and with no explanation, hand them a sprig of lavender to smell!
Lavender sachets can take the mustiness out of your drawers and closets. I sometimes throw one in my suitcase when traveling!

Simply snip a few sprigs for a sweet smelling floral arrangement for your dresser top, bathroom counter, or dinner table, that will delight the senses.

For all tea drinkers and for those needing tension and stress relief, here is a basic recipe for fresh lavender tea:

Fresh Lavender Tea
• 3 tbsp fresh lavender flowers or 1 1/2 tbsp dried lavender flowers
• 2 cups boiling water
• honey and lemon if desired
• To make the lavender tea put the flowers in a teapot along with the boiling water. Let it steep for 4 to 5 minutes. Strain and pour. Add honey and sliced lemon as desired.
• Lavender also makes a refreshing and soothing iced tea. You can combine with other teas for a blended flavor.

Lavender is native to the mountainous regions of the Mediterranean but is now grown in many parts the world, including my backyard! There are some tricks to its cultivation but with proper soil preparation and pruning you too can grow this lovely herb.

lavenderflowerWe are so fortunate in our area to have Sunshine Lavender Farm! Enjoy perusing their website for the many lavender products, photos, and events. The owners also provide cultivation and growing tips. The farm’s open house in June is the closest thing to stepping in to a French lavender paradise!

For curious minds…. the use of this herb goes back thousands of years with the Egyptians using lavender and other spices for the mummification process. The Romans gave the herb its name from the Latin word lavare, which means to wash. They used it as an after bath perfume. Also, during the Great Plague of 1665, grave robbers would wash their hands in a concoction called Four Thieves Vinegar, which contained lavender, wormwood, rue, sage, mint, rosemary, and vinegar. After using this they rarely became infected.

The Egyptians equated pleasant smells with holiness. Throughout history pleasant scents and perfumes have been associated with wellness and status.

Whatever your purpose or pleasure, indulge in a cup of lovely lavender tea to charm your senses!

**As a cautionary note, due to its relaxing properties, it is advised to not use it in conjunction with any medication that also causes relaxation or sleepiness.


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