Lavender is the best known of all fragrant herbs and it has been loved and treasured for many centuries. It is a member of the mint family, known for their strong and pleasant aroma. The Romans and North Africans used lavender to scent public baths and as a disinfectant. It was brought to England by the Romans during the 19th century.
This intoxicatingly scented botanical is prized for its calming effect, but its benefits extend beyond relaxation. It is used in everything from perfume, to medicines, beauty products, and gourmet cooking. Its name derives from the Latin word “lavare,” to wash, indicating its use in baths and for laundry. Lavender has been used for aromatherapy for many years, and has virtually no side effects.
When it comes to stress, insomnia and nervous exhaustion lavender is nature’s remedy. Just smelling this fresh herb is said to relieve troubles of the heart and mind. Applying lavender oil to your pulse points relieves stress. A small bag of lavender flowers placed under your pillow can help induce a night of blissful sleep.
Studies have confirmed the health effectiveness of lavender essential oil against various strains of bacteria and types of fungus. It’s antibacterial and antiseptic properties make it effective for treating wounds and stimulating cells of a wound to regenerate more quickly and prevent scarring. Many parts of lavender are used in essential oils for medicinal purposes to treat acne, sunburn, insect bites, and tension headache. Lavender essential oil is also widely used by herbalist and aroma therapist to treat depression.
Culinary lavender is great for cooking and is often used in appetizers, salads, entrees, desserts, and beverages. Dried lavender can be substituted for rosemary, while fresh lavender adds color to salads and flavor to salad dressings. Lemonade, tea, vanilla ice cream, cake, and cookies are just a few culinary delights that can be enhanced with lavender.
Lavender is so blissful its one herb that you will not want to “leaf” behind. And with all the new lavender products on the market, there are many opportunities to experience this wonderful fragrance.
Author: Jo Jo Harder (Executive Member – FGI South Florida)
Jo Jo Harder has enjoyed wearing many different hats in her lifetime, as a model, flight attendant, fashion designer, stylist, free-lance writer, SEO reseller, author and producer. Her fashion designs which sold in fine stores such as Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, and Marshall Fields are part of a permanent collection at the Goldstein Museum of Fashion, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her first book Diva Dogs: A Style Guide to Living the Fabulous Life, inspired America’s Top Dog Model ® Contest, resulting in one of the “hottest” dog competitions in America. Her second book is How to Become a Top Dog Model. America’s Top Dog Model ® Golden Paw Awards, which Jo Jo wrote, produced, and co-directed, aired on WPTV- NBC and The Esquire Network in February 2014.