HealingForReal

11 Great Ways to Use Lavender

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Instead of a bunch of flowers in my front yard landscaping, I planted a couple and filled in the rest with lavender and rosemary plants. I didn’t save the tags on my lavender plants but I am pretty sure I have two varieties. One is English Lavender and the other is most likely Folgate or Royal Purple.  I’ve harvested bunches of lavender and tied them in bundles and hung them to dry. When they are dry, I will separate the buds from the stems and store them in a mason jar. I’ve tried to give some away to neighbors and they take the rosemary, but they end up saying “I wouldn’t know what to do with lavender.”  So, here are a few ideas.

 

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1. Lavender Bath

This is my favorite. Adding lavender buds to your bath water gives off such a relaxing and calming scent.  With essential oils, the scent can dissipate quickly, but the scent from the buds lasts quite a while.  I learned the hard way that just sprinkling the buds in the bathwater can get very messy and it can make a huge disaster of your hair! (I picked buds out of my hair for days). Instead, I recommend putting a tablespoon or two of buds in a sachet or tying them up in some cheesecloth and adding a drop or two of vanilla. You can then toss it in the water as your bath fills up and the scent will fill the room. It’s lovely! And don’t forget to neutralize the chlorine in your bathwater.

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2. Lavender Sachet

I like to put some lavender in sachets my dresser drawers to keep my clothes smelling fresh. This also keeps moths away. I use little bags like this and place them in drawers and on shelves in my closet. The scent is not too feminine, so my husband doesn’t mind having it in the closet we share.

3. Lavender Carpet Refresher

Crush some of the buds lightly in your hand and then sprinkle over your carpet. Let them sit for a few minutes and then vacuum the room. The lavender will freshen the carpet and make the room smell great.

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4. Lavender Fabric Refresher

Steep 4 tbsp of lavender buds in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Strain the water into a spray bottle. Let it cool and you have an all natural linen spray. Spray it on your drapes and bed linens or on your clothes to give them a boost. This also works to encourage sleep if it’s sprayed on your pillow before bed.

5. Lavender Dryer Bag

Put a tbsp of lavender buds in a sachet bag and place in the dryer instead of dryer sheets. Alternately if you use wool dryer balls, you can put the balls in a bag with lavender buds for a few days and the next time you use the balls, the scent will carry over to the clothes.

6. Lavender Floral Arrangements

Lavender can be worked into many floral arrangements or can stand on its own in a a vase or even a mason jar. It can also be woven into wreaths or sprays or used in table centerpieces for special occasions. Plant it in strategic locations in your yard to add interest and texture to your landscaping. Not to mention, you’ll have it ready whenever you need it!

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7. Lavender Tea

Steep lavender buds in boiling water for 5-10 minutes and then strain the buds out. Lavender tea can help soothe the stomach, relieve insomnia and alleviate migraines. It can also relieve stress. As with all herbs, be careful about ingesting when pregnant or breastfeeding.

8. Lavender Salad

This would be a fun one to try out! The flowers of the lavender buds can be sprinkled over salads to give it a pop of color and a bold taste similar to rosemary. The leaves of the lavender plant can be substituted for rosemary in most dishes.

9. Lavender Ice Cream

Yes, ice cream. There are several recipes that use lavender with honey, lemon, vanilla, berries and more. It’s pretty good, actually. I haven’t tried it out on the kids yet, but it’s on my list. Here’s a photo from Healthy Green Kitchen that goes with a recipe for Honey Lavender Ice Cream. Try it out! http://www.healthygreenkitchen.com/lavender-honey-ice-cream.html

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10. Lavender Headache and Stress Relief

Carry some buds of lavender with you in a tiny tin or container. If you feel a headache coming on or just need some stress relief, open the tin and take the aroma in through your nose. For a headache, you can also rub the buds between your fingers and then rub it on your temples.

11. Lavender Bug Repellent

Lavender is a great insect repellent. You can make a spray with other essential oils, or just hang bunches of lavender around the area you’ll be spending time in. It’s nicer to look at than store bought citronella candles.

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This list could go on and on, but these are my favorite uses for lavender. I like to look at it growing and blossoming in my yard, which is stress relief in itself. I plan on adding another 6 or 8 plants in the back yard this fall so it will grow like crazy next spring and summer. It’s a great little herb to have on hand. For more ideas from another blogging friend, click here.

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