Lavender is a hardy, perennial, evergreen, small size (it can reach 1 meter high maximum) plant. It is flowering in summer and flowers are small and fragrant, all in a spike. There are many varieties of lavender and most of them are frost hardy; they are used in the garden to create hedges or to form wide bushes. There’s the chance to grow it in big pots, keeping in mind that it is a fast growing plant.
Harvest and preservationCut flowers in summer and use them fresh or dried. Pick buds and stalks, let them dry in bunches upside down or put them in a tray in a shaded and ventilated place (sun can fade flowers). When dried, divide spike from stalk and keep flowers in canvas bags or in bowls to perfume house.
Fresh flowers are used to extract essential oils.
Therapeutic properties and benefitsLavender is good to ease headache caused by tension, colic and soft sleeplessness. You can pour a cup of hot water onto 1 lavender flowers tablespoon. Leave it for 10 minutes, then filter and drink it when you need it. You can use this infusion to wash your face, also.
Inhalations of lavender infusion ease cold, cough and have a beneficial effect on respiratory problems.
Rinsing with lavender infusion have a disinfectant effect for mouth and a refreshing one for breath.
Using lavender infusion in the last rinsing when you wash your hair helps to contrast greasy hair and leave a nice scent.
Lavender honey is really particular and tasty, and it is apt to cure bronchial tube or lungs irritations.
CuriositiesThe name “lavender” derives from the gerund Latin “lavare”, which means “it has to be washed”, because this plant was used in the past (especially in the Middle Ages) to cleanse body. Greeks and Romans really appreciated it: they used it for perfumed baths but they also scattered it on the floors to repel insects and to perfume spaces.
Lavender has been the main ingredient in the pot-pourri to perfume houses since 1700.
Spike has always been considered a charm against misfortune and demons and it seems it is also a talisman bringing prosperity and fecundity. Lavender is the purity and virtue soul symbol and it is the Aries astral essence.
Differently from other varieties, lavender flowers keep their smell even dried. It is popular to put them into canvas or muslin bags and put the bags into drawers to perfume linen and cloths.