By Lisa Maliga
Lavender plants love being in the sun and their roots need plenty of aeration. They grow in the city as well as in the country. Lavender is thought to have originated in India, but it thrives in the Mediterranean, France, Spain, Bulgaria, and Croatia. Successful crops of lavender come from many parts of the United States, Australia, Tasmania and South Africa.
The most common species of lavender is Lavandula angustifolia, which is referred to as English Lavender, or true lavender. Lavandula is the genus name which in Latin is ‘lavandus’ and that means to be washed. [Similarly, the Spanish word for laundry is lavandaria]. Angustifolia means narrow leaved.
This versatile flower has many species that adapt to particular environments with low or high humidity, warmer temperatures, etc. While most people think of lavender as a purple flower, did you know it also comes with white, pink, and even yellow petals?
This popular plant has many uses. It is available as an essential oil, freshly picked, dried, as a tea, boiled into an infusion or in tincture forms. For culinary use, lavender can be found in jam, honey, dessert toppings, and baked into meat dishes.
Here are eight ways to benefit from lovely lavender.
 Stress relief. Have a headache? Too much work to do and not enough time to do it? Simply apply one drop of lavender essential oil to each temple and gently massage it in. If you have sensitive skin mix the lavender into a small amount of olive oil before applying.
 Helps heal minor burns and cuts. You can apply lavender essential oil directly to the injured area or mix it into a small amount of olive oil and apply.
 Potpourri. You can make Lavender Potpourri with this easy recipe:
Mix 1 cup dried lavender flowers with 1 Tablespoon orris root in a bowl. Add 2-3 drops lavender essential oil. Mix well and put in a nice bowl so that you can smell the wonderful aroma whenever you walk into the room.
 Bathing. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your warm to hot bath water and relax.
 Sachet. In a small muslin bag, add a few tablespoon’s worth of dried lavender flowers. This can be added to your dresser drawers, or hung on a doorknob, or hung in your closet. It also is a fine substitute for mothballs!
 Shiny Hair. Add 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil to your hairbrush and brush the aroma of lavender into your hair.
 Room Freshener/Pillow Spray. Fill a spray mister bottle with distilled water and add 10 drops of lavender essential oil. This can be used in any room of the house. You can also spray it on your pillow so you can have a good night’s sleep.
 Launder with Lavender. You can natural laundry liquid, powder detergent, and dryer sheets with added lavender essential oil.
Lavender helps you and your environment smell cleaner, fresher, and more floral.
Throughout history, this marvelous flower has shown us its usefulness in being more than just a decorative flower but one that can help soothe and relax us.
Make lavender soap! Check out The Joy of Melt and Pour Soap Crafting for some recipes!