Posts tagged: lavender

★ Amazing Health Benefits Of Lavender ★

#1 in our series of quick natural health tutorial videos!

Grown both as a garden variety ornamental plant and as a source of essential oils for the making of perfumes, lavender is well known chiefly for its highly aromatic flowers of the same colour as its name.

A mild tea made from lavender blossoms can be taken to help relieve the symptoms of heartburn, as well as to aid in digestion and allay the discomforts of diarrhea, along with remedying hoarseness of voice, dyspepsia, and toothaches.

The most common purpose for lavender today however veers towards the realm of aromatherapy. Well known as a sleep-promoting herb, its oil is usually wafted into the living space through the use of diffusers to ensure untroubled sleep.

Lavender blossoms, when dried also function as perfect exfoliants, which is why they feature so often in hand-crafted castile soaps for both their scent and their rejuvenating function.

Lavender is widely used on account of its pleasing scent – and is now found in a wide assortment of soaps, shampoos, laundry detergents, candles, cosmetics, and even foods such as ice cream.

Lavender essential oil has a long history of use and its uses have included for insect bites, as antifungal, for burns, antibacterial, insomnia, migraine and headache, sedative, carminative, psoriasis & eczema, cold sores, muscle aches, stress, anxiety and depression.

Credit / link to the original piano music used on our video.

Lavender Uses

How To Grow Your Own Lavender

How To Grow Your Own LavenderPhotos – © visuall2, Anna-Mari West, Carly Hennigan –

Lavender is a very popular evergreen herb that is native to the Mediterranean, South-western Europe and neighbouring parts of Africa and Asia. It has been in use for millennia as a perfume, flavouring and medicine. There are many different species, the commonest in cultivation being Lavandula angustifolia or “English Lavender” – there are many cultivars now available so it’s possible to grow plants of various sizes with a wide range of flower shapes and colours. [1]

The scent of lavender is well-known to have a calming effect. Did you know that it will deter deer from your garden and can be used to keep clothes moths out of your wardrobe? Please see our herbal page on the many uses and benefits of lavender for more details:

Growing Lavender: In western climates it is considered a hardy perennial that lives for around 10 years and grows into a small shrub, although it is grown as an annual in hot, dry climates. English lavender grows well in US zones 5-8; in dry soils or in the far south it is recommended that you grow French or Spanish lavender as they can tolerate drought more easily.

First of all it’s important to find the right location and soil type to grow your plants – lavender prefers well-drained, poor or moderately fertile soil, preferably chalky and with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5, so add some gravel and organic matter if your soil is heavy and lime if it is acidic. It needs full sun to grow at its best but too much humidity can still cause disease so give the plants room for the air to circulate freely and plant them on a raised mound in humid areas. [2]

Propagation by cuttings is the most common and reliable method – either from softwood [3] in early summer or hardwood cuttings [4] in late fall. Cuttings will produce true cultivars.

Growing from seed is more difficult as the seeds take several weeks to germinate and can be affected by damping off. If you collect your own seed from cultivars, the new plants will vary from the mother plant. It’s best to sow in the spring and provide a temperature of 70 degrees. Patience is needed as the plants grow slowly! [2]

It is crucial that the ground is kept clear around your plants as they do not compete well with weeds. Regular mulching with compost around (but not touching) the plant stem or frequent weeding will do the trick. Occasional watering is necessary in longer spells of dry weather. [5]

Pruning will extend the life of your plants by keeping them compact. Harvest the leaves and flowers on a dry day in the cool of the morning but be careful not to cut them back to the old wood as it will not regenerate well. [6]

Further Reading:

Essential Oil Of The Day: Lavender

Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender Essential Oil Graphic © Photos © Shutterstock (under license)

Lavender – a highly versatile essential oil with a wide variety of uses. It is one of the more gentle essential oils and one of the few considered safe to apply undiluted to the skin. Lavender has been in use since ancient times, for its floral fragrance, as a food enhancer and for its therapeutic qualities. In recent years it has been discovered that lavender has antimicrobial and antifungal qualities. It is also considered calming and purifying, being added to diffusers for that purpose. Lavender is widely regarded as a sleep-promoting herb and for that reason the flowers are often included in ‘herbal pillows’ that are designed not so much to be slept on but to exude a pleasing and sleep-encouraging aroma.

One of the ancient names for Lavender was “Elf Leaf” – I rather like that one, can we revive it?

Here’s our video on the health benefits of lavender:

There are many useful resources for learning about / using Lavender. We also have a full length Lavender Herbal Tutorial page, which has a detailed article with uses, background information and facts.

Where to buy Lavender Essential Oil: It’s a good idea to find high quality organic oils – especially if putting essential oils on the skin. Looking around on Amazon I found this Organic Lavender 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil, which is a really good price and gets much five-star “rave review” feedback.

Also – our friends over at Revitalise Your Health also have a good article listing the top 8 uses of lavender oils.

Please share this page on Facebook etc. to let your friends know about natural herbs and the benefits of lavender!