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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Loving Lavender - Drink it, clean with it, love it!

I'm in love with lavender. Lavender, Lavendula officinalis, is one lovely herb. Flowers can be gathered in late summer, dried and used in wellness blends, beauty products, and cleaning products, as well as aromatherapy. In my full exploration of this herb, I've tried and used it in all sorts of concoctions and at the end of the day - grew a true and loyal love to this amazing herb. Here's why:

- Lavender has an anti-spasmodic or soothing effect to smooth muscle tissue including our digestive tract
- Lavender relaxes and helps the body release nervous tension. It helps the central nervous system by allowing it to relax and promotes calmness and sleep.
- Very good when sipped as a tea for relieving headaches related to tension as well as allowing the body to "take a deep breath" in order to mend and rest.
- Knowing there is a mind and digestive tract connection...it's no wonder this herb works wonders on assisting with anxiety/depression, digestive disorders, and promoting rest and relaxation! When our digestive tissues are positively affected and our central nervous system is encouraged to relax - the result is bliss!

When I started drinking lavender infusions, I had no agenda. I simply wanted to learn this herb and wanted to add it to food, beverages, beauty products, cleaning products...all in an effort to fully explore this herb and fully enjoy its beauty.

When I started using it in my facial scrubs and serums I noted a cleaner and clearer complexion. I attributed this to its antibacterial properties. When I started drinking this herb, I noted my typical "type A" brain became more grounded and less "worried and shifty in thought". I was able to nap (something I don't tend to do...ever! I slept so soundly at night and I woke up knowing I hadn't tossed or turned all night. I was amazed how my typical anxious nature had settled as if my entire body had breathed a giant sigh of relieve and finally rested.

Herbhusband also concluded the same results, proving even a "type b" could further relax and rest! Imagine that!

Here’s a wonderful way to drink lavender. I simply love this and hope you do, too!
Lavender Infused Lemonade

- juice 6 large lemons
- 3 tablespoons lavender blossoms
- 4 tablespoons local honey
- water

To make lavender/honey simple syrup to sweeten the lemonade, bring a couple cups of water to a boil, take off heat and dissolve local honey and introduce/infuse lavender to the heated liquid. Let sit and infuse for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, strain out the blossoms and you have beautiful lavender simple syrup.

In a pitcher, add the juice of 6 large lemons and add 6 cups water. Add the lavender simple syrup and stir. I like mine a bit tart, so if this recipe is too tart for you, simply add more water ;) Serve over ice with a sprig of fresh mint and enjoy the goodness!

Now on to cleaning! Now that you are all refreshed and hydrated let's explore lavender's antiseptic properties as a cleaning solution. This is a wonderful way to keep your surfaces clean for a fraction of the cost of "green" cleaning solutions on the market. This is one of my favorite all purpose cleaners:

Lavender Citrus Vinegar All Purpose Cleaner

- 1/2 cup lavender blossoms
- 1/4 cup citrus peels
- 32 oz white distilled vinegar

In a jar, place all ingredients and seal. Let sit for 2-3 days. Shake daily. After the 2nd or 3rd day, strain depleted lavender and citrus peels from the infusion. Bottle and add 10 drops lavender essential oil and 10 drops thyme essential oil if desired. (To make this infusion go even further, you can add one part distilled water to 4 parts vinegar infusion and it works very nicely, as well).

Don't you love the gorgeous pink tone the vinegar takes on? Works like a charm on granite, marble, stainless steel, and many other surfaces. Enjoy!!


she3po said...

What a lovely post about lavender. I have been struggling to grow lavender for several years here in southwest Arkansas and was finally having a bit of success when we got this record heat and drought. Hope you are surviving in the Hill Country. We often visit the Wimberley area but didn't make it this year. Thank you again for sharing the lavender information.

Unknown said...

Thank you for all these wonderful ideas about Lavender.
I will treat myself with it when i will be back to France.Here in India
it is not available (the plant) so instead i use the Essential Oil.
Do you know how i could use it as a drink for sleeplessness?
Thank you in advance.