“Lavender is native to the mountainous zones of the Mediterranean where it grows in sunny, stony habitats. Today, it flourishes throughout southern Europe, Australia, and the United States. The oil in lavender’s small, blue violet flowers gives the herb its fragrant scent. The flowers are arranged in spirals of 6 – 10 blossoms, forming interrupted spikes above the foliage. The name lavender comes from the Latin root lavare, which means “to wash.” Lavender may have earned this name because it was frequently used in baths to help purify the body and spirit. However, this herb has also been used as a remedy for a range of ailments from insomnia and anxiety to depression and fatigue. Research has confirmed that lavender produces slight calming, soothing, and sedative effects when its scent is inhaled.”
I have been using lavender for the past fifteen years now; initially I used to burn its pure essential oil in a burner (diluted with water). The relaxing and fresh smell helped to relax me and make me sleep easier. Unfortunately I have been using this ritual for so long that my sense of smell became immune to these benefits and it did not affect me anymore; now I still use lavender in a variety of different ways. I use it to moisturise my skin; by mixing it with sweet almond oil and frankincense or any other preferred essential oil. I also apply it on any blemishes and small cuts; since it has regenerative properties, and it is an anti-infection, analgesic and anti-flamatory substance. I also add dried lavender to camomile and drink it before I go to sleep; actually this is one of my favourite daily habits. Lavender is so versatile and it has so many properties that one can also use it for cooking (sweet and also savoury).
Here I have some lavender recipes, just for your mind, body and soul:)
Lavender and camomile bedtime drink:
Add dried lavender (1 teaspoon of dried lavender flowers in a tea strainer) and a camomile tea bag into a cup of boiling water. Drink it before you go to sleep, you will sleep like a baby:)
Body massage oil:
Mix 4 drops of lavender pure essential oil, 2/3 drops of frankincense essential oil and sweet almond oil as base oil. Massage this mixture all over your body in the morning after showering or bathing. You will feel and smell good all day long:)
Add 6-8 drops of Lavender essential oil after running water, stay in it for a couple of minutes while listening to relaxing music. Great for aching muscles, relaxation and stress relief.
Burning lavender pure essential oil:
Add 2-4 drops of lavender with water in a burner. Light a tea light and place it underneath the burner to heat the water and oil so they evaporate and fill your room with a fresh and comforting pleasant smell.
Granny`s Lavender Shortbread
50g caster sugar
50g icing sugar
250g unsalted cold butter, cubed
25g dried lavender
1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until you have a crumbly, almost pastry consistency.
2. Cover a baking tray with greaseproof paper or a baking mat and place the mixture on top.
3. Cover the dough with greaseproof paper and roll it out until it`s about 4mm thick and bake for 15 minutes at 165C.
4. Using a shape cutter cut out the shape 5 minutes after removing it from the oven.
5. Sprinkle a light coating of caster sugar on top.
Lemon and Lavender Sugar Biscuits
(makes about 30 biscuits)
200g caster sugar
2 tbsp dried lavender, plus extra to serve
2 tbsp lemon zest
245g plain (all purpose) flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
180g butter, chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
icing sugar, to serve
1. Put sugar in lavender in a bowl. Rub the mixture together with your hands to bruise the lavender petals. Set aside for 20 minutes to infuse. Add the lemon zest to the bowl and mix.
2. In a food processor or blender, add the flour, baking powder and salt and pulse to combine. Add the sugar mixture and pulse again. Add the cubes of butter and pulse until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Transfer to large bowl.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, egg yolk and vanilla extract. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until ingredients come together to form a dough. Roll dough into a cylinder and cover tightly with plastic wrap ensuring dough is completely sealed. Chill in the fridge for two hours.
4. Preheat oven to 175° C (345°F). Line two baking trays with baking paper.
5. Remove dough from the fridge and discard plastic wrap. Allow to sit for five minutes to soften slightly and make it easier to roll out. Dust the work surface with a bit of flour and using rolling pin, roll out the dough into a circular shape, about 5mm thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes and carefully transfer to the baking tray ensuring a little space is left between each.
6. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cookies are slightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Dust with icing sugar and scatter a few dried lavender petals onto each before serving.
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