Lavender

Health Power

The soothing aroma in lavender plants alone is enough to calm the nerves after a tough day. Many say having the fragrance sprayed (or placed using the plant itself) on their pillow or in the bed linen gives headache relief and better sleep. Scientific studies support this phenomenon. Making it into a tea or extracting the oil can provide similar medicinal properties, such as reducing stress, anxiety, nervousness and nausea. Lavender’s fragrance and soothing effects can be a great addition to body, bath and cleaning products. Lavender’s essential oil has antibacterial and antifungal action. Lavender oil is great to have for applying to dressing of wounds and burns. Can be used for cooking to add a bit of flavor. Some create lavender sugar by leaving in a sugar container for a couple weeks. You can also grind it up and use it to bake or give flavor to anything you think needs it.

Vitamin and Mineral Content

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Disease Prevention

Lavender is great for preventing microbial infections in wounds or burns. Its fragrance and oil extracts may also help treat insomnia, motion sickness and depression.

How to Grow

Lavender is an attractive fragrant perennial herb with purple flowers. About 30 species of this plant are known. The most popular for oil extraction is true (or English) lavender. They prefer site with full sun, superb soil drainage and excellent air circulation. The pH should be between 6.5-7.5. Amend soil with some all-purpose organic planting mix. Plant seedlings in spring when temperatures stay above freezing and soil is warming. Space them out about 20 inches. Water regularly in the beginning, but lightly. (Over watering quickly leads to root rot.) When fully mature, lavender plants are drought tolerant and need little water. Mulch annually to provide a little nutritional boost or insulate during winter. If attempting to grow in non-optimal conditions, plant in pots with holes in the bottom so you have option to take indoors during threatening weather. Lavender needs a couple of years before ready to harvest, even more if the goal is to extract oil (4-5 years). Harvest in morning hours when scent is the strongest.

Insect Control

No common pest issues exist for lavenders.

Tips

Using a bath bag filled with lavender, steep it in water for a soothing, muscle relaxing soak.

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