CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – Lavender: it has a fresh, sweet, floral aroma that is soothing and refreshing, and has many useful benefits. Community Herbalist Carol Joyce of White Buffalo Herbs in Warwick, showed us how to use LAVENDER for cooking, potpourri, & first aid.
Simple Lavender POTPOURRI
2 cups dried LAVENDER Buds (organic preferred)
1 cup dried ROSE Buds (organic preferred)
1.5 cup dried CALENDULA flowers (organic preferred)
10 drops LAVENDER Essential Oil (may be refreshed, as needed)
Mixing bowl Glass Jar with lid
Mix all ingredients well. Pour into sterile jar. Cap. Label. Decorate with ribbon if desired. It will keep well for up to 6 months. To use: Take lid off to sweetly scent the room. Cap when not in use (to preserve smell)
Note: Any mixture of dried herbs & flowers will work. Try deleting the rose buds, adding dried lemon balm, adding ¼ cup dried Orange Peel, 1 cinnamon stick broken into small pieces, & ½ tsp cinnamon powder. Use 5 drops cinnamon EO (if you have it) great in the kitchen!
Try 1 drop of LAVENDER Essential Oil in a room for its calming properties or add 1 drop to a cotton ball & put under pillow as a sleep aid at night.
LAVENDER for Cooking:
¼ tsp lavender buds
1 tsp favorite Black Tea
Put herbs in mug. Drop in lemon slice. Pour 1 cup boiling water over. Steep 10 minutes. Strain & enjoy the unique flavor that lavender imparts to beverages. Nice iced, too!
Herbes de Provence
3 Tablespoons each: dried Savory, Thyme, Rosemary,
2 Tablespoons each: dried Basil, Tarragon,
1 Tablespoons dried LAVENDER flower buds
Optional: add 1 tablespoon Sage, 1 Tablespoon Parsley, or 1 Tablespoon Fennel
Mix well. Pour into sterile jar. Keep in a cool, dark space. It will keep well for up to 6 months.
Sprinkle 2-3 teaspoons of mixture into Hot Green Beans, for a new taste twist.
Terrific on Lamb, Chicken, & Tofu.
Try some sprinkled on a fish fillet & then layered with veggies & potatoes in a foil packet. Cook on grill or in oven
Lamb chops: Sprinkle 1-2 T all over chops. Place on hot oiled plank & close grill cover. Cook on low heat for 25 minutes (check every 15 min for doneness). Chops are done when barely pink. Delightful
LAVENDER for Herbal First Aid:
Keep Lavender essential oil (EO) on hand for help with:
BUG BITES: Dab 1 drop on bug bites to stop the itch
STINGS: Dab 1 drop on stings to dull the pain
Burns: after icing, put 1 drop EO on burn. Add 3-4 drops to cup of ice water & soak burned fingers periodically. Helps with the pain, lessens the burn, & usually stops any scarring. Dab on a cut for antiseptic action if you are far away from treatment.
ITCHY or SUNBURNED SKIN: mix 10 drops EO in 1 oz distilled water. Use to spray skin for sunburn & to relieve itchiness.
Lavender is specific to birthing. In the olden days, women about to give birth were given bunches of fresh picked lavender to hold in each hand as they experienced contractions. The scent helped to soothe the new Mother (& those around her)
AROMATHERAPY: Use lavender EO to calm & soothe. (1 drop on metal or cotton ball in a room or add to a spray bottle (as above) to directly mist skin when you need to relax.
LAVENDER Growing Tips:
Lavender is a perennial originating from the Mediterranean, that grows well in Massachusetts if you choose a sunny spot, preferably near a wall with loose, sandy soil. Add compost when planting & be sure to mulch it just before winter to help it stay alive til Spring. It flowers twice a season IF you remember to cut the dried flower stems off. They can be used for recipes above, for smudging, or near thresholds to keep mice away. Lavender Munstead if the best variety for our area.