Lavender is more than just ‘another pretty face’! Lavender is being re-discovered for its natural stress relieving, skin care, antiseptic and therapeutic qualities used for centuries before ‘modern chemistry’ identified its wonderful benefits. Its culinary uses -both sweet and savory- in food and cocktails are endless!
Fun Fact: Lavender has its origin in the southern Mediterranean area and was a favorite of the early Romans. The Romans used lavender to fragrance their baths and introduced both the baths and lavender to the English during various invasions and occupations. The popularity of lavender in the English roman baths and in other western European regions led to the cultivation of vast areas of lavender in England and France – hence the names English and French Lavender!
Culinary Use: Lavender adds a unique and delicate twist to your culinary creations. It goes well with cheese, chocolate, chicken, french toast, crème bruleé, mojitos, martinis, & more! Try it in sweet or savory baked goods, with chicken and lamb, or as flavoring in simple syrups and honey. Grinding lavender buds with granulated sugar is a delicious way to incorporate lavender into dessert recipes and a great way to sweeten lemonade. Not all varieties are suitable for cooking, so be sure to use lavender buds that are labeled as ‘culinary’.
Aromatherapy Use: Lavender has a rich legacy in aromatherapy – known to sooth, calm, and help clarify the senses. There are countless varieties of lavender, the most common referred to as English Lavender (lavendula angustifolia varieties) and the hybrids, commonly referred to as lavendins (lavendula x intermedia). Common to all lavender is the latin root “lave” which means to wash or bathe, most likely referring to its reputed antiseptic quality. Some scholars believe that the biblical reference of Mary washing Jesus’ feet before the crucifixion with spikenard was in fact an early reference to lavender. It has been used for bathing and skin care since the days of the early Egyptians.
Crafting Projects: Fragrant and lovely lavender has been used for centuries to beautify and freshen homes. Cut, dried lavender retains it scent for years and can be crafted into wreaths, dried flower arrangements, and sachets of all sorts. Lavender symbolizes love and purity.