Lavender ~ Amazing Plant Medicine. Don't You Just Love it?
Find a couple of simple tea recipes here.
It’s 'THE' Season! You may have spotted these long-stemmed beauties on your travels or in your garden. Hard at work, it's a great supporter of bees. Lavender farms are a beautiful sight in summer from here to Provence, France, and the many places in between and back again to British Columbia.
It certainly has an affect on all of our senses with its calming nature, medicinal properties, lovely colours, and heavenly scent. With intention, this herb can also open our heart space with its gentle medicine.
A flower for all times.
The ancients knew of its magical power. First known about 77 A.D. when Dioscorides, a Greek physician worked with its medicinal attributes. Not only did the ancient Greeks know about lavender, the Romans and ancient Egyptians also knew of its benefits and used it for perfume, bathing, incense and embalming. Even Cleopatra was known to seduce Marc Anthony and Julius Caesar with this powerful plant. Ummmm?
It wasn’t until 1910 however, that a French chemist and scholar, Rene-Maurice Gattefossé, when working in his lab burned his hand and inadvertently found that lavender oil had healing qualities. He is know known as the Father of Aromatherapy. Gattefossé’s body of work not only included several essential oils of the day but a book, Aromathérapie: Les Huiles Essentielles Hormones Végétales, was brought to the public in 1937 and the word ‘aromatherapy’ was born. He also developed various cultivation and distillery methods.
If you garden, the best plants suited for our province are: Lavendula angustifolia which has a wonderful fragrance and high quality oil. There are many cultivars, mostly with mauve and purple flowers. Lavandula x Intermedia (Lavandin) has a high yield of flowers and is great for dried bouquets. My favourite is Lavendula x intermedia ‘Grosso’ known for its strong scent and dark violet, large spike blooms.
This wonderful plant has many benefits that soothe body, mind and spirit. Ever popular since Queens Elizabeth I and Victoria preferred it, Lavender today is used in linen and room sprays, soaps, essential oils, teas, dried bouquets, potpourri, candles, wands, sachets and antiseptic properties.
A Balm for Mind, Body and Spirit
If you’ve tried this herb's essential oil, there is no doubt that you have come under its aromatic spell. Easily adapted to the body, it's absorbed into the body within about 20 – 30 minutes.
It has been found to improve moods, reduce stress and helps by deepening sleep. Personally, I’ve had great all-night sleeps just by adding a drop rubbed on my wrists before going to bed. Three slow, deep breathes while holding it's essential oil under the nose helps to clear thinking and worries seem to drift away.
It doesn’t take much. No surprise, it has a soothing healing effect on skin which calms redness, blemishes and circulation for improved tone. It’s also known to speed up healing of small skin wounds and scrapes.
Lavender has long since been used as a spiritual tool such as combining it with other herbs like rosemary, thyme and sage. Making smoke wands with it are magical and easy to make. Gather by cutting just above the second set of leaves before the buds open and bind tightly, then hang to dry in a dark place for a week or two before using.
Smoke wands can also be used for clearing spaces, clearing one’s self and others and in preparing for sacred ceremony. Formulated sprays can be found in many shops and an amazing way to set the tone for meditation, journeying, yoga, and saying prayers/mantras. It’s also a lovely way to open heart space.
A few dried spikes automatically promotes a sense of calmness in any room.
Chakra balancing is important, especially in today’s global environment. Those practitioners who work with this plant to help balance and align their charkas find it particularly good for healing and soothing the fifth charka (throat charka).
Used in a spiritual way, it will balance that space to help speak one’s truth and express compassion. However, it's is commonly used for all seven major chakras for alignment and balance.
Two Easy Tea Recipes
One of my favourite ways to relax and find comfort is to drink herbal tea. Here are a couple of great recipes from Country Cleaver.
Lemon Lavender Peppermint Tea
Mix 1 part peppermint, 1 part lavender, and 1 part lemon to a small bowl. Seal in a small glass jar. To serve, add 1 Tablespoon to a tea infuser for 8 ounces of boiling water. Don't care for lemon?Leave it out.
Lavender Chamomile Tea
Mix Equal Parts Lavender and Chamomile leaves into a small bowl. Seal in a small glass jar. To serve, add 1 Tablespoon to a tea infuser for 8 ounces of boiling water. Very relaxing before bedtime.
If you need to ‘heat’ things up a bit, add a bit of peeled sliced ginger to either recipe. Ginger also soothes an upset stomach and is very nice when the chills of fall and winter cycle our way.
Now that we’re coming to the end of it's show season, enjoy it while you can. A little getaway to a local lavender farm is a great and quick way to surround and surrender yourself to it's enchanting spell.
P.S. I love Lavender . . . so much, I use it as my signature plant medicine in my healing practice.
Many thanks to Hans Braxmeirer - Pixabay for the lovely lavender field image. The other images are of harvested lavender from my garden.
Retrieved from: Central Coast Lavender Farm. July, 21, 2020. http://www.centralcoastlavender.com/birth-of-aromatherapy/#:~:text=Born%20in%20Montchat%20near%20Lyon,the%20essential%20oil%20of%20lavender.
Retrieved from: Country Cleaver. July 21, 2020 https://www.countrycleaver.com/2016/03/diy-tea-blends-5-ways.html
Retrieved from: North Shore News. July 21, 2020. https://www.nsnews.com/lifestyle/home-garden/lavender-is-liking-the-hot-dry-weather-1.21223143
Retrieved from: Conscious Lifestyle Magazine. July 23, 2020. https://www.consciouslifestylemag.com/22-essential-oils-for-chakras/