In the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and India, a flowering plant of the mint family reigns supreme: lavender. For thousands of years, lavender has been regarded for its sweet floral fragrance, beauty, and versatility. Today, lavender grows throughout regions of Europe, Australian, New Zealand, North and South America. The flowers themselves enchant those who see them but its the fragrance that leaves a lasting memory.
In ancient Greece and Rome, Lavender was used for religious ceremonies and its name is derived from the Latin “lavare”, meaning “to wash”. Romans used lavender to scent their baths, clothing, hair, and homes. Additionally, it was the Romans who began to understand lavender for its medicinal properties.
Research shows that lavender can be used to soothe and heal everything from insect bites and small cuts to burns and acne. The secret lies within its essential oil. Obtained by distilling, lavender oil holds disinfectant, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties. When its oil is ingested, lavender can calm indigestion and reduce heartburn. On skin, it nourishes and provides healing relief. But beyond the topical and internal properties it holds, lavender can be used in aromatherapy to aid sleep, promote relaxation, soothe headaches, and ease motion sickness.
Lavender also has incredible flavor! For hundreds of years, lavender has been used in food preparation as a key ingredient in herbal blends, including Herbs de Provence - a classic combination of herbs and spices that evokes the flavors found in the cuisine of southern France.
When added to food, lavender delivers a slightly sweet and floral quality to the dish. In culinary arts, you’ll find lavender in soups, meat and seafood dishes, cheeses, desserts, and confectionery.
Curious about trying lavender in your next culinary adventure? Try these recipes the next time you’re feeling adventurous (Note: be sure to only use culinary lavender for these purposes!)
- Lavender Lemon Pound Cake - a perfect pick for afternoon tea or brunch.
- Lavender Shortbread with Fruits, Flowers, and Herbs - showstopper that can double as a centerpiece at your next party.
- Herb Crusted Ham - fragrant and wonderful for holidays.
- Chilled Melon & Lavender Soup - gorgeous, refreshing, and fruity!
At home, lavender can be enjoyed in a multitude of ways. Here are some of our favorites:
- Add a hint of lavender to your wardrobe by wearing our gorgeous Santal Woods fragrance. Featuring notes of lemon, wintergreen, black pepper, vetiver, and sandalwood, this lavender fragrance is enticing and alluring.
- Lightly scent your clothing or linens by creating a lavender spray. Combine together a few drops of lavender essential oil with vodka in a spray bottle. Gently mist your clothing or linens and let dry.
- Create a spa-like atmosphere by burning a lavender scented candle and infusing a carafe of water with a combination of cucumber, lavender, and lemon.
- Fill a cloth sachet with lavender buds to lightly scent or refresh drawers and closet spaces.
- Use dried lavender for decorative wreaths or centerpieces.
What do you love most about lavender?