Heliotrope San Francisco

For many people, the word ‘lavender’ conjures up an image of sprawling light purple fields undulating across the hills and valleys of southern France.

Lavender field in Provence France Sunflowers at edges

Here in Northern California, it is almost impossible to walk more than a few blocks before brushing up against a lavender bush in someone’s garden or in a public space. Each spike holds 6 to 10 cheerful flowers growing in a spiral formation at its tip above the foliage. The plant emits a crisp, clean, floral yet spicy fragrance. Depending on the variety, the flowers are shades of purple from light to dark. The light purple is the namesake for the color lavender.

Lavender is a member of the mint family, and is one of the most widely cultivated plants in the world. It is native to Europe, north and eastern Africa, and the Middle East. People now grow lavender everywhere in the world. Throughout its long history every culture has enjoyed it’s crisp and refreshing fragrance and used it in perfumes and air fresheners, as medicine, and in cooking.

 Lavender is one of our favorite plants and scents. Join us as we explore just 5 of we love lavender.

 1. Smelling lavender improves your mood. The scent of lavender can help you to feel better both mentally and physically. The scent of lavender can help you to feel calmer in times of stress and it often lifts people elevate their mood. It is known to help reduce the feelings of anxiety.

Fresh bunches of lavender in a farm crate

2. Along with its benefits on the mood, lavender helps one relax and the scent may help you to fall asleep. It is often used in sleep masks and baby bath formulas for this reason.

3. Lavender is naturally anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-septic, which means that it can help to speed up the healing of cuts and burns. It also soothes sunburn. It has been used since Greek and Roman times to promote healing in burns, and it may reduce scarring. The anti-septic action helps clean cuts and wounds thus promotes healing.

4. It is a natural bug repellent. Mosquitoes and clothing moths hate the smell of lavender. Put sachets of dried lavender in drawers or hang them in your closet. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to revitalize and strengthen the scent. Not only will it keep moths away your clothes will smell fresh and clean!

Lavender sachet

The scent of lavender on your clothes can also help keep the mosquitoes away. Add a few drops of the essential oil to your moisturizer in the evening. Lavender essential oil is one of the few oils that is safe to put directly on your skin. You can also mix 10 to 12 drops of lavender essential oil with water in a spray bottle and spritz yourself as needed to cool down and keep the bugs away.

5. Ease muscle and joint pain by soaking in a hot lavender infused bath. Lavender relaxes your muscles, just as it helps to relax your mind. Add several drops of the essential oil directly to your bath water or choose the Cyprus Lavender scent in our Sea Salt Foaming Mineral Soak. Give your muscles some relief by adding lavender essential oil singly or as a blend to our massage lotion. The next step is convincing someone to give you a massage! Unfortunately, I can't give you any advice on that.

 

Recipe for an all-purpose cleaner using lavender oil

The word lavender comes from the French word 'lavare' - to wash. I love making my own cleaning products and I regularly add lavender essential oil to them. The anti-bacterial qualities help keep counters and surfaces clean and the scent freshens the room.

 - In a spray bottle, preferably glass, six 2 cups of vinegar, either cheap cider vinegar or white distilled vinegar with 2 cups of distilled water. Tap water is fine also.

- Shake to blend the liquids.

- Add 20 drops of lavender essential oil to the mixture and shake again to blend the oil evenly throughout the liquids.

- Replace the spray nozzle. Give it a few shakes before you use it.

* It is safe to use on any surface. If you are using it on wood surfaces, choose the cider vinegar as it is a bit safer with wood finishes.

* Many people find  the scent of the cider vinegar to be a bit milder. Both types of vinegar will leave your home sparkling clean!

Lavender petals

Written by Jen Bator — July 19, 2017

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