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Lavender - The Herb of Love

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Lavender - The Herb of Love Photo © Flickr user Limbo Poet

Overview:

Lavender is a showy herb that can be included in a medicinal, culinary or ornamental garden. The botanical name lavandula comes from the Latin word lavare, meaning "to wash." Long revered in literature as a herb of love, it is a key ingredient in soaps and shampoos, sachets, perfumes and seasonings.

Latin Name:

Lavandula officinalis

Common Name:

Lavender

USDA Hardiness Zone:

With the varieties now available, lavender grows well in all zones. It is no longer a difficult herb to grow and finds its place in all garden areas.

Exposure:

Full sun, little water, and poor, alkaline soils that are warm and not particularly fertile.

Harvest:

Cut lavender stems and blossoms just before the flowers open for best drying.

Uses:

The use of lavender as a strewing and bathing herb by the Romans is well documented. Though many enjoy this wonderful herb for its soothing and calming effects, you may not realize that it is also an incredible healing agent for burns, wounds, insect bites and stings. Lavender essential oil is a gentle and inexpensive addition to any medicine chest. The essential oil has the special trait of being safe to used neat, or straight on the skin. It soothes burns immediately and without any sting.

Lavender is normally taken or used in the form of an oil derived from the flowers by distillation with water. The flowers have an antibacterial action, so today's herbal remedies often include lavender for either its sedative or antiseptic properties. Particularly good to repel moths..much better than using toxic moth balls.To enjoy the subtle, calming aroma, toss a muslin bag of dried lavender into the dryer with each load of sheets and towels.

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