Friday, August 28, 2009

How Lavender Got Into Your Body Wash

Lavender, a small popular flower that is found throughout the world and is known for its fragrant aroma and various uses, is actually steeped in history and is more than just an interesting little plant. The oldest records of lavender use date back to ancient times and there are records of its use in historical Syria, Egypt, and Israel, as well as many other corners of the Middle East. In biblical times, lavender was noted as a "holy herb" and its use in the ancient Israelite Temple is well documented and even mentioned in the Old Testament.

In ancient Greece, lavender was also known as Nard, named after the Syrian town from which it had been introduced and in the Rome of the Caesars, lavender was an expensive and greatly prized commodity that could be afforded only by the wealthy elite. Most often found in the Roman bathhouses, where it was used at first simply to scent the water, lavender eventually came to be associated with bathing and cleaning the skin in general and it was here, most likely, that the first ever Lavender Body Wash was born.

Today, lavender can be found in a whole host of bath and beauty product with soaps, face scrubs and cleaners, and shampoos being among the most popular. This trend is not just owing to the fact that lavender packs a deliciously fruity and flowery fragrance but also because of the plant's storied medicinal purposes as well. Most notably, the oils or extract produced by the plant is said to have antiseptic as well as healing properties and according to some, when diluted with water and witch hazel, lavender oil can even be an effective acne treatment. Of course, this same essential oil is the active ingredient in many bottles of shampoo, soap, and Lavender Body Wash and is responsible for the refreshingly cool or mildly tingly sensation some feel when using lavender products.

As far as how Lavender Body Wash is used, most find it the perfect accompaniment for a sponge or loufa. Often times used while bathing or showering, this combination can make for an amazingly refreshing shower or bath or even an all out exfoliation session. When using body wash always remember that a little goes a long way, requiring just a dollop to get a good lather, which helps ensure that you get the most out of every bottle - especially during these tough economic times.

As you can see, lavender has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Once a treat enjoyed only by the wealthiest of wealthy, we know find lavender in our homes in the form of Lavender Body Wash or scented candles and hand soaps. We come across lavender so often, in fact, that we take it for granted. The next time you wash your hands, and smell that familiar fragrance, imagine how different your life might be without it. Perhaps then you will find a great appreciation for this most interesting, yet humble, flower.

Tag : lavender,lavender essential oil,lavender oil,lavender roses

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tips For Making Your Home Smell Pretty With Dried Lavender

The scent of lavender has been proven to lift people's spirits by fighting depression, can relax the mind after a grueling day, and can even help soothe body aches and pains. When used in our homes, lavender can enhance our moods and make life more enjoyable. There are many ways to use the power of lavender and incorporate that power into our daily lives. These gorgeous purple flowers can be dried and used either in stalk form or through the dried buds of its flowers. You can also purchase lavender essential oil for a highly concentrated source that will give a tremendous amount of aromatherapy with using only a few drops of the oil.

Dried lavender on the stalks can be used to create gorgeous wreaths or a dried flower arrangement. Wreaths with solid lavender all around make a dramatic purple accent to any room while adding a fragrant scent that lasts for months. If the stalks need refreshing, a little spray from an atomizer filled with lavender essential oil is the perfect solution. If you either want to tone down the lavender scent in your wreath or don't have a lot of purple in your décor, you can always use a few sprigs here and there to add a touch of purple and a hint of fragrance to your setting.

A dried flower arrangement is the perfect place to add lavender. Again, you can intensify the impact of the color and scent of this flower by filling a vase or basket with just lavender. A few stalks here and there can be used to add pizzazz to an existing arrangement. The bathroom and bedroom are great areas for dried lavender because, respectively, it hides odors and brings relaxation. This is why when you go to the spa or to a massage therapist they always use lavender to enhance the ambiance for their clients.

Essential oils are simply the scented components of the lavender flower that have been added to a liquid for easy application; this is usually oil, but can also be in an alcohol-based liquid such as cologne. Oils are wonderful because they hold the scent for a longer time when applied to the skin or to sachet or fabric. Dating back to ancient times, lavender has been used in soaps and laundry to soften skin and give fragrance to clothing. You can purchase essential oils from a perfumery shop, natural foods store, or online.

Here are some tips for adding the scent of dried lavender to anywhere in your home:

• Moisten a cotton ball with a few drops of lavender oil and add it to your vacuum cleaner canister or bag. It will fill your entire home with its wonderful scent!
• Spray or drop some essential oil onto a washcloth and throw it in with your laundry in the dryer.
• Place a shallow dish filled with lavender buds next to your bed to help induce sleepiness at night.
• Add a dried flower arrangement or wreath anywhere in your home where you want to enjoy the light, continuous fragrance of lavender.

Tag :lavender,lavender oil,lavender essential,lavender roses

Friday, August 14, 2009

Lavender For Enjoyment & Relaxation

My lavender bushes are just beginning to bud and as I write, I am sipping a cup of lavender flavored tea. Just two buds steeped with my black tea produced a delicious light flavored tea. Historically, lavender was used to treat all kinds of ailments from stomach disorders to headaches and antiseptics. I am just drinking it because it is good and relaxing.

Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, and Arabs have used lavender, or more specifically English lavender, since ancient times through the centuries to present times. It was and still is used for medical, cosmetics, massage oils, even embalming. During medieval times, lavender was thought to protect against the plague and cholera and there is some historical evidence that it actually did do that. In addition, it was used as an antiseptic to cleanse sick rooms, treat head lice and fleas, protect against other insects, treat migraine headaches and burns, and induce sleep. Lavender was also used for its fragrance in soaps, potpourris, and perfumes. It is still widely used for many of the same reasons.

Dried lavender is readily available in bundled bouquets or loose blossoms. You can find numerous on line sources by Googling dried lavender. Lavender farms exist in most areas and usually offer fresh bouquets, dried bouquets, or u picking. Picking season is June and July. To locate farms in your area, just search "lavender farms" on Google. Often these farms also offer handcrafted products made from lavender.

You can also dry your own. It is one of the easier flowers to dry. While it is not difficult to grow, it needs full sun and not a lot of water. For an added bonus, lavender attracts butterflies. There are numerous varieties of lavender, but the English lavender produces nice, purple blossoms.

Plants are ready to pick and dry right before the blooms open. If you wait until the petals are fully open, they will fall off when dry. When the stems have purple, long fuzzy looking ends (called calyxes), they are ready to pick. Cut stems as long as you can, tie into bundles, and hang upside down in a warm, dry, dark space with good air circulation. It will take several weeks to thoroughly dry both stems and flowers. When dried, they are ready to store or use for many projects. Wrap stemmed bouquets in tissue and store in a drawer or strip buds and store in airtight glass or ceramic containers for later use.

Well, I have finished my cup of tea and am heading out to my garden to see if I have some lavender ready to pick. I think I just want a fresh bouquet on my dining room table for dinner tonight. By the way, I wouldn't use commercially preserved lavender for any internal use (such as tea). You never know what kind of chemicals may have been used in the drying process. Also do not use lavender oil internally unless the product is labeled safe for such use.

Tag : lavender,lavender oil,lavender essential,lavender flower

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lavender Oil - An Amazing Variety of Uses

Lavender oil has long been valued not only for its fresh, sweet smell, but also for its therapeutic properties. Its history goes back at least as far as the Roman Empire where lavender was used to freshen the wash water and the oil was used to treat battle wounds. In modern times lavender oil has many uses from aromatherapy to scent for bath products. Learn about this amazing natural substance from plant to product.

What is it? - Lavender oil is the essential oil of a lavender plant, derived from the stalks (peduncles) and flowers. The plant material is subjected to a steam distillation process that yields lavender hydrosol and oil.

Where does it come from? - Lavender grows well in a wide variety of climates and can be found in many parts of the world. It grows wild in several Mediterranean countries, and there are many lavender farms in this area. Provence, France is famous for its lavender farms and festivals. Other large production locales include Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.

How is it used? - The wide variety of uses for this remarkable oil is truly astonishing, but can be grouped into two broad categories: Therapeutic and Scents.

Therapeutic Applications - Lavender is probably the most common essential oil used in aromatherapy, which is an alternative health treatment that makes use of essential oils. Breathing the aroma of lavender has been shown to have a calming effect on many people and is often used for insomnia. The aroma is often distributed using a diffuser or burner, but you can enjoy the benefits by simply placing a few drops of lavender oil in your bath water or in a cotton ball to sit on your nightstand.

Lavender oil has pain killing properties and provides temporary relief from aching joints. Rubbing the oil directly into can help ease childhood "growing pains" or even mild arthritis.

The antibiotic properties of lavender make the oil a great natural choice for preventing infection in minor cuts and burns. Simply apply the oil directly to the wound and appreciate both the pain killing and germ killing effects.

Lavender Scent - Lavender has an especially sweet scent and the oil has been used for hundreds if not thousands of years as an enjoyable aroma. The scent of lavender can be found in many products, from soaps and lotions to air fresheners. Lavender is a favorite aroma in spas, and is a major component of many massage oils and facial creams. Lavender sugar scrubs and salt scrubs are wonderful ways to exfoliate the skin while enjoying the relaxing aroma.

These uses for lavender oil are but a few of the many ways that one can take advantage of the wonderful aroma and health benefits. It truly is one of the simple blessings of nature.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pruning Lavender - The Right Way to Care For Your Plants

First Things First - Starting Lavender The Right Way

Most lavender bushes start from a cutting taken from a Mother plants. This often works well. Growing lavender from seeds may sound like a good idea, but it can be difficult. It is hard to find the seeds, and they have a short shelf life (even if you find them, they may not grow). And it can take a long time to grow the seeds into sizeable bushes. The most difficult situation is that the most popular lavender varieties do not make seeds!

Pruning Lavender

It is important to prune lavender in order to maintaining a young, healthy bush. When pruning lavender, the key is to begin when plants are young and still in pots. Pinch out new growth to support lateral branching. Cut off the flower buds in the first year so that you will get a larger bush and more spikes in the second year.

Cut back the plant at yearly. If you prune the plant in the fall, do it well in advance of a hard freeze. You can easily use a weed eater or a hedge trimmer when pruning lavender. You can also prune the plant after it flowers I the spring or early summer. When you do prune lavender, make sure that the leaves are still green.

Cut off about 1/3 off of the plant and shape it into a mound. This encourages new growth. If you do this every year, it will make sure your plants don't get too woody and knotty. You can begin this pruning in the second year.

If you did not prune the plant when it was young, it may not survive a significant pruning. If the bush is 3 years or older and you have never pruned it, you may be better off replacing the bush. If there is still young growth above the wood part of the plan, you can begin with a light pruning to encourage lower growth. Then, continue each year to prune a little more aggressively. But as close to the woody part - but don't cut the wood. If you cut too much into the wood the plant will die.

Cut spent flowers to create healthy plants. Cut off dead branches in the spring, after your plant shows growth.

Lavenders types of lavender plants, like dentate, don't require much pruning unless you want to grow them as a hedge. In these cases, the best time for pruning lavender is in the summer.

Harvesting Lavender

Cut the lavender stems which have flowers, and cut them in the early morning after the dew has dried but before the sun dries up too much of the plant's essential oils. The essential oils create the scent, and you want to preserve them as much as possible.

You can dry lavender in bunches or on screens, and store it in a cool dark place.

After pruning lavender, you can use the pruning clippings as your harvest. Lavender is wonderful for crafts and decoration.

Interesting Notes

Plant lavender bushes in full sun and only in a soil that drains well. Water the bushes generously during the first year after planting - but do not water lavender from above - this can cause a fatal fungus!

Don't prune into the old wood (where there are no leaves) or your lavender will not grow back in that place.

Tag : lavender,lavender oil,lavender essential oil,lavender plants

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Secrets of the Lavender Essential Oil

The Lavender essential oil is one of the most popular and most healing essential oils on the market. In this article, we'll give a brief overview of the history of the Lavender essential oil, go over the wide range of ailments this essential oil can cure, then finally practically ways you can use the lavender essential oil. By the end of this article, you'll know both what Lavender is used for, as well as how to use it.

A Brief History of the Lavender Essential Oil

The Lavender Essential Oil was first discovered by Dr. Rene Gattefosse in the 1920's. He was doing experiments in his lab when he made a mistake and burned his hand. The only thing that he had on hand at the moment was a jar of extracted lavender oil that he had next to him. The first thought that came to mind was to plunge his hand into the extracted lavender oil.

To his great surprise, he instantly felt soothed and relieved. His burn healed much more quickly than it would have otherwise. He realized that his hand was soothed as a result of the lavender oil.

As a scientist, he got very curious about the effects of lavender and other essential oils. He began to do further research into lavender and the extracts of other plants. His research started the trend that has today become aromatherapy.

Uses of the Lavender Essential Oil

There are many uses of the Lavender Essential Oil, from curing very common ailments to the more obscure.

Some of these include:

Sweaty Skin, Acne, Stress Relieve, Allergies, Reducing Anxiety, Reducing Itching, Faster recovery of stress marks, relief from mild sunburn, Athlete's Foot, Asthma, Blisters, Bruises, Burns & Scalds
As you can see, lavender really has a wide range of uses.

How to Use the Lavender Essential Oil

There are many ways to use the lavender essential oil. Here, we'll go over three simple ways:

1) Drop 10 drops into a bathtub full of water and enjoy a nice, relaxing soak. The diluted essential oil will gradually affect its healing properties on your body while you take a bath.

2) You can dilute the lavender oil in carrier oil and rub it directly on your skin. It's generally not a good idea to rub essential oils directly on your skin, even with lavender.

3) You can diffuse the oil in the air. One way to do that is to soak a tissue with the oil and put it on a fan. This will have the oil gradually spray itself throughout the air.

You now know what the lavender essential oil is, its uses and how to use it for yourself. While you can experiment with the lavender oil at home, it can also be an amazing experience to experience the healing effects of the lavender oil at the hands of an aromatherapist or a massage therapist.

Keep in mind that if you have any serious physical ailments, consult a doctor before applying your own cures. Lavender oil isn't a replacement for real medical attention when it comes to more serious issues.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Essential Lavender Oil - 5 Great Ways to Use It!

Essential Lavender Oil is the #1 Oil sold by Aromatherapists around the world. It is the very first choice that the general public chooses and which aromatherapists recommend the most.

What is the reason for this phenomenon?

Why is Essential Lavender Oil the most loved oil?

What distinguishes it from the rest of the essential oils?

Essential Lavender has been the most popular since the beginning of the ages as far as we can trace it. The Greeks and Romans perfumed their baths with Lavender and it was a popular facial water between the 14th and 19th Centuries.

It was also burned as incense to the gods & goddesses and carried during the plague to ward off the diseases which were so prevalent.

The name Lavender comes from the Latin verb meaning "to Wash." Lavender was essential to everyday living. It is even believed to ward off the evil eye.

Essential lavender oil blends well with many other Essential Oils also such as: Bergamot, Cedarwood, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Clove, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Frankincense, Geranium, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Juniper Berry, Lemon, Lemongrass, Linden Blossom, Mandarin, Marjoram, Melissa, Myrrh, Neroli, Niaouli, Orange, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Peppermint, Pine, Rose, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Tea tree, Vetivert and Ylang Ylang.

Some of Essential Lavender Oil properties are: It is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-septic, anti-rheumatic, a cell regenerator and a disinfectant.

I would like you to note this very carefully. Most aromatherapy books and web sites say that you can use Lavender oil and/or Tea tree oil undiluted on the skin. This is what is known as a neat application. BUT the big surprise is that they are finding more and more people are becoming sensitized to these mild oils because they were not diluted in a suitable carrier oil.


Essential Lavender Oil can be used for so, so many things, I cannot write them all down in one article. But because of its diversity and the ability to be sedating or stimulating depending on its dosage this has made it the number #1 oil in aromatherapy.

Now, how can you use Essential Lavender Oil? I will tell you 5 ways as I promised

  1. Essential Lavender Oil can be used in a candle light diffuser. Simply add 3-4 drops in some water on the top and light the candle underneath.
  2. Essential Lavender Oil can be placed on a cotton ball and placed inside your pillow at night for sweet, relaxing dreams
  3. Essential Lavender Oil can be added to your evening bath by adding it to a teaspoon of carrier oil or honey. 10 drops per bath is about right.
  4. Essential Lavender Oil can be added to a Tissue Kleenex and then stick it on a fan. The fan will cause the Essential Lavender to permeate the immediate area. This is great if you are stressed out.
  5. Lastly, for this article, Essential Lavender Oil can be added to 15ml of carrier oil and massaged gently into your skin. If you can get a loving partner to do it for you then it will be even more relaxing.
Tag : lavender,essential lavender oil,lavender oil,lavender flower

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fragrant, Flowering Lavender Herb Growth and Care in Low Water Gardens

Lavender is an aromatic herb grown for centuries and appreciated for its fragrant, purplish blue flowers. These small, drought-tolerant shrubs take full sun to partial shade outdoors. They can take moderate water, but can also survive in low water gardens once established (usually after a year). The flowers bloom on long, square-shaped stalks and buds can be up to two inches long.

Lavender leaves are also strongly fragrant and can be sticky with essential oils. The flowers are great in fresh bouquets. They can also be used for flavoring in salads or vinegars. Dried bouquets and flowers are used in crafts and as home decor.

Mature lavender plants have narrow green or gray green needle shaped leaves on woody branches. They are great in rock gardens, dry herb gardens or as low, informal hedges. They add structure to the landscape with their evergreen leaves and are a good height for the middle of the flower bed. Mix lavender shrubs in with other drought tolerant herbs like rosemary and sage to enjoy their fragrance on hot summer nights.

Two of the more popular home garden forms are French lavender (Lavandula dentata) and English lavender (lavandula angustifolia, l. officinalis). French lavender reaches 3 to 4 tall and 4 to 6 feet wide and is more drought tolerant with more compact flowers. English Lavender plants are smaller, reaching only about 2 feet high and wide. The English variety is known to be shorter-lived (3 to 5 years), but is considered to have a more complex fragrance.

After the second year or so, lavenders can develop a dry thatch, or collection of dry leaves on the inside of the shrub. The plant can also become leggy, meaning it has long spindly branches. This means it is time to prune back your plants. Fall is usually the best time to do this, especially in mild winter areas. Trim the branches way back; to about 10 inches long. The next spring your lavender will grow back thick and fresh.

The intoxicating scent of lavender has been used in love potions, perfumes and soaps for centuries. It is also credited with the ability to promote chastity. It has been worn to elevate moods and used in aromatherapy to cure nervous depression. In Victorian times a gift of lavender flowers could mean either loyalty or mistrust. Modern science has discovered that lavender oil has antispasmodic, antidepressant and carminative properties.

Lavender is a great insect and moth repellent. In the past it was used as a 'strewing herb' in hospitals and homes to disinfect and clear the air. Dried lavender blossoms make excellent potpourri and can be tied up in cotton fabric before being tucked into drawers or linen closets. The branches are also highly fragrant and can be layered into woodpiles to keep out bugs.

Lavender plants are another beautiful addition to any water-wise garden and provide fragrant flowers for the home almost all year.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Magic and Many Uses of Lavender Oil

Lavender oil had been used for thousands of years and was popular in the Roman baths. There are many uses for lavender oil, which here is the editor's favorites.

1) To relieve menstrual pain, massage your lower back and abdomen with diluted lavender oil. Lavender is a natural anti-inflammatory and it contains pain-relieving properties making this essential oil a natural for menstrual pains. It also balances your spirits.

2) Lavender oil is a very good way to promote relaxation and even soothe headaches.

3) If you are discovering the summer season to be rather a hectic time, you may want to consider slowing down and helping yourself find balance with the use of a high-grade lavender essential oil. You can expect restful and utterly relaxing sleep accompanied by vivid dreaming as a result of the intoxicating lavender oil.

4) Rub lavender oil on the feet for a calming effect on the whole body.

5) Rub lavender oil on dry or chapped skin for a hydrating boost.

6) If you're interested in natural protection from mosquito bites, try lavender essential oil, diluted in a base of some other kind of oil, say for instance, jojoba oil or grape seed oil.

7) Hair and Skin-Just a little Lavender

After shampooing your hair, make your own rinse to help dull or oily hair. Take a jug of mineral water, a few drops of lavender oil and add fresh lemon juice. Let mixture set to blend. Rub into hair and scalp after shampoo is rinsed out thoroughly. Massage scalp into roots of hair and work your way to the end. Rinse out in 10 minutes.

8) Lavender helps to balance production of oils and prevents scarring.

9) Treat pimples by dipping a cotton ball or Q-tips dabbing them lightly am or pm with lavender oil until the problem is resolved.

10) Lavender also soothing for sunburn

As always consult your physician before using any herbal remedies.

Tag : lavender,lavender oil,lavender essential,lavender plant

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Essential Oils and Burns - Why Many People Choose Therapeutic Grade Lavender Essential Oil

The essential oil of lavender is one of many natural and pharmaceutical products available for treating burns. It is my treatment of choice, and has been the treatment of choice for a number of people since the ancient Egyptians, if not before.

An Example

Recently, a friend emailed me to ask what essential oil I might recommend for first and second degree burns on his face. He had been out burning tree branches, when he became careless and got too close.

People who have studied essential oils for any length of time have learned that the highest choice for burns of any kind is a pure, therapeutic grade lavender essential oil.

Why Lavender?

A therapeutic grade of lavender essential oils is made up of over a hundred different compounds that do more than just help with burns.

1. One of these compounds has analgesic (pain relieving) properties.

2. Another compound in lavender gives it antiseptic properties.

3. Some medical doctors - mostly in Europe and Ecuador - also use lavender to prevent scarring.

4. The bottom line is that the constituents in lavender oil have many healing properties.

How to Use It

There are a number of ways to use lavender essential oil on such a burn, and here are three ways that come to mind first.

1. Diluting therapeutic grade lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia) with a high quality, organic vegetable oil 50:50 and applying it on the burn.

2. With therapeutic grade lavender essential oil, some people would not dilute it at all.

3. Putting therapeutic grade lavender essential oil in a spray bottle with purified water and spritz on.

Two Cautions

Before you go out and buy the first bottle of lavender essential oil that you can find, there are two extremely important cautions you should know about, because there are two types of "lavender" oils that can make burns WORSE.

1. Lavender that has been adulterated with synthetic chemicals. This includes the "lavender" that says "pure" on the label, but according to U.S. law, might have as little as 5% lavender and who knows what else as the other 95%.

2. Lavandin that has been labeled as lavender, or even mixed with lavender. Lavandin, because of its camphor content, will make burns worse!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Essential Oils - Lavender - A "Rescue Remedy" known as the Swiss Army Knife Among Essential Oils

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is in the mint family of botanical plants. The name Lavender comes from the Latin lavare, meaning "to wash." The Romans used to scent their bath water with the fragrant flowers of this plant. Lavender has a long history as a healing agent for both body and mind. Hildegard of Bingen spoke highly of its use and recommended it for many ailments. The English lavender or "true lavender," has the most medicinal properties among the various varieties. Today lavender is a popular oil in the perfume industry and is used in a host of products including skin care. Lavender will be one of your most used healing oils, it is truly an oil of calmness.

Why is Lavender Considered a Universal Healing Oil?

Lavender is good for just about everything. The most celebrated use of lavender is for burns. René Gattafossé, the father of aromatherapy suffered a severe burn over most of his body and used Lavender oil to heal his wounds without scarring. Lavender oil is also good for other skin conditions and insect bites and stings. It is good for repelling lice as well. Lavender can help problems like colic, irritable bowel, menstrual pain, and muscular stiffness and aching. Its antiseptic properties make it an effective treatment for flu, bronchitis and pneumonia and it may help with genital-urinary infections when added to bath water. Lavender has been called "a universal healing oil." Lavender oil calms and stabilizes the mind and heart bringing about a sense of equilibrium. It can ease nervous tension and decrease feelings of panic and hysteria. In this regard, it is a wonderful "rescue remedy" calming strong emotions that threaten to overwhelm the person. Lavender is helpful in lifting sadness and depression. For emotional healing, it can be used to encourage security, gentleness, compassion, reconciliation, vitality, clarity, comfort, acceptance, awareness, and emotional balance.

Lavender mixes well with Roman and German chamomile, lemon, geranium, eucalyptus, thyme linalool, rosemary, tea tree, peppermint, grapefruit, clary sage, palmarosa, juniper, cypress, pine, angelica, marjoram, cedarwood, bergamot, lemongrass, and ravensara.

As for application, lavender can be diffused, inhaled with steam, used with warm compresses, and applied neat (undiluted) on the body at places of discomfort. It can be used as an anointing oil for the brow, hands, feet and energy centers. It can be applied to the healers hands and run through the energy field to clear stagnant energy and to calm fears. Lavender is non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitizing. Want to learn more about the healing properties of lavender and other essential oils? Consider becoming a certified aromatherapist. Educational courses in healing energy and aromatherapy can help you understand how essential oils heal the body/mind/spirit. The Institute of Spiritual Healing & Aromatherapy is teaching courses on the healing properties of essential oils throughout the United States including lavender oil.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Many Wonders of Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender Essential Oil is created through a process of distillation of several species of lavender. There are two types of the oil, Lavender Flower Oil, which is clear oil and impenetrable in water, and Lavender Spike Oil that is concentrated from the Lavandula Latifolia aromatic plant.

Lavender oil is usually added to perfume products. It can also be used for aromatherapy to help soothe and aide relaxation. The fragrance of the oil is known to decrease stress. It may also be used in meditation sessions. Its components calm the mind and body, and encourage a feeling of stillness.

Lavender oil also helps in relieving tension and headaches when inhaled in the form of steam or applied to the skin. You can adjoin this with a vaporizer to care for a cough and respiratory illness. It can also serve as mosquito repellent when applied as a cologne or when included in lotions and hair products.

Supporters of alternative treatments say that lavender oil may provide first aid treatment for an array of ordinary illnesses. The thinned or pure oil solution can act as an antiseptic and pain killer when administered to minor burns and insect stings. Use only a small amount when applying it straight to the affected area. The best way to apply this is with the use of wet cotton wool padding to the affected region.

For curing sunburn and sunstroke, 10 drops of oil can be diffused in 25ml of base oil. Lavender oil when incorporated with chamomile is a treatment of eczema. To prepare a massage oil to soothe joint and muscle pain, 1ml of lavender oil should be incorporated to 1oz. of base oil and apply generously on the affected area.

To treat asthma or bronchitis, combine 1ml of lavender oil, 5 drops of chamomile oil and 10ml of base oil then apply this to the chest as a rub. If you want to use this as cure for head lice, use 5-10 drops of lavender oil and dilute it in water and lather it on the hair, you can use a few drops of pure lavender oil and apply it on a fine comb to remove nits.

Oral dosage is not to be administered to children. It can be used as topical solution to treat skin illnesses and injuries like minor cuts and chafes. It should not be applied on open wounds. For adults, lavender can be used in combination with herb tea. This can be used as vapor treatment for headache, depression and insomnia.

Herb medicines are used for strengthening the body and curing diseases. Herbs consist of active substances that can activate side effects and has a negative response to other medications and supplements. You must seek first the advice of health professionals before taking any herbal medicine. However, occurrence of side effects is uncommon but some build up allergies with lavender.

Tag : lavender essential oil,lavender,lavender oil,lavender roesearomatherapy

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Versatile Lavender and Holistic Health

You are probably familiar with the aromatic fragrance
of lavender used in soaps, shampoos, and perfumes.
However, you may not fully appreciate its versatility
as an herbal medicine.

Historically, lavender has been highly valued
by herbalists for its ability to relieve headaches
and calm nervous tension. Modern research has
shown lavender oil to be an effective antiseptic,
promoting healing of burns, wounds, and sores.
It can also reduce the pain and inflammation of
insect bites. The fragrant scent of lavender
comes from the oil in the blue-violet flowers that
can be used fresh, dried, or steam distilled (to
extract the essential oil).

Lavender was recommended in nineteen of Edgar Cayce's
readings for a variety of effects. The medical prescriptions of lavender
are generally related to its calming and restorative qualities.
A combination of lavender and witchhazel was recommended for
use in a fume bath in two cases involving excessive muscular tension
and nerve exhaustion. Several Cayce readings suggest that
the aroma of lavender can aid with attunement during meditation.
Here are some practical tips for using lavender to improve
your mental and physical well-being:

  • Soak up lavender by placing a few drops of lavender in your bath water.
  • Inhale its healing fragrance by putting a drop or two of lavender oil on a lamp or diffuser designed specifically for aromatherapy.
  • Absorb lavender oil through your skin when you get a massage. It is best to mix it with another oil such as olive oil. When prescribed by Cayce for massage, it was always mixed with other oils. As with any oil, it is always a good idea to test a small area first to minimize the risk of allergic reaction.
  • If you feel a headache coming on, massage lavender oil into the forehead and temples (but away from the eyes).
  • For cuts, bruises, and insect bites, drop lavender oil directly onto the skin.
  • To reduce insomnia, sprinkle a few drops on a pillow at bedtime.
  • For nervous exhaustion or depression, consider lavender tea which can be made from the dried lavender flowers (1 1/ 2 tsp. flowers to 8 oz. water) which can be drunk up to four times a day.
Remember, more is not necessarily
better. Use essential oils sparingly to
achieve maximum benefits.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

How To Use Lavender In Your Daily Life?

Lavender essential oils and lavender blend are easy to find in local store or online market. They come in variety products such as for bath spa, massage, or for healing properties.

Lavender essential oil is one of the most commonly used in aromatherapy. It has a pleasant aroma, healing properties, and also it is easily blended with other essential oils to provide for maximum effect.

Lavender and lavender blend essential oils can be used for :

Mosquito bite, just apply lavender oil on the skin. It will stop the inflammation and skin irritation, also reduce the chances of further swelling and redness.

Soak in soothing bath can give your muscles relax. Adding lavender to a soothing bath makes an enormous difference. It will soothe your skin and mind, relax you, and invigorate your skin.

Highly recommended for the nervous system relieving depression, anxiety and insomnia. Best if you use a lavender and lavender blend essential oil into a massage. lavender massage oil relaxes the muscles and tissues.

Foot spa bath is also best if using lavender and lavender blend essential oils. You can add it to foot scrub for a cramped feet or foot lotion with a message for relaxing tired feet.

For Hair care you can add two to four drops to your hairbrush and brush your hair. Lavender it s believed to stimulate hair growth and its antibacterial properties can help eliminate scalp conditions.

You can even use the lavender as a perfume behind the ears if you are allergic to perfumes.

For all skin care due to its powers of rejuvenation and balancing effects. Helps to heal burns, sunburn, acne, boils, bruises, eczema, psoriasis and wounds and sores of all descriptions.

You can’t go wrong when using lavender and lavender blend essential oils. It is easily absorbed by the skin, and soothes the deeper layers of it. Lavender can be also used in cases when you burn your skin, as long as the wound is not open, there should be no problem. It heals the burns effectively. If you have a dry skin, Use just a little bit of the lavender to bring moisture back to the skin. Or you can blend it in lotion to keep your skin nice and moist.

Lavender essential oil can be used neat, meaning without diluting it in carrier oil, but it must be done in small amounts and only for minor skin problems. However, it is advised to dilute lavender with a vegetable carrier oil such as olive oil, jojoba, sweet almond oil, etc, just to make sure that your skin don’t have an allergic reaction.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Calming Lavender

Lavender, also known as Lavandula angustifolia is better known for its aromatherapy benefits, soothing, calming, relaxing, and stimulating. Medicinally, Lavender is an antitumoral, an analgesic, an anti-inflammatory and prevents the build-up of sebum, a skin oil that bacteria feed on. The French Scientist Rene Gatefosse was the first to discover lavender’s ability to promote tissue regeneration and speed wound healing when he severely burned his arm in a laboratory accident. Today, Lavender is still one of the few essential oils to still be listed in the British Pharmacopeia. Lavender is one of the few floras that is the least allergenic, yet so versatile that it can be used in body moisturizers, candles, and soaps. It is most certainly a spa favorite and commonly used during aromatherapy massages.

Lavender angustifolia is also known as Lavender, English Lavender, or True Lavender. It is a small, herbaceous to semi-woody, semi-evergreen perennial or perennial herb that you might see along walkways, raised walls, or borders. It is also often referred to as the “queen of herbs” for gardens.

Lavandula translates as “to wash” referring to an extract of Lavender being used as an oil in the bath. Angustifolia translates as “narrow-leaved”.

In the kitchen, Lavender is an incredibly versatile herb for cooking. English Lavender (lavandula angustifolia) has the sweetest fragrance of all the lavenders and is one most commonly used in cooking. For salads, the lavender flowers add a beautiful color. The spikes and leaves of lavender can be used in most dishes in place of rosemary in most recipes. Use the spikes or stems for making fruit or shrimp kabobs. Just place your favorite fruit on the stems and grill.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Choose Your Lavender Oil Use

Lavender pure essential oil is native to the Mediterranean. It grows in open fields and on mountain slopes, giving off an intense aroma when it blooms. It is not primarily grown and harvested in Provence. The most potent form of Lavender is the oil. And the finest oil is distilled from Lavandula Officinalis. This variety only grows at altitudes above 3000 feet. Below are listed some of the lavender oil uses.

Therapeutic Effect

The 3 best known active ingredients in Lavender are geraniol, cineole, and coumarin.

Lavender helps with certain Conditions

For skin irritations: Lavender water promotes good circulation in the skin. You can either buy the lavender water already mixed and made, or make your own. I personally make my own, as I can control the amount of lavender oil used. If you make your own, add 3 drops of lavender oil to 1 quart of distilled water, and dab on daily.

For insomnia: Lavender has a calming effect, which can help a person relax under stress.
Put some lavender oil on a cloth, or aromatherapy stone, and put next to your bed. This will help you sleep at night.

For nerve pain: Lavender oil help relieve nerve pain caused by neuralgia, which is a recurrent pain along a nerve. Just mix 10 drops of lavender oil with 2 tablespoons of St. John's Wart oil and rub into affected area.

Each person will have their own lavender oil use. Some for relaxation, some for pain, others for improvement of their skin. In any case, lavender pure essential oil is a very handy oil to have in your house.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lavender Oil: Lure Of A Lusty Life

Using of essential oils in aromatherapy is inevitable. Various essential oils contribute their significance in aromatherapy. One among such oils is lavender oil.

Lavender oil is extracted from lavender tree that is also known as Lavendula officinalis. During the extraction of this oil, a delicate process is followed, where generally water or steam is used. The oil, distilled from lavender tree contains the pure scent of the tree itself. Lavender oil looks clear with a bit touch of yellow. This oil is not so oily. Hence, in aromatherapy, this oil is considered as one among the thinnest essential oils.

The odor of lavender oil is medium and considered as one of most relaxing smell. Normally, this aroma is neither so strong nor so light; instead the smell is sweet. In aromatherapy, while diluting lavender oil, mainly sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil or grape seed oil is used as carrier oils.

Lavender oil in aromatherapy is used for treating various diseases. Massaging with mingled lavender oil can bring the effect of relaxation and calmness. In aromatherapy, many skin problems, like, acne, allergies, oily skin, scar skin, stretch marks etc can be treated with lavender oil. Hot bath with a few drops of the oil will assure you about relieving anxiety, whereas, a cool bath with this oil will bring a feeling of refresh. Lavender oil can act as facial and skin oil superlatively for healing various skin problems.

Massaging with this oil works effectively in case of headache, on the other hand, in healing of hypertension, sunburn pain, insects’ or mosquitoes’ bite, bruises, minor-burn, blisters, athlete’s foot, reduce labor pain, lavender oil works well indeed.

Lavender oil can be kept in First Aid box. With this oil, minor injuries, like burns, cut etc can be healed. Many a time, lavender oil is used in treatment of various nervous problems, such as, insomnia, migraine, nervous tension, stress, PMS, restlessness etc. In such cases, in aromatherapy, patients are recommended simply to inhale the fragrance that effects on the central nervous system positively. Respiratory problems like, asthma, bronchitis, halitosis, throat infection, whooping cough can be solved with lavender oil as well.

But always keep in your mind to dilute it with some carrier oil before using and also make sure that there is no allergic reaction on the skin. At the same time, it is also recommended to be careful during the purchase of lavender oil.

Do you want to keep yourself healthy and being well? Usage of lavender oil will be the right option for you. With enormous advantages, this oil has become an important component of aromatherapy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Essential Lavender Oil: What Are Its Benefits?

Many people are now finding the use of essential lavender oil whilst at work, helps them to handle the stress of the workplace as well as helping them to relax under pressure and also making them focus better on the tasks at hand.

In studies undertaken it was found that participants relaxed considerably better when using lavender aromatherapy and were able to focus better on problems which needed solving. However, although they seemed to be slower in carry out a math’s calculation, there were fewer errors in the answers provided.

By placing a sprig of lavender or a bowl of potpourri on even a few drops of essential lavender oil when placed near a heat source will help the person to relax, become focused and thus more productive at their job. So if you should happen to work in a hectic office environment then either a lavender body mist or a small vial of lavender essential oil that you are able to keep close by may just help you.

Although lavender is not a cure or even an effective treatment for depression, it has been discovered that pain, poor sleep, anxiety and often chronic pain which are often associated with depression can be relieved by the use of this plant. As lavender helps to bring on a natural relaxed state it helps people to cope better with the aggravations that life often throws at us. In a study it was shown that in a normal healthy person the aroma of the lavender oil often has the ability to gently elevate their moods.

It does not matter whether you are either currently suffering from depression or just feeling down; remember that the person to discuss about your treatment of your depression is your doctor.

Although by taking herbal tea baths and burning lavender candles is part of the regime of taking care of yourself which does not require a prescription, or even cost a great deal of money, a lavender infused bath or lavender body products are able to provide a natural stress reducer, which can not only lift mild depression and clear the mind, which enable us to work through the problems we are experiencing more effectively.

Another good use for lavender is to help fight against insomnia. Many people find that if they suffer from insomnia or are frequently awake during the night, that they have difficulty coping with the following day to day matters. Lavender scent not only helps to promote relaxation in a person, but it also helps them to sleep better. In studies carried out at hospitals and nursing homes it was that patients who were exposed to the smell of lavender fell asleep, not only quicker but stayed asleep for longer and slept much more deeply.

Certainly, it is know that poor sleep is one of the causes that many people wake up with a headache in the morning and in some cases can even initiate a migraine attack. You will find that the common causes related to a morning headache are the grinding of teeth and the muscles tensing around the face and neck. By keeping a small bowl of lavender in your bedroom and a light misting on your pillow, you find that this will help you to relax easier before you fall asleep each night.

Another suitable use for lavender is to help relieve anxiety which many people are now suffering from. Anxiety is usually found to express itself as racing thoughts and a pounding heartbeat, but one of the first signs of any form of anxiety is for the person not to be able to think clearly. The mental stress that many people are feeling now days inevitably causes the mind to become cloudy and people find it difficult to solve life’s little problems, which in turn only increases the anxiety the person is feeling. A by using essential lavender oil, you are helping yourself to relax and take away the pressures that you are feeling and thus alleviating the feeling of anxiety.

Finally you can use essential lavender oil to help alleviate the causes that trigger such things as headaches or even chronic pain, which usually are caused by poor sleep, muscle tension, depression, dehydration, poor nutrition, imbalance of hormones, immune deficiency or even just poor coping skills with every day life.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Lavender

Lavender is not just a color. It is an herbal plant, an oil or a substance used to fill pillows. The popularity of lavender could be attributed to the fact that not only does it have a fresh and stimulating fragrance, but it also very beneficial in making health products.

Lavender is well known around the globe for its therapeutic properties. The prominence of lavender goes back to the Romans, who used it to scent their baths, and the Tibetans, who use edible lavender as a treatment for nervous disorders. In Europe, the oil is extensively used for treating a number of ills like anxiety and sunburn.

Lavender comes in various forms, such as lavender oil, capsules, tincture and dried herbs or tea, with each variety having its own advantages. Lavender, in the form of a plant, serves many health benefits. One of its extracts, perillyl alcohol, is believed to be effective in preventing and treating various cancers. Other reports suggest that parts of the lavender flower help to reduce blood sugar levels and cholesterol. The fragrant lavender flower is also used as an antiseptic and to soothe and protect sunburned skin, properties that healers discovered centuries ago.

Lavender’s calming effects are very well known. Lavender tea has several benefits, such as keeping away germs and protecting the skin from further damage by encouraging healing. It also helps in reducing restlessness and difficulty in sleeping.

Lavender manages to capture the best of all worlds, as it does not have any side effects or contraindications. In exceptional cases, however, lavender oil might cause an allergic skin reaction. It is also believed to be very safe, as there are no recognized drug connections associated with lavender or its products.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Aromatherapy For Your Pets!

The Uses of aromatherapy for your pets is very similar to how we use essential oils with aromatherapy for ourselves, plus it is environmentally friendly. If your pet has something wrong with it, whether it is your dog, cat, birds or whichever pet you might have the benefits are all the same.

If you are having problems with Flea’s in your house or around where your animal sleeps, this methord will help and is much cheaper than the commercial remedies that you can by in a department store. The best part about using this natural way, you know these environmentally friendly products will work and has no harmful chemicals in it that could harm your animals.

To have environmentally friendly carpets try using this aromatherapy home recipe, add 2.5mls of all of these essential oils citronella, cypress, eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint. Add these oils to 250ml of bicarbonate of soda and mix the ingredients in a bowl, then put in a jar, seal it, and leave it to stand for about 2 days before using.

For a friendly house for everyone try this ANTI-FLEA CONCENTRATE. Use 5mls of all these oils, citronella, cypress, eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint. Add these oils to 60mls of vodka or brandy shake the ingredients in a glass bottle.

To make environmentally friendly solutions for flea spray, add 10 drops of the anti-flea concentrate that you have made to 250mls of water, put in a spray bottle, and mix.

Instead of expensive flea collars try this instead, it works fantastically. Soak your pet’s collar in some anti-flea concentrate that you made, take it out, let it dry, then put it back on your pet. Do this every month.

Aromatherapy is great for making environmental products like flea shampoo too. To make the flea shampoo all you need to do is add 2 drops of the anti flea concentrate mixture to 30 mls of shampoo and mix.

Now you know all the recipes this is the best way to prevent flea problems.
Wash all the blankets and bedding and add 1 teaspoon of anti-flea concentrate to the final rinse.
Spray the air spray around where ever your pets sleep lay.
Sprinkle the carpet powder over the carpet every 2 nights and leave it there overnight and vacuum in the morning. Do this for two weeks straight to eliminate the problem and then maybe once a week for prevention.
Keep shampooing your pets regularly to eliminate the fleas and then just do as usual once a week.
Once the animal is dry after their bath, and the collar is dry put the collar back on.
Then the last thing is just spray the air spray on the animal 2-3 times a week rubbing it into the fur, (this is not suggest for cats).

Here are some more uses for some other conditions that might be of help.

For abscesses Use 1 drop of tea tree oil, put it on the abscess 2 times a day until it has completely healed.
For arthritis use 4 drops of rosemary, 2 drops of chamomile and 2 drops of lavender. Blend all the oils in 20mls of carrier oil and massage into the affected area.

For Coughs & Colds, you can use different methods, you can make up a spray for room, use in a burner, or make up a warm compress if the animal is really in distress, and put it on their chest and back. With all of these methods use 4 drops of eucalyptus and lavender oils.

For Skin Problems like dermatitis, eczema or mange, mix these ingredients into 20mls of carrier oil, 4 drops Chamomile, 4 drops lavender. Mix altogether, then using cotton wool dab onto affected areas regularly.

By: Lynny

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cooking with Culinary Lavender

Have you tried whole grains with culinary lavender? Whole grains are making a comeback, and their advantages in terms of health and environmental conservancy are well known. However, to many palates accustomed to refined flour, whole grains seem tasteless and heavy. By using our Culinary Lavender, you can create healthy, satisfying meals that taste - and smell - delicious. Adding Lavender Lemon Pepper or Italian Seasoning with Lavender to your whole grains is the key to making nutritious meals that your entire family will love.

Why are Whole Grains So Beneficial?

Natural grains consist of three parts - the germ, the bran, and the endosperm. White rice, flour, and other refined grains are made by processing endosperm and discarding the bran and germ. The endosperm consists almost entirely of starch, while minerals, vitamins, proteins, and other healthy substances are found in the bran and germ. Although the endosperm has a milder taste and softer texture, adding culinary lavender to whole grains makes them just as appealing as refined grains - or even more so!

Using Culinary Lavender to interest your family in whole grains is also environmentally friendly. Nearly one third of every bushel of grain is discarded in the refining process. By using whole grains, you are extending the usefulness of every acre of grain that is planted.

What does Culinary Lavender Add to Your Meal?

Culinary Lavender looks and smells wonderful, but it also does more than just make whole grains more appetizing. Culinary Lavender has been known since Roman times for its soothing and healing properties. A pinch of Italian Seasoning with Lavender in your rice can relieve dizziness, or some Lavender Lemon Pepper mixed with whole grain flour for a fish batter can ease the pain of headaches as well as tasting great.

How Can I Use Culinary Lavender with Whole Grains?

Here are some suggestions for using Culinary Lavender while cooking with whole grains:

· Add Italian Seasoning with Lavender to homemade whole grain pastas, or use it to spice up your spaghetti sauce when cooking store bought whole grain pasta.

· Bake whole wheat breads with a touch of Culinary Lavender, to add a hint of alluring flavor to your loaves.

· Sprinkle Lavender Lemon Pepper over your stone-ground whole grain grits in the morning.

· Make a spicy topping for your whole wheat bread using a mixture of garlic, olive oil, and Italian Seasoning with Lavender.

· Use whole grain flour mixed with Lavender Lemon Pepper as a batter dip for fried vegetables, fish, and chicken fingers.

· Crush some Culinary Lavender with raw sugar, and sprinkle it over your whole grain oatmeal for breakfast.

Jenny Bishop teaches many culinary classes with the use of culinary lavender and is one of the judges for the Lavender Gourmet Recipe Contests hosted throughout the year by Lavender-n-Things. Click for free lavender recipes.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Lovely Lavender Wedding Details

Lavender is a lovely and soothing color. It combines well with other colors to create interesting wedding color palettes, and it also stands well on its own. These are some inspiring tips for using lavender details in your wedding.

Lavender is a pale purple with a cool blue undertone, just like the flowering herb of the same name. The fragrance of lavender is known for its soothing quality, and the color is equally relaxing. Who couldn't use something to help them relax at their wedding? Paired with white, lavender is fresh and simple, but you can also create some great effects using it with an accent color. For a spring wedding, add touches of buttercream yellow to your signature hue. Brown gives lavender depth and elegance, and for a crisp wedding palette, navy and lavender look terrific together.

Certainly the first place to use lavender in your wedding is the bouquets and centerpieces. The relaxing aroma of lavender will be heavenly in the bride and bridesmaids' bouquets. Many other flowers work wonderfully with lavender. Romantic sweetpeas and pretty lisyanthus come in wonderful shades of lavender, and there are some unbelievable silvery-lavender roses available. For a rich monochromatic effect, pair lavender with deep velvety purples, or mix in contrasting colors, such as yellow or even red.

The bridesmaid dresses will look beautiful in lavender. It is an easy color to wear, as it is flattering to most skin tones. For a summer afternoon wedding, nothing would be prettier than a lavender organza dress tied with a navy sash. This is a particularly nice look by the water. The bridesmaid jewelry can be handcrafted from pale lavender crystals and classic white pearls. The soft and feminine color combination makes a perfect bridesmaid jewelry gift, as it can easily be paired with everything from a little black dress to denim after the wedding.

A color as pretty as lavender works wonderfully for a wedding cake. If you love an old-fashioned look, choose a lavender buttercream cake with little violets made from sugar. For a more contemporary wedding cake, you can create a bold chocolate brown stripe on a lavender fondant base. A very elegant design would be a bold damask pattern in lavender and navy, perhaps with metallic accents. The fun thing about the wedding cake is that you can really let your creative side take over.

Sprigs and bunches of lavender will cast a dreamy scent over your wedding. Large bunches of lavender can be tied with a wide satin ribbon and hung on the church doors to greet your guests. A small sprig of lavender is a pretty and aromatic accent to tie on the favor boxes or to use as a decoration on the napkins. Unlike some heavier scents, a touch of lavender is fine to use near food, and in fact, is even an ingredient in the classic French seasoning herbs de Provence.

The color lavender will be a lovely addition to your reception décor. If too much purple is a concern, just use touches of your signature hue to add character to your venue. Basic white chair covers can be dressed up with wide lavender sashes. Pretty lavender specialty cocktails make a festive addition to the cocktail hour. And don't forget to have your monogram cast in lavender light onto the dance floor for your first dance!

Lavender is a terrific wedding color. It is not too trendy, it pairs well with more masculine colors, and it looks great at any time of the year. With all of these things to recommend lavender, it is no surprise that it is one of the most versatile wedding colors around.

Laura helps brides with their wedding plans by offering advice on selecting bridesmaids gifts,reception ideas and other aspects of planning a wedding. Treat your bridesmaids to beautiful bridesmaid jewelry that is custom made in your wedding colors.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Using the Lavender Flower as a Culinary Herb?

Sure Lavender is a lovely flower and its “easy to care for” nature is responsible for its pick in Landscaping, but did you know that world-wide it is a popular & versatile Herb used in Food, Spice Blends, Jelly and even Tea?

Hood River, Oregon (PRWEB) January 1, 2007—Joel Orcutt of Hood River Lavender Farms says “Lavender is so much more versatile as an Herb and an accompaniment to food and drinks than what we here in the United States know.” “It is often used in Parisian Bakeries, as a Spice Herb and even ice cream in Europe. When the proper amount of a good culinary variety of lavender is added to sweets or citric drinks, the imbiber is treated to a clean, non-perfume fresh taste that is both pleasing and inviting to the palate” says Joel.

Lavender is an herb, and one of the many members of the Mint family. Extremely versatile in cooking, it also adds nice color and garnish to a dish. One of the more popular ways to use lavender is to create an “infusion” of lavender with the liquid used in a recipe. For example, in a cake recipe one would take the “liquid” called for in the instructions and put it into a pan on the stove with approx. 1 TBS of culinary lavender, bring the 2 ingredients to a simmer, remove from heat, cover and let “steep” for 10-20 minutes. Then merely filter the lavender out of the liquid let it cool to room temperature and use as called for in the recipe.

A word of caution here, less is better when using lavender in food. The goal is to create a background flavor, distinctive and mysterious with a lovely color, not a forefront flavor that can overpower food. You want the dish to have a slight addition of lavender to its aroma, not be like perfume.

Lavender varies in taste just as it varies in appearance and aroma. The English Lavenders (angustifolia) are the preferred lavenders to use as culinary as they are milder, sweeter, and do not over-power the dish. Within these varieties there is still more variation when used as a culinary herb. Provence lavender, a hybrid known as a lavandin, is an exception to the rule. Because of its milder flavor it is often used when English Lavender is not available, and some cooks even prefer it above angustifolia. “In all cases”, according to Joel, “make sure you know where your culinary lavender came from.” While many commercial lavender farms are certified organic, some are not and still use harsh herbicides and chemicals that you do not want to consume in your food. Apparently, lavender is still thought of as a flower for the cut-flower business first, and as a culinary item for ingestion as a secondary by-product.

All culinary lavender blends very well with citrus, mint, rosemary, sage, berries, fruit, meats, chocolates, and even drinks. Lavender is finding its way into syrups used in lattes and steamers, lemon and limeades, Gourmet coarse salts, margaritas and mojitos, scones, meats and seafood, cookies, cakes & cobblers just to name a few. Lavender is known for its calming ability and as a sleep aid, and used in Teas and Tisanes it has a very practical as well as flavorful use.
“Lavender is having a popular and profound affect on the culinary front here in the U.S.”, says Joel. “We, as a lavender farm that offers culinary lavender, recipes, and often samples of lavender goodies, are still surprised at how fast the masses are accepting lavender in food. Most of our favorite recipes are coming from our customers these days. One’s imagination is the only limit when cooking with this versatile herb.”

Joel, and his Wife Diane, own & operate Hood River Lavender Farms in Hood River, Oregon. Their certified organic U-PICK farm is open from April-November 7 days/week, and they offer culinary lavender and recipes on their website at: They can be reached at (888) LAV-FARM or email: For more information on cooking with lavender visit these sites: and on yahoo groups at:

Joel Orcutt-owner/distiller Hood River Lavender Farms certified organic lavender & culinary lavender

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

How Do Natural Flea Products Work?

Are you thinking about using natural flea products and leaving the chemicals behind? If you are, you are one of many making this environmentally and effective choice. Consumer's are continually deciding more and more to take the non toxic and non chemical approach to treating fleas. With constant news about the sorry state of planet earth, consumers want to make the correct choice and use "green" products. Natural flea products are just that and they are able to help fight and repel fleas.

There are many natural products that repel fleas and lavender is one of them. To many of us lavender is associated with the sweet smelling flower that is so soothing. The smell of lavender is loved by humans but the scent of lavender is detested by fleas! You will find that many natural flea products contain lavender. Rosemary also repels fleas that also improves the health of your dogs coat and is therefore a common ingredient used in natural flea products.

As fleas are highly sensitive to smell eucalyptus is another ingredient used in natural flea products. Eucalyptus when used in the proper quantities is a scent that lasts a long time, is strong and is great at repelling fleas. Not only that eucalyptus also acts as a natural anti-inflammatory agent and is also good for treating skin infections when topically applied.

Neem oil is another ingredient used in natural flea products that fleas can't stand. Neem oil not only repels fleas it is great at killing mange mites. Neem oil is also used in natural flea products as it relieves and soothes dry itchy skin associated with flea bites, fights bacterial infections and has remarkable anti-viral, anti-septic and anti-fungal properties.

Hopefully this overview highlighting some of the ingredients used in natural flea products will encourage you to make the switch from those harsh chemicals to those that occur naturally. The benefits of lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus and neem oil are fantastic and are just a few of the ingredients used in natural flea products. As a responsible citizen of Mother Earth and a true animal lover treat your dog right with a healthy diet, regular grooming and bathing using natural flea products and regular visits to the vet. These steps will ensure a long and healthy life for your dog and our planet!

By: C K H Orzen

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Lavender -- Nature's Aid To Stress Relief

The essential oil of lavender (in particular, of Lavandula augustifolia) has been recognised for its healing properties since ancient times, and it has been used traditionally to treat many disorders, including:

  • insomnia
  • skin complaints, such as dermatitis, acne, allergies, insect bites, mild burns, athlete's foot and general wounds
  • gastrointestinal disorders, such as flatulence
  • pain, such as headaches, rheumatism, muscular aches, labour pains and period pains.(1)

Lavender was used extensively during World War I whenever medical supplies became scarce, to both prevent infection and relieve pain. The aroma of lavender has been reported to be calming,(2) and is thought to be particularly useful in stressful situations.(1)

Until recently, evidence supporting the efficacy of lavender essential oil in these conditions has tended to be largely anecdotal, but medical research is now beginning to show that this oil may indeed have medicinal properties. A recent review of the biological activities of lavender essential oil concluded that there is “both scientific and clinical data that support the traditional uses of lavender”.(3)

Lavender essential oil prevents infection

Lavender essential oil has been shown to have antiseptic, antibiotic and antifungal activity,(4–7) and also to have efficacy in the laboratory against bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics (e.g. methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus [MRSA]).(6)

Lavender essential oil aids insomnia and quality of sleep

Lavender aromatherapy was found to improve sleep in older hospitalised patients, and reduced the need for night sedation.(8) Massage with lavender essential oil improved quality of sleep in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.(9)

Lavender essential oil reduces anxiety

Lavender aromatherapy message has been shown to reduce levels of anxiety in intensive care patients,(10) and the aroma of lavender decreased anxiety in patients undergoing haemodialysis.(11)

Lavender essential oil relieves pain

Massage with lavender oil reduced the perception of pain in patients with chronic rheumatoid arthritis,(9) and in women who had given birth, lavender baths reduced perineal pain and discomfort 3–5 days post-natally.(12)

Lavender essential oil controls alopecia (hair loss)

A combination of lavender, rosemary, cedarwood and thyme essential oils has been reported to improve hair growth in patients with alopecia.(13)

Lavender essential oil aids indigestion

Lavender is currently recommended for the treatment of indigestion and nervous intestinal discomfort by the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices Commission E, a committee made up of scientists, toxicologists, doctors and pharmacists formed by the German government in 1978.(14)


These findings still require further investigation, and research into the medical properties of lavender and other essential oils continues. The use of aromatherapy can not be recommended as a substitute for medical care and, if taken for medical reasons, this should be under the guidance of a qualified aromatherapist.

Nevertheless, it is slowly becoming evident that many of the traditional medicinal properties attributed to lavender could be based in scientific fact.


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  4. Lis-Balchin M et al. Relationship between bioactivity and chemical composition of commercial essential oils. Flavour Fragr J 1008;13:98–1004.
  5. Hammer K et al. Antimicrobial activity of essential oils and other plant extracts. J Appl Microbiol 1999;86:985–90.
  6. Nelson RR. In-vitro activities of five plant essential oils against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium. J Antimicrob Chemother 1997;40:305–6.
  7. Horne D. Antimicrobial effects of essential oils on Streptococcus pneumoniae. JEOR 2001;13:387–92.
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  10. Dunn C et al. Sensing an improvement: an experimental study to evaluate the use of aromatherapy, massage and periods of rest in an intensive care unit. J Adv Nurs 1995;21:34–40.
  11. Itai T et al. Psychological effects of aromatherapy on chronic hemodialysis patients. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 2000;54:393–7.
  12. Dale A, Cornwell S. The role of lavender oil in relieving perineal discomfort following childbirth: a blind randomized clinical trial. J Adv Nurs 1994;19:89–96.
  13. Hay IC et al. Randomized trial of aromatherapy. Successful treatment for alopecia areata. Arch Dermatol 1998;134:1349–52.
  14. Blumenthal M et al. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 2000:226–9.

Dr Gillian Hale also writes about using aromatherapy essential oils to help relieve stress. For more information regarding Lavender oil,stress at work, stress busting with essential oils, please visit: Alternative Aromatherapy Stress Busting for natural aromatherapy stress relief.

Dr Gillian Hale is also the co-founder of a home based UK business providing hand made Aromatherapy Stress Relief Gifts.

copyright © 2006 Gillian Hale (CUS Busting Ltd)

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