The fresh, sweet aroma of lavender has relaxing and uplifting qualities that leave users with a sense of calm and balance, making it one of today's most popular scents. Lavender is a gentle, multi-purpose herb. Lavender flowers have been used throughout history, to encourage love and passion, as a soothing component in skin care, hair care and cosmetic products, and in an array of perfumes, colognes and bath products.
Lavender Tea: Pour one cup of hot water over 1 teaspoon of lavender flowers and steep 3 to 5 minutes.
Lavender Facial Steam: Add 1/2 cup lavender flowers to 2 quarts of hot water, simmer over low heat until steam starts to rise, then remove from heat. Hold face over pot (make sure it is comfortable and not too hot) and cover head with a towel for up to 10 minutes.
Lavender Bath: Place 1 cup of flowers in a muslin bag or cloth and tie closed. Place in tub and soak. (Replace half the lavender flowers with oatmeal to make an effective herbal washcloth.)
Lavender Body Powder: Mix 2 ounces of finely ground lavender flowers with 2 ounces of white clay, let stand for a few days. Sift out any large particles and apply.
The lavender flowers and lavender essential oil are one of the most popular ingredients in herbal sachets, creams and lotions, shampoos, facial steams, baths, body powders salves and liniments, and perfumes. It can be found anywhere that lavender's relaxing scent or balancing and rejuvenating properties are beneficial.
Lavender is often mixed with other relaxing herbs such as lemon balm and chamomile.
Herbal pillows are another way to enjoy lavender and other relaxing herbs.
Lavender sachets can be used to scent linens and clothes and keep them fresh smelling through the winter months.
Lavender water (simply an infusion made with lavender flowers) makes a fragrant skin toner or aftershave and it helps sooth irritates skin.
And the flowers are also used in potpourris, sachets, crafting and home decor.
The Botanical Safety Handbook* classifies lavender flowers as:
Class: 1 Herbs which can be safely consumed when used appropriately.
Per the German Commission E Monograph**for lavender flowers, there are no known contraindications, side effects or drug interactions.
*Michael McGuffin, ed., American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook, (New York: CRC Press, 1997)
**Mark Blumenthal, ed., The Complete German Commission E Monographs, (Austin TX: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998