Sunday, October 8, 2006

Ten things you can do with Lavender

courtesy of Lavender specialists at Labyrinth Hill

Ten Things You Can Do With Lavender...
Without Sewing, Gluing, Nailing or Painting!

Mosquito Repellant
Lavender straw is the leftover stalks and branches from processing the dried buds. It’s quite useful as a fragrant and effective insect repellent. Toss a handful of the straw onto the barbecue or picnic fire. It will repel flies and mosquitoes!
Bud Denuding Device

Vinegar’s Not Just for Salads

Bring one cup of distilled white vinegar to a boil and pour it over a half cup of fresh lavender flowers to make “Cosmetic Vinegar.” Cover and leave for twenty-four hours before straining and bottling. For a skin softening and restoring bath, add a half cup to a tub of warm water.

Cosmetic vinegar may be diluted by adding 2 T. to a pint of water. Used as a hair rinse, the vinegar neutralizes any shampoo residue and re-stores the acidic mantle.

Oil of Lavender

When using essential oil as a massage oil it needs to be diluted with light vegetable oil. Our recipe for Oil of Lavender can be used full strength. Fill a clear glass jar loosely with dried lavender buds. Top with olive oil and cap the container. Leave this jar in a sunny window for a few weeks shaking it every few days. Strain the oil into another container through a funnel lined with cheesecloth. Press and squeeze the flowers to extract as much of the scent as possible. For a more potent oil, repeat the process once or twice more. A few drops of this will scent a bath!

Lavender Tea Bread With Lemon Glaze

Lavender Sugar

Process 1 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons lavender in a blender just until the flowers are crushed. (Be sure to use only culinary lavender.) Sieve out large pieces and store sugar in a glass jar at least one week before using. Sweeten a cup of tea for a fragrant break from your busy day. This sugar will keep for about three months.

Lavender Fields Indoors
Place approximately ½ cup dried lavender buds into a small muslin bag. Firmly knot the opening. Toss the bag into your dryer when doing sheets. It leaves a light fresh scent. The muslin bag scent will last for 5-7 dryer loads and can be refreshed with a few drops of lavender essential oil.

Lavender Hair Rinse

Lavender makes a good hair rinse especially for gray hair. Steep a handful of fresh or dried flowers in a pint of boiling water. When it cools, strain it and use as a final rinse water after shampooing.

Sage and Lavender Aftershave
Thought lavender was only for the ladies? Think again! Combine 2 cups witch hazel extract (it’s available at most drugstores) 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 ounce (about 1 cup) dried lavender flowers and 1 ounce (also about 1 cup) dried sage in a large glass jar with a lid. Close the jar and let the mixture steep for one week, shaking it daily. Then strain off and discard herbs and bottle the lotion. What a treat for your Sweetie!

Wedding Package

It’s Wash Day
Plant a lavender hedge near your laundry room door. When the sun shines dry your pillow cases or lingerie over the bushes. Also use muslin sachets filled with lavender, placing them between the folds of freshly laundered sheets, in your linen closet.

Lavender’s on the Loose!

When you change your vacuum cleaner bag, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of dried lavender buds on the floor. Vacuum them up and you will gently freshen the room each time you vacuum.

Magical Lavender Wand

Sweet Lavender Tisane

“Tisane” is a tea made from dried fruit, flowers, and/or berries. Be sure to use culinary lavender for this recipe. Place 3 tablespoons of fresh lavender flowers in a teapot (1½ T if using dried). Add 2 cups of boiling water. Allow the flowers to steep for 3 or 4 minutes, strain and serve with a slice of lemon and honey.

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