Lavendel (Lavandula angustifolia)

Lavender is actually a low-growing shrub, native to the Mediterranean region. The fragrant flowers and foliage make it a favourite for herb gardens and in the perennial border. The volatile oil comes from the fresh lavender-colored flower tops of the Lavender plant. It is known for its aroma therapeutic, balancing and soothing fragrance, which has a calming effect on the nervous system and helps treat skin conditions aggravated by stress.

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.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 has a sweet, floral flavor, with lemon and citrus notes. For its beautiful fragrance, lavender can also be used in cooking. Used in small amounts, it can lend a wonderful flavor to tea, cookies and cakes, makes a delightful jelly, spices up a lamb deliciously and more. Don't use too much or the smell can be overwhelming!

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. Lavender is used extensively with herbs and aromatherapy. Infusions are believed to soothe insect bites, burns, and headaches. Bunches of lavender repel insects. In pillows, lavender seeds and flowers aid sleep and relaxation. An infusion of flowerheads added to a cup of boiling water is used to sooth and relax at bedtime.