Is there any herb more well-loved than lavender? Its healing and calming properties make lavender the perfect herb to keep in your cupboard.
For thousands of years, people have used lavender for its relaxing properties. Smelling lavender has a calming effect on the brain, and rubbing lavender oil on wrists and temples carries that calming scent with you for high-stress situations. It’s also said that smelling lavender lowers blood pressure.
A man named René-Maurice Gattefossé discovered further healing properties of lavender when he was the victim of an explosion at the laboratory in his workplace in the 19th century. He applied lavender oil to his infected wounds – and they were completely cured.
Other benefits of lavender include:
1. Insomnia. Smooth lavender oil on your pillow and inhale to help you fall asleep.
2. Bug bites. Put lavender oil on bug bites to reduce swelling and stop itching.
3. Cuts. Put lavender oil on a wound to stop bleeding and kill bacteria.
4. Dry skin. Rub lavender oil on dry skin to relieve it – the same also goes for chapped lips.
Lavender also adds great flavor to baked goods!
Lavender oil is not hard to find at your own local health store, but making your own oil at home ensures oil with quality ingredients.
Lavender Oil Recipe
If you’re in the right climate, look for fresh lavender bushes in your area (be sure to ask first before picking if the bush doesn’t belong to you!). Pick your own fresh lavender flowers.
- large glass canning jar
- a mild base oil, enough to fill the container ½ inch from the top over the plants (see here for a list of carrier oils)
- a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth
- a dark glass bottle with a stopper
- Put your fresh lavender in your jar and fill with the base oil. Secure the lid and put the jar in a warm place, shaking occasionally. The lavender and oil will infuse together. Let sit overnight.
- Strain the oil through your strainer or cheesecloth to get rid of the plants. Add more lavender to the jar and repeat step one 2-3 more times until you’ve reached the desired infusion of lavender.
- Store the oil in a dark glass bottle in a cool dark place. Mark the bottle with the date and store the oil for up to a year.
There you have it: your very own homemade lavender oil like they would’ve made in the olden days. It’s a useful thing to have around; you never know when lavender oil will come in handy.
See here for a fascinating history of lavender!
What’s your favorite property of lavender? Let us know in the comments!