Scientific name: Lavandula officinalis, L. angustifolia

“especially good use for all griefes and paines of the head and brain.” – John Parkinson (1640)

Lavender is commonly known for its relaxing, stress-relieving and uplifting properties, even working as a mild antidepressant. It can also aid with headaches and migraines when mixed with Feverfew.

Nutrients

  • Volatile oils (linalyl acetate, cineole, linalool, nerol, borneol)
  • Flavonoids
  • Eucalyptol
  • Limonene
  • Coumarins
  • Tannins

Health Benefits

  • Antibacterial: can be used to treat staph, strep, colds, and flus
  • Antifungal
  • Antiseptic: use to disinfect minor scrapes, wounds, and burns.
  • Digestive aid
  • Anti-anxiety
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antispasmodic: used with other herbs to relieve indigestion and calm stomach muscle spasms (caused by IBS and Crohn’s disease).

Cooking Tips

Lavender can be used as a cooking herb, and fresh flowers are great in desserts

Quick Remedies

(consult a doctor if experiencing any serious conditions)

  • Fungal infection (eg. ringworm, nail fungus): alone or mixed with tea tree oil, apply directly to the skin daily until healed.
  • Yeast infection: formulate into a douche and use as needed.
  • Bee sting or painful bug bite: apply essential oil right on it for awesome relief.
  • Strained eyes: stitch together an eye pillow, and stuff lavender flowers inside. Heat gently in a microwave if desired, and sleep with it, in bed or on an airplane is even better!
  • Hair loss or other low hair qualities: lavender-based shampoos will help in these situations. Ensure there aren’t other harmful chemicals mixed in though.
  • Colic: create an infusion and give a 1-2 tsp of a 25% diluted mixture to babies before eating.

How to Grow

Planting

Where do you live?

Lavender is grown best in zones 5-8.

  • Sunny, warm
    • Can tolerate some shade
    • Can tolerate some cold – will need some protection in the winter
    • Some types do better in zone 3-4 eg. Hidcot, Munstead, Grosso
  • Soil
    • Well drained
    • Slightly sandy
    • pH 6-8.3
Put em in the ground

It’s difficult to start these from seed, so to speed up your efforts you might consider buying a few plants that a nursery or store has already started. When they become established feel free to take cuttings and expand your garden!

  • Plant each 12-24″ apart
  • Spring-Fall

Care/Harvest

  • Remove faded flowers
  • Harvest when 1/3 – 1/2 of the buds are open
    • Medicinal properties are not as strong when the flowers are fully open
  • Root rot: ensure you have well drained soil and this shouldn’t be an issue