Goats, rabbits, chickens (pages)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lavender - diverse and all-inclusive

Ahhh, a new day. Just finished taking some early morning photographs of my pansies (they love these cold mornings) and exercising our new puppy, Cassi, so my brain is awake and ready to roll.

Yesterday I decided to make some Kava Kava decoction. (Simmer root for 3-4 minutes, turn off heat, steep for 3 hours. Reheat--on the stove, not the microwave--strain, add more water and honey to taste. This is super to drink before bedtime). I used a small metal tray for the lid as the pan I was using did not have a lid. When I took the tray off to check the Kava, I didn't use a hot pad. How old am I and how long have I been using the stove?! Why do we do these things. Anyway, I burnt my thumb and fingers. OW. You all know how that feels. I almost always have a small bottle of lavender essential oil in my pocket for life's little emergencies. I put on a few drops and the pain immediately subsided. After about two minutes, the pain returned and I applied more lavender. It never hurt again and this morning the burn is just a memory. Those flat telltale burn marks on the skin are not sore or red. I have witnessed this over and over through the years and still it makes me smile.

Lavender is so well known that we often take for granted its many qualities in the medicinal, cosmetic and culinary worlds. Lavender water has many applications and is simple to make: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 tsp dried lavender flowers. Steep in a covered container for 15 minutes. Drink as a hot or cold tea, soak cloth and put over forehead and eyes for tension headache or dab on temples and back of neck, use in recipes in place of required liquid, spray on bed linens, spray on ironing, bathwater, facial and hair rinse...use your imagination!

One of my lavender beds

Lavender grows well here in the Midwest; it is very tolerant and forgiving of our up/down weather. She likes soil that is well-drained and on the limey side and she loves the sun so don't plant her in shade. They will grow from seeds but be patient, they are VERY slow to germinate.

Lavender sugar is popular and has been around for a loooong time as shown in this recipe: "Conserve of the Flowers of Lavender' Take the flowers being new so many as you please, and beat them with three times their weight of white sugar, after the same manner as rosemary flowers; they will keep one year.' The Queen's Closet Opened by W.M.Cook 1655

Have a monumental day and green blessings,
elizabeth :)
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