Calming Lavender

By Bonnie Grant | December 30, 2022
Image by ChamilleWhite
by Bonnie Grant
December 30, 2022

Lavender has a heady scent and charming purple flower spikes. It is relatively easy to grow even in poor soil. It needs consistent water at first but is drought tolerant after establishing. You don’t even need to give the plant much fertilizer. The stoic bushes are the proud producers of charming flowers with powerful oils, useful in many preparations.

Lavender Uses

Everywhere I have lived, I have had lavender plants. They were some of the first things I purchased when we moved to this house. They are crucial to me because I can’t sleep well. I make little lavender sachets to put under my pillow. If I wake and can’t get back to sleep, I pull out the little bag and take deep draughts of the scent. It usually puts me right back out. So, I thought why not share this miracle with friends and family?

The end of the season finds me tediously harvesting lavender. I cut off all the flower stems, bundle them into clusters, and hang them to dry in the garage. The garage will no longer smell like motor oil for a while, instead replaced by the heavenly smell of lavender. Once they are dry, I get a big bowl and strip of the tiny lavender flowers. They go into re-closable plastic bags in the freezer until I need to use them.

Making Lavender Sachets

My sewing skills are minimal. I’m more of a knitter. Once I decided to share my secret sleep miracle, I got to work. I had sewed small bags with ties to hold them closed. That way you can easily refill the bag when the scent is waning. I made them out of velvet, just for fun. I filled each with home grown lavender flowers that had been dried and saved in the freezer. Along with the little sachets, I give each recipient a bag from the freezer so they can refill as needed.

After harvesting lavender, I use some of the flowers to make aromatic oil. It is useful in the bath, and on aches and pains. I also use it to keep bugs away when I am in the garden. I use organic extra virgin olive oil, but many other oils such as mineral oil could be used. The flowers need to be dried to remove excess moisture. All I use is a Mason jar with a lid. I fill it with flowers, stems and all, and then pour oil up to the top. I place the jar in the sun for a week or so, shaking it up often, and then strain it. Voila, lavender oil.

I found some really neat old glass bottles that I filled with the oil. Some I keep for my use, but others find their way as holiday or birthday gifts. The scent makes a soothing bath oil, but I also use it on my significant other’s constant back pain. The camphor in the oil makes it useful to calm sore muscles.

Growing and giving from the garden may take a little time and planning but it’s worth it. Everyone appreciates a natural, organic gift that is a gesture of love and a little effort.

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