Lavandula augustofolia is the most commonly cultivated species of Lavandula, a genus in the mint family. (It is also known as English lavender, though its native to the mediterranean.) Its healing power has been well-documented throughout history. It was used for embalming in ancient Egypt, was one of the most important medicinal herbs for the ancient Greeks, and medieval doctors used it to treat aching joints. Research has found that lavender oil can lower your blood pressure, improve your mood, and help your sleep.
Uses for Lavender
Lavender is a remedy for many health problems. It can be used to relieve aching muscles as well as to alleviate acne and eczema. Lavender is a powerful antibacterial agent and so is good to treat bugs and bacteria. It is great for soothing pain of cuts, wounds and minor burns. It has been used in the treatment of ear ache, faintness and pulpitations. It is also used for stress and anxiety and insomnia. It is one of the oils that is used to treat insect bites, scabies, shingles and sinusitis.
The variety of lavender grown at Pihama Lavender for oil is Lavendula x intermedia cultivar Grosso. It is grown for its oil. It produces a wonderful oil that has pure notes. It is in flower in NZ from November through to February then dies down for the Winter months. The essential oil is in the seed head and the foliage but the chemical composition is different in both and so is the aroma.
Cooking with Lavender
Provided lavender has been grown organically and has not been sprayed with any pesticides it is great to use in cooking. It adds a great flavour to scones, shortbread and other baking, it is a great additive to preserves and cordials. There are 370 lavender dessert recipes on Pinterest, and its blooming as a food industry trend. Mainstream publications love to feature lavender-infused treats, from lavender and orange blossom cookies to lemon-lavender pound cake.
47: Number of flowering plant species in the Lavandula genus
3ft (0.9 m): Height a shrub of English or common lavender can grow
113 kg: Amount of Lavender needed to make 45 litres of lavender essential oil
$11 billion: Estimated value of the global essential oil market by 2022