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Herbs have been used for thousands of years and recent research shows that they’re really effective in treating all manner of medical conditions. Lavender is one of the most useful herbs around and is one of the few essential oils that can be used neat.
Standard lavender is the most common, French organic lavender is a lot stronger and is what Van Gogh used to paint with, and English lavender is a lot drier because of the different condition.
To celebrate National Lavender Week, medical herbalist Cath Kay from Neal’s Yard spoke to The Hour about the benefits of the sweet smelling herb. She said:
“Lavender is the one I go to first as a mum and as a herbalist. It’s the one in most of the rooms of my house. It’s an absolutely lovely smelling herb. It calms you down after a wound, it helps the wound heal and it’s a really good antiseptic.”
To treat a cut or a burn, soak a facecloth in cold water and add a couple of drops of lavender essential oil to the cloth. Hold the cloth on the cut or burn for a few minutes to soothe it.
Lavender was traditionally used for scenting clothes and can be used as a last rinse on your hair. You can also make lavender bags to keep in the wardrobe or in a drawer. Take a pinch of lavender and wrap it up in tissue paper or cloth and fasten it with a ribbon. Lavender bags can make nice gifts as well. Cath said:
“Lavender keeps your clothes nice and fresh, and if you smell more like a flower than a person, midges are less likely to eat you. Use the essential oil to soak your cuffs or your sandals or wherever you get bitten.”
Putting lavender in boiling water or a burner it will scent a room, and dry lavender can be made by putting a sprig of it in a paper bag and leaving it hanging up for two weeks. It can also be used to scent sugar and added to desserts to sweeten them up.