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Uses for lavender
Lavender has many uses in the home and commercial environments. Commercial uses include production of lavender to make essential oil, culinary lavender, lavender seeds, seedlings and plants for sale and inclusion in a variety of products such as for beauty, cleaning, washing and scents.
Lavender can be used in baking and cooking. Lavender has a sweet flavor but care must be taken not to overuse it, as it can overwhelm both the dish and the taste buds if there is too much. Typical culinary uses for lavender include: Shortbread, cookies, scones, macaroons, cupcakes, muffins, jams and jellies, cream based desserts, flavoured butter, drinks such as lemonade, ice cream, etc. Cakes and cupcakes can be iced (frosted) with lavender icing sugar (see recipe below).
Lavender can be turned into food gifts. Some examples of this include: Lavender sugar, lavender jam, lavender shortbread, lavender candies and lavender tea. If you are giving a gift to someone who loves lavender, bundle the food treats together with some lavender soap and perhaps even a live lavender plant for their garden.
Lavender food recipes
- Lavender icing sugar: Find a suitable jar, clean and dry thoroughly. To the jar, add plain icing sugar (powdered sugar). Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of dried culinary lavender flowers and mix through. Close the jar tightly and shake. Let stand and shake occasionally for the following week. After a week, you can use this icing sugar to ice cakes, cupcakes and cookies and biscuits, imparting a lovely lavender flavour.
Cleaning with lavender
Lavender can add a pleasant scent to laundered clothes and linens, as well as providing deodorizing effects for washing clothes. It also has basic disinfecting qualities and can be used to remove stains.
Lavender can be used to clean and disinfect kitchen surfaces and bins, but be careful to do a small test of an area before using, in case it stains or spoils the surface.
Some cleaning recipes are offered below.
Crafting with lavender
Lavender can be used in a wide variety of crafts. It imparts a sweet scent that is pleasant to smell and can make a room, wardrobe, clothing drawer, etc., smell more pleasant too.
Things that lavender is often used for in crafts include: Potpourri, lavender dolls, sachets, pillow inserts, wardrobe hangers (to ward off clothes moths), small cushions, card art, etc.Beauty or self care cosmetics that can be made from lavender include homemade cosmetics, bath recipes (such as bath bombs, bath salts, etc.), soap, perfume, etc.
Decorative items that often include or rely on lavender include: Potpourri, wreaths, lavender sticks, bouquets, dried flower arrangements, wall art, etc.
This is one way to make a lavender sachet:
Find some sachets, or better yet, make your own sachet bags from fabric scraps. If you like, you can embroider lavender designs on the sachets before using them.
Make the lavender mix to go insider the sachets. For every 8 cups of dried lavender flowers, add 1 tablespoon (heaped) of gum benzoin or orris root powder and a few drops of lavender essential oil. Stir to combine. Note that the gum benzoin or orris root powder are "fixatives", which keeps the scent of the flowers lasting longer. The fixative is not essential but is helpful in retaining the fragrance within the sachet.
Distribute the mixture equally into the sachet bags. tie closed with a rubber band, then tie a ribbon over the rubbe band, finishing with a bow.
Use to scent drawers and under pillows. They will also discourage moths and other insects, which dislike the scent of lavender.
Lavender cleaning recipes
Lavender window cleaner
Find a suitable bucket or container to mix the following: 1 1/4 cup water (distilled is best), 2/3 cup white vinegar and 10 drops lavender oil. Stir, then transfer to a spray bottle. For use, simply shake well, then spray onto the window and use a cleaning cloth, newspaper or scrap paper to wipe the window with.
Lavender will both clean and deodorize a fridge. Combine 1 cup of hot water with 5 drops lavender oil. Dampen a cleaning cloth with this solution and wipe down the fridge to clean it. It is especially helpful anywhere mouldy in the fridge. Finish by buffing with a clean cloth.
Use a clean spray bottle as the permanent lavender disinfectant spray; label it so you don't forget what it is. To this bottle, add water until almost full. Add 5 drops of lavender oil and 5 drops of either tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil. Before each use, shake well to combine, then spray on the surface you're wanting to disinfect. Keep this spray out of reach of children and pets, as it's poisonous if swallowed.