Lavender. There’s so much more to this pretty plant than just a scent that calms (although it’s jolly good for that, too). From reducing stress to repelling bugs to flavouring a delicious ice-cream.
Easy to grow in your own garden, this pretty, purple-hued plant has many powerful benefits. From being an effective treatment for medical conditions to helping calm the mind, here’s why we love this hard-working herb.
Reduces stress and improves one’s mood – Lavender is used in aromatherapy to reduce cortisol – the body’s stress hormone – therefore alleviating anxiety, stress and depression.
Relieves nausea and headaches – Massaging lavender oil into the temples or inhaling its scent can help with head pain, nausea and motion sickness.
Helps with sleep – Many people suggest drinking a cup of warm lavender tea before going to bed, to relax and fall asleep more easily. Adding lavender to your diffuser at night can also help you relax and fall asleep faster. Inhaling the lavender scent has proven to boost deep sleep and decrease any restless sleep.
Improves the health of your epidermis, which is the layer of skin around your body. Lavender is known to stimulate cell regeneration, so it serves as a good treatment for any skin impurities or even minor wounds.
Can be used as a bug repellent due to its unique scent.
May reduce acne – Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties can help with breakouts. It can also help treat cold sores thanks to its antifungal properties too.
Stimulates hair growth as it promotes blood circulation when massaged into the scalp.
Acts as a great lip balm to reduce chapped lips, when mixed with coconut oil.
Helps alleviate menstrual cramps when massaged on the abdomen during painful menstruation.
Act as an anti-dandruff product when mixed with olive oil and massaged into the scalp.
Can reduce pain by reducing blood pressure and heart rate, which are usually elevated when an individual is hurting.
Lavender and Honey Ice Cream
This ice-cream tastes as good as it looks. Whip it up for your next dinner party … this recipe serves 4
What you’ll need: 2 cups heavy cream; 1 cup milk; zest of 1 lemon; 1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers; 1/3 cup honey; 5 egg yolks; sea salt (or a pinch of kosher); 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract; violets (optional); food colouring (optional)
To make: In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, milk, lemon zest, lavender flowers and honey. Simmer over medium heat, stirring often. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside for 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Slowly whisk the cream mixture into the yolks, then pour everything back into the saucepan. Heat over medium temp, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom as you go. Stir in the salt and vanilla extract. If you’re adding colouring, stir in a few drops at a time to reach your desired colour. Gently cook until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spatula or wooden spoon, about four minutes.
Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container, place in an ice bath and stir until cool, about 20 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least three hours or overnight. Churn until it’s reached its desired consistency, then place in a chilled container in the freezer until ready to serve.