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Lavender Folklore and Recipes

Guest Author - Robin Rounds Whittemore

Cleopatra was said to have used lavender to seduce Marc Anthony and Julius Caesar. In addition to perfume, Egyptians used lavender for mummification. When the tomb of King Tutankhamen was discovered, jars inside his tomb contained lavender like buds. The Egyptians used to wrap their dead in lavender soaked shrouds.

In ancient Greece, lavender was commonly called spikenard. They also used lavender for perfume. While Egyptians preferred to anoint their head with lavender, Greek Philosopher, Diogenes preferred to anoint his feet. He felt he received more of the benefit of the lavender by the smell rising to his nostrils. His assumption was that if you anointed your head, only the birds in the sky benefited from the smell.

Lavender was used to scent the water in Roman baths. Romans also used lavender as a perfume, insect repellent and flavoring. They even added dried lavender to their smoking mixtures.

Castles had lavender strewn over the floors in the middle ages. Lavender was used for a disinfectant as well as a deodorant.

During the Great Plague of London, people fastened a bunch of lavender to each wrist to protect themselves from the Black Death. We know now that the plague was caused by fleas. Lavender is a flea repellent.

There are many uses for lavender today besides aromatherapy including laundry detergent and fabric softeners. Lavender is also used in soap and other bath products, spa treatments, perfumes, and candles. When dried, the buds can be put in potpourri and sachets. Lavender as a bed linen spray helps people relax before they fall asleep. Lavender is also used in some culinary dishes.

LAVENDER SUGAR
2 cups sugar
1 cup culinary lavender buds
Keep the mixture cool and dry for one week. After one week, strain out the lavender. Use this where you would use regular sugar to add an aromatic flavor. Try this in tea.

LAVENDER ROOM SCENT TIPS
Place a bowl of lavender by a window that gets full sun. This will help draw out the scent.
Fill a pot with water. Add lavender to it and keep it on simmer for a while to fill the house with the aroma.

LAVENDER SCENTED BATH
When drawing your bath, place about 10 drops of lavender oil into your bath for a nice relaxing fragrance.

LAVENDER SACHETS
10 round tulle
Lavender buds
Wire edged ribbon to tie tulle
Place lavender buds inside each piece of tulle. Gather edges of tulle and tie the ribbon around the tulle, holding the buds in place. These can be used as sachets in drawers or as favors for weddings, baby or bridal showers.

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Content copyright © 2014 by Robin Rounds Whittemore. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Robin Rounds Whittemore. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Juliette Samuel for details.

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