Lavender is a perennial herb with a long history in Eastern culture. The scent it produces is often associated with sweet and fresh aromas. For centuries, lavender has been used as a popular herbal cure for a variety of ailments. In fact, the lavender plant has been cultivated in many parts of the world since ancient times and was even said to have been used by the Ancient Egyptians as a treatment for snake-like skin diseases. Modern research has shown that lavender has many antiseptic properties.
However, lavender has a rather chewy taste, which may be unpleasant to some people. In addition, while the taste can be mellowed out using sugar or honey, the oil itself should not be altered. There are two types of edible lavender: one is the sweet kind (also called the true lavender) and the second is the fragrant kind, which produces the very recognizable sweet smelling lavender odor. It is possible to grow Lavender in cultivation and most flowering plants will produce seeds. The most favored cultivar is the Rose of Sharon, which is a classic Mediterranean plant.
While the sweet kind of edible lavender flowers will last for only a few weeks before they wither and die, the fragrant type can be kept on the plant for up to a year. An edible lavender plant can be dug up and mixed together using a mixture of equal parts water and lavender oil, or used in its classic form as a bouquet. When mixed, the sweet lavender odor will add flavor to anything marinated in it, such as salads and soups. It will also add color and pleasant aromas to the food in question. The sweet kind of lavender is ideal for cooking because it tends to get cooked down rather quickly, whereas the fragrant kind tends to lose most of its fragrance after a few hours.
Even when used in cooking, it is important to use it in moderation, as it is known to have potent anti-inflammatory properties. It may be used in bathtubs as well, though caution should be taken when doing so as lavender oil is highly flammable. This makes it a poor choice for using in kitchen fountains and similar decorative tools. In fact, the only place you should use it is in very small doses, which can be easily done using a spray bottle.
The flower heads can be used in making a lovely smelling perfume. Lavender essential oil has a very sweet and subtle fragrance. It can be used as a carrier oil for aromatherapy and massaging. It also helps relieve congestion and relieves irritations of the lung tissue. Its anti-inflammatory properties relieve pain, swelling and other symptoms of inflammation, muscle and joint pain as well as rheumatism and arthritis.
It is not easy to grow edible lavender so make sure that you have enough space for it. Lavender flowers usually bloom for only two weeks out of the year. Some varieties can live up to three years. To get the full benefits of your edible lavender plant, don’t plant it near other plants and trees. It needs a cool shady location.
As the plant blooms only during the spring, it is best to propagate it from another plant or from other gardeners’ plants. It takes a minimum of four flowers to get the plant to produce flowers. You can also propagate the plant by cutting the entire top half away and leaving the two remaining leaves free. When the plant grows, it will create its own growth medium.
You can harvest the leaves as well as the roots every few months for a healthy plant. It is important to water only when the soil surface starts to dry out. If you want to preserve the edible lavender leaves, you can store them in a refrigerator. They will keep for up to one year. Once the plant flowers, you will have to replant it for a fresh start.