Imagine a sight of a huge Lavender Farm spread across and as wide, as long as your eyes can see? That purple paradise!
Lavender is one of 47 members of the mint family. There hardly might be anyone who doesn’t like lavender or its smell. It is known for its medicinal properties. Lavender is used as essential oils for skincare, haircare, headache, stomachache, and externally and internally. Lavender is used in food as well in the essence form for its beautiful aroma.
Different cakes and pastries taste good in lavender flavor. Although many of us are fans of that lilac, purple-colored lavender, you can find different lavender species with different color shades, even pinks and whites!
History and Origin of Lavender
Lavender originated from the Mediterranean, India, and the Middle East. The history of lavender is believed to be around 2500 years old. Lavender was known as ‘Nardus’ among the Greeks, derived from a Syrian city, ‘Naarda,’ and it was usually known as Nard in the common people.
Lavender was considered one of the holy plants or herbs, handy in making the Holy Essence. We find the mention of ‘Nard’ or ‘Spikenard’ in the ‘Song of Solomon’ (Bible).
Lavender has got its name from the Latin word ‘lavare,’ which means “to clean or wash.”
The Romans used lavender in their bathing water as it offers beautiful, floral fragrance, in beds for the refreshing environment, in clothes as perfumes, and in hair as floral ornaments. Romans also came across the remedial & therapeutic properties of lavender.
Currently, lavender is being produced and grown around its birthplace and in Australia, North and South America, Europe, New Zealand, and more. Its extensive cultivations are justifiable as it has multiple usage and benefits, and it’s a profitable crop.
1. Curative/Remedial Uses:
The lavender’s cultivation is mainly mercantile for the essential oils extracted from its flowers and leaves, which is done through distillation.
Lavender oil is useful as an antiseptic, a disinfectant, and an anti-inflammatory solution. It is used in aromatherapy as well.
An admixture of lavender is beneficial in healing insect bites, soporific, minor cuts, sunburns, erythrogenic conditions such as acne, pimples, and other skin related problems.
Lavender oil can be taken internally, mainly beneficial for a good stomach, pyrosis, and dyspepsia. People who are prone to acidity can use lavender oil to cure it naturally.
It also gives relief to headaches, migraines, and motion sickness when applied and massaged on the head’s temple.
Lavender essential oil is used in spas and massage centers as a soothing agent, helping to relax and get a peaceful sleep.
Shriveled lavender flowers are widely used in tiny sachets (like teabags) as aromatic, herbal freshener inside the folded clothes, linens, and closets.
They are also used for adorning weddings or other functions—the gifts and confetti. Lavender scented air sprays are used to refresh the atmosphere.
2. Comestible Uses:
As lavender is a member of the mint family, it’s been used for hundreds of years to make food items either directly or as an additive known as Herb’s de Province (an amalgamation that seizes the savor of the sunlit south of France).
Lavender is used in soups, salads, desserts, meat and seafood, bakery and cheese, and other confectionaries as it gives a mild, floral, sweet flavor and aroma.
The buds and lavender flowers contain the most essence, from where the flavor and fragrance are derived. However, dried lavender leaves are also used with the flowers in cooking.
Interesting Facts about Lavender:
These tiny sticks, containing six to eight flowers bunched in, lavender comes with an old history and many interesting facts. Here are some –
- Lavender flourishes in dry, bright weather in well-seeped soil. These plants need less to no plant food (fertilizers or manure).
- Lavender attracts bumblebees. Which makes them flock to the lavender farms and increase the amount of honey they make.
- It is believed that the Romans brought lavender to Britain. They used it differently, from baths, spas, and massages to burning it as incense. According to historians, a pound of lavender was equal to the monthly wage in Rome.
- Queen Elizabeth first loved lavender. She used to preserve lavender flowers (sugar extracted from the lavender flowers).
- Lavender never goes through autumn falls. Its leaves are always green throughout the year.
- The lavender flowers symbolize Provence (it’s an ancient South-East France area on the Mediterranean Sea). It is a native of the southern part of France and the several Canary Islands.
- When the lavender plant reaches its maturity, it can live without water.
- Egyptians used Lavender in the process of mummification.
- The Greeks used lavender to treat insomnia and backache.
- In the Bubonic plague in the seventeenth century, lavender was used to avoid diseases.
- The Shakers were the first to harvest lavender successfully and enough to export it in the global market.
- Lavender is extremely helpful for the problem of bugs and insects. It also saves neighboring plants from crawling pests and bugs.
- Lavender is actually a kind of mint.
- Queen Victoria was a great lavender fiet. She liked all of her furniture cleaned with lavender-based cleaners. Even her favorite tea was the lavender-infused one, which helped her stomach to comfort.
- In the sixteenth century, most of England used lavender to freshen the toilets, bathrooms, and laundries. Lavender was filled inside the mattresses and sewn as it was believed to help prevent bedbugs.
- In the sixteenth century, when the Black plague had hit London, alcohol and lavender oil was consumed to prevent the disease. Bundles of lavender flowers were peddled on the streets to get rid of the smell of both the dead and dying people.
- Oil extracted from lavender, also known as lavender essential oil, was used to cure the men-at-arms during World War II.
- Take a few drops of lavender essential oil on a cube of sugar. It is remedial for headaches.
- In the thirteenth century, Europeans used to wear lavender bracelets to keep themselves safe against the plague and other harmful diseases.
- In the renaissance’s time, lavender was used in art. Artists, including famous painter Rubens, used lavender to improve the color quality and tint in their paintings. It also gave a mild scent to the paintings.
- Lavender comes in 39 species with around 400 types of variety around the globe. Lavender is widely associated with its color, mainly considered as shades of purple and blue, but it can be white, pink, and even green.
- Not just for humans, but lavender can be used for your pets, i.e., dogs, just like you use for your stomach, antiseptic, bug repellent, arthritis, and much more.
- Ever wondered why lavender essential oil is expensive than the others? Well, around 27 square feet of lavender harvest produce as little as 15 milliliters of lavender oil!
- There are two types of lavender oil. Essential and the vitality. Vitality oil does not differ from essential oil; it is 100% pure and made for internal use. You can use it while cooking and fresh drinks, smoothies, and shakes.
Famous Lavender Farms Around the World
1. Bridestowe Lavender Estate
The biggest privatized lavender farm in the world is the Bridestowe lavender farm in Tasmania of Australia. It is spread over 260 acres of land.
Bridestowe lavender farm is a famous tourist attraction. This lavender farm is best visited between December and January to witness the lavender’s marvelous bloom in the vast fields. However, visitors are allowed throughout the year.
2. Lavanda di Elvio
La Lavanda di Elvio, in Riola Sardo, is the first lavender farm in Sardinia. Founded in 2003, La Lavanda di Elvio’s popularity spread widely in 2015, when a local Instagram community came across it.
The best time to visit La Lavanda di Elvio lavender farm is in June when the lavender field blossoms with flowers. If you visit in the afternoon, chances are you can witness one of the most beautiful sunsets of your life.
3. Luber Lavender Fields, Provence, France
Provence is native to lavender farming and owns a lot of the same, but the Luberon Lavender farms have the widest variety.
Here, you’ll see hilltop villages which flawlessly set in the frames of lavender farms, tiny lavender fields in front of old farmhouses, lavender farms accentuated by the olive trees, and restored windmills, is genuinely eye candy.
4. Valensole, Provence, France
Valensole is a region having tons of lavender farms surrounding the hills. Its beauty can be best seen in the summers. Valensole is a plateau that is entirely dedicated to lavender harvesting.
The plateau is around 800 square kilometers. The town is quite interesting too, with all those medieval architectures and shops that offer various lavender products ranging from perfumes, essential oils, soaps to lavender flavored food and snacks.
The best time to visit Valensole lavender farm is between June to July, when the blossom is at its peak.
5. Snowhill Lavender Farm, Cotswolds, England
Snowhill Lavender farms, stretching across England’s countryside, are among the best locations to visit in the Cotswolds.
You can visit the lavender farm early in the mornings as it is free from the crowd then.
The Snowhill lavender farm is open from June to September, although the best time to visit the farms in July when the field turns into the different shades of purple.
6. Mt. Shasta Lavender Farms, Montague, California, USA
Mt. Shasta Lavender Farms offer a magnificent view of long rows of lavenders, foisted by the huge mount Shasta, one of California’s tallest peaks.
The farm is opened daily for visitors from June to August. The interesting thing is, you can pick lavender for yourself if you want to.
7. Mayfield Lavender, Banstead, United Kingdom
Less than 13 miles from central London, Mayfield Lavender farm is a private field available for different purposes like family picnics, wedding or casual photoshoots, and so on.
They also organize a lavender festival in the mid of July, comprising tractor rides, hog roast, and Morris dancers.
You can check when it is open; the best time is, of course, at the time of blossom when the lavender farm fills with ecstatic color and aroma.
8. Blues Dreamland, Beijing, China
Lavender is linked with romance in China. To grab the commercial scope, the Blues Dreamland theme park cultivated lavender over 20 hectares (49.42 acres) and has been a sight worth watching since then for worldwide visitors and China lovers.
As it is a theme park, it is open throughout the year. Still, it is especially crowded at the beginning of August. When the Chinese version of Valentine’s, Qixi is celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month (as Chinese people follow their traditional lunar calendar.)
9. Hvar, Croatia
Hvar is an island in Croatia in the Adriatic Sea. On Hvar, lavender is mostly grown wildly, around the hills, surrounded by the disintegrated stone walls and the crystal clear ocean (Adriatic Sea).
Many lavender plants from the island were burnt in a wildfire, but you can still see plenty of plants on the old road, which falls between Hvar to Grabje.
The locals of Hvar island make lavender oil with their traditional formula. The harvest falls in July. So beware if someone offers you Lavender Tour in the summer.
Lavender isn’t just a multipurpose herb, but it is highly symbolic too. Lavender is mostly linked to grace, salubrity, serenity, purity, tranquillity, and sanctity.
Its sweet, mild fragrance helps your mind attain peace and focus better. It is so relieving that no matter how stressful you are, have a hot bath with lavender-infused water; you’ll sleep like a baby.
If you aren’t habitual to use oils, you can use lavender essential rolls for aching joints and muscles and lower your stress and anxiety.
Due to its calming properties, lavender is used in face-washes to shampoos, creams, lotions, and other cosmetics or body care products.
Among the vast variety of essential oils, lavender has primary importance. Now that you know how useful it is to start using lavender in your daily routine for a holistic change in your lifestyle.