Happy Hump Day! Another cold, wet & rainy day at MileWide Ranch.  Today, we’re going to chat about Lavendula.  Below are three species of lavender that we are growing.

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Lavandula Heterophylla – Sweet Lavender: This particular lavender can grow up to 4 feet with it’s blooms.  Lavandula Heterophylla is not suitable for cooking as it contains a high content of menthol, but makes for a beautiful specimen plant. Suggestion would be to plant in groups of 3 or 5, and be sure to give them plenty of room.  Sweet Lavender blooms in early spring until the summer heat hits.

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Lavandula Dentata – French Lavender: This species of the flowering plant grows up to 24″, she has large blooms from spring to first frost and has a beautiful clean smell, her leaves have scallops or dents thus referring to the dentata name.  This particular lavender is typically not used in culinary, also French Lavender is used as essential oil in perfumes.

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Lavandula Angustifolia – English Lavender: This speicie can grow up to 6+ feet tall, the plant is hardy, and has sun and drought tolerant qualities, she is a long blooming plant. English Lavender is a beautiful ornamental specie that can also be used in culinary dishes and drinks.  Lavadula Angustifolia is the popular choice for making oil/bath oil, soaps, lotions, herbal teas, lavender infused water, non-alcohol and alcoholic drinks.

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With summer fast approaching I can’t help but be excited for all the wonderful herbs that will be in full bloom just waiting to be picked and made into something delicious or medicinal!!  One particular drink that I am going to make for the crew will be Lavender Lemonade check out a recipe HERE, and what would be better than fresh squeezed lemons & lavendula picked fresh from the garden on a hot summer day?

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Pair the lavendula lemonade than with a lovely lavender honey shortbread cookie! Shortbread cookies in general are one of my favorite little snacks to indulge in, add a touch of honey and crush lavender and your tastebuds will thank you! Here’s a yummy recipe from The Baker Upstairs for these delicious little goodies: Lavender Shortbread Cookies.

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As many of you know, there are medicinal uses with the lavendula herb, the most popular is the essential oil.  Lavender oil is believed to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which can help with minor burns and bug bites.  Research also shows lavender essential oil is useful for treating anxiety, insomnia, restlessness and even depression.  You can also use the essential oil as an insect repellent, as well as prevention of hair loss.  The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates lavender as possibly effective for treating alopecia areata.  There is evidence that lavender can promote hair grown by up to 44% after 7 months of treatment.

So to recap, lavender has many uses in the home, from making soothing refreshing drinks and delicious edibles to making essentials oils for various ailments to include: pain relief of tense muscles, joint pain, rheumatism, sprains, and back pain.  Lavendula essential oil can also treat various skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis and eczema.

Check out a few of these links for more info on the medicinal benefits of Lavendula.

13 Surprising Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil

University of Maryland Overview of Lavender

Health Benefits and Side Effects of Lavender

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