Aug 5, 2010

Lavender Farm

Lavender is my favorite herb. It is so versatile and my favorite thing about it is it's calming properties. If I am having a stressful day and cannot relax a sniff of lavender essential oil and some lavender tea puts my nerves to rest. Lavender has the Latin name Lavare, which means “to wash”, due to its aroma that gives the feeling of a clean aroma.
Here are some of the healing benefits of Lavender. 
Nervous System:Lavender has also been shown to treat migraines, headaches, anxiety, depression, nervous tension and emotional stress. The refreshing aroma removes nervous exhaustion and restlessness and increases mental activity.
Sleep: Lavender induces sleep and hence it is often recommended for insomnia.
Pain Relief: Lavender is also an excellent remedy for various types of pains including those caused by sore muscles, tense muscles, muscular aches, rheumatism, sprains, and backache. A regular massage with lavender oil provides relief from pain in the joints.
Urine Flow: Lavender oil is good for urinary disorders as it stimulates urine production. It helps in restoring hormonal balance and reduces cystitis or inflammation of the urinary bladder. It also reduces any associated cramps.
Respiratory Disorders: Lavender oil is extensively used for various respiratory problems including throat infections, flu, cough, cold, asthma, sinus congestion, bronchitis, whooping cough, laryngitis, and tonsillitis. The oil is either used in the form of vapour or applied on the skin of neck, chest and back. It is also added in many vaporizers and inhalers used for cold and coughs.
Skin Care: The health benefits of lavender oil for the skin can be attributed to its antiseptic and antifungal properties. It is used to treat various skin disorders such as acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, and other inflammations. It heals wounds, cuts, burns, and sunburns rapidly as it aids in the formation of scar tissues. Lavender oil is added to chamomile to treat eczema.
Blood Circulation: Lavender oil is also good for improving blood circulation. It lowers blood pressure and is used for hypertension.
Digestion: Lavender oil is useful for digestion as it increases the mobility of the intestine. The oil also stimulates the production of gastric juices and bile and thus aids in treating indigestion, stomach pain, colic, vomiting and diarrhea.

When Jeremy and I were in Michigan last weekend I decided to hunt down a Lavender farm that I had read about in a local paper. We found Lavender Hill Farm after some searching and when I stepped out of the car my nose was filled with the most heavenly smell! The lavender fields were gorgeous and there were also honey bees scattered about the property.  Sadly the gift shop was not open that day and the owner was not there but we stopped and chatted with some lovely ladies who were working in a large building next to the farm. They showed us how they sift through all of the lavender on these screens to remove any impurities and dirt. The farm currently has over 5500 plants of 25 different varieties with plans to increase the fields each year. Many of the lavender plants are used in culinary dishes but they also use it to make oils, soaps, laundry bars and many other yummy products!
Lavender Hill Farm, near Horton Bay, Michigan lies on the 45th parallel (lavender thrives on the 45th parallel in both the northern and southern hemispheres). Additionally, the natural limestone deposits common in the Great Lakes region provide the soil with an ideal Ph of 7 out of the 6 to 8 recommended for growing lavender.
So perfect is the soil and climate on the farm, that the first plantings settled in beyond expectations.
 If you are near Horton Bay MI this summer be sure to stop at this beautiful farm! The shop is open on Wed-Thurs-Fri from 10-4 and Sat from 10-2. They also give tours fro groups of 6 or more!

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