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Lavender, part four – dried Lavender

To dry Lavender, make bunches of a dozen or so flower stalks and tie them together with string or an elastic band. Hang the bunches upside down in a dark and airy place. Depending on the weather, the Lavender will dry in about a week or so. Once dried you can store the flowers in jars, either on or off the stalk, or use it immediately. You can also dry the leafy stalks when Lavender is not in bloom – they have a subtler, more earthy, but similar scent. Dried Lavender has a great number of uses – a google search will reveal many. Here are a few of my favourites.

  • Add dried Lavender to pot pourris, or use alone in an open bowl or a sachet to fragrance a room or a closet, kill germs and deter insect pests.
  • Hang bunches from bedposts, or place under your mattress to help repel insects and promote restful sleep.
  • A bunch hanging in a window will help deter insect pests from entering.
  • Place dried Lavender under your doormat for a welcoming fragrance when you step on it.
  • Make a Lavender bag to ease tired or aching muscles, relieve headaches and promote relaxation and restful sleep:
    • Mix a handful of dried Lavender with two generous cupfuls of pearled barley (or hops, wheat or rice).
    • Make a simple bag out of two squares of fabric sewn together and fill it with the Lavender mixture.
    • If you add Velcro or a zip you can refill the bag using a new batch of Lavender every few months.
    • Heat the bag in a microwave for about two minutes (depending on your oven) on the highest power.
    • Place the warm bag on the affected area or use to warm your pillow or feet on a cold night.
  • Add to caster sugar to make Lavender sugar, or use to make Lavender infusions such as Lavender vinegar.
  • Add to bath salts. Wait a week or more before using so that the oils can permeate the salts. Sift to remove the Lavender or leave it in the salts.

Whatever you use it for, squeeze or agitate dried Lavender occasionally to encourage the release of the oils.