Thursday, June 12, 2014

THE HEADY SCENT OF LAVENDER



The lavender is in full bloom and I'm not sure who's enjoying it more... me or the bees.








The history of lavender is fascinating. There is documentation on its use that is over 2,500 years old, dating back to the Egyptians who used it for mummification, to the vast and heady fields of Provence, France. It was used for bathing, cooking and scenting the air by the Romans and is even mentioned in the Bible by its ancient name "spikenard"

 In Luke we read... 


"Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair, and the house was filled with the order of the ointment."





The washing women in  Medieval and Renaissance Europe, were known as "lavenders" They dried the laundry on lavender bushes and used its aromatic blossoms to scent the linen cupboards.




During the Great Plague in 17th century London, the people believed if they tied a bundle of lavender to each wrist it would protect them from the deadly disease. It may have helped. 




History records that after the grave diggers finished their "dirty work" they regularly washed in a "vinegar" containing lavender. They rarely contracted the disease.

Lavender has soothing, calming qualities few herbs can claim. It is widely used in the perfume industry and is found effective in treating hyperactivity, insomnia, bacteria, and fungus.



It is often linked with romance. Lavender on a pillow was thought to bring love and lavender under the bed of newlyweds ensured passion. A famous nursery rhyme written in 1680 speaks of love...



"Lavender blue, dilly dilly, lavender green. When I am king, dilly, dilly, you shall be queen."



Who can resist the heady scent of Lavender?