Lavender is my most favorite beneficial plant. I love it so much that I even have a tattoo of a sprig of lavender. There are so many things that I love about it. It's beautiful, it's easy to keep indoors, it smells so good, you can even cook with it and when done right has amazing flavors. My love have lavender has years of investment. I've used it on many occasions in my cooking, even sharing recipes in some classes with it. I have gone through many bottles of essential oil from diffusing in a room, making into candles, making facial oils and body scrubs. My love for it runs so deep that I will blatantly and visibly get annoyed when someone says they hate it. Like, how?
Recently my love for this plant has shown through and I was contacted by a local farm. A couple years ago I stumbled across Araceli Farms on Instagram. I saw an independent woman running a farm and doing the best she can to make a quality process to grow lavender for a multitude of purposes. A couple weeks ago I got a notification for a follow back from Araceli Farms. I thought it was cool but didn't think much of it. Fast forward to last week, already two weeks into quarantine, bored without any jobs, and I get a message. "Do you want to cook with some of my lavender?" Ummm...... Yes!!!
Why Araceli Farms?
Now my number one thing is to hold true to myself and the quality in the things I use and tell others they should use. After years following their account, I knew they were a great company.
I'm mostly in contact with Justina. She started the farm with her father not long ago. They planted their first lavender bushes in April 2017, just three years this month! Since then she has worked on the farm every day, tending to the plants, dealing with weeds, harvesting, prepping harvest for various uses. She is a wonder woman growing some incredible lavender.
The incredible thing for me and why I loved this farm before Justina even reached out to me is how conscious they are with their whole process. The bushes are taken care of very closely by actual people. They don't use any pesticides or herbicides on the farm. They also don't use any fertilizers. They are natural as can be. Once the lavender is harvested they dry it in the barn before using it for the various products they make. On top of such a green process, all their packaging is green too! All "plastics" are plant based and compostable. All labels are plastic free using natural adhesives that break down in the soil. The only things that won't break down are the reusable jars that can be washed and use again and again. Now that's a company I can support.
Why Lavender? Is it really that great?
YES! It is! If you haven't already seen any of the benefits of lavender, let me tell you.
Lavender has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Even before the science we have today to see what is happening, ancient civilizations discovered how beneficial this plant can be. The number one thing associated with lavender is its calming properties. It eases the mind and can mellow the mood when dealing with stress or anxiety. Lavender also has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. It has been used for centuries to help with healing of wounds and keeping them safe from infections.
In modern times there is a lot more research into what chemicals exist in the various species of lavender and how they interact with our bodies. The main way we use lavender is for fragrance or topical uses. So the benefits are limited to what can be absorbed through the nose or skin. But we can also eat lavender, and the ability to consume the plant increases the amount of the beneficial properties that can get into our bodies. Imagine one day when you have an ache in your bones instead of reaching for the typical ibuprofen you reach for a capsule of lavender oil?
These ideas are big and far from becoming reality. Lavender, although beneficial, isn't a cure for anything and you may need something stronger from a doctor. But as someone who hopes to be as closely connected with the Earth, the idea that we could use a plant like lavender to help us so easily is amazing. I found a survey with a bunch of research published in 2013. Check the link at the bottom for more information.
How do I include Lavender in my life and reap in the benefits?
Using lavender can be as easy or complicated as you make it. If you check out Araceli Farm's Website (linked below) you'll see so many products that they make that will bring more lavender and its benefits into your life. From body washed, lotions, bath soaks, scrubs, lip balms, even dried lavender to bring a pop of color into your life or a sachet to leave under your pillow for a good night's rest.
I use lavender oil a lot in my life. It is my go to oil for my bedroom diffuser. I like to use the calming properties in my bedroom to mellow the mind and relax. I also use a little oil in a homemade bed spray with a little water and vodka. Water to disperse, vodka can help keep it sterile and kill some odors that occur. I've even seen people use similar sprays in shoes to help with smelly feet! Lavender does have anti-fungal properties!
Whether you buy something premade or make something yourself, lavender is easy to incorporate into your home. Now with this new partnership with Araceli Farms I am so excited to start working with more lavender in recipes and different types of lavender for various flavors and results. Check out more information in my journal on what types of lavender are used and recipes that they work great in!
Araceli Farms Shop:
For more research and see how lavender can affect many parts of our world check out:
Koulivand, Peir Hossein, et al. “Lavender and the Nervous System.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Hindawi, 14 Mar. 2013, www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2013/681304/.