Lavender flowers for cooking - Flower pot candles.
Lavender Flowers For Cooking
- (Lavender Flower) An essential oil with a light floral scent. Has a calming effect, with anti-inflammatory properties.
- An aromatic that stimulates and cleanses the skin.
- (cook) prepare a hot meal; "My husband doesn't cook"
- The practice or skill of preparing food
- (cook) someone who cooks food
- The process of preparing food by heating it
- the act of preparing something (as food) by the application of heat; "cooking can be a great art"; "people are needed who have experience in cookery"; "he left the preparation of meals to his wife"
- Food that has been prepared in a particular way
budding lavender farm
As an herb, lavender has been in documented use for over 2,500 years. In ancient times lavender was used for mummification and perfume by the Egyptians, Phoenicians, and peoples of Arabia.
Romans used lavender oils for bathing, cooking, and scenting the air, and they most likely gave it the Latin root from which we derive the modern name (either lavare--to wash, or livendula--livid or bluish). The flower's soothing "tonic" qualities, the insect-repellent effects of the strong scent, and the use of the dried plant in smoking mixtures also added to the value of the herb in ancient times..
Lavender is mentioned often in the Bible, not by the name lavender but rather by the name used at that time--spikenard (from the Greek name for lavender, naardus, after the Syrian city Naarda). In the gospel of Luke the writer reports: "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 odor of the ointment."
Another ancient Christian reference to lavender involves how it got its scent. The plant is believed to have been taken from the Garden of Eden by Adam and Eve. However, the powerful perfume came later. According to legend, the clothing of baby Jesus bestowed the scent when Mother Mary laid them upon a bush to dry. This may explain why the plant is also regarded as a holy safeguard against evil. In many Christian houses, a cross of lavender was hung over the door for protection.
Perhaps first domesticated by the Arabians, lavender spread across Europe from Greece. Around 600 BC, lavender may have come from the Greek Hyeres Islands into France and is now common in France, Spain, Italy and England. The 'English' lavender varieties were not locally developed in England but rather introduced in the 1600s, right around the time the first lavender plants were making their way to the Americas. In Medieval and Renaissance Europe, the washing women were known as "lavenders" and they used lavender to scent drawers and dried the laundry on lavender bushes. Also during this time, lavender was grown in so-called "infirmarian's gardens" in monasteries, along with many other medicinal herbs. According to the German nun Hildegard of Bingen, who lived from 1098-1179, lavender "water,"--a decoction of vodka, gin, or brandy mixed with lavender--is great for migraine headaches.
Its holy reputation may have increased during the Great Plague in London in the 17th century, when it was suggested that a bunch of lavender fastened to each wrist would protect the wearer against the deadly disease. Furthermore, grave-robbers were known to wash in Four Thieves Vinegar, which contained lavender, after doing their dirty work; they rarely contracted the disease. In 16th-century France, lavender was also used to resist infection. For example, glove-makers, who were licensed to perfume their wares with lavender, escaped cholera at that time.
European royal history is also filled with stories of lavender use. Charles VI of France demanded lavender-filled pillows wherever he went. Queen Elizabeth I of England required lavender conserve at the royal table. She also wanted fresh lavender flowers available every day of the year, a daunting task for a gardener if you consider the climate of England. Louis XIV also loved lavender and bathed in water scented with it. Queen Victoria used a lavender deodorant, and both Elizabeth I and II used products from the famous lavender company, Yardley and Co. of London.
Lavender is a unique fragrance produced by the combination of 180 different constituents and is widely used in the perfume industry to add a top or middle note to commercial products. In the world of professional sniffers, it has a green, hay-like sweetness and gives "fruity aspects" to perfumes and other scented products. Lavender is widely grown in England for commercial use, and the Provence region of France is renowned as a world leader in growing and producing lavender.
In the United States and Canada, the Shakers were the first to grow lavender commercially. A strict sect of English Quakers who most likely had little use for lavender's amorous qualities (they were celibate), they developed herb farms upon their arrival from England. They produced their own herbs and medicines and sold them to the "outside world." Later a New York advertising firm picked them up and sold the simple products worldwide.
As an herbal medicine, lavender is widely utilized. For soothing, relaxing qualities few herbs can be claimed as effective. Constituents of the oils found in lavender can treat hyperactiviety; insomnia; flatulence; bacteria, fungus, and microbial activity on gums, airborne molds, and (in mixture with pine, thyme, mint, rosemary, clove, and cinnamon oils) Staphyloccus bacteria. Lavender may even be useful against impotence. In a study of men, the scent of pumpkin and l
The lavenders (Lavandula) are a genus of 39 species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae, native to the Mediterranean region south to tropical Africa and to the southeast regions of India. The genus includes annuals, herbaceous plants, subshrubs, and small shrubs. The native range extends across the Canary Islands, North and East Africa, Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Arabia and India. Because the cultivated forms are planted in gardens worldwide, they are occasionally found growing wild as garden escapees, well beyond their natural range. However, since lavender cross-pollinates easily, there are countless variations within the species. The color of the flowers of some forms has come to be called lavender.
Flowers also yield abundant nectar from which bees make a high-quality honey. Monofloral honey is produced primarily around the Mediterranean, and is marketed worldwide as a premium product. Flowers can be candied and are sometimes used as cake decorations. Lavender flavors baked goods and desserts (it pairs especially well with chocolate), as well as used to make "lavender sugar". Lavender flowers are occasionally blended with black, green, or herbal tea, adding a fresh, relaxing scent and flavour.
Though it has many other traditional uses in southern France, lavender is not used in traditional southern French cooking. In the 1970s, an herb blend called herbes de Provence and usually including lavender was invented by spice wholesalers, and lavender has more recently become popular in cookery.
Lavender lends a floral and slightly sweet flavor to most dishes, and is sometimes paired with sheep's-milk and goat's-milk cheeses. For most cooking applications the dried buds (also referred to as flowers) are used, though some chefs experiment with the leaves as well. Only the buds contain the essential oil of lavender, which is where the scent and flavour of lavender are best derived.
The French are also known for their lavender syrup, most commonly made from an extract of lavender. In the United States, both French lavender syrup and dried lavender buds make lavender scones and marshmallows.
Lavender is used extensively in herbalism and aromatherapy.
English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) yields an essential oil with sweet overtones, and can be used in balms, salves, perfumes, cosmetics, and topical applications. Lavandin, Lavandula x intermedia (also known as Dutch lavender), yields a similar essential oil, but with higher levels of terpenes including camphor, which add a sharper overtone to the fragrance. Mexican lavender, Lavandula stoechas is not used medicinally, but mainly for landscaping.
Essential oil of lavender has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It was used in hospitals during WWI to disinfect floors and walls. These extracts are also used as fragrances for bath products.
According to folk wisdom, lavender has many uses. Infusions of lavender soothe and heal insect bites. Bunches of lavender repel insects. If applied to the temples, lavender oil soothes headaches. In pillows, lavender seeds and flowers aid sleep and relaxation. An infusion of three flowerheads added to a cup of boiling water soothes and relaxes at bedtime. Lavender oil (or extract of Lavender) heals acne when used diluted 1:10 with water, rosewater, or witch hazel; it also treats skin burns and inflammatory conditions.
The ancient Greeks called the lavender herb nardus, after the Syrian city of Naarda. It was also commonly called nard.
Lavender was one of the holy herbs used in the biblical Temple to prepare the holy essence, and nard is mentioned in the Song of Solomon (4,14)
nard and saffron,
calamus and cinnamon,
with every kind of incense tree,
with myrrh and aloes,
and all the finest spices.
During Roman times, flowers were sold for 100 denarii per pound, which was about the same as a month's wages for a farm laborer, or fifty haircuts from the local barber. Lavender was commonly used in Roman baths to scent the water, and it was thought to restore the skin. Its late Latin name was lavandarius, from lavanda (things to be washed), from the verb lavare (to wash). When the Roman Empire conquered southern Britain, the Romans introduced lavender. The Greeks discovered early on that lavender if crushed and treated correctly would release a relaxing fume when burned.
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