It is essential to know that whatever you’ve ever read about lavender’s beneficial effects, applies solely to wild-grown and organic lavender; free from any pesticides, herbicides, and diluted oils.
There are several types of lavender. We've all heard about the real and false lavender, but what are the distinctions between them, and which one is better? The most commonly grown hybrid variety is lavandin, a lovely, fragrant plant - but unfortunately, with poor therapeutic effects. Genuine lavender is the variety of Angustifolia, which is even more expensive due to the mass production of lavender. For illustration, Provencal lavender is so profitable, that we need between 30-40 kg of flowers, for 1 kg of essential oil, as for the real lavender oil, we need between 150-170 kg of flowers for the same amount. In further processing, lavender oil is often further reduced, thus "producing" an even larger amount of poor quality essential oil. For price-sensitive customers, this is the right product, but does not give the desired aroma - therapeutical effects!
Lavender is not a toxic plant and is therefore very suitable as a decorative, and as a spice plant in the home garden.
In the kitchen, use only real lavender - Lavandula Angustifolia. If you eat any large amounts of lavender, you will have a bitter taste in your mouth, and you may also get stomach or intestinal problems. However, this is also the case with many other spices, children, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and sensitive people should consume only minimal lavender.
Although at first glance, it seems that lavender is more suitable for sweet dishes, this is not the case. The taste of lavender is similar to rosemary, and chefs also like to use it for stronger dishes, due to its slightly bitter taste. Lavender is found as a spice mainly in English, but also in Spanish and Italian cuisine.
True lavender - Lavandula Angustifolia, is sweeter than French lavender - Lavandula stoechas; the smell of French lavender is slightly reminiscent of camphor and is not suitable for consumption. You can also use lavender young leaves and soft shoots, they go well with stews, fish, poultry, and lamb. Also, enrich soups and sauces and salads. Your chocolate mousse or apricot sorbet will feel and taste very avant-garde if you use some lavender flowers.
Only the use of organically grown lavender, lavender from the home garden, or wildly grown lavender is advised in the kitchen. Lavender from the garden centers is useless for at least the first year, as it still contains too many pesticide and herbicide residuals.
Lavender is one of the most commonly used ingredients in cosmetics. Due to its beneficial effects (antibacterial, regenerative, calming, soothing, energizing…) and aromatherapy, we also adore it at Flower and Spice. Our INSTANT GLOW CALMING EXFOLIATOR LAVENDER & FENNEL also contains lavender. An infusion of antioxidant-rich essential oils of Lavender and Fennel Seed work to increase circulation leaving your skin looking healthy and toned.
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