Lavender essential in natural beauty secrets

The Good Life Letter

Friday 24th June 2011

  • Just why is lavender essential for natural beauty?
  • Natural balancing act could be a life saver
  • Do your bit to save a species...humans that is.

Lavender essential oils should be a part of every woman's natural beauty regime.

It's one of those plants that shows that summer is really here, and I know it will be with us for many months.

Such an intoxicating smell, and a subtle yet impressive presence (if that's not too much of a contradiction!)

As a hedge plant or even sitting in a pot there are few more impressive additions to any garden; plus if we ever get another warm evening the night time scent is just heavenly.

For many people though lavender represents a major boon to their health.

By either using the flowers fresh, dried or from the extracted oil there are several really effective ways that you can use your Lavender.
Let me tell you about five of them:

1) By putting a handful of fresh flowers into your bath water you will have a beautifully scented experience, but more importantly, will also aid restful sleep, ease tired muscles and decrease anxiety.

2) We are familiar with Jasmine and Chamomile teas, but did you know that a small handful of fresh Lavender flowers in boiling water provide you with the perfect bedtime drink. Much like Chamomile it is ideal for relaxing the body and mind and will help you get a decent night's sleep.

3) Adding fresh Lavender flowers to a salad creates a fantastic centre piece to any summer barbeque, as well as looking very pretty the flowers add a delightful aroma and taste.

4) By allowing a handful of flowers to steep in hot water and then cool you will have one of the best natural ways to deal with dandruff. Just use the Lavender water to rinse your hair daily.

5)  If you suffer from cracked or chaffed skin try using lavender oil to help calm them. It is a powerful antiseptic agent and actually helps naturally moisturise the skin as well; in terms of acting as a barrier to infection there is a story that French glove makers, who used it to scent their product, were the only ones to survive the Great Plagues in the 17th Century!

If you want to experience the benefits of Lavender and Chamomile oils on your skin try using [this special hand balm] which is rich in both as well as soy wax and coconut oil.  

But there is one other pleasure that I get from having Lavender in my garden...

The bee-all of Lavender

If I close my eyes and think about summer there are two powerful memories that I have; firstly, the sight and smell of the lavender bushes and secondly the buzz of busy bees working across it.

At times the bushes seem to vibrate with activity as the myriad species of bees go about their business of collecting the nectar, whilst at the same time carrying the pollen which allows the plant to survive.

A perfectly functioning balanced relationship...nature is good at those.

Sitting in my office I look out onto a huge bush of Lavender and often spend time watching the industry of these fantastic insects.

As Lara said "It's nice to know that someone is busy in the garden!" She can be so cruel.

News this year though is very grave for these insects as it seems that the effect of a harsh winter and a nasty predatory Varroa mite have combined to deplete numbers massively.

Some experts believe we could have lost as many as a third of our bee population this year, both wild and within commercial hives - almost a national disaster.

This is against a backdrop of a steadily dwindling bee population which has been attributed to a reduction in the availability of wild flowers, increasing use of pesticides on farm crops as well as the impact of the poor summer weather preventing them from breeding.

I hadn't realised that things were so bad, and it seems that these problems are not just confined to the UK as European, US and Oceanic populations are also suffering similar declines.

Now you all know I love my honey and will gladly extol the virtues of its health giving powers, but the loss of bees has a much greater significance than that.

It could spell the end for humanity.

No, I'm not being over dramatic - read on to find out why.

Could our fate be linked to that of the bee?

It was no less a man than Albert Einstein who is attributed to saying that if the bee died out humans would follow four years later.
I bet you hadn't realised that breakfast honey was so important had you?

In fact the reason why we are so reliant on bees has absolutely nothing to do with honey, but more to do with their work as pollinators of our crops.

Economically their work has been estimated to benefit us by about £850 million a year, and it is believed that over 30% of our diet is directly dependant on them.

So, it is worth encouraging them into your garden by planting hardy flowering plants like Lavender which are in flower throughout the bees breeding season. This year's Chelsea Flower Show had an area dedicated to bee rich flora, so if you need a little inspiration have a look at their website.

Let's all do our bit for our hardworking friends, and if it means that we also get a plant like Lavender that we can use to make our lives better then we can also join in with natures mutual benefit system.

Do something for the bees today!

On Sunday I'll be back with lot's more bee related stuff to tell you, and also the secret to beating the effect of aging PLUS a bit of advice for Iggy Pop.

Watch your inbox to find out more.

Yours, as always





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