Lavender is a favorite among gardeners and herbalists alike. It’s a gorgeous, fragrant plant that will add height without fuss to almost any garden. At Chesterhaven Beach Farm, we’ve planted well over a thousand lavender plants over the last five years. Some plantings have been more successful than others, but they are always beautiful.
At harvest, we cut the lavender stems at the base -- it’s the best way to cut lavender. Then we hang the clippings in a dark, air-conditioned room and allow them to dry. Once the lavender is dry, we remove the bud from the stem by hand, and package it in an airtight freezer bag and freeze for future use. Our harvests are so large, we find we must invent new ways to use lavender. We love adding them to as many of our products as possible, but also have found refreshing ways to use lavender around the house.
Below is a simple recipe for making a lavender tonic. You can use this spray as a facial or body toner or as an aromatic spray on your pillows, sheets, and blankets. The scent is relaxing to the mind and soothing on the skin.
Lavender Sleep Spray
Yields 16 ounces
- 2 cups distilled water
- 3/4 cup dried lavender flowers or 1 cup fresh flowers
- 1/4 cup witch hazel or vodka
- 70 drops of lavender essential oil
- nonreactive pot (glass or enamel coated)
- strainer (cheesecloth and sieve or tea strainer)
- 16 oz. jar or bottle with sprayer (preferably PET plastic or glass)
To make a well-scented spray, combine a lavender tea with lavender-infused witch hazel or vodka. This will give your spray a little more oomph: First, make a lavender tea by boiling the water and pouring it over the lavender flowers. Allow lavender to brew -- you’ll want it to steep for 20 to 30 minutes.
Next, make the tonic -- put witch hazel or vodka into your jar or bottle and add the essential oil. Then, when the lavender tea is cool, strain it into the bottle. Place the cap on and shake well to blend the ingredients.
Allow to cool completely before use. If you are using this on your face or body, it is especially nice chilled. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to six months. Remember to shake well before each use, and enjoy!