One of many websites that have great information on the benefits of lavender is this one.
Lavender is commonly used to calm the nerves and please the senses - the soothing aroma soothes one to sleep and calms an anxious mind. Plus it just smells really darn good. Lavender isn't just relaxing and yummy smelling, however - lavender is antiseptic, great to use on insect bites or other abrasions and cuts. Lavender can help sooth headaches and is a great addition to massage oil, relieving pain in joints and muscles. When inhaled, lavender can help relieve breathing issues (make a hot water bowl, add some lavender, breath in: voila!) and calm bronchitis and other related cold symptoms. Lavender is great for your skin, relieving eczema, acne, burns and healing scar tissue. Eczema is particularly healed when lavender is combined with chamomile (i think that's what i'll make this next batch of soap with!). Finally, lavender is also great to help blood circulation and digestion.
Well, boy howdy - lavender is just great. Plus it's gorgeous in the garden and bees just love it! I sadly lost my lavender bush in this winter's freeze - but it was always covered with the most bees and butterflies than any of my other perennials. It tends to be hardy, love the hot, dry weather, and can be cut back to the nubbins every year to grow back anew. Simply dry the flower heads and use them as you wish. The essential oil needs to be distilled out - i'm not that advanced yet, but the flowers (ground or whole) are a lovely addition to soaps and potpourris.
Lavender is also really fun to throw at a new bride and groom at their wedding: the whole place smelled great, and my dress and hair were full of little aromatic lavender flowers for hours (right down to my underthings!)
This post appears at Simple Lives Thursday.