Homemade Dried Lavender Packs

21 09 2013

IMG_7695If your English lavender bush looks anything like mine this time of year, you have a mix of fresh and dry stalks. Well, mine are mostly dry because I have a slight bee phobia (see my blog on weeds) and can’t find a time other than about midnight to prune them without a bee in sight or hearing range—I really do hate the buzzing. I can tell you, lavender doesn’t often cross my mind at midnight. My neglect actually takes a positive turn this season when the shrub leans with dried blooms. I finally can prune in peace, because the bees gave up hope of finding any nectar there.

Lavender is a forgiving plant in terms of pruning. Pretty much anytime from spring to fall in the Pacific Northwest, lavender produces new flowers from the pruned stems. Clipping stems just above the buds or the older grayish foliage during peak season gives plenty of dry lavender to work with IMG_5899and leaves the rest of that stalk to regenerate. At the end of growing season and well before the first frost—about now—cut the entire shrub back about 1/3. Display stems of dried lavender bunched together in a clear vase or tied with a string. Go one step further and pinch off the dried florets into a container or bag that seals, and the lavender will keep for years.

Once you have enough dried lavender, you can make a lavender pack that heats in the microwave. Place the warm lavender pack over sore muscles to alleviate pain and over sinuses to alleviate symptoms from sickness or allergies. The combination of the heat and the scent of the lavender opens sinuses for easier breathing. The scent of lavender also lessens insomnia and stress. Lavender is widely used in medicine, food, and beauty products. This low-maintenance herb certainly earns its keep in the garden! If you have access to lavender, treat yourself and others to a homemade dried lavender pack.

Lavender Pack

1 ½-2 C dried lavender flowers

2 fabric pieces cut into 4” x 8” rectangles

  • With right sides of fabric together, sew ¼” seam on one short end and two longer sides
  • Turn fabric right side out and fill pouch with lavender
  • Turn fabric edges on open end under ¼” and sew together
  • Microwave for 30 seconds to heat the pack
  • Lie back and relax!

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