Lavender Fields Forever

lavender closeup

Lavender is known for it’s calming properties, aiding in alleviating anxiety, depression, insomnia and stress. Who couldn’t use a little dose of that? Did you know that lavender can offer so much more?  Lavender oil is also known for its anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. It also has antispasmodic, analgesic, detoxifying, hypotensive, and sedative effects.¹

Road Trip to Lavender Fleece

Lavender, a quintessential herb, delights all the senses and yesterday I was in heaven. I spent the day with my dear friend, Laurie Ball-Gisch and her family for their Lavender U-Pick and Open Farm Day at the Lavender Fleece in Midland, Michigan. The farm has been featured in numerous articles in a variety of magazines and other print. I’m not the only one that has discovered such a divine little secret. A steady flow of people coming for the afternoon was a tell tale sign that I wasn’t the only one who loves lavender.

pottery studio

Laurie’s pottery studio

I was invited to speak about “My Road Trip to Health” and share my story of healing with visitors to the farm.  I met a wonderful woman, Tammy Hyatt, who shared with us her journey of healing from breast cancer using natural sources. Tammy’s daughter and a naturopathic doctor helped guide Tammy back to health without the typical chemo/radiation that the conventional doctors had prescribed for her. Today Tammy is cancer free and plans to keep it that way.

Laurie’s pottery studio was crowded but comfortable with people who wanted to learn what few doctors will tell you.  How to get healthy in a more natural way. We both hope to help others understand how important nutrition is for health. Nature provides a natural pharmacy for us to heal and stay healthy, but few people realize the potential. Our goal is empower people to take back their health and have a better life.

Visitors cutting lavender bundles

Meanwhile, out front, Laurie and her daughter Amy, were busy helping people with the lavender picking. The front yard of the farmhouse is teaming with lavender gardens that were a sea of purple wafting incredible aromas and making Midland, Michigan, the calmest town around. After the afternoon was over the little lavender blooms that remained were left for the bees to enjoy.

People came from all over Michigan, to pick the lavender and shop at the Lavender Fleece. People came all day with no fewer than 60 cars at any given time for nearly six hours of the open house. The weather was beautiful all day, a perfect day to be out picking lavender.

Lavender Fleece Shop

Lavender soaps for sale in the shop

Lavender soaps, fleece from her sheep, Laurie’s handcrafted ceramic pottery, dried lavender and more was available in her quaint shop out back. Customers had an opportunity to try the delicious lavender lemonade or lemon with lavender cake, but only for a little while. It was so good, it was gone before I got more than a taste of the scrumptious treats. Here’s a little sneak peek at the goodies that abound in the Lavender Fleece Shop.

For more information about the shop and to contact Laurie to set up an appointment to visit her shop, please visit her website, The Lavender Fleece.

The Natural Chemistry of Lavender

Did you know that the word “lavender” comes from the Latin word “lavare,” which means “to wash.”² It smells divine in soaps and other bath and body care products. Did you know that lavender oil has a potent anti-fungal effect? Laurie’s daughter Amy shared with me how great lavender oil is for treating nail fungus. She is a cosmetologist and her customers have successfully treated themselves with using lavender oil. In addition to being antifungal, lavender oil, and other herbs, have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that can boost your immune system and not cause a resistance like many pharmaceutical drugs do.

Lavender oil providing benefits against supergerms is also great news for anyone who has experienced any side effect from taking antibiotics, especially those containing flouride. In fact, many antibiotics containing fluoroquinolone (flouride) have been removed from the marketplace due to their horrific side effects. Omniflox, Raxar, Trovan, Zagam, and Tequin have now all been banned. However, Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox, and Floxin continue to be prescribed for a variety of infections, both major and minor. Cipro and Levaquin are by far the favorites, and my advice to you is to avoid them.³

So how does lavender do all this? The properties of lavender oil is a chemically complex product with over 150 active constituents. I would be extremely remiss if I didn’t share a little of the chemistry of the essential oil of lavender, since Laurie’s husband is a chemist. The chief botanical constituents of lavender oil are linalyl acetate, linalool (a non-toxic terpene alcohol that has natural germicidal properties), terpinen-4-ol, and camphor.¹ I believe the camphor is what gives lavender it’s “no more fungus among us” properties.

How It’s Made – Lavender Essential Oil

Gardening with Lavender

If you want to grow lavender but wonder how to get started, check out How To Grow Lavender. I’ve got a few lavender plants growing in my garden but now, thanks to Laurie, I have four new plants to add to my garden. Now that my established lavender plants are doing so well I’m ready to try my hand at propagating some new plants to expand my garden to include a LOT of lavender. Did I say how much I love lavender? If you love lavender then you’ll enjoy this movie, Lavender Knot Gardens.

I had a lot of fun, but today I’m resting up and enjoying sweet dreams from all the luscious smells permeating my house with the lovely scent of lavender from Laurie’s farm. Stay tuned for my foray into making my own essential oils with my new steam distillation system. I’ll give you three guesses what I’ll be distilling first.

Lavender drying in the shop


References:

¹ Lavender Oil: A Love for Lavender Oil – Dr. Mercola
² What are the Health Benefits of Lavender?  – Medical News Today
³ Lavender Oil has Potent Antifungal Effect – Dr. Mercola