“Lavender blue, lavender green…when I am king, dilly dilly, you’ll be my queen…”
Expect to see rows upon rows and acres of fragrant purple lavender plants “as far as the eye can see” if you travel to Sequim next weekend. The festival, now in its 17th year, features all things lavender—an herb that first was cultivated about 2,500 years ago in the Middle East. Not only was the herb used in cooking, bathing, and scenting the air, but it also was used in mummification.
In one Biblical account, lavender (known as spikenard) was the ointment used by Mary Magdalene to anoint Jesus’ feet.
The plant, first domesticated by the Arabians, according to www.lavenderfarm.com/history, spread across Europe from Greece to France, Spain, Italy and England.
Some interesting lavender “facts”–
Lavender water—a blend of vodka, gin or brandy, mixed with lavender was used to treat migraine headaches.
Bunches of lavender were worn during the 17th century to protect the wearer against the Great Plague
Frances’s King Charles V insisted on lavender-filled pillows wherever he went. English Queen Elizabeth I required a lavender conserve at the royal table, and also wanted lavender flowers available every day of the year.
The Shakers in America were the first to raise lavender commercially.
Tuck a bar of lavender soap in the linen closet, or in among the lingerie.
Today, lavender is used to flavor soda water, honey, chocolates, shampoo and wine.
How do you use lavender?