The time of its harvest is soon upon us in the beautiful mountains of Provence
The mystery and story of Lavender and its favorite companion (in the wild) Helichrysum
"Ahhhh… the bountiful Lavender – that fills our being with the color of amethyst.. walking among these powerful plants, with bees buzzing in their melodious temple….. steady buzz that takes you deep into meditation. The color purple ignites my pineal, the fragrance drifts up through my nostrils… a deep sense of peace overwhelms me, a smile begins to curl in the corner of my mouth, my eyes begin to shine with the peace and the glory of this amazing experience. The plants surround me, hold me in their trance, I am lifted up from my troubles, I dance among the frequencies of spirit and light,, the bees take me there… I am at one with nature."
Late June, Early July.... the Harvesting begins in the French Alps... the birth of the popular industry in the early 20th century through harvesting the wild Lavender, gradually supplanted by selection, cultivation, and agriculture... increasing demand for Lavender from Grasse, a major center of perfume production.
A whole culture grew and developed cutting, harvesting and distilling the plants and its properties. In the 1930's, its cousin the first Lavandin crops emerged and doubled the production albeit a hybrid, the Fine True Lavender still remained for its higher quality of oil.
Now, today, Lavender is grown all over the world, with Lavender festivals held in Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon, California, Egypt, Portugal, Spain, Bulgaria, England -- over 41 different main varieties grown from deep blue-purple to red, to pink to white... All with their unique fragrance and growing idiosyncracies.
In the 18th century, the recommendation for the use of Lavender were for:
Fill small bags with Lavender to perfume clothes and laundry and to keep moths away.
Lavender prefers the higher altitude, dry.. sorry Florida. dampness is not Lavender's friend (it doesn't like her feet wet)
A word of caution:
the quality can vary so much, and generally commercial products use a synthetic lavender.. so if the label says "fragrance".. do not trust it. Synthetic fragrances are generally toxic and can contribute to allergies.
Because Lavender is so popular, it is not uncommon for the lavender you buy off the shelf in a grocery store, will not be of the finest therapeutic quality. Check to see their quality.. check the botanical name (Lavendula Angustifolia vera - very high grade). More lavender is sold out of France than it produces... so know your distiller. Also, low and slow yields some of the best quality
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