Lavender is a plant with many uses. The most commonly used form is English lavender. Other lavender plants include Spanish lavender, French lavender, and Egyptian lavender.

In an attempt to create larger plants that are easier to harvest, hybrids have been created called lavandins, which are used often in commercial manufacturing. But critics say that these plants produce lower quality oil with less of a true lavender aroma.

In the culinary world, lavender is used in the fresh form, or as dried buds to flavor foods. For example, lavender is used to flavor honey in the Mediterranean and is sold worldwide. It is used in baking desserts and as cake decorations.

The flowers can be candied or blended with green, herbal, or black tea. Lavender is added to goats milk cheese and sheeps milk cheese and, in the U.S., many people with a discerning taste enjoy lavender scones and marshmallows.

Lavender is perhaps best known for its relaxing and sleep-inducing capacity. As an essential oil, it also has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. One may be surprised to learn that it was used in World War I hospitals for disinfecting walls and floors.

Lavender is often used to treat various forms of inflammation including acne, bug bites, burns and headaches. Lavender remedies should be used with caution and proper education, however, as lavender can be highly allergenic and is cytotoxic for pregnancy.
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