What to Do With Fresh Lavender

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Lavender has been a favorite since ancient times. It was widely used in perfumes, incense and toiletries. The word lavender comes from the Latin verb "lavare," meaning "to wash." Even now, when people think of lavender, scented soaps, detergents and dryer sheets spring to mind. Fresh lavender has a wide range of uses beyond soaps and fragrances, though. It is a versatile culinary herb and has wide applications as a pest deterrent.

Fragrant Herb

Lavender is a fragrant herb whose scent has been commercially applied to many household tasks. Fresh lavender, when used as a cut flower, spreads that same clean scent throughout a home. When laid on pillow cases, the scent of lavender is said to promote a more restful sleep. Adding fresh lavender to a warm bath promotes a calmer attitude.

Beverages and Condiments

Lavender is a wonderful addition to beverages and condiments. Lavender can be infused in to teas, added to drinks in place of mint or serve to flavor a unique jelly, jam or sauce. Lavender-raspberry jam is a special twist on an old favorite. Fresh lavender, used sparingly, brings a unique flavor to a summer salad.

BBQ Helper

Lavender is a favorite component for meat rubs (it can also be added directly to the coals of your favorite grill to give the smoke a unique flavor). Use fresh lavender on your vegetables and potatoes or pair with cheeses for a special twist. Lavender loves chocolate and vanilla, homemade ice cream with lavender is a special treat.

Pest Control

Fresh lavender is an effective pest control for many different kinds of animals and insects. Gauze bags containing two handfuls each of lavender and rosemary and one tablespoon each of fresh cloves and dried lemon peel are effective replacements for mothballs. Plant lavender in beds where you wish to deter animals: it is effective repellent for cats, deer and rabbits.