Permaculture Cottage ~ Healing Herbs and Using Them

Oregano, harvested today and drying by the stove in the kitchen.

These are the flowers of the Oregano plant and are excellent for use as tea, once dried and stored. Oregano tea is good for sore throats and for warding off colds.

The thin rays of the sun on the windowledge this afternoon. It is almost autumnal. Indeed there appears to be an early start to Autumn.

Lavender was harvested as well as Oregano today. This is a bunch of lavender hanging from above the window. The scent is wonderful.

English lavender yields an essential oil with sweet overtones, and can be used in balms, salves, perfumes and cosmetics. I use the oil in many ways, including making my own cleaning sprays and dropping some oil onto the stove to freshen the air.   

Essential oil of lavender has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It was used in hospitals during World War I to disinfect floors and walls. These extracts are also used as fragrances for bath products.

According to folk wisdom, lavender has many uses. Infusions of lavender soothe and heal insect bites and burns. Bunches of lavender repel insects. If applied to the temples, lavender oil soothes headaches. In pillows, lavender seeds and flowers aid sleep and relaxation. An infusion of three flowerheads added to a cup of boiling water soothes and relaxes at bedtime. Lavender oil (or extract of Lavender) heals acne when used diluted 1:10 with water, rosewater, or witch hazel; it also treats skin burns and inflammatory conditions.

Lavender can have influence on sleep quality and I often use it to aid sleep, by either sprinkling a few drops of oil on my pillow, or slipping some flower or seed heads inside the actual pillowcase. It can help in alleviating anxiety and related sleep disturbances.

Looking through the front window of the cottage, out onto the rainy day and the wet trees…always beautiful. Seven years ago there were no trees here, just rough grass and rushes. Nature is abundant and generous when encouraged gently.