Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lavender Flowers and Herbal Cough Syrup

I've been using Lavender in Essential Oil  form for a long time.  I use it as a fragrance for my homemade soap and in a hot bath for relaxation.   I've even used it on a warm cloth to help relieve headaches, but until yesterday I had never actually used Lavender Flowers. 

I ordered Lavender flowers from The Bulk Herb Store a while back to use in soapmaking, but have never actually gotten around to using them.  Since I love to learn about herbs, I have been doing a lot of research on different herbs and their medicinal uses and was very impressed with all of the health benefits of Lavender.  AND, since my precious grandaughters have been battling a cold, ear infection and pink eye this week, AND since the sweet little angels decided to share all of the above with their "RoRo" I decided this would be a good time to put it to the test.

I brewed a pot of Lavender and Rosehips tea yesterday afternoon and drank about two cups of it.  It really wasn't bad.  I prefer the taste of Rosehips over the Lavender, but it wasn't THAT bad.  Lavender tea tastes just exactly like it smells, if that makes sense.  I brewed another pot last night using a little less Lavender and a little more Rosehips and it was quite good.  I chose to mix the Rosehips and Lavender, because Rosehips are high in Vit. C and good for fighting infection and Lavender is good for colds and can help induce sweating to reduce fever.   

I'm not a doctor or an herbalist so I can't tell you that the tea is what made a difference.    It could have been the steam or something like that, but I do know that my head started feeling better and I was breathing a good bit easier by the time I went to bed.

I also persuaded my sixteen year old son, Ferrell,  to drink a cup in the afternoon and again last night.   Ferrell seems to be taking the same cold that the girls and I have and he had also been coughing in a way that made me think he might need a breathing treatment for his asthma.  He really hates taking a breathing treatment, so I told him we would try the tea, but that if I wasn't convinced it was making a difference he WOULD be taking a treatment.  I can't say for sure that he's "out of the woods" as far as a breathing treatment goes, but he didn't cough during the night and doesn't seem to be tight at all and has not had a treatment yet. Yay!

It's always a good idea to check with your personal physician before trying any herbal remedies, especially if it's not something you feel really sure about. The internet has a ton of information available for anyone interested in learning more about herbs and their benefits and there are also some really great books on the subject. I've gotten several from Amazon and Ebay.

As for me, Lavender Flowers will definitely have a place in my herbal medicine chest!

The label is kind of hard to read in this picture but it says:  As a tea, oil inhalation, or vapor rub, lavender is effective for colds, coughs, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, flu, tonsillitis, and laryngitis.  A warm compress will relieve chest congestion, and help with bruises and insect bites.  In a tea or tincture, it can also be taken for stomach and bowel infections causing vomiting or diarrhea.  Hot lavender tea causes sweating and reduces fevers.  It helps to detoxify the body by increasing elimination of toxins via the skin.

I also thought I would share the recipe for a simple herbal cough syrup that I make whenever we start taking a cold.  We've been using it for a couple years now and it seems to do the job for us.  Amanda also gives it to her girls in a sippy cup with juice and just lets them sip on it.  It really seems to make a difference.  I helps to relieve the symptoms and for me it seems to shorten the duration of the cold. 

Herbal Cough Syrup

1 quart water
1 tablespoon licorice root
1 tablespoon mullein
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon slippery elm
1 tablespoon rosehips
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup rice syrup, fruit syrup or honey

Bring everything, but the syrup, to a boil.  Remove from heat and let steep 30 minutes.  Strain.  Return to heat and simmer.  While warm, stir in the syrup.  Let cool.  Give 1 tablespoon as needed.  Store in the refrigerator.

I don't have slippery elm on hand and only recently have had rosehips.  In the past I've made it with just mullein,  thyme,  and licorice root and it's still worked good.


  1. Thanks for this! use lavender eo a lot but will be planting our own soon to dry!

  2. I've tried planting lavender several times and never had any luck getting it to live. I'm planning to try again this year. I think I need to plant it somewhere with better drainage or something. Wish I had my Nannies green thumb!