Lavender . . .

Species/Family: Lamiaceae
Scientific name: Lavandula angustifolia

Lavender is the most requested massage oil I use! It is known as an aid to sleep and relaxation and as an anti-inflammatory for its ability to soothe and heal skin irritations, for example, insect bites, cuts and allergic reactions. Infuse fresh lavender leaves and blossom in a carrier oil for several weeks, strain and use as is as a massage oil or in a healing salve.

Here is another use of lavender I wish I had thought of when my children were young. But . . . it is never to late to give a gift of comfort so am making a special pillow for my daughter, a mother herself now.

The Story of The Lavender Cat

by Tina Sams www.essentialherbal.com

My daughter experienced a very anxious time when she entered second grade in our local public school. She would come home - after what perhaps seemed like an endless day - and say that nobody liked her, that she was dumb, and didn't want to go back. She was very insecure. All of my comforting and reassurances during the evening hours didn't help as she stepped onto the bus and began another anxious day. At that time, Beanie Babies were very popular and, with this in mind, I decided to make her very own little baby, in the form of a little cat, stuffed with dried lavender flowers.

I knew the aromatherapeutic benefits of lavender would help ease her anxiety, but not wanting to add to her stress, I thought better of making her cat appear too "babyish". The cat was made out of black satin, although any tightly woven cloth would work, and a pretty flannel would be very comforting. The finished cat was a mere three inches high and two inches wide with string whiskers and a bow tie. She was thrilled when presented with the little kitty, and slept with it that night. The next morning it went right into her backpack and it wasn't mentioned again for a while.

About a week later I was asked to assist in a classroom project. Arriving at her room, I noticed that my child had her head stuck IN HER DESK with the top pulled down over her. Wondering what she was up to, I made my way to her desk and was met with the sweet aroma of lavender.

My daughter finished her school year with success, boundless energy and a smile. The kitty came home, flattened and well used. The lavender flowers had turned to powder, but had done their job well.

When third grade loomed ahead, the sad little kitten landed in my lap with a request for a refill. It was simply a matter of opening a small seam, stuffing in the lavender, and sewing it back up. Off to school it went for another year. Then another. It accompanied her through a couple of moves to new areas and slept under her pillow for years.

Now as she nears the last year of high school, I'm wishing things were as simple to fix.

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