I started drying flowers and herbs and a wonderful plethora of things for teas and- well, anything really. Just recently I decided to try drying some lavender leaves for the first time. I was checking on it today, and I noticed that it smelled more like cinnamon than lavender, and I also noticed that it's taking a bit longer to dry than most plants. Is this normal, or am I doing something wrong? I also haven't had a chance to search up what properties Lavender may have yet. Anything you can share is appreciated :)
Re: Dried Lavender
By: Hollabaluru / Knowledgeable May 23, 2014
Post # 2
Well, all plants are different, and may dry differently - so has been my experience. Lavender though - and this is only my logical conclusion since I have a plant of my own - since it is a plant that can survive high heat and little moisture, probably has developed a way to lock in moisture to counteract the lack-there-of.
This is just speculation from observation though.
Lavender is a lovely herb, powerful and common enough to probably be used for everything. Some common ground of symoblism which many cultures seem to agree on is Love, and Purity. It's smell is amazing as well.
I'm actually not sure what kind of lavender it is. I dry wild plants that I find growing in the forest nearby, and this lavender hasn't flowered yet. If the information helps, it's leaves are very pale and kind of fuzzy. There are light purple buds on the plant so I'm assuming that the flowers will be almost white in color.
With lavender it is the flowers and essential oil that are used, not the whole plant. It's also important to know exactly what plant it is before using it for any kind of healing. There are many types of lavender and some have completely different properties. The "true" lavender, Lavendula angustifolia, has a relatively low amount of essential oil but is high in esters (which is what is responsible for the calming effect it's known for). Lavandin is a another type that has a high essential oil content and is high in camphor but low in esters, making it a stimulant. Lavandin is normally the lavender that is used in products with the "lavender fragrance" label and is one reason why so many people will say that lavender either doesn't work for them or wakes them up. They are using the wrong kind of lavender for the effect they are seeking. With any herb you intend to use for healing you should research what part is used medicinally first. Some plants have certain parts that are medicinal, but others that are toxic if consumed. You also want to check the official name (Latin binomial) to make sure you are getting the correct plant for what you need. There are many plants that have the same common name but are completely different plants or have completely different properties and effects. Lavender is one of these. If you want more information on herbs and their uses, one book I would recommend is 20,000 Secrets of Tea by Victoria Zak. Also look in the alternative medicine section of your local library or bookstore for others.
Lavender can be used for calming, peace, protection,sleep, and purification.
The leaves might take longer to dry because some plants have more moisture.
Sometimes when you dry leaves they smell like something else. That happens to me all the time.
There are different varities of Lavender as well which all smell slightly different. The conditions you dry herbs in could also be affecting the smell. Things like moisture, humidity, head all can change how it smells.