By guest blogger Rachel Caine, MS, Dietetic Intern, Mount Auburn Hospital 
lavender in bloom

Lavender is a versatile herb that grows in small shrub-like formations. It is very well known for its scent and has been used in aromatherapy for hundreds of years due to its relaxing properties.

Lavender is also a nutritious and flavorful culinary herb: Both leaves and flowers can be used fresh or dried to flavor many dishes. Used fresh, it has a stronger, sweeter, more floral flavor; while dried, it has earthier, more aromatic notes.

Lavender flowers are a great addition to desserts as well as salads and main dishes, adding a unique flavor and brilliant pop of color! Make sure to buy culinary grade lavender if you’ll be eating it.

Nutrition Information
Lavender contains many phytochemicals and antioxidants, including limonene which has been shown to stimulate digestive enzymes in the liver, supporting the body’s own, natural detoxification system.

Other compounds in lavender, when eaten or smelled, have an anti-anxiety, stress relieving effect.

How can I use lavender?

  • Peach Salad with Lavender Dressing; Lemon Lavender Muffins
  • Sprinkle on top of ice cream as a refreshing summer dessert
  • Steep in hot water as a relaxing bedtime tea
  • Make an herbal dressing for salad
  • Snip fresh into salads
  • Toss with olive oil and root vegetables for roasting
  • Use in cold beverages like lemonade
  • Use as part of a rub for chicken or lamb
  • Dry your own by placing in an airtight, dark container or in ziplock bags in your freezer – use within one year.