Unlike linden blossom tea, I do not remember drinking lavender tea growing up in Turkey. But these days, it is so popular that you see it everywhere and under a name that is different from lavender. Nevertheless, it is indeed made out of the flowers of lavandula stoechas also known as French lavender. This plant is endemic to the Mediterranean and it is widely used in aromatherapy due to its distinctively pleasant scent.
I tried the wild lavender tea which was expectedly pleasant and started to research about it. I found a lot of controversy concerning its benefits. I found some web articles (non-scientific ones) talking about the wide range of benefits of the tea from aiding digestion to reducing urinal infection. On the other hand, I came across several side effects including triggering allergic reactions, causing headache, and increasing appetite. The lavender’s toxic properties were also broadly mentioned in many sources (see the reference below). Hence, definitely, this is a plant to be handled and consumed carefully and certainly not in large quantities.
Interestingly, I found a Taiwanese research article investigating the 'Effects of Lavender Tea on Fatigue, Depression, and Maternal-Infant Attachment in Sleep-Disturbed Postnatal Women'. Its results suggest that women who drank lavender tea perceived less fatigue and depression and showed greater bonding with their babies however, the positive effects of lavender tea finished after a few weeks. Obviously, more research is needed to draw any conclusion for both potential benefits and harms of this tea. In the meantime, keep being cautious when it comes to its consumption.
Type: Herbal (non-tea)
Harvest time: 2019
Leave colour: Brownish/purple flowers
Liquor colour: Pale orange
Tea aroma: Distinctive lavender
Tea taste: Floral with slight astringency
Steeping/brewing: Put about 4 gr of full lavender flowers in 250ml hot water and infuse for about 3 minutes. Avoid overconsumption.
Shelf life: Up to 1 year (the freshest the better)