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Anyone know the usage of french lavender, aka Lavandula dentata, the fringed one?

Whenever I googled this name, most of the information is generally about the growing condition and the basic information, but not the usage. Is it edible? I've heard that people usually use English lavender for ice-cream, but not French one. Any idea? Especially the foliage, because it has abundant foliage.

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2 Answers 2

Apparently, French lavender is also used to make ice-cream, although many people prefer ice-cream made with French lavender honey. The following article describes its many other uses, mainly as an oil:

Lavender is legendary among herbs as a healer, and many of its historic uses have proven to be legitimate. French lavender essential oil can be used as an antimicrobial, antiviral and also a fungicide. It was used in wartime for antiseptic purposes, because when the oil was rubbed into a wound, the infection rate plummeted. Many people have used it over the centuries as a headache remedy, and it is also popular in aromatherapy as a tension reliever. This property makes it useful in muscle ointments, which is why it is so popular in massage therapy' Over the years, mothers have made pillows for their babies that were stuffed with the blossoms because the essential oil they contained helped put the babies to sleep and wake up refreshed. Lavender bushes were planted beneath nursery windows so that on a sunny day, the fragrance would naturally waft into the child’s room. Even today, a popular item is the neck pillow stuffed with lavender that is meant to relieve tension. Lavender Fragrance The ‘lave’ in the word lavender is from the French, where ‘laver’ means ‘to wash.’ Lavender grows well in France, and most homes had an area devoted to growing the fragrant bushes. On wash day, maids would lay the linens over the bushes. As the sheets dried, the heat of the sun infused the aroma into the fabric, and the scent could be enjoyed for days. Lavender essential oil is still used to give a pleasant smell to many products today, including many toiletry items like perfumes, lotions and powders. Many household products also use lavender, such as laundry soap, dryer sheets and dishwashing liquid. Lavender In Food One of the very first uses for this versatile herb was for flavoring in food. It is pleasant in desserts and also in savory dishes. It lends a delightful contrast to fruits that are sour. It is not recommended to use the pure distilled essential oil in food dishes, but flower buds can be used to give the right amount of diluted essence to the dish. Lavender tea is quickly becoming a favorite beverage. Adding a few blossoms to shortcake lends a pleasant and refreshing essence.

Green and Simple Living

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I've heard that people usually use English lavender for ice-cream, but not French one. Any idea?

That is also what I've heard and read, and I'm not entirely sure if the article quoted in the other answer is specific to French lavender as it looks like a general article on both L. angustifolia (English) and L. dentata (French).

This article mentions that L. dentata is not usually used in cooking, although people have been known to use it nevertheless. This source also confirms this.

The wikipedia article on L. dentata says that it is commonly grown as an ornamental plant and its essential oil is used in perfumes. It is also used in Murcia (Spain) as a herbal remedy for stomach ache.

Here is a nice comparison between the English and French varieties. From the article (text in brackets and emphasis are mine),

While the other two [Spanish & French] aren't poisonous, it is the English variety of lavender that is most often used for culinary purposes, such as flavoring oils, butters and sugar, and in dishes, though some cooks like a little French lavender for a change of pace, such as in herbs de provence. French lavender can substitute for rosemary in breads and other recipes. English lavender is also most coveted for its scent in soaps, potpourris, essential oil, etc. The other varieties show up more often in dried flower arrangements

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