Central Coast Lavender

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About a year ago I had the privilege of visiting Central Coast Lavender Farm and met Lila Avery-Fuson.  I was super impressed with Lila’s products and continue to use them as a regular part of our herbal medicine cabinet.  In fact since finding Lila’s organic lavender farm I haven’t purchased lavender oil anywhere else!

An inviting oasis in the Central Coast. Next time you are in Paso Robles drop by and tell Lila we sent you!

Grab a cup of tea (and if you’re the winner from last week, a biscotti) and read this great article by Susan Curtis for the Central Coast Lavender Farm.  If you read to the end you’ll get a couple of great recipes to include in your next menu plan!

When you inhale the fragrance of lavender, do you immediately begin to relax? The aromatherapy and healing values of lavender are a favorite around the world—but particularly important to Lila Avery-Fuson. In late 2005, Lila found herself coping with a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Robbed of her usual energy by headaches, sleeplessness and the side effect of medications, Lila reached for essential oils to help her relax, lift her spirits and boost her immune system.

With a three year-old daughter, Lila needed every ounce of energy she could get.
She studied and learned about lavender. As a science major, Lila reached out to the scientist of the essential oils industry to learn more about essential oils. With the help of her husband and father, Lila started Central Coast Lavender Farm in 2006. With a 1920 plow, they planted 4 acres with lavender plants.

Central Coast Lavender is now the largest lavender producer on the Central Coast. “Lavender took me from being a victim of the MS diagnosis,” says Lila, “to a champion and ambassador for essential oils.”

Central Coast Lavender Farm is founded on a love for nature and a passion for the beauty and healing benefits of Lavender. Lila explains: “From our California Certified Organic and Green growing methods through the development of our final product, we promote natural health and well-being through creating the purest, most natural paraben-free products that are both good for us and our planet. We believe it is important to inspire & educate on the health benefits of natural hand crafted skin care products. And we take delight in sharing the beauty of nature’s finest and most versatile herb in our estate-grown & distilled lavender.”

Most important, Lila practices sustainable Organic agriculture with Green farming methods to benefit the environment. “At our farm, we take an unwavering stance toward the protection and sustainability of our natural planet and the delicate rhythms which harmonize the ebb and flow from day to day. This follows the simple, yet powerful Native American dictum: ‘The frog does not drink up the pond in which it lives.’”

Her products are enjoyed all over the world.  Her favorite lavender essentials?
It’s the 100% Pure French Lavender Essential Oil. “I love its healing and disinfectant properties.”  And her customers’ favorite? “It has to be the Therapeutic Healing Butter. I use soy and aloe vera with sunflower seed oil blended with an apothecary of healing essential oils; our lavender essential oil, tea-tree oil and others. It’s an absolute healing, anti-inflammatory butter for every ache and pain. Love this one!”

Lila and her customers and fans continue to be delighted by the health benefits of lavender:                                                                                                                                        Anxiety and depression The essential oil of lavender has a calming, sedative, and anti-convulsive effect. It can also increase the effectiveness of other relaxants.

Insomnia A study conducted at the University of Leicester in England showed that the use of lavender essential oil is just as effective in promoting sound sleep as traditional medication. In fact, many British hospitals offer their patients lavender pillows to help with sleeplessness.
Scrapes and wounds Lavender essential oil has very powerful antiseptic properties. Applying it to wounds can not only increase cell growth causing the wound to heal faster, but it also decreases the appearance of scars.
Digestive problems Lavender has also been endorsed by Germany’s Commission E to treat all sorts of stomach and digestive disorders. It soothes the lining of the digestive tract and promotes the secretion of bile, which helps the body digest fats.
Headaches Massaging lavender oil onto your temples, neck and forehead can relieve neck and head tension and promote relaxation, thus relieving a variety of headaches.
Skin problems You can massage lavender oil into your skin to treat a number of skin problems such as acne, burns, dry skin, eczema, itchy skin, sunburn, seborrhea, and skin inflammation.
Women’s health problems For pregnancy, lavender can help sooth and relieve flatulence and indigestion. It can diminish the look of stretch marks and scars. It can relieve cramps, edema, exhaustion, infection, breast abscesses, and post-natal depression. A study of lavender by British researchers suggests that using lavender oil during pregnancy and childbirth can help ease delivery pain and promote a speedy recovery.

Here are a few of Lila’s favorite Lavender recipes:

CREAMY LAVENDER VINAIGRETTE                                                                                                                                  Yield: 2 cups, 12 servings

This vinaigrette is perfect on salads. A bit of tang with the lime brings out the flavor of the lavender.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup olive oil or grapeseed oil
1 tsp lime or lemon juice
1 tsp  Central Coast Lavender Farms Herbs de Provence
1 1/2 tsp dried culinary lavender (ground to a fine powder in a coffee mill)
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a pint jar and shake well. Pour it on salad greens or vegetables. Keeps for several days in the refrigerator.

LAVENDER BERRY BUTTER SPREAD
1/2 cup sweet unsalted butter softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup fresh berries
1 teaspoon dried lavender
Blend the first four items in a food blender, then fold in lavender. Chill.

LAVENDER SHORTBREAD COOKIES

3 cups unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
6 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 T. vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 T. dried lavender buds

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Sift flour and salt. Add to butter mixture and stir until well incorporated. Add vanilla extract, lemon extract, and lavender buds. Form dough into logs roll in lavender colored sugar and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm. Slice dough into 1/2 thick slices. Lay cookie slices on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until edges are slightly golden. Sprinkle with lavender powdered sugar!

Because of Lila’s energy and enthusiasm, she has gathered the growers from the entire Central Coast region of California and has formed the Central Coast Lavender Growers Association- a non -profit organization with a mission to support one another to promote lavender. It is with this non-profits annual Central Coast Lavender Festival, that Lila can give back by donating a portion of the proceeds to the National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.

Now, Lila is busier than ever – planning the 4th Annual Central Coast Lavender Festival, for July 14, 2012. Lila is also a sought-after speaker at lavender celebrations and will be featured at the June 23 Ojai Valley Lavender Festival.

You can join Lila’s Lavender Club for more recipes, lavender healing tips, and lavender essentials. Visit http://www.centralcoastlavender.com.

(Article by Susan Curtis.  Susan specializes in working with Artisans, from wineries to skincare to artists, helping spread the word of their unique contributions to the world.  susan@allsocial.biz)

Disclaimer – The herbal information on this web site is intended for educational purposes only. It is not the intention of the writers to advise on health care. Please see a medical professional about any health concerns you have.  Disclaimer – These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.  The information on this web site is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.


  1. Wow.. what a story. From literal pain to gain! Love it!

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