The health and wellness industry has absolutely blossomed with the help of a little purple shrub called lavender. Touted for its calming aroma, stress-relief, and skincare benefits, lavender has been spreading its seed far and wide.
Why? As a historically popular herb, the effects of lavender have been studied more than almost any other herbal remedy. Its track record is indisputable.
Read on to discover how you can use lavender tea, oil, and fresh leaves to declutter your mind and untangle your tummy.
What is Lavender?
Lavender is among the most popular herbs due to its general safety and bountiful therapeutic applications. A member of the mint family, this easy-to-grow herb is indigenous to the Mediterranean.
Historically, lavender was also one of the most popular herbs used in Victorian England. The English would stuff their bed pillows with lavender to whisk them off to sleep. A compound tincture of lavender known as Palsy Drops was officially recognized by the British Pharmacopoeia over 200 years ago. It was used to relieve muscle spasms, nervousness, and headaches.
Today, lavender is used as a general tonic, sedative, antispasmodic, diuretic, digestive aid, and gas remedy. Lavender tea and essential oil are prescribed to treat common minor ailments such as insomnia, nervousness, fatigue, headaches, nausea, and gas. Its aroma helps to stimulate mental processes to help patients with dementia and alleviate mild to moderate depression.
How to Find Pure Lavender
It’s important to note that not just any strain of lavender has these somniatic effects. When shopping for lavender, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Latin Name – Does the product say, “l. Angustifolia” or “l. Officinalis”? These are the two Latin names (the latter is the old usage for the same strain) that have the beneficial effects.
- Organic – Does the brand’s website state how the lavender is sourced? Organic lavender is less likely to have trace amounts of pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
- 100% Pure – Opt for a brand that is 100% sure that their product is 100% pure. Check their website for statements about testing.
- Sustainable – The universe provides us with natural remedies, such as lavender. Give back by purchasing from sustainable and philanthropic brands.
3 Routes for Lavender Benefits
You can get therapeutic lavender benefits in a variety of formulations. Depending on the reason you’re using lavender, you may want to apply it topically, inhale it intranasally, or consume it as a tea. Here’s what you need to know for using lavender safely.
Aromatic and topical lavender benefits can come in cute little brown bottles. Essential oils can be added to a diffuser or sprinkled into your hand to waft the scent of relaxation toward yourself. You can even use lavender essential oils to add an alluring fragrance to unscented lotions and soaps. You can safely use essential oils in the bath when taking time for yourself. If you’re suffering from skin issues, you can apply it topically with a clean cotton swab, usually with a carrier oil such as jojoba or argan oil.
The essence of lavender can be enjoyed as an herbal tea. Herbal tea is one of the most calming ways to enjoy the anxiety-reducing benefits of lavender. In fact, we use lavender, along with moringa, mint, and chamomile, to help our customers settle into a deep meditative state in our “Meditative State of Mind” herbal tea blend.
Garden Lavender Benefits
Lavender is one of the easiest herbs to grow. You can grow lavender in a pot or in your garden. You can also keep it as an indoor plant if your home receives lots of direct sunlight. If you live in an arid climate, you can grow lavender as a perennial. In a humid climate, it will probably not survive the winter unless you bring it indoors.
Dry your homegrown lavender and add it to teas. You can also just get a fresh scent to inhale by rubbing fresh lavender between your hands.
3 Ways Lavender Benefits the Body
Lavender for Skincare
Lavender is a naturally non-comedogenic moisturizer, meaning it’s an oil that doesn’t clog pores. Sound counterintuitive? The science says that breakouts often happen when your skin is too dry. In reaction, you skin begins excessively producing sebum, your skin’s natural oil, causing bacteria buildup and clogged pores. Keeping your skin hydrated using lavender benefits your overall skin health.
On top of that, lavender is naturally antifungal, antimicrobial, and antibacterial. Because essential oils are, well, the essence of the plant, they are designed by nature to stave off harmful bacteria.
What does this mean for your skin? It means fewer breakouts and less scarring.
Lavender also acts to heal burns by stopping the action of hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, which cause swelling and provoke painful constriction in the area of the burn. Lavender oil also protects burned skin from bacterial and fungal infection
We recommend using a carrier oil such as jojoba oil or argan oil to dilute your lavender.
Lavender for Headache Relief
Lavender has shown to be an effective treatment for headache relief and migraine relief. We’ve all heard that lavender reduces stress and anxiety – two common reasons for headaches. However, it’s also been shown to ease headaches of all kinds. In one study, participants reported a reduction in headache-related pain after only 15 minutes of inhaling the aroma of lavender oil.
If you experience frequent headaches at work or at home, consider adding an oil diffuser to your decor. Alternatively, you can drink lavender herbal tea to soothe and warm your throbbing head.
Lavender Benefits for Upset Stomach
Whether you’re suffering from nausea or cramps, lavender can help. The same soothing properties that lavender is renown for can also settle your stomach.
If nausea is your ailment, inhalation may be too intense. Instead, try slowly sipping lavender herbal tea.
Herbal tea is also the way to go if you’re experiencing gastrointestinal distress. As it works its way through your system, lavender relaxes the smooth muscles in your stomach and small intestine, relieving cramps and helping move food through.
In fact, health officials in Germany have endorsed the use of lavender herbal tea to reduce excessive gas and encourage blood flow for disturbances in the upper abdomen, such as nervous irritable stomach.
2 Ways Lavender Benefits the Mind
Lavender for Insomnia
Get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer by adding a dose of lavender to your nightly routine. Whether you choose to have a warm cup of caffeine-free herbal tea or imbue your nighttime moisturizer with essential oil, lavender benefits the dreamer by turning down your thoughts.
Lavender Benefits for Anxiety & Depression
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, lavender benefits those who suffer from anxiety and/or mild to moderate depression. Prescription medications can have devastating side effects and diet and exercise can only do so much. If all else has failed you, lavender will help encourage your natural serotonin production.
We recommend adding lavender to your self-care regime. That means enjoying a cup of tea during a quiet meditation, adding a couple drops of lavender oil to your bath, or setting a diffuser up in your bedroom. However you cope with anxiety and depression, we encourage you to make lavender a part of your process.
Considerations for Use Of Lavender
We advise against taking lavender oil internally.
Moreover, people with gallstones or obstructions of the biliary tract should avoid lavender because it can stimulate a secretion of bile that cannot be released through the bile duct.
Lastly, pregnant or nursing women should avoid using lavender.