When someone mentions lavender, you probably imagine the rolling purple hills of France or the beautiful, sweet fragrance found in so many products. But, did you know that lavender is beneficial for many of the problems we face everyday, and a essential ingredient to have in your kitchen and medicine cabinet? Here’s a short overview on the benefits of this purple flower:
Reduces Anxiety & Stress
Lavender has been used for centuries as a remedy for anxiety and depression. It has a complex mix of active components including ‘terpenes‘ – small molecules that are absorbed into the bloodstream via the nose or lungs. They are so small that they easily cross the blood/brain barrier and have an impact on neurological processes. This is why even smelling your lavender tea can bring a smile on your face, and relax your tense mind and body.
Lavender has been proven as effective at treating anxiety as its pharmaceutical counterparts, without any negative side-effects or withdrawal symptoms.
Using this gentle, sweet herb can help relax and bring joy to anyone struggling with anxiety, stress, restless and nervous body and mind, but also for more serious problems, like postnatal depression and PTSD.
Because of lavender’s sedative and calming properties, it works to improve sleep and treat insomnia. It is one of the most well known and appreciated benefits of lavender so if you suffer from restless nights, inability to sleep or wake up often during the night, then adding lavender to your life can help you to have a full night’s sleep. It increases the percentage of deep or slow-wave sleep helping you to feel more refreshed and energetic the next morning.
Lavender 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. The anti-microbial action of Lavender protects scrapes and wounds from infection, while allowing them to heal.
Lavender has a well documented history of effectively treating burns and scalds as well. Its pain relieving properties, combined with its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiseptic properties make it an effective burn treatment that stimulates the cells to regenerate more quickly and prevent scarring.
An easy, mobile way to always take care of your skin is to fill a spray bottle with water and lavender flowers. When your skin is feeling dry or irritated, simply spray some of the infused water on the area and enjoy the quick relief that it provides. This can also work for chronic conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and acne.
Lavender has long been used as a digestive aid. It improves the flexibility of the intestinal tract, allowing food to pass through more readily. Gastric juice production, including bile, is increased which improves digestion and nutrient absorption. Colic, vomiting, and flatulence can all be helped by using this plant.
An interesting additional benefit is that Lavender gently inhibits the growth of pathogens, but it doesn’t harm beneficial bacteria. How it distinguishes between harmful and beneficial bacteria is still a mystery.
As a digestive aid, lavender can be taken as a tea.
For anyone suffering from hair loss or any other condition that affects the quality of hair, lavender is a fragrant herbal friend. You can add the extract to your hair mask or shampoo, or make a strong tea and rinse out your hair with it. It works wonders for the shine, strength, and growth of your hair as well as treating dandruff.
If you are one of the millions of people struggling with tension or migraine headaches, lavender may just be the natural remedy you’ve been looking for. It relieves tension and relaxes your body and muscles – make a warm cup of tea and inhale the smell before you drink it, or rub a few drops of the extract to your temples.
Protects Heart Health
The relaxing qualities of lavender, which come from its calming compounds and antioxidants, also help the heart by gently reducing blood pressure and easing the tension on blood vessels. This can prevent atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular problems, thereby lowering the risk of stroke and heart attack.