Some of the most important health benefits of lavender include its ability to relieve stress, improve mood, promote restful sleep, reduce inflammation, lower skin irritation, prevent infections, eliminate dandruff, and soothe stomach bloating.
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Nearly forty plants with the mint family are technically classified as lavender, although the most common version of lavender is Lavandula angustifolia, which is the variety on which the color “lavender” is based. This genus of flowering plants is found in Europe, Africa, the Mediterranean, and parts of Asia, as well as other small corners of the “Old World”. The reason that lavender is so widely used is its massive range of applications, from food and fragrance to cosmetics and herbal medicine; this plant is chock full of essential oils that can have powerful effects on the human body, as well as one of the most unique and beloved scents in the world.
One of the problems with lavender is that it can grow and spread quickly, which is why it is actually considered a weed in certain parts of the world, particularly if that varietal isn’t one of those prized for their scent. Lavender essential oil is highly sought after and widely available; the full range of health benefits of lavender essential oil can also be found on a separate health benefits page on Organic Facts. As a culinary element, lavender is used in salad dressings, honey, sauces, beverages, various teas, and as a flavoring spice for a number of other cultural dishes. The scent and flavor is wonderful, but the real bonus of lavender comes from its health benefits, which we will explore in greater detail below.
Health Benefits of Lavender
Anxiety and Stress: There are a number of methods to use lavender to soothe anxiety and stress. The natural organic compounds in the leaves and flowers of lavender can be ground between the fingers and then rubbed into the temples. This topical application can soothe the body and mind, relieving anxious thoughts and balancing out mood. Aside from this topical application of the flowers themselves, you can also brew lavender tea and achieve much the same effect. The antioxidant components of lavender can impact the endocrine system of the body to lower the levels of stress hormones in the body.
Sleep Issues: If you regularly struggle with insomnia, apnea, or restless sleep patterns, it can seriously impact your life. By brewing a few lavender flowers in hot water, you can steep a wonderful tea that has been used to induce sleep and relaxation for thousands of years. This is closely linked to the flower’s impact on the nervous system, and can also help to clear your mind of negative thoughts or clutter. Lavender is commonly combined with meditation techniques, either in essential oil or aromatherapy form.
Anti-Inflammatory Qualities: Everyone is looking for a reliable way to relax the body and mind, and lavender takes care of both. If you add flowers to your bathwater and take a nice long soak, the anti-inflammatory components of lavender can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body and easy hurting muscles. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of lavender are quite potent, and this is one of the most trusted applications of lavender flowers.
Skin Care: An easy, mobile way to always take care of your skin is to fill a spray bottle with 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 can provide. This can also work for chronic conditions, like psoriasis, eczema, and even acne.
Antiseptic Ability: Although many people turn to lavender to relaxation and aromatherapeutic applications, its effect on infection is impressive, to say the least. Many people apply crushed lavender leaves on wounds and injuries to promote not only quick healing of the wounds, but also to prevent the development of infections at those sites. This has been a popular use for lavender since antiquity.
Hair Health: If you suffer from hair loss or any other condition that affects the quality and health of your hair, seek out a lavender-based shampoo. However, some of those organic cosmetic products can be quite expensive, while others may claim to be derived from lavender and still contain harsh chemicals. One of the best options is to steep lavender flowers as though you are brewing tea and then apply that mixture to your hair. It will function as an effective shampoo and significantly boost the health of your follicle beds and hair.
Heart Issues: The relaxing qualities of lavender, which come from its organic compounds and antioxidants, also help the heart by reducing blood pressure and easing the tension of blood vessels. This can prevent and other cardiovascular issues, thereby lowering your risk of strokes and heart attacks.
Bloating and Digestive Issues: The polyphenols found in lavender have a wide range of effects on the body, including anti-aging impacts, but it can also help prevent the development of harmful bacteria in the gut. Essentially, this will prevent the accumulation of gas in the gut from the emissions of those bacteria. This will ease stomach discomfort, reduce bloating, and eliminate cramping. Either chewing on lavender leaves or drinking a lavender tea can be effective in this way.
A Final Word of Warning: Although not commonly considered an allergenic substance, if you are susceptible from allergens in the mint family, you could experience negative side effects from lavender as well. These are usually mild in nature and include headaches, constipation, and increased appetite, while topical application can cause mild irritation and redness.