Herbal Meds

Lavender, a soothing herbal remedy to relieve anxiety

Where does Lavender come from?

Lavender is a flowering plant part of the mint family.  It is not uncommon to see lavender with its pretty purple flowers growing everywhere as people plant this herb in their gardens quite frequently.

The name lavender comes from the Latin root lavare, which means "to wash."  This name was most likely given to this herb because of its traditional use in soaps and bath and hair products.  In ancient Egypt lavender was used in the mummification process and in Persia, Greece and Rome it was popular among women as a bath additive.

Traditionally, lavender was used for mental health purposes and as an antiseptic, today, this herb is used to relieve restlessness, insomnia, depression and anxiety.

How can Lavender help me?

In ancient times, pillows and bedding where sprinkled with lavender flowers to assist restless people to fall asleep.  Scientific studies have now proven that aromatherapy with lavender slows down the activity of the nervous system, thereby promoting relaxation and improving sleep quality.

Massage with lavender essential oil increases mental capacity and creates a more stable mood in people suffering from anxiety.  Adding lavender oil to a pre-bedtime bath can soothe your nerves and help you to relax.

In certain European countries, lavender has been approved as a tea to relieve restlessness, insomnia and stomach irritations.

Lavender essential oil is used in inhalation therapy to relieve headaches and exhaustion, and when added to bathwater, it has been proven to relieve muscle aches and pain.

Gels containing lavender extract are commercially available and bring relief to people suffering from the pain of rheumatic conditions.

Research conducted of people with alopecia areata (a disease characterized by hair loss in patches) showed that massaging the scalp with lavender oil daily for several months experienced significant hair regrowth.  

Drinking lavender tea helps alleviate gas and bloating and calms an upset stomach quickly.  Pregnant women often drink lavender tea to relieve morning sickness.

Linalool, which is a volatile oil in lavender, relaxes the bronchial passages, thereby reducing allergic reactions and inflammation.  Lavender is often included in herbal remedies to treat asthma, coughs and other respiratory illnesses.  Linalool is also considered an expectorant and an antiseptic.

Topical uses for lavender include soothing burn wounds and relieving the itching associated with allergic skin conditions.  People who suffer from eczema also find relief when applying lavender creams to their skin.  Insect bites and stings are soothed by applying lavender creams.

Outer ear infections are soothed by rubbing lavender oil gently into the outer ear area.

Adding a few drops of lavender oil to your bathwater will soothe mild sunburn.

If I am already on medicine, what are the interactions or side effects I need to know about when using Lavender?

Please consult your medical practitioner prior to using any herbal medications should you be under their care.

There are few known side effects of lavender, however some people have reported nausea, headaches and chills when absorbing of lavender through the skin.

Pregnant and breast feeding women should consult their health care practitioner before using lavender herbal remedies.

Lavender might increase the effects of over-the-counter sleep aids and sedatives.  Use lavender with caution when taking anti-depressants.

People who use antihistamines to treat hayfever and other allergies have reported that the sedative effect of the antihistamine is increased when using lavender.

How do I use Lavender?

To treat and disinfect cuts and scrapes, apply 1 or 2 drops of lavender oil to the wound after rinsing the wound with clean water.

For outer ear ache, apply a few drops of lavender essential oil to the outer ear and rub it in gently.  This can be repeated during the day as often as needed.

To relieve the itching and pain associated with insect bites, gently rub a few drops of lavender oil into the affected area.  You can repeat this as often as needed.  Please seek medical help if you are allergic to bee stings.

To treat mild sunburn, add lavender oil mixed with almond oil to a cool bath.  This treatment is recommended twice a day.  For severe sunburn, seek medical attention.

For stomach upsets and nausea, use 1 teaspoon of dried lavender flowers for each cup of water.  Brew the dried flowers in a teapot with boiled water for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how strong you want the tea.  Do not brew longer than 10 minutes as it will become too bitter to drink.  Strain the tea and add milk or sugar to taste.

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Any and all Herbal Remedies or Herbal Medicine's are used at your own risk