The Benefits of Lavender
What is Lavender?
Lavender is an herb native to northern Africa and the mountainous regions of the Mediterranean. Lavender has been used since ancient times for its medicinal and healing effects, unique fragrance, and to enhance the flavour of food.
The herb is highly regarded for skin and beauty and is commonly used in fragrances and shampoos to help wash and purify the skin. In fact, the word lavender originally stems from the Latin word lavare which means “to wash”.
What are the health benefits of lavender?
The use of lavender is found to have many relaxing, healing and therapeutic properties, such as:
Stress reduction – Lavender has a calming scent which makes it an excellent tonic for the nerves and anxiety issues. Therefore, it can also be helpful in treating migraines, headaches, depression, nervous tension and emotional stress. The refreshing aroma removes nervous exhaustion and restlessness while also increasing mental activity.
Insomnia – The lavender fragrance is a relaxant that helps to induce sleep, which has made it a common recommendation for an alternative treatment of insomnia.Research shows the scent lowers heart rate and blood pressure, putting you in a relaxed state. It has such a relaxing impact on people that it can often replace modern medicine for sleep issues.
Bug Repellent – Lavender essential oil is potent for many types of bugs like mosquitoes, midges, and moths. Apply some of the lavender oil on the exposed skin when outside to prevent these irritating bites. Furthermore, if you do happen to be bitten by one of those bugs, the lavender essential oil has anti-inflammatory qualities that will reduce the irritation and the pain associated with bug bites.
Enhance the flavour of food – Culinary lavender can be used to add a delicious touch to honey, teas, salads, sauces, soups, meats and fish, chocolate, biscuits and ice cream. When experimenting with culinary lavender it is important to add the lavender gradually to suit your taste.
General skin care – The health benefits of lavender oil for the skin are due to its antiseptic and antifungal properties. It is used to treat various skin disorders such as acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, and other inflammatory conditions. It is commonly used to speed up the healing process of wounds, cuts, burns, and sunburns because it improves the formation of scar tissues.
Respiratory disorders – Due to its anti-bacterial qualities, lavender oil is widely used for various respiratory problems including throat infections, flu, cough, cold, asthma, sinus congestion, bronchitis, whooping cough, laryngitis, and tonsillitis. The oil is either used in the form of vapor or is applied on the skin of the neck, chest and back.
Hair care – Lavender essential oil is useful for hair care because it has been shown to be very effective in reducing dandruff. Furthermore, lavender essential oil has also been shown to be very helpful in the treatment of hair loss, particularly for patients who suffer from alopecia, an auto-immune disease where the body rejects its own hair follicles.