Lavender is one of the most widely
used, versatile herbs known today. It is considered a member of the
Labiatae family, which also includes mints and the plant originated in
England, France, Tasmania, and Yugoslavia.
Lavender flowers have long since been
used to treat digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness.
Until World War I, lavender was used to treat and disinfect wounds. For
centuries, English farmers would place lavender flowers in their hats to
prevent headache and sunstroke. Women would place sachets of lavender
in their closets and wardrobes for fragrance, in addition to using it in
potpourri. Hospitals used lavender as an antiseptic and disinfectant to
sterilize surfaces and equipment.
Today, lavender is used in much of
the same way, for many of the same reasons. Both the flowers of the
plant and the essential oils derived from the plant can be used for
According to the book The New Healing
Herbs, the essential oils extracted from the flowers contain more than
150 compounds. Lavender essential oil is easily and quickly absorbed
into the skin, and can be detected in the blood in as little as 5
Today, lavender is most commonly used
for anxiety, depression, mental exhaustion, insomnia, scrapes and
wounds, digestive problems, headaches, skin problems and women's health
problems. In addition to this, lavender can be used to treat exhaustion,
heat exposure, fevers, aches and pains, over-exertion, jet lag, rashes,
sprains, sunburn, sunstroke, bruises and burns. It can also be used as a
disinfectant and insect repellent. Lavender is an antiseptic, natural
antibiotic, sedative, detoxifier.
Anxiety and depression.
The essential oil of lavender has a
calming, sedative, and anti-convulsive effect. It can also increase the
effectiveness of other relaxants.
A study conducted at the University
of Leicester in England showed that the use of lavender essential oil is
just as effective in promoting sound sleep as traditional medication.
In fact, many British hospitals offer their patients lavender pillows to
help with sleeplessness.
Scrapes and wounds.
Lavender essential oil 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 oils anti-microbial action
protects scrapes and wounds from infection, while allowing them heal.
Lavender has also been endorsed by
Germany's Commission E to treat all sorts of stomach and digestive
disorders. It soothes the lining of the digestive tract and promotes the
secretion of bile, which helps the body digest fats. In addition to
this, lavender can also relieve gas pressure and constipation.
Massaging lavender oil onto the
temples, neck and forehead can relieve neck and head tension and promote
relaxation, thus relieving a variety of headaches. Those included are
general headaches, gastric headaches, nervous headaches, sinus and
By massaging lavender oil into the
skin, it can be used to treat a number of skin problems such as acne,
burns, dry skin, eczema, itchy skin, sunburn, seborrhea, and skin
Women's health problems.
For pregnancy, lavender can help
sooth and relieve flatulence and indigestion. It can diminish the look
of stretch marks and scars. It can relieve cramps, edema, exhaustion,
infection, breast abscesses, and post-natal depression. A study of
lavender by British researchers suggests that using lavender oil during
pregnancy and childbirth can help ease delivery pain and promote a
By either adding lavender to the bath
or massaging it into the skin, lavender can help relieve pre-menstrual
syndrome, and menstrual cramps. It is effective in aiding the treatment
of chlamydia, pelvic inflammatory disease, thrush, vaginal infections,
inflamed vaginal tissue, vaginitis, cystitis, Raynaud's Disease, breast
abscesses, and cervical cancer. If being treated with radiation for any
form of cervical or uterine cancer, lavender oil can prevent and
diminish irradiation burns.
The uses of lavender are endless.
Lavender is a must-have for all homes because of its calming,
antibiotic, antiseptic, disinfectant, antiviral and anti-inflammatory
properties. It is good for treating or aiding in the treatment of a
number of health problems. By mixing lavender with water, it can be
sprayed on surfaces and used as a household disinfectant, and applying
it to the skin can deter insects.
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