Lavender Combats Stress, Headaches, Depression & More

Some Amazing Properties

  • Eases pain, headaches, migraines
  • Soothes nerves, works as relaxant
  • Reduces anxiety and stress
  • Heals burns and sores
  • Lessens depression
  • Anti-septic and anti-bacterial

History

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia or Lavandula officinalis) is famous for its relaxing properties and its sweet, floral and fresh scent.  It became popular in the Middle Ages as medicine and was taken to the New World by the Pilgrims in 1620.  The name lavender comes from the Latin word “lavare,” which means “to wash.”  It has been used in pillows to aid insomnia for centuries and is very popular in soaps, shampoos and lotions.
The essential oil is derived from the fresh flower of the plant.

The Magic of Lavender Up Close

  • Nervous system
    • Lavender is perhaps most famous for its soothing effect on the nerves, which helps with irritability, sleeplessness, migraines, headaches, anxiety, depression and stress .1,2,3,4,5
      For more, check out these 15 easy tips on combating stress.
  • Insomnia
  • Pain relief
    • Because of lavender’s ability to reduce muscle tension, it’s a great remedy for sore or tense muscles, sprains, backaches, headaches and rheumatism. 2
  • Anti-septic and anti-bacterial
    • Lavender essential oil is a powerful first aid remedy because of its anti-septic and anti-bacterial properties. It helps heal burns, wounds, sores, insect stings, relieves pain and inflammation and can be used to treat head lice.  Do not use on open wounds! 6,7
  • Burns
  • Skin ailments
    • Lavender’s anti-septic and anti-bacterial qualities allow it to treat fungal infections, eczema, wounds, burns and acne6,7

So How Do I Use Lavender?

  • Apply essential oil or cream: If you are not allergic (ask your doctor) you can put 100% pure lavender essential oil undiluted on the skin to relieve skin ailments, as a first aid or rub it into the temples to ease headaches and migraines. Do not use on open wounds!
    For lavender lotions, a good quality one I like is Avalon Lavender Hand & Body Lotion.
  • Inhale it: Prepare a steam inhalation to treat depression, insomnia, headache, migraine, stress or nervousness.  Add 2-4 drops 100% pure lavender essential oil to 2-4 cups of boiling water, bend head over bowl and gently inhale.  For extra efficacy, drape a towel over your head to keep the steam and aroma in.
  • Make a tea: steep 2 teaspoons of herb in 1 cup hot water.  Let sit 15 minutes and drink once cool enough.  Oral use not recommended for children.

Where Do I Get Lavender?

You can find lavender essential oil, bath and beauty products and the whole herb online or at health food and specialty stores.  

Contraindication

Although lavender essential oil, like tea tree oil, can be put undiluted on the skin, some people have allergic reactions to it.  It’s better to mix it with a carrier oil, such as almond, grapeseed, jojoba or olive oil.  Pregnant and breast-feeding women should consult their doctor before using.

References:

1– Cauffield JS, Forbes HJ. Dietary supplements used in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. Lippincotts Prim Care Pract. 1999; 3(3):290-304.
2– Ghelardini C, Galeotti N, Salvatore G, Mazzanti G. Local anaesthetic activity of the essential oil of Lavandula angustifolia. Planta Med. 1999;65(8):700-703.
3– Hardy M, Kirk-Smith MD. Replacement of drug treatment for insomnia by ambient odor. Lancet. 1995;346:701.
4– Lee IS, Lee GJ. [Effects of lavender aromatherapy on insomnia and depression in women college students] Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2006;36(1):136-43.
5– Motomura N, Sakurai A, Yotsuya Y. Reduction of mental stress with lavender odorant.Percept Mot Skills. 2001;93(3):713-718.
6University of Maryland Medical Center: “Lavender”
7Organic Facts: “Health Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil”

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Axinja

I created this site because I believe in the individual - in you, to have the power to change your health. Your holistic health. It's usually easiest to start with the body. But without developing the mind and spirit, one's perspective and outlook on life and oneself, the body will keep on breaking. All three are linked. Love your body and being, they really deserves it. I have a passion for researching the latest in mind/body medicine, and have done so for years. I quit a full time job at a large corporation to devote myself to this. I update this blog regularly, so keep checking back. Do send me a note (namaste8@gmail.com), I will be happy to receive your comments.

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