Lavender Tea- Benefits, How To Make & Side Effects
Some of the best benefits of lavender tea include relaxing the body, reducing muscle spasms, promoting healthy digestion, aiding sleep, eliminating inflammation, balancing mood, healing the skin and soothing pain, among many others. That being said, there are also some side effects of this tea, such as sun sensitivity and irritation on the skin. However, in moderate doses, provided a person is not allergic to lavender, the benefits far outweigh the risks of small side effects.
Lavender tea is derived from the lavender buds of the flowering plant, the small purple bundles that fall off so easily in your hand. Scientifically found in the genus Lavandula, lavender can come in more than 45 different species, many of which have been used in traditional medicine applications and fragrance products for centuries – if not longer! With an impressive concentration of calcium, iron, vitamin A and phenolic compounds, as well as powerful terpenes, such as linalool. These nutrients can have a number of notable effects on human health.
What Are the Benefits of Lavender Tea?
When you drink lavender tea, it can provide relief from chronic pain, inflamed tissues, arthritis, insomnia, high anxiety, mood swings, gastrointestinal upset, tension, skin irritation and headaches, just to name a few. Regardless of what ails you, the benefits of lavender tea will likely be able to help!
Stress Levels: The natural soothing qualities of lavender tea and its active components make it ideal for people who suffer from chronic stress and anxiety. It can stimulate the release of certain neurotransmitters that can offset the excess stress hormones in your body and help prevent mental exhaustion. In a similar way, the use of this tea has also shown itself to have analgesic effects, basically making both your body and mind less sensitive to painful stimuli.
Digestive Health: The essential oils found in lavender tea have digestive qualities that can eliminate inflammation, regulate smooth muscle function, and promote healthier digestion. The mineral content also helps improve overall uptake by the digestive tract, ensuring that you get the most out of your meals, without suffering from indigestion, constipation, bloating or cramping. There are also anticonvulsant and antispasmodic qualities of lavender that help settle upset stomachs and regulate peristaltic motion.
Heart Health: This specialty tea has anti-coagulant and cholesterol-lowering properties, making it a great tonic for the heart. By lowering levels of negative LDL cholesterol, which collects as plaque in the arteries and blood vessels, while also thinning the blood to reduce the chances of a blood clot, this tea significantly lowers your risk for atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes.
Skin: The antioxidants and volatile compounds found in the oils of lavender are able to seek out and neutralize free radicals in the body, which are the byproducts of cellular metabolism. These free radicals can cause chronic disease, premature signs of aging, wrinkles and inflammation, but lavender tea can help relieve those symptoms, leaving your skin feeling and looking young.
Inflammation: Lavender tea has a long list of inflammatory conditions it can counter, including headaches, fevers, skin irritation, arthritis pain and the symptoms of certain joint disorders. Inflammation can come in many different forms, and can lead to oxidative stress, but the active compounds in this tea can effectively put a stop to the body’s natural responses.
Sleep Disorders: Many people prefer to drink this tea in the evening, as a pre-bedtime beverage, because it has anxiolytic and relaxant properties. If you suffer from insomnia or regular sleep disturbances, a simple glass of lavender tea can grant an undisturbed night of sleep and a refreshed feeling in the morning!
How Do You Make Lavender Tea?
Making lavender tea at home is a simple process, involving only fresh lavender buds and water, although some people enjoy blending the tea with honey, chamomile or even other forms of tea. To begin with, you can use fresh lavender buds or dried ones, depending on your availability. If you have fresh lavender and wish to dry some for the future, it is best to harvest them before they fully bloom, and cut the flowering stalks right above the leaves. Bind them into bundles and hang them upside-down in a dark, cool and dry place. The drying process should take between 2 and 4 weeks. Then, simply brush the stalks and the lavender buds should fall off easily, to be stored and used later for tea.
- 4 teaspoons of fresh lavender buds (1 tablespoon of dried lavender buds)
- 2 cups of water (filtered)
- 1 teaspoon of honey, to taste, if desired
Step 1 – Add the fresh or dried lavender buds to a teacup
Step 2 – Bring the water up to a boil, then remove from heat for 1 minute.
Step 3 – Pour the water over the lavender buds and allow them to steep for 5 minutes. Place a plate over the top to keep the steam inside the mug, further infusing the tea.
Step 4 – Remove the plate, add honey if you want to sweeten the flavor, and enjoy! No need to strain the lavender buds out; most will have sunk to the bottom of the cup.
Side Effects of Lavender Tea
The main side effects of lavender tea include skin irritation, nausea, vomiting, when consumed in excess, but there are other possible interactions and situations to be wary of lavender tea. Some of the side effects can be quite serious when lavender is ingested in a toxic amount.
- Pregnancy – When pregnant, lavender use is not recommended, as it can stimulate menstruation, which can lead to a miscarriage or other complication in pregnant women.
- Low Cholesterol – Due to the cholesterol-lowering properties of this tea, if you are already taking cholesterol medicine, negative interactions may occur.
- Blood Thinners – This tea has anticoagulant properties, which are good for heart health, but if you are already taking blood-thinning medication, it can be very dangerous, particularly before undergoing surgery.
- Sun Sensitivity – Excessive lavender tea consumption can increase the sun sensitivity of the skin, and may also cause skin irritation and rashes.
If you experience any of these side effects, stop using lavender tea immediately. If you think you may be at risk for a negative interaction with a medication, speak to your doctor before adding this tea to your daily or weekly health regimen.