Some of the most important health benefits of lavender include its ability to relieve stress, improve mood, promote restful sleep, lower skin irritation, prevent infections, reduce inflammation, eliminate dandruff, and soothe stomach bloating.
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What is Lavender?
Nearly forty plants with the mint family are technically classified as lavender, although the most common version of lavender is Lavandula angustifolia, on which the color “lavender” is based. This genus is found in Europe, Africa, the Mediterranean, and parts of Asia. The reason that it is so widely used is its massive range of applications, from food and fragrance to cosmetics and herbal medicines; this plant is full of essential oils that can have powerful effects on the human body and has the most unique and beloved scents in the world.
One of the problems with lavender is that it can grow and spread quickly, which is why it is actually considered a weed in certain parts of the world. Lavender essential oil is highly sought after and widely available. As a culinary element, lavender is used in salad dressings, honey, sauces, beverages, various teas, and as a flavoring spice for a number of cultural dishes.
Health Benefits of Lavender
The scent and flavor are wonderful, but the bonus of lavender comes from its wide range of health benefits, which we will explore in greater detail below.
Reduces Anxiety and Stress
There are a number of methods of using lavender to soothe anxiety and stress. The natural organic compounds in the leaves and flowers of lavender can be grounded between the fingers and then rubbed onto the temples. This topical application can soothe the body and mind by relieving anxious thoughts and balancing out mood. Apart from this topical application of the flowers themselves, you can also brew lavender tea and achieve much the same effect. The antioxidant components of lavender can impact the endocrine system of the body to lower the levels of stress hormones in the body.
Treats Sleep Issues
If you regularly struggle with insomnia, apnea, or restless sleep patterns, it can negatively impact your life. By brewing a few lavender flowers in hot water, you can steep a wonderful tea that has been used to induce sleep and relaxation for thousands of years. This is closely linked to the flower’s impact on the nervous system, and can also help to clear your mind of negative thoughts. It is commonly combined with meditation techniques, either in essential oil or in the form of aromatherapy.
Everyone is looking for a reliable way to relax the body and mind, and lavender takes care of both. If you add flowers to your bathwater and take a nice long soak, the anti-inflammatory components of lavender can help in reducing the inflammation throughout the body and easy hurting muscles. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of lavender are quite potent, and it is one of the most trusted applications of lavender flowers.
An easy, mobile way to always take care of your skin is to fill a spray bottle with lavender flowers. When your skin is feeling dry or irritated, simply spray some of the infused water on the area and enjoy the quick relief that it provides. This can also work for chronic conditions, like psoriasis, eczema, and acne.
Although many people turn to lavender for relaxation and aromatherapeutic applications, its effect on infection is impressive, to say the least. Many people apply crushed lavender leaves on wounds and injuries to promote not only quick healing of the wounds but to also prevent the development of infections on them.
If you suffer from hair loss or any other condition that affects the quality and health of your hair, seek out a lavender-based shampoo. However, some of the organic cosmetic products can be quite expensive, while others may claim to be derived from lavender and still contain harsh chemicals. One of the best options is to steep lavender flowers as though you are brewing a tea and then apply the mixture to your hair. It will function as an effective shampoo and significantly boost the health of your follicle beds and hair.
The relaxing qualities of lavender, which come from its organic compounds and antioxidants, also help the heart by reducing blood pressure and easing the tension on blood vessels. This can prevent atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular problems, thereby lowering the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Bloating and Digestive Issues
The polyphenols found in lavender have a wide range of effects on the body. It can help prevent the development of harmful bacteria and accumulation of gas in the gut. This will ease stomach discomfort, reduce bloating, and eliminate cramping. Chewing on lavender leaves or drinking a lavender tea can be effective too.
A Final Word of Warning
Although, not commonly considered an allergenic substance, if you are susceptible from allergens in the mint family, you could experience negative side effects from lavender as well. These are usually mild in nature and include headaches, constipation, and increased appetite, while the topical application can cause irritation and redness.