Lavender flowers benefits
Lavender: Origin, Benefits, and UsesShare on PinterestWestend61/Getty Images
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People usually associate lavender with two specific traits: its fragrance and its color. But you may not know that the lavender flower and the oil derived from it have long histories in herbal medicine.
The word lavender comes from the Latin root “lavare,” which literally means “to wash.” The earliest recorded use of lavender dates back to ancient Egypt. There, lavender oil played a role in the mummification process.
During later times, lavender became a bath additive in several regions, including ancient Persia, Greece, and Rome. These cultures believed that lavender helped purify the body and mind.
Read on to learn more about the potent health potential of lavender in its many forms.
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Since ancient times, lavender has been used to reduce symptoms and provide support for multiple conditions. Modern science has confirmed many of its health benefits, while others are still under investigation.
Lavender may help with some of the following:
- hair loss
- chemotherapy side effects
- eczema and dry skin
- wound healing
- mood issues
Once upon a time, lavender was recommended for people suffering from insomnia or other sleep disorders. People stuffed their pillows with lavender flowers to help them fall asleep and get a better night’s rest.
Today, research suggests that breathing in lavender’s aroma could improve sleep quality. A systematic review of 15 studies from 2014 found that inhaling essential oils, including lavender, had positive effects in people with mild sleep disturbances.
Numerous smaller studies have found additional benefits of lavender for sleep issues.
Research from 2015 showed that people who used lavender aromatherapy felt more refreshed upon waking. Another 2010 study conducted on people with anxiety disorders revealed that orally administered lavender oil helped them sleep longer at night.
Lavender may also provide support for people with anxiety.
In a large meta-analysis from 2019, people with anxiety disorders who took 160-milligram lavender oil capsules experienced significant decreases in anxiety.
Other studies have found similar results.
One from 2015 involved 60 people in a coronary intensive care unit. The researchers found that those treated with lavender essential oil had lower levels of anxiety and better sleep.
Another study from 2010 compared lavender capsules to the anti-anxiety medication lorazepam, concluding that lavender’s effects were comparable to the prescription drug.
Topical use of lavender oil might help to treat a disease called alopecia aerata, which causes a person’s hair to fall out in patches.
According to an older 1998 study of 86 people with alopecia areata, 44 percent experienced improved hair growth after massaging an essential oil blend of thyme, rosemary, lavender, and cedarwood in a mixture of carrier oils into their scalp daily for seven months.
While this study is promising, it’s difficult to say whether the hair growth could be contributed to lavender specifically.
An animal study from 2021 also found that lavender oil successfully stimulated hair growth within a 28-day timeframe.
Headaches and migraine
The calming effects of lavender might be enough to soothe away a headache or migraine.
In one study from 2016, people with migraine who received 3 months of lavender therapy scored lower on a headache assessment scale than a control group.
In another 2012 study, 47 participants with migraine inhaled lavender essential oil for 15 minutes. They experienced reduced headache severity and frequency.
Chemotherapy side effects
According to the National Cancer Institute, aromatherapy can help people with cancer manage the side effects of their treatment. Lavender aromatherapy may help lower anxiety about cancer treatment procedures.
Lavender’s effects on depression aren’t as well documented as those on anxiety, but research is promising.
A small 2016 study on postpartum women found that lavender aromatherapy prevented stress, anxiety, and depression after childbirth.
Another small 2015 study looked at people with kidney disease. The researchers found that those who inhaled a lavender scent for 1 hour during hemodialysis had lower scores of depression and stress than those who did not.
Older adults who drank lavender tea twice a day for 2 weeks in a small 2020 study experienced lower levels of anxiety and depression.
Compared to more aggressive treatments, lavender oil could be a gentle way to treat acne due to its ability to kill bacteria.
In a 2013 study, a combination of lavender oil and aloe extract effectively inhibited the growth of one bacterial strain that causes acne.
Lavender has long been used as a traditional remedy for burns, and some older research has suggested there’s scientific data to confirm this use. According to a 2009 study, its antimicrobial activity might also help prevent infections after a burn.
Lavender contains two inflammation-fighting compounds called linalool and linalyl acetate. A 2020 study suggests that these may provide relief for skin issues, such as:
Lavender’s soothing powers might extend to healing wounded skin.
A review of 20 studies found that lavender oil increased the rate of wound healing, promoted the growth of collagen, and boosted the tissue remodeling process of the skin.
Always do a patch test and use a carrier oil when putting lavender essential oil directly on the skin.
Lavender is a multipurpose plant. People use lavender in many ways to promote good health and well-being, including:
- dried flowers
- essential oil
- topical oil
- teas, tisanes, and infusions
- creams, lotions, and salves
- beauty products
Lavender, of course, begins as a plant with bright purple flowers.
In its original form, it has a soothing fragrance. You can add the buds to foods, use them in a potpourri, or steep them in tea. You can even dry them and place small sachets in your drawers to freshen your linens.
Lavender is commonly used in aromatherapy. To reap the benefits of its calming smell, you can simply hold a bottle of lavender oil to your nose and inhale.
For a more sustained experience, you may prefer to place a few drops of the oil into a diffuser, which can spread its aroma throughout a room.
Do not ingest essential oils. Always dilute them in a carrier oil before applying to the skin.
Lavender spray, like a pillow spray at bedtime, is another effective means of using lavender as aromatherapy. If you have kiddos or enjoy crafts, tap into multiple senses by making a DIY lavender playdough.
Lavender oil is created by steeping lavender buds in a carrier oil, such as olive or coconut oil, typically for at least 1 week. In the finished product, lavender oil should account for just 0.5 percent to 2 percent of the total amount of oil, or 3 to 12 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.
You can apply this oil topically, but it’s important to talk with your doctor before using lavender oil directly on skin. Unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional, don’t apply it on or near:
- irritated skin
- skin with symptoms of conditions such as psoriasis or eczema
To choose a high quality lavender oil, look for a product tightly sealed in a dark glass bottle with no additives or synthetic fragrances. And be sure to give it a sniff! A quality oil should have a strong smell.
While research suggests there are health benefits, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t monitor or regulate the purity or quality of essential oils. It’s important to talk with a healthcare professional before you begin using essential oils and be sure to research the quality of a brand’s products. Always do a patch test before trying a new essential oil. Be sure to keep essential oils out of reach of children and pets, and store them away from heat and sunlight.
While ingesting lavender oil on its own is not recommended, lavender-infused capsules are often used in the treatment of anxiety.
In small amounts such as in capsule form, lavender oil is considered safe to ingest. Because lavender capsules are herbal supplements, you can purchase them without a prescription.
Always follow the manufacturer’s directions on the bottle and be sure these capsules are made to be ingested.
One popular brand is Integrative Therapeutics Lavela WS 1265.
Teas, tisanes, and infusions
Lavender tea, sometimes called a tisane, is commonly sold at supermarkets.
Try Stash Organic Lavender Tulsi Herbal Tea.
You can make it yourself by brewing 1 tablespoon of dried lavender buds in 2 cups of water.
Similarly, you can infuse lavender into a liquid sweetener like honey.
- 1 tbsp dried lavender flower
- 1 cup honey
- glass jar with lid
- Stir lavender flower and honey together.
- Place the jar in a warm place, like the top of the fridge, away from direct sunlight.
- Flip the jar every day to mix the honey and flowers.
- Allow the honey to infuse for 1–4 weeks.
- When you’re happy with the flavor, strain the flowers. You can discard them or add them to a cup of tea.
- Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
While honey can be gently warmed, heating can degrade the color and flavor. It can also increase the 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) content of the honey. Although more research is needed, HMF may act as a poison in some instances.
Creams, lotions, and salves
For application on wounds or extremely dry skin, try a lavender salve. A salve is typically made with thicker oils, like coconut oil, or wax, like beeswax or soy. You can purchase them or make them yourself.
Try Los Poblanos Lavender Salve.
Lavender creams and lotions may not deliver the same therapeutic benefits as more concentrated oils, salves, or capsules, but they’re a soothing way to experience lavender’s calming scent and moisturize skin.
Purchase a lavender-infused lotion or create your own by adding a few drops of lavender essential oil into an unscented base.
Try Apotheke Hinoki Lavender Lotion or Carol’s Daughter Lavender and Vanilla Body Cream.
With a color and scent as appealing as lavender’s, it’s not surprising that countless beauty products feature it prominently, including:
- face masks
- body bars
As with lotions and creams, these products may not impart much clinical benefit, but can be a pleasant part of a beauty regimen.
Try 100% Pure Lavender Oat Milk Soothing Cleanser or the Lavender Life Company Ultimate Lavender Gift Set.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, it’s likely safe to consume lavender in the amounts typically used in foods. So go ahead and enjoy your lavender tea, muffins, or honey!
Short-term use of oral supplements like lavender capsules is also considered safe.
On the other hand, swallowing lavender essential oil is not a good idea. Essential oils can be toxic and lavender may cause intestinal cramping, nausea, or other adverse symptoms. Never consume lavender oil directly.
Safely using lavender as a topical oil will depend on your skin’s sensitivity. Some people experience an allergic reaction on the skin following the application of lavender oil. Always use a carrier oil and do a patch test before you use lavender on your skin.
More research is needed to determine the safety of lavender in people who are pregnant or breastfeeding. If these conditions apply to you, talk with your doctor before beginning any treatment with lavender.
Many people enjoy the pleasing, calming fragrance of lavender.
Numerous studies have shown that this purple plant isn’t just a perfume, but can be used to treat the symptoms of a variety of health conditions.
Though not every purported health benefit of lavender has evidence to back it up, it may be worth giving lavender a try as a low-risk remedy for conditions like insomnia and anxiety.
Health Benefits and How To Use It – Cleveland Clinic
Best known for its fragrant purple blossoms, lavender is a perennial plant (regrows every year) that’s also known for its health benefits.
“That trademark smell comes from oil in the flower, which has medicinal properties. But the flower itself has medicinal properties, too,” says integrative medicine specialist Yufang Lin, MD.
Dr. Lin explains what lavender is good for and how to effectively use it.
The benefits of lavender
Traditional herbal textbooks and research studies alike confirm lavender’s role as a health jack-of-all-trades. That’s because the plant’s parts contain different chemical compounds that positively affect your body.
“These compounds include flavonoids, which are also found in vegetables and fruits, and coumarin. Both have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions,” explains Dr. Lin. “Lavender essential oil is just as powerful and contains important compounds such as linalool. Linalool has been shown to reduce anxiety and blood pressure.”
From its ability to boost your mood to reducing colic symptoms, Dr. Lin shares lavender’s eclectic list of potential benefits:
- Supports sleep: Some studies suggest lavender can improve your body’s melatonin levels, supporting a better night’s rest.
- Reduces pain and inflammation: Research has shown that lavender essential oil can help reduce headache pain.
- Helps with mood, anxiety and depression: “Lavender is known for its ability to calm the nervous system, lift the mood and even lower blood pressure,” says Dr. Lin. “Research links lavender usage to less anxiety and depression.”
- Relieves menstrual pain: In one study, women who smelled lavender for 30 minutes a day during the first three days of their period had less pain after two months. Other research has linked applying lavender essential oil to the abdomen with less menstrual pain.
- Kills harmful viruses and bacteria: “Before we had antiseptics, people used lavender to clean hospital wards,” explains Dr. Lin. “It’s still used for its antimicrobial and antiviral properties.”
- Reducing colic symptoms: One study found that aromatherapy massage using lavender oil was effective in reducing colic symptoms in infants, including how long they cried per week.
Additionally, an animal-based study found that lavender oil aided wound healing by improving the skin’s ability to produce collagen post-surgery.
The forms of lavender
You can use lavender in these forms:
- Essential oil.
- Plant (flower, stem and leaves).
How to use lavender essential oil
The sky’s the limit when it comes to uses for lavender essential oil. Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts. Because they are so strong, use them sparingly and with care.
Dr. Lin suggests trying a few drops of lavender essential oil in:
- Distilled water to make a room or body spray.
- Massage oil.
If you plan on using lavender essential oil on your skin, Dr. Lin notes the importance of diluting it with another oil. Good oils to use are ones you aren’t allergic to and might include:
- Almond oil.
- Coconut oil.
- Jojoba oil.
- Olive oil.
To make your mixture:
- Add enough essential oil to your base oil so it falls between 1% (six drops of essential oil per ounce) and 2% (12 drops of essential oil per ounce) of the mixture.
- Shake it.
- Apply it anywhere.
Cleaning with lavender essential oil
“To make a homemade cleaning solution, add a few drops of lavender essential oil to distilled water, some vinegar and a few drops of castile soap. The vinegar and soap help cut grease, and the soap and lavender have antimicrobial properties,” explains Dr. Lin. “You also get that beautiful scent.”
How to use lavender extract
“Lavender essential oil does not include the water-soluble part of the plant. When you make lavender extract, you use both the oil- and water-soluble parts of the plant,” explains Dr. Lin. “With lavender extract, you take the flower and cover it with some form of liquid, usually a combination of water and alcohol, to extract the medicine out. ”
You can capsulize lavender extract into a pill you can take. “But you need to be judicious and make sure you have the proper dose,” advises Dr. Lin. “Because it’s so strong and toxicity is possible, do this under the supervision of a well-trained herbalist who knows how to properly use it.”
How to use the lavender plant
Dr. Lin says just breathing in the fragrance of a lavender blossom provides big benefits. To enjoy it as aromatherapy, use the flowers to make:
- Lavender soap.
- Lavender-infused oil for your skin.
- Sachet or potpourri bag.
- Scented bath.
- Tea. (“Tea provides double the benefit since you’re inhaling the scent and getting the medicinal components of the plant by drinking it,” notes Dr. Lin.)
Dr. Lin also suggests using dry or fresh lavender flowers in your cooking. “Lavender is an ingredient in the French spice mixture, herbs de Provence. But be careful how much you use. Too much lavender can make food or tea taste soapy. ”
What is the best form of lavender to take?
It depends. “If you’re using lavender to improve mood, essential oil aromatherapy is the way to go,” says Dr. Lin. “If you’re using it for muscle pain or soreness, apply lavender-infused massage oil directly to the area of discomfort.”
But Dr. Lin adds that lavender tea may give you the most bang for your buck. “The act of making a cup of tea is itself a form of self-care. It gets you into a ‘me-time’ mindset. Then as you drink it, you get both the aromatherapy and herbal part of the lavender.”
Potential side effects of lavender use
While experts consider lavender safe, Dr. Lin says to consider these three cautions:
1. Lavender aromatherapy isn’t for everyone
“Essential oils often work so well because they trigger an emotional memory,” explains Dr. Lin. “For most people, lavender is calming and soothing. But for some, the smell may be associated with a negative experience, such as abuse. If they smell lavender, it may take them back to that place. So if lavender is triggering for you, don’t feel forced to use or try it.”
2. A research study found a potential link between lavender oil and premature breast development
In one study, three young girls and one young boy with premature breast development had been exposed to lavender oil, including in a soap, cologne or diffuser. When they stopped using the product or removed exposure, the breast development went away.
“It’s important to note that there are subsequent studies that questioned the validity of this one. These products may also have contained estrogen disruptors, so we don’t know for sure whether it was the lavender or another ingredient in the product,” says Dr. Lin. “So take this finding with a grain of salt and consider limiting how much lavender you use for developing children.”
3. Taking lavender essential oil by mouth can be dangerous
“Traditional herbalists would not use lavender essential oil orally,” says Dr. Lin. “When you use the lavender plant as food or tea, you’re less likely to have a toxic effect because generally, it’s gentle. But because essential oils are so strong, I would be more cautious about using them with food or drink.”
Dr. Lin also notes that essential oils can burn and irritate your mucosa, the lining of your soft palate, throat and tongue. But with the help of an herbalist, it’s safe to explore the many positive impacts lavender can have on your life and health.
Lavender - useful properties and calorie content, use and preparation, benefits and harms
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History and distribution of
LaVavada, it belongs to the family. often found in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands and India. Lavender got its name from the Latin word "lava" - "to wash." The history of this plant dates back to ancient Rome, where it was used as an aromatic addition to baths. This plant is the recognized queen of aromatherapy. In Greece and Rome, dried lavender herb was set on fire in bunches indoors to give the air a delicate and fresh scent.Product photo lavenderSource: Hi-chef.ru
Lavender has many useful properties - it is fragrant, healing, decorative. A decoction of lavender sprigs with flowers helps very well with colds, acts as an antiseptic, sedative and antispasmodic. After a hard day, it is good to take a soothing and stress-relieving lavender decoction bath. Essential oil is made from lavender, which is very popular and is used in perfumery, cosmetics, soap industry and medicine.
In folk medicine, lavender oil is used to treat burns and bruises. Dried lavender inflorescences are used in the storage of clothes as a means against moths, for flavoring linen, living quarters.
Lavender is also used in cooking. This seasoning is especially popular in Italy, Spain, in the south of France. Lavender is used as an addition to salads, sauces. It is also added to various soups - mushroom, vegetable and fish, to the second dishes of vegetables, to fried and stewed lamb.
Powder prepared from lavender is widely used in the US as a pepper. Lavender is also used as a flavoring agent for Chinese green tea and various drinks. In a number of countries, it is part of herbal teas.
In old cookbooks, lavender leaves are recommended to shift apples when urinating. Having a strong spicy taste, lavender goes well with thyme, mint, lemon balm, savory, sage. The rate of laying dried spices per serving is 0.1–0.15 g.
Composition and properties
This plant is widely used both in cooking and in medicine. The essential oil contained in all parts of this plant is obtained by hydrodistillation. So, to get 100 g of lavender essential oil, you need 1 kg of raw materials. The main component of this oil is the esters of L-linalool alcohol and acids (acetic, butyric, valeric and caproic). In addition, caryophyllene, geraniol, lavandiol, borneol, etc. were found in it. The flowers also contain tannins, bitterness and resins, ursolic acid, coumarin, herniarin.
Lavender flowers in the form of a decoction are used as an excellent diuretic, sedative. The oil prepared from lavender has antiseptic properties and stimulates the rapid healing of wounds. Also, with the help of lavender, the acidity of the stomach is normalized; it is used to increase appetite, lower blood pressure, bile outflow.
It is not recommended to use lavender oil while taking iodine-containing and iron-containing drugs.
Useful properties and two recipes for lavender raff
It is recognized by its color and smell. Dried bouquets are brought from trips and added to drinks. Lavender essential oil is considered one of the oldest perfume ingredients in the world. Finally, one of the most beautiful shades of lilac is named after her.
In general, lavender is not only “blue flowers of our meetings with you”, but also one of the most useful plants known to mankind. Read on for more details on its use.
Queen of the Provence Meadows
Like most European herbs known to us, lavender comes from the Mediterranean. Even the ancient Egyptians knew about its healing qualities: lavender oil was a component of cosmetics and was used in embalming. Later, in ancient Rome, the fragrant herb was used as a cure for infectious diseases. Together with the Roman legionnaires, she ended up in France and other European countries. Lavender flowers were considered sacred even among the early Christians. In the Middle Ages, they were used as a medicine, and since the Renaissance, lavender has become a popular fragrance additive for perfumes.
The most famous lavender fields are in Provence. Endless meadows covered with blue-violet flowers attract huge attention from tourists. Lavender is not only a cultivated plant here, but also a symbol of the entire region.
In Russia, you can see how lavender blooms in the Crimea: there is especially a lot of it in the Bakhchisarai region.
Great benefits of small flowers
Linalyl acetate ether and aromatic substances of the terpene group (linalool, borneol alcohol, geraniol) are responsible for the persistent and recognizable smell of lavender and lavender oil, and tannins (tannins) are responsible for the tart taste. Together they have a calming (and not only) effect on the human nervous system. Studies in mice have shown that lavender extract improves sleep quality, increases cognitive performance, and reduces the chances of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
Human studies have also been carried out. It has been proven that the use of lavender oil:
· reduces the severity of anxiety disorder,
· relieves general anxiety,
· alternative to the action of antidepressants.
Aromatherapy with lavender oil relieves migraine in the initial stage, and massage with it is useful for relieving acute and chronic pain in the muscles of the back, lower back and neck. The oil can also be applied to scratches and damage to the skin: it has antiseptic and wound-healing properties.
However, lavender is not only a raw material for the production of essential oils.
Delicious tea as well
Lavender flowers are added to various herbal teas (especially soothing preparations), but they can also be brewed separately. Thanks to the anti-inflammatory effect of tannins, citral and cineole, lavender drink helps to quickly cope with colds and runny nose.
This tea also has a pronounced sedative effect on the body and helps to fall asleep quickly, so it is best to drink it in the evening.
Lavender tea contraindications:
1. Individual intolerance. Lavender contains a large number of biologically active substances, some of which cause allergies.