The word "lavender" probably makes you think of the color purple, but you probably also associate it with relaxation, or even sleep -- that's what makes this herb so appealing. Lavender (Lavandula officinalis) remains a popular choice among the overworked and exhausted for its soothing qualities, both mental and physical.
The essential oil found within the flowers of the lavender plant is most often used for medicinal purposes, however, you can also find lavender tea that contains the dry plant and supplements including capsules, tinctures (extract with alcohol) and the actual oil.
Ready to know more? Here are the 10 best ways to add a little lavender to your life:
1. Calming Aid-- Lavender has long been a popular choice for aromatherapy because of its ability to relax you. It's also commonly used to help those suffering from insomnia or chronic stress. A 2009 study published in the medical journal Human Psychopharmacology showed lavender capsules helped women remain calm when shown film clips that normally elicit anxiety.
2. Alopecia Treatment -- Researchers are currently looking at lavender as a possible treatment for alopecia areata which is an autoimmune disease that causes severe hair loss. Patients massaged the oil onto their scalp for seven months and saw an improvement in regrowth. However, the lavender was combined with other essential oils, so more research is needed.
3. Headache Remedy-- By practicing aromatherapy, lavender can help calm the sting of a headache so it doesn't derail your entire day. You can also try adding some lavender oil to a lotion or cream and massaging your temples for relief.
4. Infection Fighter -- Adding more lavender to your day can help your body ward off infection due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties. That's why it it can be so beneficial in promotine healing for skin irritations, burns or even insect bites.
5. Skin Soother -- Chronic skin conditions like acne or eczema can also be treated with lavender. This herb soothes the skin while fighting bacteria that can lead to further irritation or breakouts.
6. Pain Relief -- If you suffer from joint pain or muscle pain from physical activity or arthritis, lavender oil can be beneficial when applied topically in a cream or when added to bath water for soaking.
7. Mental Health -- Lavender is known to have a mild sedative affect. As previously explained, this helps to calm and relax. Lavender can also help balance mood and may be beneficial for individuals experiencing mild depressive symptoms.
8. Free Radical Destroyer -- Simply smelling lavender oil was found to increase free radical scavenging activity (FRSA) in the participants of a 2007 study published in the medical journal Psychiatry Research. After inhaling the aroma of this herb for five minutes, participants were also found to have less cortisol in the saliva, which is the stress hormone.
9. PMS Relief -- Lavender can be used to help with symptoms of menstruation such as cramps, fatigue or headaches. Try aromatherapy or drinking lavender tea to alleviate pains and help you sleep more comfortably.
10. Elderly Care -- In a 2012 study of 145 nursing home residents published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, participants who wore a lavender patch experienced fewer falls per year compared with a placebo group. The constant olfactory stimulation from the patch was credited with this result, although more research is needed.
Speak to your doctor before adding lavender products to your routine if you've been diagnosed with one of medical conditions outlined above. Shop for great lavender products at eVitamins and we'll be back next Monday with another great supplement you should know more about. Have a great week!
Products you may like:
Now Foods 100% Pure Essential Oil Lavender Why you may like this product? Now's 100 percent pure
lavender oil can help soothe
skin, relieve headaches and
promote deep relaxation. You
can use the oil for
aromatherapy, add it to
bathwater or mix it into a
lotion or cream -- just be
sure be careful when handling
the pure oil and only apply to
skin after diluting.
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