By: Lauren Rae, CPT at TRYM Fitness and Sunwarrior Contributing Writer
Good things come in small packages when it comes to the aromatic lavender plant! Lavender is the most widely used herb in health and beauty products, and it’s safe and versatile properties are known to calm the user’s nerves by relieving tension, inflammation, headaches, and insomnia through its soothing and antiseptic abilities. Originally from the Roman Empire and widespread through the English countryside, Mediterranean shores, and France, this wirey shrub grows in several different varieties and belongs to the mint family, closely related to rosemary, sage, and thyme. Lavender has small, aromatic blue to violet flowers at the end of long green stems, and the sultry scent is sweet, floral, and has an herbal quality with undertones of balsamic. The Romans named the plant lavender, a word derived from the Latin word “lavare” which means “to wash.”
When the stems are dried, the flowers can be used whole in potpourri and for cooking and teas. When treated to extract the potent essential elements, the oils can be used in both personal care and household products. While most essential oils are well tolerated by the body, remember to use precaution when applying them to your skin as they are very concentrated and powerful. Discover the amazing benefits of lavender both internally and externally as well as around the household with the following simple tips:
Tension and dry skin puts stress on the epidermis and causes it to age quickly. The hydrating, soothing, and anti-aging properties of lavender can help your skin look and feel younger with topical application through soaps, lotions, and essential oil spot treatments. Uses vary from treatments that soothe boils and eczema to healing burns, bug bites, and wounds. The perfect ingredient for people who have dry, irritated skin, lavender will moisturize and leave your skin feeling soft and ageless. To soothe minor irritations and prevent scarring, apply 2–3 drops of lavender oil to the affected areas for a few days at a time.
Ingesting the lavender flour can improve poor indigestion, calm irritability, anxiety, and tension as well as help improve upper respiratory issues, blood circulation, and immunity. To use in food preparation add a few drops of lavender oil to raw vinegar for use in dressings or infuse dried lavender flowers in extra virgin olive oil to use when cooking for a fragrant, tasty meal. End the day by drinking lavender tea to calm your stomach after dinner and promote restfulness and relaxation before bed.
Aroma therapy is a natural way to address physical and emotional problems and repel unwanted household pests. Release the scent of the lavender flower into the air with an essential oil infuser to induce relaxation and calm nerves at home or at work. Have pesky insects buzzing around? Try adding drops of lavender oil to a few cotton swabs and place them in drawers, cabinets, and closets to repel moths and other irritating insects. More good news if you’re not up for much work, a whole potted lavender plant can be used as a bug repellant indoors and out. Just stop by your local nursery and pick one up!