- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Beneficial uses of Lavender
A Lavender Field
Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) has been used throughout history for its many healing benefits. Lavender is popular for its' antiseptic, antibiotic, anti-depressant, de-toxifiying properties and its' sedative effects.The range for Lavender use is huge. First off Lavender can be therapeutic merely for its beauty. Just looking at a field planted with Lavender can leave you full of admiration. Absolutely beautiful! And then as mentioned above a myriad of uses to help with our health and well being. Lavender is used widely in production of soaps, ointmrents, cosmetics and perfumes as well as in cleaning and laundry products.
Uses for Dried Lavender
Lavender stems can be cut and used in a variety of ways. As a cut flower Lavender is not only beautiful in appearance, but also adds a delightful aroma to the room in which it is placed. Lavender has long been used for its disinfectant properties. During the plague epidemics Lavender was burned to disinfect houses and the streets. Dried or fresh Lavender can be placed around the inside of the house to ward of unwanted insects, such as flies and mosquitoes. Insects do not like the strong smell that Lavender gives off.
In the laundry Lavender sprigs can be added to the drier to scent the clothes. It is a good idea to place the stems in a mesh bag that is heat tolerant. Placing stems of Lavender in your pillowcase or on the bedside table can keep your bedroom nicely perfumed as well as helping you to sleep due to its general calming and soothing properties. Sachets of dried Lavender can also be placed in clothing drawers and wardrobes to ward off moths.
Lavender Essential Oil
The essential oil of Lavender is extracted by distilling the flower stalks in steam. A jet of steam is passed through the plant matter. The volatile essential oil is contained in the flowers secretory glands. The mixture of steam and essential oil goes next into a cooling system where it is condensed and transformed into a liquid. While in the collection tank the lighter essential oil separates naturally from the water and rises to the top. The tank has two taps, one sited at the top to extract the oil and one at the bottom to drain the water.
Use for Lavender Essential Oil
A few drops,of Lavender essential oil can be used in baths for aches and pains, especially after a hard physical work or exercise.
Add a few drops of Lavender oil to a plain cream you have purchased and use to treat acne. This will impede the growth of bacteria on the skin.
For stress and anxiety rub a little oil in to the temples. This can also help to alleviate headaches.
For minor burns - first cool the area by holding under cold running water for five minutes.Neat Lavender oil can then be applied gently to the area.This should quickly relieve the pain and helps with the healing of the skin.
Neat Lavender oil can also be applied to cuts and wounds. This will cleanse the area, relieve pain and promote healing.
To help with sleep a few drops of Lavender oil can be sprinkled on a tissue or handkerchief and placed on or near your pillow.
Lavender oil is renown for its ability to ease upper respiratory problems such as catarrh, congestion and colds and flu.
Apply some Lavender oil as an insect repellent.
Lavender essential oil can be used undiluted because it is such a gentle oil. Most essential oils need to be diluted using a base carrier oil such as sweet almond, avocado, grapeseed, wheatgerm and jojoba to name a few.
It is important to purchase pure, natural, authentic oils from a reputable supplier. When adding to a carrier oil you should use only 100 percent pure, unrefined cold pressed vegetable, nut or seed oils for this purpose.
A word of warning: Lavender should not be used by pregnant women as it can alter menstrual flow.