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Lavender

The medicinal herb Lavender as an alternative herbal remedy - Lavender is native to the Mediterranean region. It was used in ancient Egypt as part of the process for mummifying bodies. Lavender's use as a bath additive originated in Persia, Greece, and Rome. The herb's name comes from the Latin lavare, which means "to wash."Common Names--lavender, English lavender, garden lavender Latin Names--Lavandula angustifolia

What Lavender Is Used For

  • Historically, lavender was used as an antiseptic and as an herbal remedy for mental health purposes.
  • Today, the herb is used for conditions such as anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, and depression.
  • Lavender is also used for headache, upset stomach, and hair loss.

Herbal Remedy Products with Lavender as part of the ingredients

Bug Defense Essential Oil Blend.jpg
  • Bug Defense™ Essential Oil Blend
  • Repelling, protecting, and uplifting properties
  • Camphoraceous, citrus, floral, and herbaceous aroma
  • Blend of essential oils of citronella, eucalyptus leaf, lavender flower, rosemary leaf, Himalayan cedarwood, geranium leaf, and lemongrass

How Lavender Is Used

  • Lavender is most commonly used in aromatherapy, in which the scent of the essential oil from the flowers is inhaled.
  • The essential oil can also be diluted with another oil and applied to the skin.
  • Dried lavender flowers can be used to make teas or liquid extracts that can be taken by mouth.

What the Science Says about Lavender

  • There is little scientific evidence of lavender's effectiveness for most health uses.
  • Small studies on lavender for anxiety show mixed results.
  • Some preliminary results indicate that lavender oil, combined with oils from other herbs, may help with hair loss from a condition called alopecia areata.

Side Effects and Cautions of Lavender

  • Topical use of diluted lavender oil or use of lavender as aromatherapy is generally considered safe for most adults. However, applying lavender oil to the skin can cause irritation.
  • Lavender oil is poisonous if taken by mouth.
  • When lavender teas and extracts are taken by mouth, they may cause headache, changes in appetite, and constipation.
  • Using lavender with sedative medications may increase drowsiness.
  • Tell your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.

News About Lavender

9 Ways To Use Lavender Essential Oil For Skin & Hair Care That's Extra Soothing

By Kristin Collins Jackson

Essential oils can support our physical and mental being, but with so many to choose from, it's hard to narrow down which EO is best for your needs. My opinion as a certified aromatherapist? If there's only one essential oil in your medicine cabinet, let it be lavender essential oil. The skin benefits alone are so admired that in aromatherapy, we often say that if you had to throw out all our EOs except one, lavendula angustifolia would be the keeper.

In general, essential oils are one of the easiest ways to get an immediate response with natural skin care because of their potency. However, that also has its bad side: As German dermatologist Timm Golueke, M.D. explained to Vogue, using the most volatile part of the plant means you're more likely to have a negative reaction than you would with the gentler carrier oils.

Lavender essential oil is believed to be one of the few essential oils that can be used directly on the skin without dilution — as long as you're not a baby, a pregnant person, an elderly person, or someone with allergies to the Lamiaceae family (that includes things like rosemary, thyme, and basil). Lavender is also a natural antiseptic, with antiviral properties that help cleanse the skin of impurities. With anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, this flowering plant has saved my skin from peeling sunburns, cysts, and signs of stress.

A note before we dive right into the recipes: Lavender comes in a variety of forms. This list of ways you can use lavender for skin and hair saving remedies applies to lavendula angustifolia, which can be found growing in some states on the east coast.

1. Bee Stings

I know from experience that applying lavender essential oil directly on a bee sting can relieve itchiness and painful inflammation. According to sources at Every Day Roots, you can even use a diluted application for the sting if you aren't comfortable using it directly on the wound. I've recommended using lavender with coconut oil for a soothing solution to a burning problem.

2. Acne

While there are undoubtedly more potent essential oils for severe acne, lavender essential oil can provide support for your moderate blemishes. If you love using a particular fixed oil at night, adding lavender can provide some antiseptic properties that will keep pores unclogged and even make your favorite fixed oil feel less heavy. The cleansing properties of lavender are great for mild blemishes that are forming.

3. Hair Moisturizing

Lavender is one of the few oils that I recommend using in a homemade conditioner because it's cleansing properties are gentle and the inflammatory properties create an ideal environment for healthy hair growth. According to many sources, including the University Of Maryland's Medical Center, lavender oil appears to have the potential to increase hair growth in alopecia patients.

4. Facial Mist

A facial mist add explainer link is great for when your skin is feeling dehydrated or oily halfway through the day. You can use either a lavender hydrosol made from the leftovers of the essential oil or add lavender essential oil to distilled water. Store your mist in a tinted spray bottle and spritz whenever the urge strikes. Even though lavender can be used on its own, a good rule of thumb is 20 drops to two ounces of water for this particular spray.

5. Wound Treatment

Whenever I cut myself, I am immediately looking for lavender oil. Not only does lavender clean wounds gently and efficiently, but it's also been cited as a natural way to stop the bleeding and relieve the pain caused by a wound. You can use this diluted on an open wound or a healing wound to bring down inflammation, disinfect, and promote healing without scarring. If you aren't comfortable using the oil solo, mixed it with a raw, unrefined fixed oil for dilution.

6. Hair Cleansing

I love adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to my 'pooless cleansing routine. Whether you are using apple cider vinegar, raw honey, or baking soda, a little lavender can make your cleanser more aromatically pleasing while disinfecting the scalp of oil and dirt without drying it out.

7. Minor Burn Treatment

I don't sunburn often, but a few years ago, I woke up to find my face a blotchy, dry, flaky mess. After a few days of Googling "Am I dying?" and using lavender essential oil, my skin began to flake and I realized I was dealing with my first sunburn. Of course, by the time I realized what it was the lavender had almost completely given me back my face. Lavender has soothing, calming properties and it's a famous at-home remedy for burns (though there has yet to be any conclusive study on the matter).

8. Eczema

Eczema is a skin condition that leaves skin dry, itchy, inflamed, and often with dark patches on the skin often caused by bacteria and yeast build-up, as opposed to external factors. Lavender being both anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and soothing makes it a go-to essential oil when treating eczema naturally.

9. Bug Repellent

Essential oils are amazing for repelling bugs. Most of my life, I've spent summers with inflamed, itchy skin and sometimes fevers from mosquito bites. For whatever reason, mosquitoes loved me — until I became an aromatherapist. Essential oils, like lavender, get absorbed into our blood stream through the skin very quickly and remain for several hours. You can use lavender essential oil in a homemade bug spray or you can simply take a whiff to keep mosquitoes at bay. Not only does lavender protect you from the visible bugs outdoors, but some claim it can even keep bed bugs away naturally.


8 Incredible Lavender Oil Benefits for Your Body, Mind and Soul

By Deeksha Kumar

An important component of aromatherapy, lavender oil comes with many incredible properties. The fresh, floral aroma of this essential oil has the power to calm restless minds and help one relax. Lavender oil is extracted through steam distillation from the flowers of the lavender herb. Lavender flowers not only look pretty in the fields, but make way to adorn our houses in the form of potpourri because of their alluring fragrance. Across many cultures, lavender oil has been used profusely as a mood changer to relieve tension and soothe the nerves. You will therefore commonly find it today in various beauty and spa treatments.

Lavender oil is highly versatile. It is touted as one of the best natural remedies to treat insomnia, and with good effect. It is also known for its anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antidepressant, antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It is the most suitable oil for aromatherapy, and works wonders to treat acne, sores and joint pain. It is also used as a remedy for depression, migraine headaches, toothaches, sprains and nerve pain. Adding a few drops of the oil in bathwater is said to boost blood circulation and improve mental well-being. But remember it’s harmful to take lavender oil orally; you can only apply it on your skin or hair.

Here are some of the benefits of lavender oil:

1. Relieves Pain

It can help ease muscles, joint pain, sprains and backache. Simply massage lavender oil onto the affected area. Lavender oil may also help lessen pain following needle insertion.

2. Treats Various Skin Disorders

It can help in treating skin problems like acne, eczema and wrinkles. It also helps form scar tissues, which may be essential in healing wounds, cuts and burns. Lavender can also help in healing insect bites and itchy skin.

3. Keeps Your Hair Healthy

Lavender oil helps kill lice, lice eggs, and nits. Lavender is possibly effective for treating hair loss, boosting hair growth by up to 44 percent after just seven months of treatment, says a study.

4. Helps Improve Digestion

This oil helps stimulate the mobility of your intestine and stimulates the production of bile and gastric juices, which may help treat stomach pain, indigestion, colic, vomiting and diarrhea.

5. Relieve Respiratory Disorders

Lavender oil can help fight respiratory problems like cold and flu, throat infections, cough, asthma, whooping cough, sinus congestion, bronchitis, tonsillitis and laryngitis. It can be applied on your neck, chest, or back, or inhaled via steam inhalation or through a vapouriser.

6. Improves Blood Circulation

It helps lower elevated blood pressure levels, and can be used for reducing hypertension.

7. Improves Mood

The fragrance of lavender is very refreshing, which acts as a mood booster.

8. Lavender for Sleep and Insomnia

Using lavender oil improves the overall quality of sleep by 60% which includes the length of sleep, time it took to fall asleep and reduced symptoms of insomnia.

Like every coin that has two sides, apart from these benefits lavender oil also has some side effects. Lavender oil can sometimes irritate the skin, or cause an allergic reaction, nausea, headache, chills or vomiting. It may also interact with certain medications. Please consult a physician if using regularly.


7 Health Benefits of the Lavender Herb

(Do It Yourself)

The lavender herb is used in several health remedies such as essential oils, tea, soap and aromatherapy treatments. A member of the mint family, lavender is a genus of several species of flowering shrubs and plants. Lavender is a flower that is renowned for its fragrance and color.

People have used the lavender herb for several generations in many medicinal remedies, and it continues to be popular today. Listed below are some of the renowned health benefits of the lavender herb.

Reduces Tension and Stress

The lavender herb has a soothing scent that has proven effective in combating headaches and nausea. Aromatherapists widely use lavender oil to help patients deal with the symptoms of stress. The lavender herb can also reduce tension in your body and can reduce muscular aches and pains. Lavender oil alleviates anxiety and depression because it has a calming effect on the nerves.

Induces Sleep

Lavender is believed to have mild sedative properties that benefit people who suffer from insomnia. You may use the lavender herb to soothe infants and babies and induce better sleep.

To induce sleep, keep lavender flowers close to your pillows or bed sheets. Or you can apply lavender oil to a piece of cloth; inhale the scent from the cloth.

Treats Minor Respiratory Ailments

The lavender herb has been used in the treatment of respiratory ailments such as asthma, colds and coughs. It helps expel mucus, clear the respiratory pathway and ease breathing. Because it also relaxes the tissues in your bronchial lining, the lavender herb can speed up your recovery.

You may apply lavender in the oil form, or you may add it to some hot water and inhale the vapor form.

Helps Treat Skin Problems

Lavender possesses antibacterial properties that help in the treatment of skin problems such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, infections and burns. It is also anti-inflammatory, which makes it a good choice for faster healing. The lavender herb can help soothe skin affected by insect bites or sunburn. It is also beneficial in the treatment of cuts and scrapes because it hastens the healing process by forming new tissue.

Apply the lavender herb to your skin in the form of a balm or oil.

Improves Circulation

The herb also aids in blood circulation, so it can help reduce the severity of blood pressure problems and heart ailments. It is also beneficial for the treatment of rheumatism and arthritis. It helps relax muscles and alleviate pain.

Add lavender oil to a warm bath or apply it as a massaging rub on your body.

Disinfects

Because the lavender herb has antifungal and antibacterial properties, you can use it in cleaning solutions for your home. This herb offers multiple advantages because of its sweet fragrance and its ability to disinfect.

You may also apply lavender oil to your skin to act as a topical disinfectant. Treats Digestion Problems

The lavender herb may even reduce excessive bloating and gas. For people who have trouble consuming enough food, lavender may help improve appetite.



The Surprising Health Benefits of Lavender Oil

By Deeksha Kumar

An important component of aromatherapy, lavender oil comes with many incredible properties. The fresh, floral aroma of this essential oil has the power to calm restless minds and help one relax. Lavender oil is extracted through steam distillation from the flowers of the lavender herb. Lavender flowers not only look pretty in the fields, but make way to adorn our houses in the form of potpourri because of their alluring fragrance. Across many cultures, lavender oil has been used profusely as a mood changer to relieve tension and soothe the nerves. You will therefore commonly find it today in various beauty and spa treatments.

Lavender oil is highly versatile. It is touted as one of the best natural remedies to treat insomnia, and with good effect. It is also known for its anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antidepressant, antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It is the most suitable oil for aromatherapy, and works wonders to treat acne, sores and joint pain. It is also used as a remedy for depression, migraine headaches, toothaches, sprains and nerve pain. Adding a few drops of the oil in bathwater is said to boost blood circulation and improve mental well-being. But remember it’s harmful to take lavender oil orally; you can only apply it on your skin or hair.

Here are some of the benefits of lavender oil:

1. Relieves Pain

It can help ease muscles, joint pain, sprains and backache. Simply massage lavender oil onto the affected area. Lavender oil may also help lessen pain following needle insertion.

2. Treats Various Skin Disorders

It can help in treating skin problems like acne, eczema and wrinkles. It also helps form scar tissues, which may be essential in healing wounds, cuts and burns. Lavender can also help in healing insect bites and itchy skin.

3. Keeps Your Hair Healthy

Lavender oil helps kill lice, lice eggs, and nits. Lavender is possibly effective for treating hair loss, boosting hair growth by up to 44 percent after just seven months of treatment, says a study.

4. Helps Improve Digestion

This oil helps stimulate the mobility of your intestine and stimulates the production of bile and gastric juices, which may help treat stomach pain, indigestion, colic, vomiting and diarrhea.

5. Relieve Respiratory Disorders

Lavender oil can help fight respiratory problems like cold and flu, throat infections, cough, asthma, whooping cough, sinus congestion, bronchitis, tonsillitis and laryngitis. It can be applied on your neck, chest, or back, or inhaled via steam inhalation or through a vapouriser.

6. Improves Blood Circulation

It helps lower elevated blood pressure levels, and can be used for reducing hypertension.

7. Improves Mood

The fragrance of lavender is very refreshing, which acts as a mood booster.

8. Lavender for Sleep and Insomnia

Using lavender oil improves the overall quality of sleep by 60% which includes the length of sleep, time it took to fall asleep and reduced symptoms of insomnia.

Like every coin that has two sides, apart from these benefits lavender oil also has some side effects. Lavender oil can sometimes irritate the skin, or cause an allergic reaction, nausea, headache, chills or vomiting. It may also interact with certain medications. Please consult a physician if using regularly.


The Surprising Health Benefits of Lavender Oil

By Debbie Strong

Feeling tired or anxious? Lift away the day’s stress with lavender! Lavender oil benefits may surprise you, and this gorgeous, fragrant flowering plant has plenty to offer. Follow these tips below to soothe away your anxiety with one of nature’s most potent stress-busters.

Of course, essential oil benefits are nothing new.

“Lavender has been used in natural remedies for centuries to promote calm and relaxation,” reveals holistic health coach Brenda Johnston. How does it work? “It has two key compounds that studies suggest gently slow your nervous system, lower your heart rate and improve your mood, which ultimately helps you unwind.”

While we've always known lavender oil to be a natural cure for insomnia, we're thrilled that it's also the perfect ingredient to use in a refreshing tea to nix stress headaches, a luxurious body wash to melt away tension, or a calm-inducing aromatherapy oil. After all, who doesn't love that at-home spa feel?

1. Wash away tension with Lavender-Honey Body Wash. Turn your shower into a relaxation ritual by sudsing up with lavender body wash! Compounds in lavender—linalyl acetate and linalool—have a mild sedative effect to calm your mind, while massaging the moisturizing body wash into tense muscles relaxes you from head to toe.

The recipe: 1 cup water, ¼ cup honey, 2/3 cup liquid castile soap, 40 drops lavender essential oil, 1 tsp. vitamin E oil, 2 tsp. jojoba oil. Add all ingredients to bowl; mix well. Transfer to lidded plastic bottle or a clean, empty body wash bottle. Shake gently before each use, then squeeze onto a washcloth, loofah or your hands and massage into skin. Rinse well.

2. Soothe stress with a Lavender-Sage Oil Blend. On the go and stressed? Feel instantly more at ease with a swipe of this aromatherapy “roll-on” oil blend. “It’s one of the easiest ways to enjoy the stress-busting benefits of lavender,” Johnston promises. Lavender helps slow your heart rate, while clary sage boosts your mood. Even better: The portable roller ball vial can be stashed in your purse for relief anytime, anywhere!

The recipe:: 4 drops lavender essential oil, 6 drops clary sage essential oil, 1/3 oz. almond oil, 1 roller ball vial (from $7 for 6 vials at Amazon.com). Remove roller ball top from vial. Add lavender and sage oils to vial, then top with almond oil. Reattach roller ball; shake gently to combine. To use, roll vial between hands to gently mix. Roll onto pulse points like temples and inner wrists when stressed and breathe deeply to inhale the scent.

3. Calm tension headaches with Lavender-Mint Tea. Ease a stress-triggered tension headache or migraine by sipping this pain-relieving tea tonic. “Lavender is an anti-inflammatory,” says Leslie Doroba, spa manager at The Ivy Hotel in Baltimore—that means it reduces blood vessel inflammation in your head. And mint is proven to ease the nausea that can accompany severe headaches so you feel relaxed and pain-free.

The recipe: 8 oz. hot water, 1 tsp. culinary grade lavender buds, 1 Tbs. mint leaves (sliced), honey (to taste). Steep lavender and mint in hot water for 10 minutes. Strain into large mug, discarding buds and leaves. Sweeten with honey, if desired. Tip: “For a refreshing iced option, refrigerate brewed tea for 10 minutes, then pour into a glass over ice,” Doroba says.



Benefits Of Lavender Oil For Skin And Hair

(CureJoy Editorial)

Lavender oil is found to be a good stimulant for hair growth and can keep common scalp irritants like lice and dandruff away. It's also an effective remedy for skin problems and provide good protection for skin from UV rays. It's effective in smoothening out wrinkles to diminish aging signs and works wonders on wounds, burns, and insect bites. To make full use of its antifungal properties, go for vapor treatment.

Native to the Mediterranean mountains, lavender oil or LO is one of the most widely used essential oils, not just for its calming fragrance, but for its many health properties. The oil, extracted from the small blue-violet flowers of the short lavender shrub, has a distinct aroma and is used as a remedy for conditions ranging from anxiety to alopecia, insomnia, eczema, fatigue and even depression. Lavender oil is often claimed to be a good stimulant for hair growth and an effective remedy for skin problems. Don’t take our word for it? Here’s what lavender oil can do for your skin and hair:

Caring For Hair
Hair Loss

Losing a lot of hair? Or worse, diagnosed with alopecia (hair loss from the immune system mistakenly attacking hair follicles)? You should definitely invest in a bottle of lavender oil. Animal studies1 have found that lavender oil led to faster hair growth, increased number of hair follicles and deepened hair follicle depth in female mice. However, there are no available human studies to compare this claim with.

Lice And Dandruff

Journal Fitoterapia claims that lavender oil is the second best in getting rid of head lice after tea tree oil.2 However, it is not just head lice that this essential oil can combat. Going by user anecdotes, lavender oil is a good home remedy for dandruff because of its antifungal properties.

Great Skin With
UV Rays Screen

Using lavender oil on your face and body before stepping out can protect your skin from harsh UV rays of the sun. Aging is a real concern for a huge population. Lavender oil has an answer to wrinkles, lines, and crow’s feet. The essential oil is a part of a compound oil which is made by the combination of four other oils that fights aging. This compound oil, which also contains jasmine, chamomile, and jojoba oil among others, has been awarded a patent for the curative effect it has on the skin and for reducing laxity and early signs of aging.

On Wounds, Bruises And Insect Bites

Nursing a wound is simpler with lavender oil. According to a study published in the BMC Complementary And Alternative Medicine, lavender oil showed positive results in wound healing in just four days of application. It also increases the number of fibroblasts that synthesize collagen in our body leading to faster wound contraction. Lavender oil is also one of the main ingredients in a patented formulation to heal cuts and bruises.6 Moreover, lavender oil is also found to be effective in treating burns and insect bites.

Skin Irritation

Applying a few drops of lavender oil or a mixture of the essential oil in any other carrier oil to your skin can be the antidote to all skin irritations. Herbalists have always been using lavender oil for acne, eczema and psoriasis. Massaging the affected area with the essential oil reduced itching, dryness of the skin and lesions.

Lavender oil is known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties. Researchers from Portugal’s University of Coimbra tested the effect of lavender on a range of pathogenic fungi that causes infections of the skin, hair, and nails and found that it keeps the fungal cells from escaping into the bloodstream, thereby saving the body from serious infections.

Apart from these benefits, lavender oil has also been proven to help manage insomnia, restlessness, and anxiety. It is great to combat your migraine, menstrual pain and also alleviates pain after surgeries. Vapor treatment using lavender oil has been recommended over solution treatment to make the full use of lavender oil’s antifungal properties.

So now that you know a good deal about lavender oil, get a bottle of the essential oil for luscious hair and glowing skin.



5 Benefits of Lavender Tea

By Marc Seward
What is Lavender?

Lavender of lavendula is actually a genus of over 40 species of fragrant flowering plants belonging to the Lamiaceae mint family. Lavender which is a native of the Old World can be found growing in large parts of the Mediterranean and Europe, North and East Africa as well as South West Asia and India.

Lavender is cultivated in temperate climes as an ornamental plant for use in the garden and as a culinary herb. It is also cultivated to extract its essential oils and is among the most popular of all essential oils. Lavender essential oil is known for its incredible range of health benefits both mental and physical and its gentle action on the body.

English lavender known scientifically as Lavendula angustifolia is the most cultivated of the species and is the plant most people are referring to when they talk about lavender. It is this species of lavender that you should purchase to make your tea.

Lavender Tea

While lavender essential oil is incredibly well-known and popular throughout the world, its use as a tea is not as common. This article will take a look at the various health benefits that drinking lavender tea can confer and also tell you how to make it so you can enjoy all the benefits the plant has to offer.

Lavender tea has calming qualities and is a great choice to soothe your nerves and encourage sleep. It is also carminative meaning it combats gas while it also contains antibacterial, antispasmodic, antiseptic and expectorant properties.

The Health Benefits of Lavender Tea

1) To Relieve Indigestion

If you suffer from indigestion, lavender tea can definitely help. Indigestion is a common problem that comes with a range of symptoms including abdominal pain, gas, nausea, vomiting and burning sensations in the stomach.

It can be a sign that there is an underlying medical condition but it is not always serious. If you suffer from frequent bouts of indigestion, it is best to seek medical advice.

Lavender tea has carminative properties that can help eliminate gas and soothe the stomach. An Italian study published in 2004 found that the oils present in lavender had a protective effect against stomach ulcers while also relieving indigestion in mice.

2) For Insomnia

Lavender has a well-earned reputation as a calming herb with the ability to settle the nerves and promote good sleep. While most of the studies into the effects of lavender have focused in its essential oils, there is good reason to believe that a cup of lavender tea may be equally as effective.

Anybody who has suffered from periods of insomnia will be aware of the destructive effects it can have on your life whether it be your studies, your work or your relationships. Failure to get sufficient sleep can eventually have a marked effect on your physical health so trying herbal remedies like lavender tea can be a great option.

According to a Korean study published in 2006, inhaling lavender helped relieve insomnia and depression in a group of 42 female university students. Although this study involved essential oil, the same aromas are released when the plant is exposed to hot water and you can take advantage of its vapors when drinking the tea.

3) For Stress Relief

Many herbal teas have a great calming effect on the mind and lavender tea is no exception. Drinking the tea when you are feeling stressed can help you relax after a hard day at the office or the home and put your mind in the place it needs to be.

There is no guarantee that lavender tea will have the desired effect but research into the effects of the essential oil on stress are very positive and the tea may well do the trick. It is certainly worth giving it a go.

4) For Headaches and Migraine

When you drink lavender tea, you will benefit from the essential oils released and these can help to relieve headaches and migraines. There is little evidence that lavender tea works on headaches but there is plenty of evidence that lavender essential oil is extremely effective.

In one study published in 2012 the researchers found that inhaling the essential oil of lavender was effective in relieving acute migraine headaches. In the study, 47 patients suffering from regular migraine headaches were split into two groups. One group was treated with a placebo while the other inhaled the essential oil for 15 minutes. Those who inhaled the lavender experienced a reduction in their symptoms when compared with the placebo group.

While the research done to date has focused on lavender essential oil, there is good reason to believe that drinking lavender tea may have a similar effect.

5) For Convulsions

Lavender tea and lavender oil has anticonvulsant and antispasmodic properties which can help treat a person suffering from uncontrollable convulsions. Convulsions are the uncontrollable shaking of the body caused by the rapid contractions and relaxations of the muscles.

Although there have been no human, clinical trials to confirm its use, a study conducted on mice published in the year 2000 found that lavender did possess antispasmodic properties. The researchers attributed the benefits of lavender to its ability to block the calcium channels within the body’s nervous system.

How to Make Lavender Tea

After a long and stressful day, you may very well be tempted to reach for a glass of your favorite wine, but why not give lavender tea a go instead. I am not saying that a glass of wine is necessarily bad for you but there is plenty of evidence that lavender tea is a better option. This is especially true if you find it difficult to relax of an evening and find sleep difficult to come by.

The best way to consume lavender is to brew up a tea made from the plant’s buds. Brewing the flower buds in the form of a tea helps to release the therapeutic oils and fragrances.

Making your own lavender tea at home is fairly straightforward. Simply get hold of some lavender and follow these easy steps.

• Boil up around 8 ounces of water.
• Put 4 teaspoons of lavender buds in a sachet.
• Put the sachet in a teacup or mug.
• Cover the sachet with water and steep for at least 10 minutes.
• If you do not have a sachet, just put the water in the loose buds and strain before you drink.
• Try drinking a cup every evening before going to bed.
Side Effects and Precautions of Lavender Tea

Drinking lavender tea in moderation is probably safe and very unlikely to have any serious damaging effects. Having said that, there are some precautions that you should be aware of including the following:

• According to several medical websites, ingesting lavender whether in tea or oil form can lead to various adverse side effects including headaches, constipation and an increase in appetite.
• People scheduled for surgery, should avoid drinking their lavender tea at least two weeks prior to surgery. This is because drinking the tea can slow down the body’s central nervous system.
• According to a study published in 2007, lavender oil can cause a condition called prebubertal gynecomastia which causes breast growth in male children.
• Pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding should always consult their doctor before taking any herbal remedies and lavender tea is no exception.

3 Surprising Beauty Benefits Of Lavender

(Daily Mail Reporter)

Taking a pill containing lavender can help reduce anxiety.

In an Austrian study, over 75 per cent of patients given the treatment showed improvement, compared with just half of those on a placebo treatment.

The patients slept better and for longer - their general mental and physical health also improved, said the reseachers, adding that the pill didn't cause 'any unwanted sedative' or other side-effects.

Previous research has shown the pill, Silexan, is as effective as the drug lorazepam, used to treat anxiety.

The theory is that lavender works by enhancing the effect of a brain chemical which reduces nerve cell activity, suppressing brain areas involved in anxiety.

Instant test for endometriosis

The first quick, non-invasive test for endometriosis could soon be available.

Researchers have discovered a protein found in high levels in women with the condition - in which cells that normally line the womb grow elsewhere in the body.

Every month these cells grow and then shed blood. The new discovery paves the way for a simple urine test for a condition that affects around two million women in the UK.

It is currently diagnosed - after an average eight-year delay - with surgery, which involves a general anaesthetic and inserting a camera into the womb

Rude health

Having sex at least twice a week boosts your levels of immunoglobulin A by 20 per cent. This antibody protects against colds and other infections, say U.S. researchers.


3 Surprising Beauty Benefits Of Lavender

By Morgan Cutolo

The lavender plant is aptly named after the beautiful color of its leaves. There are 47 different species of the plant with the leaves ranging in shades of violet, lilac, and blue. They grow best in dry, well-drained, sandy soil and are commonly planted in home gardens and on lavender farms. They don’t need fertilizer or a lot of upkeep so they tend to grow in the wild as well because they spread from household gardens. In many countries there are lavender farms, where the plant grows in rows. Lavender isn’t just a beautiful plant (especially when grown on farms over vast landscapes), but it can also be good for your health and can be used in cooking. Try out lavender oil to harness the healing powers of this fragrant herb. It can also be used to repel mosquitoes and treat acne. Even though there are multiple benefits you can reap from this magic plant, the real beauty is seen when it is first being grown.

Washington Island, Wisconsin, USA

Lavender plants are hung from the ceiling to be dried out. They will eventually be used in edible products and to create oils.

Provence, Valensole Plateau, France

Valensole Plauteau is located in the south of France and their lavender fields cover over 300 square miles. The best time to visit in during the blooming season in July.

Burgas, Bulgaria

The end to a long day as a gorgeous sunset takes place over a lavender field in Burgas.

Bridestowe, Australia

This lavender farm in Bridestowe, Australia was inspired by the one in France. A perfumer brought lavender seeds over with him to Australia from the French Alps.

Tomita Farm, in Furano, Japan

Tokuma Tomita started this farm in 1897 with his family. It struggled to stay alive when the demand for lavender fragrances declined but is now widely visited by photographers and travelers.

Tihany, Hungary

Tihany is famous for their vast and beautiful lavender farms that bloom in the spring. There is a Lavender House Visitor Center where tourists can learn all about the region's lavender culture.

Tasmania, Australia

This lavender farm in Tasmania, Australia is nestled within the forest. Gorgeous shades of purple mix with the green of the trees and the blue of the sky.

Sequim, Washington, USA

This farm in Sequim, Washington is called Purple Haze and it's open all year round. Visitors are encouraged to come and enjoy the farm and try their famous lavender ice cream.

North Carolina, USA

This is the first farm of its kind in North Carolina. They have a line of natural products for your body, the garden, your home, and weddings.

Hitchin, Hertfordshire

This lavender farm, located close to both London and Cambridge has 25 miles of lavender rows. They also grow sunflowers and wildflowers.

Mt Hood, Hood River, Oregon, USA

This farm is located right below Mt. Hood. The soil, altitude, and water make a combination perfect for growing lavender.


3 Surprising Beauty Benefits Of Lavender

By Dana Oliver

Ah, lavender. Just thinking about the plant brings on feelings of relaxation. Sipping on tea made out of its leaves, or smelling its scent will calm your mind or help you sleep better. But did you know that you could also use this purple flowering plant for homemade beauty treatments?

Lavender has been used through the ages for of its cleansing and healing properties. Romans started using it to scent and purifying their baths centuries ago, ancient Egyptians turned its essential oil into a perfume for the mummification process and people burned bundles of lavender during the Great Plague of 1665 in London to try to ward off infectious diseases.

Whether used alone or with other soothing ingredients, there are plenty of reasons why you should keep this herb handy. Here are three surprising uses for lavender.

1. Acne treatment. Most people with acne don’t realize that a plant oil such as lavender won’t clog pores, according to Marina Peredo, a board certified dermatologist at SkinInfluence NYC. “The antiseptic and antibacterial properties may be a more natural solution to mild acne,” she says. To create your own facial toner, Peredo recommends combining a few drops of lavender oil to witch hazel. The lavender works to heal and treat breakouts, while the witch hazel tones your complexion. Dab the solution onto a cotton ball and apply to cleansed skin.

2. Scalp rinse. If you’ve tried just about every dandruff shampoo to relieve dry, itchy scalp, don’t give up hope until you’ve mixed up the lavender hair rinse by Amy Jirsa, a master herbalist and yoga instructor. In her book “The Herbal Goddess,” Jirsa shares a recipe that combines dried lavender steeped in boiled water and apple cider vinegar to make a nourishing rinse that will remove build-up, alleviate irritation and restore the natural pH balance of your scalp. Watch her explain the steps on YouTube.

3. Wound care. Suffering from a bug bite? Gary Goldfaden, a dermatologist and founder of Goldfaden MD skincare, suggests smoothing on a bit of lavender oil to reduce the swelling and minimize itching. Because of its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, it also helps to soothe wounds and improve the development of scar tissue, which can be beneficial to healing the skin.

Goldfaden notes that many people have allergic reactions to lavender, most commonly in the form of skin rashes. If you have more sensitive skin, Peredo recommends mixing it with natural oils or even your regular moisturizer. But you should always perform a patch test or consult with a physician before trying any homemade beauty recipe.


Is Lavender Easy to Grow?

By Katrina French

Lavender (Lavandula spp.) is a relatively easy herb to grow. It does best in well-drained soil and full sun in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 10, depending on the species. It is quite tolerant of drought, heat and wind. Besides its eye-catching color, it provides a wonderful long-lasting aroma. You can harvest and dry lavender to use as decoration, in a potpourri or for cooking.

Needs

Originally from southern Europe, lavender grows well in Mediterranean-type climates. English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) can be planted in poor soils and tolerates drought, making it one of the hardiest varieties. All types of lavender need well-draining soil, so planting it in raised beds or containers is best. Lavender prefers full sun and requires little care. This perennial repels deer and attracts birds and butterflies.

Maintenance

Lavender tends to be a low-maintenance plant once established. Keep it moist, but do not over-water. Most problems growing lavender arise because the soil is poorly drained, leading to root or crown rot. Lavender is not usually bothered by pests and can survive wind, drought and heat. Lavender seeds germinate slowly and the plants grow slowly, so it is easier to buy plants from a garden center. Lavender is a smart choice if you struggle to find time to garden, if you're a beginner or if you want to fill in areas of the garden with a useful, colorful and fragrant plant.

Varieties

French lavender (Lavandula dentata) is usually grown as an ornamental annual in USDA zones 8 through 9 but it can also be grown indoors as a houseplant. Wooly lavender (Lavandula lanata), which grows in USDA zones 8 through 11, works well as a shrub, growing up to 3 feet tall, and produces a spectacular fragrance. A good choice for culinary use is "Munstead" lavender (Lavandula angustifolia "Munstead"), which grows in USDA zones 5 through 10. No matter which type of lavender you choose, the easy-care, no-fuss maintenance of this herb singles it out.

Harvesting

It is time to harvest when the flowers on the lavender have just opened. Cut the stems and gather them into a bunch. After tying the bundle with string, hang upside down in a cool, dry place, such as a garage or shed to dry. After two weeks, you can take the bundles down and place them in vases around the house for a soothing aroma that will last for months. You can also take just the dried blooms and use them for cooking. Lavender adds a distinctive and delicious taste to teas, vinegars and desserts.


Parts of Lavender Plants

By Eulalia Palomo

Lavender plants (Lavandula spp.) have aromatic flowers that are used to scent potpourri, create perfumes and splashes, and even add flavor to culinary dishes and deserts. The plants are perennials, hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. Lavender plants are comprised of a root system, stalks, leaves and a flower head.

Roots

Lavender plants are frost-hardy perennials. The roots survive under the soil through the winter, even in freezing temperatures. The shallow roots grow best in sandy soil or rocky conditions with good drainage. Areas with poor drainage can cause root rot and potentially kill the plants. Plant lavender on mounds in wet areas and amend the soil with peat moss or other organic material to improve drainage.

Stalks and Leaves

New stalks grow 2 to 3 feet tall and are slender and square, rather than round like most plant. The new growth is green and flexible for the first year. As lavender plants age, the older stalks get woody and thicken, turning from square to round. The narrow 2.5-inch-long leaves are grey to silver green and fragrant. Lavender plants grow in clumps 2 to 3 feet wide. In mild climates, the plants are evergreen, but in areas with regular frost, the plants die back to the ground in winter and new growth develops the following spring.

Flowers

Each flowering stalk on a lavender plant develops a single flower head, called an inflorescence. The flower head is made up of multiple of tiny flowers. Lavender plants bloom in summer in white, purple, blue and lavender colors, depending on the variety. The aromatic flowers are dried or distilled to extract the scent. At the end of the flowering season, seeds develop on the flower head.

Propagating Lavender

There are two ways to propagate lavender: from seed and from softwood cuttings. Softwood cuttings are 3- to 5-inch-long sections of green stalks taken in late spring or early summer. The base of the stalks are placed in a soilless rooting medium, where they form new roots. Once new leaves appear, lavender cuttings are transplanted into the garden or pots. Seeds are planted in winter in a greenhouse or outdoors in early spring, taking 10 days to two months to germinate and emerge from the soil.


9 Great Uses for Lavender

By Diane MacEachern

A friend of mine calls lavender the “Swiss Army Knife” of essential oils because you can use it in so many ways. I prefer to think of it as the perfect way to start and end my day. From fresh lavender bouquets to dried lavender petals to essence of lavender oil, Mother Nature has created a seemingly endless way to incorporate this delicate plant into our lives. Here are some of my favorites.

• Mosquito Repellent – Add 10-12 drops of essence of lavender oil to an 8oz. spritzer bottle filled with water, and spray.

• Perfume - Dab a drop of lavender oil behind each ear, on the inside of each wrist, and on the nape of your neck. You don’t want the scent to be overpowering, just present enough to smell special.

• Bath Oil - Add several drops of lavender oil to a warm bath. Soak, and relax. I like to add the oil right under the running water to diffuse the scent a bit more. If you don’t have oil at hand, you’ll easily be able to find lavender-infused soap.

• Laundry Freshener - Put a few drops of lavender oil on a towel and then toss the towel in with other laundry to dry. What a natural way to skip dryer sheets.

• Reduce Swelling and Sore Muscles – Add lavender oil to ointment you use to relieve aches and pains. Some moms I know dab a little lavender oil on swollen lips.

• Deodorant – My favorite deodorants are baking soda-based, then infused with lavender oil.

• Bouquets – Fill small vases with fresh sprigs of deep purple lavender in bloom to add texture and cheer to any room. Dry bouquets of lavender flowers and leaves, then add them to other dried blooms and thistles for a dried arrangement full of color and texture.

• Overall Aromatherapy – Dry lavender flowers, then mound them in a small bowl or basket in your bathroom, laundry room or bedroom. Every now and then, crumple the flowers a bit to release their wonderful smell. You can also fill small mesh bags with dried lavender and tuck them in your sock drawers or among your lingerie, or let them dangle off the head rest facing the back seat in your car. Put diffuser sticks in small bottles of lavender oil to let the scent infuse living room, family room or office. Sprinkle a few scant drops on your pillowcase for greater ease in drifting off to sleep. Choose lavender-scented soy candles.

• Tea and Chocolate - Lavender is showing up in tea, chocolate, cookies, mints and more.


The Best Ways to Propagate Lavender Plants

By Julie Richards

The two main types of lavender are the English lavenders (Lavandula angustifolia), which grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 10, and the frost-tender French lavenders (Lavandula dentata), which are often grown as annuals, but are perennials in USDA zones 8 and above. The many lavender cultivars offer various sizes, colors and hardiness traits. Lavender plants prefer full sun and well-drained soil. You can propagate lavenders in several ways.

Seed Propagation

Lavender seeds germinate slowly and it may take as long as six months to generate a plant large enough for outdoor planting. Due to cross-pollination during the growing season, hand-collected seeds do not grow true to the parent plant and height, color or fragrance may vary from plant to plant. Use seeds from a reputable dealer when growing lavender from seed. The cost of growing the lavender plants from seed may be less expensive than buying plants from a garden center. Sow seeds indoors in November or December for May or June planting.

Layering Lavender

The low growing habit of lavender plants makes layering a simple way to propagate them. To propagate the lavender through layering, bend a bottom branch to the ground and slightly scrape or wound the middle of the branch that touches the soil's surface. Top the wounded area with soil and weigh the stem down in the middle. This will cause the wound to send out roots. The mother plant sends nutrients to the exposed end of the buried stem so the stem continues to grow, but the buried section of the lavender plant sets roots and begins to generate enough nourishment for the exposed stem. Sever the stem just behind the new root growth so the new plant supports itself. The rooting process can take a little as two weeks or as long as two months. The layering technique produces one lavender plant at a time.

Rooting Lavender Cuttings

You can produce several lavender plants at one time through cuttings. The plants are exact duplicates of the mother plant. Take cuttings that are still green -- not woody -- for best results. Use a rooting hormone to stimulate a healthy root system on the cuttings. The cuttings need a well-draining growing medium such as sand and peat moss or perlite and sand. Keep the cuttings out of direct sunlight because the light generates too much heat. A bright window indoors or dappled shade outdoors works well for rooting. The temperature should be about 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Transfer the cuttings to individual pots once they are rooted.

A Warning About Division

Lavender is a woody plant and generally produces only one main stem per plant. Very low-growing lavender plants may have more than one stem growing up from the ground due to the lower stems forming roots where they came in contact with the soil. It is possible to divide these multi-stemmed plants by digging up the entire plant and separating the rooted sections with a sharp, sterile knife. For lavender plants that have only one main stem, you risk the chance of killing the plant by dividing the roots.




The Beauty Benefits of Lavender

By Jennifer Benjamin

Open up your beauty cabinet and you're likely to find at least one lavender-infused product already in your arsenal. In recent years, the pleasantly scented plant has become the latest "It" ingredient in skin-care products, body oils, even specialty foods...and for good reason! Aside from its soothing aromatherapy properties, recent studies suggest it can also clean and calm your skin. Read on to learn the many beauty uses for this potent superplant.

Use it to clean the skin: New research suggests that lavender can be used as an antibacterial and antifungal agent. “Studies have shown that while it might not be the most potent antibacterial ingredient, it does have some efficacy, so it can best be used as a supporting secondary element to improve the odor of the product, while also boosting its cleansing power as well,” explains cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson.

Use it to detox the skin: Environmental toxins and daily stress can tax the skin, giving it a coarse and inflamed appearance. Lavender can help combat both culprits with a one-two punch. “It contains powerful antioxidants that will prevent and counteract the irritating effects of pollutants on the skin,” explains Claude Saliou, Ph.D., director of research and development for Johnson & Johnson. “Plus, studies have shown that elevated stress results in rough skin, so lavender can improve skin by acting as a mentally calming agent.” Try a lavender-infused body wash to calm your nerves and your skin.

Use it to relax: Lavender’s claim to fame is really its calming aromatherapy effect, which is why it’s used so often in massage oils and body products. Sure, it smells nice, but there’s some real science behind this spa favorite. “The scent of lavender increases alpha waves in the area of the brain responsible for relaxation,” explains Alan Hirsch, M.D., neurological director for the Smell and Taste Research Foundation in Chicago. In fact, there’s even some evidence that it can relieve sore muscles. For the full body effect, apply a lavender essential oil after a shower, or put a few drops in your bubble bath. To ease anxiety, scent your bedroom or office with a lavender oil home fragrance.

Use it to sleep: Not only does lavender relieve tension during waking hours, it can also help lull you to sleep. According to Dr. Hirsch, the scent can help shorten the length of time it takes to fall asleep and help ease you into deep, REM sleep even faster. “While you sleep, your skin recuperates and regenerates, so the more sleep you get, the better your skin recovers from any damage done the day before,” explains NYC-based dermatologist Judith Hellman, M.D. So spray your pillowcase with an aromatherapy product or dab some lavender essential oil on your wrists and temples.

Use it to seduce your guy: While it’s certainly not some hocus-pocus love potion, the scent of lavender (combined with the sweet and spicy smell of pumpkin pie) can actually boost arousal in men, says Dr. Hirsch. If you’re looking for a come-hither scent, consider smoothing on a lavender-and-vanilla-scented cream.


When Does Lavender Bloom?

By Shala Munroe

Bringing lavender plants (Lavandula spp.) into your garden means a pleasant, calming fragrance and a gentle purple color. The blooms can be dried to use as potpourri, bringing the peaceful scent into your home, or used in some cooking recipes. There are three main types of lavender that have different blooming times -- planting all three can keep your garden smelling of lavender from spring until close to fall.

Spring

To start your lavender garden in the spring, plant varieties that start blooming in early spring to midspring. Varieties such as Spanish lavender, "Yellow," "Woolly" or "Sweet" lavender grow well in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 8 through 10. These tend to bloom for four to six weeks, with the Spanish and sweet varieties finishing their bloom cycles earliest.

Spring to Summer

English lavender is the most common variety of lavender, growing best in zones 5 through 8. These varieties, such as "Munstead," "Royal Purple" and "Hidcote," tend to bloom late in the spring and into early summer. In Mediterranean climates, they stay in bloom for up to three to four weeks, unless the summer becomes unseasonably warm or humid. Midsummer to Late Summer

Hybrid lavender varieties known as lavandins bloom longer than other varieties and start blooming later, usually in midsummer. Lavandins such as "Grosso," Provence" and "Seal" are typically more drought- and heat-tolerant than other varieties, helping them grow through late summer.

Considerations

Lavender is a slow-growing plant, sometimes taking up to three years to reach full maturity. Plant all varieties in the spring -- even when planted at the same time, the different varieties bloom at their determined times. Lavender needs well-drained soil to bloom properly, so plant it in loamy soil or add peat moss to dense soils to increase drainage.


Taking Care of Lavender Plants

By Angela Ryczkowski

Fragrant, attractive gray-green foliage, long-lasting blooms and good drought tolerance make lavender (Lavendula spp.) an excellent addition to many herb or ornamental gardens, especially where low water use is important. These shrubby herbaceous perennials are potentially cultivated across U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9 or 10. Lavenders have relatively few maintenance requirements and rarely experience problems with pests or diseases, but certain care practices can help to ensure that the lavender remains attractive and vigorous for many years.

1. Space lavender plants at least 18 to 24 inches apart, planting them or positioning their containers in a site that receives full sunlight. The site's soil or the potting medium you use should be loose and offer excellent drainage.

2. Water the soil around the newly-planted lavender plants weekly with a gallon of water per plant until the plants are established. Once established, only supply each plant with 1/2 gallon of water every two weeks when rainfall is inadequate. Increase the amount of water supplied when the lavender begins to flower, watering plants twice weekly during bloom.

3. Spread 1 to 3 inches of well-rotted compost or aged manure around, though not directly in contact with, the lavender plants to provide nutrients to the plant while also suppressing weeds and regulating soil temperature. Alternatively, sprinkle one to two tablespoons of balanced, slow-release granular fertilizer over the ground around each plant in spring.

4. Monitor the lavender growing site regularly year-round and promptly pull up or otherwise remove weeds before they can go to seed or spread vegetatively. Lavender is not very competitive with weeds and will suffer if weeds are left to hog sunlight, nutrients and moisture.

5. Cut stems on the lavender back lightly in spring when a growth flush is occurring to encourage branching and a dense appearance. Make each cut just above a node to force branching and remove no more than a few inches from the tip of each stem.

6. Prune the lavender plant in midsummer just before flower color begins to fade, cutting flower wands off just into the mass of the plant. This will encourage a second bloom in fall.

7. Shear the lavender plants back to half their size once flowering has finished.

8. Re-pot lavender plants growing in containers about once per year, or whenever you notice plant roots growing out of the container's drain holes or the surface of the potting medium or the plant seems to languish even with excellent care. Select a container just a few inches deeper and wider than the current lavender pot, place a few inches of well-drained potting medium in the bottom, and remove the lavender from its current container by turning it upside down and sliding the root mass out. Gently loosen the root mass and place it in the center of the container, fill in the space around the roots with medium, firm the medium down gently and water it in well.

Things You Will Need
• Watering can or hose
• Compost, aged manure or slow-release fertilizer
• Sharp, sterile pruning shears or scissors
• Container (optional)
• High-quality, well-drained potting soil

◘ Tip

Lavenders growing in containers will require irrigation more frequently than lavenders in the ground. Water container specimens whenever soil about an inch below the surface feels dry to the touch, never allowing the soil to dry out completely.


The Best Time to Plant Lavender

By Leslie Rose

Lavender (Lavandula spp.) attracts butterflies and bees while deterring ants. It needs full sun and well-draining soil. If you live inland, you will find this drought-tolerant shrub perfectly suited to your natural climate with intense sunlight and low rainfall. On the coast, with its overcast conditions, you may have more difficulty growing this heat- and sun-loving plant. Planting lavender at the right time of year and giving it proper care will help establish this plant for a successful growing season.

Planting Time

The best planting time for lavender is fall. October's cooler temperatures, low to moderate rainfall and less intense sun work well for planting lavender. By establishing itself in fall and winter, lavender is ready to bloom in spring. Lavender grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, depending on species and cultivar.

Planting Tips

Lavender doesn't need to be fertilized except in the poorest soils. More important than soil fertility is soil drainage. Peat moss will contribute to soil drainage and moisture retention, while acidifying the soil slightly. Spread a 1-inch layer of peat moss over the area where you wish to plant your lavender, and work it into the soil with a rake or a hoe. Break up the soil and remove any rocks you find. Dig a hole deep enough for the root ball of the lavender, but no deeper than the root ball. Place the lavender in the hole, fill in any spaces with the amended soil. Water the lavender deeply after planting.

Establishing Lavender

Although lavender is drought-tolerant once established, it will need diligent watering until it becomes established in its new spot. Water lavender once a week, or twice weekly, if needed. Check the soil around the lavender with a moisture meter and do not allow the soil to dry out. Do not water the lavender when rainwater supplies the necessary moisture. By spring, the new plants should be established and will require less frequent watering.

Regular Care

Water your lavender infrequently -- once every two weeks. At the height of the summer, your lavender may need more frequent watering, but do not allow the soil to become waterlogged. Check the soil with a moisture meter when in doubt. Lavender can tolerate drought but not constantly wet soil. Prune off blossoms in late June or early July, at the height of color, to encourage a second round of blossoming by October. Use sanitized pruning shears to cut the blossom stems below the crown of leaves.



Suffering from lower back pain? A lavender oil massage can help!

By Anuradha Varanasi

Tired of living with low back pain and relying on pain killers? Try lavender essential oil for its soothing effects!

Low back pain is a common problem that can restrict your daily routine activities and also significantly reduce the quality of your life. Here’s why you should never ignore low back pain. Relying on pain killers can cause other side-effects and you’re forced to deal with using back sprays and restricting your physical activity to a great extent.

Instead of using tablets for some relief, you should consider using lavender essential oil. Researchers from Hong Kong Polytechnic University found that lavender oil is highly effective in acting as a natural remedy for low back pain.

The study was published in the Complimentary Therapies in Medicine, an international peer-reviewed journal in 2004. Patients suffering from sub-acute or chronic lower back pain were involved in three weeks long relaxation session that included acupressure or massaging with lavender oil. Along with this, they were also given acupoint stimulation.

Following that, it was found that barely a week later, there was a 39% reduction in low back pain and by the end of three weeks, the patients were able to walk and bend with relative ease as compared to before.

The researchers concluded that there were no side-effects of using lavender oil for treating low back pain. This is because lavender oil has been proven to be useful in the treatment of acute as well as chronic pain. You can reap the benefits of lavender oil by getting a lower back massage with it every night before sleep. Ask your partner or any family member to massage it on your back and communicate with them on how much pressure you want them to apply. You could also consider visiting a good spa for a few sessions of acupressure with lavender oil.Did you know, by simply inhaling lavender oil, it can also get rid of migraine headaches.


Lavender oil — an all-natural remedy for sinus relief

By Tania Tarafdar

Learn how you can use lavender oil for sinus relief.

Are your nasal passages blocked or do you have a nagging headache? Well, you may be suffering from sinusitis. When the lining of your sinuses (the area just above your eyebrows, the inner part of your eyes and cheekbones) gets infected and inflamed, it leads to pain and discomfort. You may have tried antibiotics for sinus relief, but this approach can help you get instant relief naturally. Lavender essential oil has potent antiseptic, antibacterial, analgesic (painkilling) and expectorant properties that can give you relief.

How does it work?
• Being antibacterial in nature, the oil helps fight germs and bacteria that cause the infection[1].
• Lavender oil clears your sinuses by reducing the inflammation[2].
• Lavender oil has analgesic properties that help with sinus related headache [3].
• Inhaling the essential oil eases breathing when the sinuses and lungs get choked with phlegm[4].
Steps to use
• Bring two cups of water to boil and pour the boiling water into a deep bowl.
• Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the bowl.
• Cover your head with a towel and breathe the steam in from the bowl.

Follow this routine two times a day. The steam will thin out the mucus and decongest the airways. It will also open the clogged sinuses and promote draining.

Alternatively, you can add 10-15 drops of oil to your hot water bath and soak in it for 10-15 minutes. The water will relax your muscles and the medicinal properties of the oil will work on your senses, helping you breathe comfortably.


This Scent Will Make You Trust People More, According To Science

By Carolyn Gregoire

The scent of lavender is known for its soothing properties, and for this reason is often recommended to people as a relaxation or sleep aid. But according to new research, the calming scent can also make us more trusting of others.

“Our results might have various serious implications for a broad range of situations in which interpersonal trust is an essential element,” Leiden psychologist Roberta Sellaro said in a statement. “Smelling the aroma of lavender may help a seller to establish more easily a trusting negotiation to sell a car, or in a grocery store it may induce consumers to spend more money buying products. The smell of lavender may also be helpful in sport psychology to enhance trust and build team spirit, for example in the case of team games such as soccer and volleyball.”

To investigate the flower’s effect on trust, Leiden University researchers exposed one group of study participants to the scent of lavender and another group to peppermint. Then, the participants were asked to play a game that is commonly used in experimental settings to measure how much one subject trusts another. In the game, a “trustor” was given 5 Euros and instructed to decide how much of that money to give a “trustee” in each round. The trustee, in return, could decide to split the money with the trustor. If the trustee gave the trustor enough money in return, he or she would receive additional money.

After being exposed to lavender, participants gave significantly more money to the trustee (3.9 Euro) than those who had been exposed to peppermint (3.23 Euro). The findings “reinforce the idea that interpersonal trust is sensitive to situational and environmental factors,” the researchers note.

Previous research on aromatherapy has found that lavender can affect mood and well-being. Lavender essential oil produces a mild calming and sedative affect, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, and has been used to ease anxiety, depression, insomnia and fatigue. One brain-scanning study by Wesleyan University researchers found that participants who sniffed lavender oil before going to bed slept more soundly through the night.

The findings were published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. Check out the video to learn more about lavender’s effects on mutual trust.

https://youtu.be/1y-2ODOMfH4


4 Reasons to Love Lavender

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Have you seen those breathtaking photos of undulating fields in Provence or some other romantic location filled with purple flowers as far as the eye can see? Chances are you’re looking at lavender, a beautiful aromatic small shrub that grows on most continents. Even if you don’t live in Provence or own acres of land, you can still get up close and personal with lavender. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

While lavender is an obvious visual and olfactory indulgence, its value goes far beyond these sensory experiences. The plant has a long and illustrious history as traditional medicine in many cultures. Lavender use has been traced back at least 2500 years when it was used for mummification and perfumery by the ancient Egyptians, Phoenicians and Arabs. Ancient Romans are also believed to have used lavender for cooking, bathing and scenting the air. Today, science is revealing the incredible properties lavender possesses to reduce depression, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and anxiety, as well as combating insomnia and repelling insects.

1. A joint Canadian and Iranian study compared the effects of a medication for depression to drinking tea made from lavender flowers. The researchers found that the lavender was slightly more effective than the anti-depressant drugs without any of the dangerous side effects often present with these types of drugs. The researchers concluded that lavender might be used as an adjunct to anti-depressant drugs or on its own to assist with symptoms of depression. The study participants drank two cups of an infusion made with lavender daily. This can be made by adding two teaspoons of dried flowers to boiled water and letting it sit for 10 minutes before straining and drinking the tea. Of course, never discontinue any medications without consulting your physician.

2. According to James Duke, botanist and author of The Green Pharmacy, lavender is an excellent insomnia remedy. He recounts stories of British hospitals using lavender essential oil in patients’ baths or sprinkled onto bed clothes to help them sleep. To use in a bath, sprinkle 5 to 10 drops of lavender essential oil under the water as the tub fills to allow the oils to disperse. Alternatively, place a heaping tablespoon of dried lavender flowers in cheesecloth, tie into a bundle and allow the flowers to infuse in the bathwater while soaking.

3. In a South African study comparing the effects of lavender essential oil to DEET-based tick repellents, lavender showed comparable results to the DEET sprays. At a 5 percent concentration, the insect-repellent results of the lavender oil lasted for 40 minutes while at a 10 percent or higher concentration of the essential oil, the results lasted for two hours. Add 10 to 20 drops of lavender essential oil to a dollop of your favorite unscented cream and apply before heading outdoors.

4. A Japanese study published in the journal BioPsychoSocial Medicine found that inhaling the scent of lavender for ten minutes had a significant effect on the nervous system of women suffering from premenstrual symptoms. It especially decreased feelings of depression and confusion.

While lavender plants and dried lavender are readily available, the plant is fairly easy to grow in gardens, yards and pots. It grows best in a sunny location with well-drained soil and is found in most plant nurseries. You can also grow lavender from seed as it tends to be quite hardy. It needs watering to get started but most varieties are quite drought tolerant and need infrequent watering after the plant takes hold.


New study shows smell of lavender could enhance memory

By Patrick B. Massey (MD, PH.D.)

Most of us think that taking in a nice aroma is simply a pleasant experience.

Medical research, however, is demonstrating that some fragrances can have a profound impact on our memory and cognition.

In a recent medical study, the fragrance of lavender enhanced memory after a stressful, standardized test.

In aromatherapy, plant extracts or the oils of specific plants are used as a way of enhancing the immune system, accelerating healing, improving memory and cognition as well as depression, anxiety and sleep.

Although the exact origins of aromatherapy are lost to the pages of ancient history, the use of fragrances in healing and ceremonies have been documented in our earliest civilizations.

Although aromatherapy was initially dismissed as a placebo, the medical research on the effects of aromatherapy on stress hormones, sleep and mood has been accumulating and is quite positive. The most common way that aromatherapy is used is to breathe in the essential oil through the nose.

Recent medical study done at the Oregon Health and Science University and published in the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine demonstrated that the essential oil of lavender significantly improved memory after a stressful standardized test.

In this study 92 participants were divided into several groups -- lavender essential oil group, placebo coconut oil group and a water group. Two additional groups were used to study the psychological effect of essential oils.

The final results were quite revealing. Those in the lavender group demonstrated significant improvement over the placebo and water-only groups for memory after the stressful test.

Other data from this study also demonstrated that lavender oil actually lessened the feeling of stress about the test itself. The study demonstrated that there is a psychological effect of lavender but that there is also a direct physiological benefit on the brain.

Even though we may not realize it, smell may be our most sensitive sense. Our eyes and ears can differentiate approximately one million colors and a half million tones respectively. Recent medical research suggests that the human nose can differentiate over one trillion different odors.

It is no wonder that aromatherapy can affect the brain so profoundly.

This therapy, in my opinion, should be used as an add-on to other medical therapies and not as a stand-alone approach.

Several of the larger health food stores carry a large selection of essential oils, as well as books on their use. One needs to be cautious with some essential oils because direct application to the skin can be irritating.

Consulting an essential oil expert is recommended and there are currently several certifications for essential oils use.

A current trend in essential oils is to ingest them. I feel that the most effective way of getting essential oils into your body is through the nose and skin, not through your bowels.

There is a large body of historical evidence for the use of essential oils, not just as a fragrance but as a healing tool. It is certainly useful as an additional therapy for a variety of medical conditions including pain, anxiety and insomnia.


6 lesser-known benefits of lavender oil for your skin and hair

By Tania Tarafdar

Lavender oil has amazing nourishing and therapeutic benefits for both your skin and hair.

The sweet-scented lavender oil has a plethora of beauty benefits. The soothing essential oil has been used since the Roman era to soothe and soften the skin. Let us have a look at some of the amazing nourishing and therapeutic benefits lavender oil has for both your skin and hair. Also read about the 7 best oils for healthy and glowing skin.

1. Reduces wrinkles and age spots

Lavender oil helps in reducing the age spots such as wrinkles and fine lines. The fragrant oil boosts circulation in your skin thus improving the blood flow supplying an adequate amount of oxygen and nutrition to skin cells. This helps to firm your skin by boosting the skin renewal process. You can also try these home remedies to look 10 years younger.

How to use:

• Beat one egg white.
• Add 2-3 drops of lavender oil to the beaten egg.
• Apply it on your face and leave it for 20 minutes before washing your face with warm water.
• Use this three times a week for best results.

2. Treats acne

Lavender oil has both antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that help fight the bacteria causing the acne. The oil can also help reduce the swelling and redness caused by the acne breakout. Here are 5 effective face packs for an acne-free skin.

How to use:

• Simply dab a cotton ball in lavender oil and apply it to the areas affected by acne.
• Continue with this routine every day before going to sleep for a healthy and unblemished complexion.

3. Controls hair loss

This nourishing oil not only aids in hair growth but also helps to prevent hair loss. This aromatherapy oil also helps to regulate blood circulation in the body including the scalp and thus promotes healthy hair growth.

How to use:

• Massage your hair with lavender oil in the night from the roots to the tips.
• Then wash it off with a mild shampoo in the morning.
• Massaging your hair with lavender oil thrice a week will nourish your scalp and prevent hair loss.

4. Heals chapped lips

Lavender oil has both healing and moisturising effects that can work very well on the thin, delicate skin of the lips. It will also help in enhancing the colour of our lips.

How to use:

• Just rub a few drops of lavender oil on your lips to moisturise them.
• You can use it any time during the day and even keep it on overnight.

5. Soothes burns

The anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties of lavender oil are also very beneficial in healing burns. Due to its antiseptic action it acts as a pain reliever. Applying the oil on the burn can stimulate cell formation and also reduce the scarring.

How to use:

• All you need to do is run cold water on the burnt area for 10 minutes.
• Then apply lavender oil to the affected area.
• Use the oil three times a day for quick healing.

6. Conditions your hair

The lavender essential oil helps balance the pH of your scalp and hair and is thus great for people with greasy hair. Battle dry and dull hair with these 5 hair masks.

How to use:

• Combine 15 drops of lavender essential oil with 2 tablespoons of almond oil or olive oil.
• Now heat the mixture for about 10 minutes.
• Massage your hair with this warm oil and out a shower cap on.
• Wash it off with a mild shampoo after an hour.
• Using this once a week will leave your hair soft and shiny.

Lovely Lavender

By Alice Crann Good (PensacolaH&G.com)

People battling stress, depression, anxiety and insomnia often turn to a herb known for its calming and relaxing benefits – lavender. Old Thyme Remedies owners Theresa Ellis and Beth Workman say lavender is one of their favorites.

“Lavender’s history goes back some 2,500 years,” Workman says. “Lavender is a flowering plant of the mint family known for its beauty, its sweet floral fragrance and its multiple uses.

“Lavender is said to be the Swiss Army knife of herbs,” Workman says. “When in doubt of what to use, use lavender. It is known to be safe for the very young to the very old.”

Today, lavender is also grown commercially for extraction of its oil from its flowers and to some degree from its foliage, Workman says. The oil is obtained through a distillation process.

“The oil is used as a disinfectant, an antiseptic, an anti-inflammatory and for aromatherapy,” Workman says. “An infusion of lavender is claimed to soothe and heal insect bites, sunburn and small cuts, burns and inflammatory conditions and even acne. Lavender oils are also used for internal medical conditions – indigestion and heartburn. It can also be used as a wound wash to discourage bacterial infection.”

Herbalist Kathy Hubbard says lavender is “a gentle nervine” that can be used frequently, but it is important to use quality herbs. If herbs do not have an aroma at time of purchase, they lack medicinal properties, she says.

“Purchase from reputable sources,” Hubbard advises.

Lavender bath
Kathy Hubbard
•Place 1/2 cup of lavender buds in a huge tea ball or in a large cloth tea bag. Hang under the running hot water while you fill the tub. This will fill the tub with a lavender “tea.” Sit back and relax in your lavender-infused bath.

Or: Bring a large pot of water (1 gallon) to a boil. Pull off the stove, and put a cup of lavender blossoms in the water. Cover and steep for at least 20 minutes. Strain, and add to your bath.

Lavender-licious
•Lavender delivers a floral, slightly sweet and elegant flavor to salads, soups, meat and seafood dishes, desserts, cheeses, baked goods and confectionery, say Old Thyme Remedies owners Theresa Ellis and Beth Workman.
Lavender Cake
Old Thyme Remedies
•3/4 cup softened real butter
•3/4 cup organic sugar
•1 1/2 cup organic self-rising flour
•1 tbsp. organic lavender buds, finely chopped
•1 tsp. vanilla extract
•3 large yard eggs
•Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour pan. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs; mixing in one at a time. Fold in flour and lavender buds. Bake accordingly for size pan used.
•Note: Can be baked in mason jars. Fill three-fourths full and bake. Place seal and ring on when pulled out of oven.
Lavender lemon icing
Old Thyme Remedies
•1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
•1/4 tsp. lemon zest
•1/2 tsp. water or cream
•1/2 tsp. lavender buds
•Combine ingredients and pour over cake.
Relaxing tea
Kathy Hubbard
•1 tsp. lavender blossom
•1 tsp. chamomile flower
•10 oz. hot water
•Bring water just to boil, pull off heat and add herbs. Cover and steep for at least 20 minutes. Strain, and add honey if desired.

Traditional uses for Lavender

By Jodi Thomas
Preventive:
Repels insects- fleas, moths & mosquitos

Do you hate using insecticides? Good news! Insects hate the smell of Lavender It is suggested you mist yourself and/or pet with Lavender hydrosol before you go out at sunset or to bed, put three to four drops of oil on your pillow or soak cotton wool ball in the oil and leave it on a saucer in front of the window. To keep moths off your clothes, hang Lavender sachets in your closets and draws. Refresh them from time to time with a drop or two of pure Lavender oil.

Common ailments:
Insomnia

Soothing at any age when used in diffuser and it is suggested to put a few drops on a pillow. For infants you can also create a message oil of mineral oil or other carrier oil, add one drop of Geranium oil and one drop of Lavender oil and massage into baby’s back or just put a few drops into their night bath or use a sachet of oil filled with Lavender flowers.

Stress & Anxiety

Keep a spritzer of Lavender hydrosol mist handy to spray on your face during the day, or apply a Lavender oil salve to your temples.

Fatigue

It is suggested to add five drops of Lavender oil to a hot foot bath and relax while your feet soak in it. It is suggested that the soles of the feet are particularly porous, and the theory is that the Lavender can then reach your bloodstream very quickly, exerting its stimulating and soothing effects on various systems of your body.

Aching Muscles

It is suggested to apply a Lavender oil salve to sore joints and muscles or prepare a Lavender bath of Epsom salts and a few drops of Lavender oil to soak away the tension.

Headache

It is suggested that the distilled water of Lavender or hydrosol when used as a mist sprayed around the head can be refreshing and soothing. Also it is suggested to make a compress soaked in icy cold water then sprinkled with a few drops of Lavender oil and apply to the forehead, or massage a Lavender oil salve into the forehead, temples and nape of the neck.

Menstrual Cramps

Relaxes relieves pain -It is suggested to massage a few drops of suave containing Lavender oil into your lower abdomen and or apply a hot compress onto the area, with little sprinkle of Lavender oil.

Feeling Faint

It is suggested to use your own smelling salts made of sea salt, Lavender oil, Peppermint oil and Basil oil.


First Aid:
Known for its powerful antibacterial and anti-viral properties

The Romans would carry Lavender in a bag to war. When wounded they would crush it and place it in olive oil then applied it to their wounds. Also early 20th Century French laboratory studies showed that Lavender is a powerful antibacterial in dilutions of 5 percent or less it is lethal to bacteria that cause typhoid, TB and diphtheria.

Cuts, Wounds and Minor Burns

It is suggested to apply Lavender oil salve to sooth pain, prevent bacterial infection and aid scar-free healing. The area first should be cooled by immersing the burned area in cold water first Then it is suggested to gentle place a Lavender oil salve on burned area.

Sunburn

It is suggested to spray a pure Lavender hydrosol mist directly onto the skin or add 8 drops of Lavender oil and 4 drops of Peppermint oil to a teaspoon of Jojoba oil. Pour it into a cool-to-lukewarm bath and soak for 10 minutes.

Insect bites

Lavender oil products traditionally are known for their soothing an anti- itch and anti- inflammation properties. It is suggested a Lavender oil salve and pure hydrosol mist can be used to help relieve the pain and itch of bug bites.

Earache

It is suggested to warm a bottle of lavender oil in hot water for a minute or two then add two to three drops of the warmed Lavender oil to a little olive oil in a separate container, then add a few warm not hot drops in the ear cannel and gently massage a few drops into the skin around the ears and throat.

Sinusitis

Lavender is one of several essential oils that aroma-therapists recommend for inhalations to relieve sinusitis. It is suggested to add two drops of lavender and thyme oil to a bowl of hot steaming water and inhale slowly and deeply, with a towel over your head and bowl.

Fevers

It is suggested sponge babies or small children, down very gently with tepid water to which you have added a drop of Lavender oil, taking care not to let them get chilled. For adults you can bathe in tepid water with Lavender oil or have a sponge bath too.

Skin Conditions:
Eczema

It is suggested to stroke a few drops of lavender oil and olive oil or other carrier oil into dry, itchy skin. You can also add a few drops of Lavender oil to Calamine lotion, shake before use.

Acne

Aromatherapists say that Lavender is one of the most valuable oils in the treatment of acne as it inhibits the bacteria that cause the skin infection. It is also suggested to help rebalance the over-secretion of sebum, which the bacteria thrive on, and reduce scarring. It is suggested to add a few drops of lavender oil to a moisturizing cream or cleanser and apply to the needed area.

Shingles

It is suggested to make combination of Lavender oil with other analgesic, antiviral and scar preventing essential oils when applied to lesions can be very helpful. One would have to Google all the other essential oils that have analgesic, antiviral and scar preventing properties and make their own choice, of which Lavender oil is one.


Benefits of Lavender

By Julie Martens Forney

Discover the many benefits that lavender brings—to the garden and home.

Celebrate the versatility of lavender by using this herb to its fullest. The benefits of lavender start in the garden, but when you’re willing to harvest flowers, you can enjoy lavender benefits indoors, too. Lavender offers a host of uses in the home, from scenting linens, to giving fleas the brush-off, to seasoning foods.

If you’re planting lavender, consider which lavender benefits you want to enjoy before making your final variety selections. For instance, if you plan to snip flower stems to make dried lavender bunches for decorating, choose a type of lavender that hangs onto its flowers after drying. ‘Grosso’ lavender (Lavandula x intermedia ‘Grosso’) is a favorite for drying because it doesn’t shatter. It also packs intense fragrance into its blooms.

On the other hand, if you’re planning to enjoy a lavender benefit of making fragrant sachets or potpourri, you’ll want to harvest lavender buds. Choose a type of lavender that releases its buds easily. ‘Provence’ lavender (Lavandula x intermedia ‘Provence’) drops its buds readily after drying and is the ideal choice when your goal is lavender buds.

The benefits of lavender extend beyond decorative uses. You can also harvest lavender flowers and buds for making lavender oil. While handmade lavender oil, if not steam distilled, is usually more of an infusion, it still brings wonderful lavender benefits. The essential oils of this perennial herb are simply more diluted in a lavender oil infusion.

One of the key benefits of lavender is its relaxing, soothing properties. Lavender essential oil makes a terrific treatment for relaxing sore muscles, encouraging a good night’s sleep or relieving tension headaches. Rub lavender oil onto muscles or temples for relief, or dot it on a cloth and slip it inside your pillow case for a soothing night’s sleep.

Another benefit of lavender oil is to relieve itching and swelling of insect bites. Lavender oil can take the sting out bee stings and sunburns. Lavender oil also makes a good treatment for minor burns, helping to keep infection at bay and reducing inflammation. A medical benefit of lavender is as a wound wash. Lavender provides good germ-fighting properties and also promotes healing.

In the garden, take advantage of the benefits of lavender flowers in beckoning pollinators. Place lavender bushes strategically near a vegetable garden to lure bees and other pollinators. Or tuck lavender into a wildlife or butterfly garden, where its flowers will be abuzz with activity.

Don’t overlook the benefits of lavender in the kitchen. Flowers bring a sweetly spicy flavor to tea blends and lemonade. Or savor lavender in honey or butter on pancakes, toast or in cookie recipes.

Dried lavender plus orange or lemon peels in a pot of boiling water can freshen a home, and tossing lavender sachets into the dryer can scent laundry. Grind lavender buds and add to baking soda for a carpet deodorizer and freshener.


Simple Truths: The many health and beauty benefits of lavender

By Dione Chen

Lavender is one of the most widely-used herbs in our beauty regimens, but what exactly does it do for us?

Lavender as a herb is found almost everywhere in the market, in shampoos, conditioners, soaps, gels, creams, scrubs, perfumes, essential oils, teas and more. You probably know it as one of the most fragrant and effective relaxants, if you’ve ever used it right before you go to bed. The scent of lavender is enough to calm your senses in preparation for sleep. But, did you know that the benefits of this lovely herb goes way beyond just helping you to relax?

To help you get a better idea, we’ve come up with a list of some of the best reasons why lavender is such an essential herb in your beauty routine. Below are some fun facts that may change your view on this simple flower forever.

1. It reduces acne

Lavender is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, which means that it helps to kill bacteria that causes acne, and heals the skin so that your breakouts don’t leave any scars behind. The overall effects would result in a clearer and smoother complexion, since redness and blotchiness will also be reduced. Simply dab a few drops of lavender essential oil onto your skin problems, and watch the magic happen. If you need a cure for cuts or burns, lavender will help greatly as well.

2. It detoxifies the skin

Lavender also contains antioxidants that help to combat the effects of pollutants on the skin, leaving your skin healthy and smooth as the days go by. With the increasing amount of environmental toxins in the atmosphere, it is becoming more and more important to detox your body and skin daily, and what better way than with the wonderful scent of lavender?

3. It soothes irritation

If you have sensitive skin that erupts in rashes or eczema from time to time, lavender essential oil may just be the cure to your skin woes. It can also help to reduce itching and swelling caused by insect bites, so a small bottle of this powerful oil will always come in handy. However, do take note that some skin types do react negatively to lavender, so it is important to test it out first if you’re using it for the first time.

4. It tones your skin

Have you ever wondered why there are so many toners out there that make use of the properties of lavender to boost their toning effects? This herb in fact helps to boost circulation so that your skin receives all the nutrients it needs more efficiently, resulting in firmer and younger-looking skin. You can easily make your own lavender toner at home as well. Steep some fresh lavender flowers in boiled water for a few hours, drain the water and keep it in the refrigerator to chill. Pour or spray some of this lavender water onto a cotton pad and dab it onto your face to keep your skin refreshed and hydrated. Simple, effective and smells amazing!

5. It helps you sleep

Insomnia or a lack of good sleep can be a serious beauty problem to many people, causing puffy eyes or wrinkles in the long term. If you find it difficult to sleep, try adding a few lavender flowers in your room, or invest in a lavender oil fragrance for your home. Lavender is known to soothe the nervous system, thereby causing your brain to relax and ensuring you sleep better. The calming effect of lavender is the main reason why it is so often used in aromatherapy and massages.

6. It cures anxiety and depression

Since lavender is extremely calming on the nerves, it is no wonder that people have found the scent of lavender to be useful when treating anxiety or depression as well. Lavender helps people to relax, think clearer and maintain overall mental health without any additional side effects, which is why it is constantly being used in herbal remedies to treat similar symptoms.

7. It treats hair loss

By now, you might be a little surprised as to the wide range of benefits lavender provides, but we’re far from done. If you thought lavender essential oil could only be used to treat the skin, boy are you wrong. Since we know now that lavender increases blood circulation and helps to relax the nerves, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it aids in the reduction of hair fall as well. Insomnia and anxiety are one of the most common causes of hair loss, which is why massaging your scalp with lavender essential oil can make a huge difference to your hair health.

8. It gets rid of dandruff

People with dry and itchy scalps, you’ve found your cure. Lavender reduces irritation and provides moisture, which means you can bid farewell to embarrassing dandruff that just doesn’t seem to go away. Since lavender is gentle and natural, it acts as a much more effective solution compared to shampoos that are filled with chemicals. Try it for yourself today!

9. It relieves headaches

Headaches and migraines are part and parcel of life, but can be extremely annoying if you have to focus on a task and get things done. Lavender essential oil can assist in this problem. Simply massage some oil onto your temples, forehead and neck to encourage muscle and nerve relaxation. You’ll realise after a while that your headaches will be gone, or greatly reduced.

10. It aids in digestion

Drinking lavender tea is an amazing way to prevent indigestion, since it soothes the lining of the digestive tract and stimulates the production of gastric juices and bile. Doing this will eliminate symptoms of constipation, stomachaches and diarrhoea as well. After which, you will be ensured a good night’s rest of peaceful sleep.

It may seem as if the benefits of lavender are too good to be true. However, it is a herb that has proven its worth, and has helped so many people all over the world with their needs. If it works for others, it wouldn’t do you any harm to try it out for yourself, would it?


Use Lavender Oil for Hair and Skin and Look Like You Just Came From the Spa

By Kristin Collins Jackson

It only took about two days of desert country for my face to resemble that of a monster's. First, my face developed a not so adorable rash. Second, came the slight hives around my ears. By the final day, my face was peeling beyond recognition. The desert was amazing for my hair, however — no humidity meant no curl-shrinkage and my hair retained its natural moisture. This is one of the reasons I was shocked to see how badly my skin reacted to the dry desert air! I applied my stand-by coconut oil because I didn't want to freak my face out by putting anything foreign on it but, while things weren't getting any worse, my skin certainly wasn't getting any better. I turned to castor oil, knowing it was a heavier than the oil I usually use on my face...and then started to see breakouts. "NO!!!" I shouted each morning when I woke up. How could anyone take me seriously if my face was falling off? Of course, my friends insisted you couldn't notice the flaking, but that didn't stop me from piling powder and foundation on top of the flakes, further aggravating my skin. Once I arrived back in humidity, I knew the first thing I had to do was check my medicine cabinet and do a little research on how to get rid of a sun-rash.

Lavender oil became my knight in shining armor, stopping the flakiness almost overnight. This has been one of my favorite essential oils to mix with hair masks, facial moisturizers, and other DIY recipes for some time. Previously, I've been drawn to its calming elements and light scent; now I'm drawn to its ability to heal the crap out of my face without clogging my pores or making my skin look weighed down. After waking up with my face completely cured of flakiness for the first time in a week, it's unsurprising to me that lavender is considered the most versatile essential oil. Lavender has aromatherapy properties that are often used in spas, bath salts, and potpourri for its medicinal-like effects. The oil is extracted through steeping the stems and flowers of the lavender plant. Known to reduce stress, headaches, hypertension, and cold sores, lavender oil has antifungal, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties — three major benefits that make for an ideal ingredient in our hair and skin care products. In fact, lavender oil is considered an adaptogen — an herb or plan that has the ability to resist a stressor — because of its profound ability to balance our bodies.

Why should lavender oil be in your medicine cabinet? For starters, you can grow lavender in your garden or window sill flowerbed. Not only will you impress everyone with your sick gardening skills, but you'll also be impressing them with your "Medicine Woman" abilities. Here are a few amazing ways I'm using lavender oil this summer.

Bug Repellent

Use a few drops of lavender oil on exposed skin (definitely wrists and ankles) before going out into the trenches, AKA anyplace where mosquitoes rule the night! This will keep those blood-sucking jerks at bay, plus sooth the itching of any existing bites. Lavender oil is also known to stop bleeding, making it perfect if you have a nasty bite that broke the skin. Hands down, lavender oil is a key player in your war against mosquitoes this summer. It certainly smells way better than drugstore bug spray!

Hot Oil Treatment

For real, the first time I used this hot oil treatment while detangling my hair, I'm pretty sure I did a joyful little two-step. This recipe is my jam and that's why I must share it with you again. I use three parts coconut oil and one part jojoba oil to get my mane ultra-moisturized, then add several drops of lavender oil. Wrap your hair in a hot towel for about 20 minutes (alternatively, you can use a shower cap and blow dryer on low for a similar effect), and rinse. I'll be real with you, I detangle after about 10 minutes of the treatment in my hair and then I 'rinse' it out because I'm not super concerned with these light oils causing build-up in my hair. Using lavender oil will help with dandruff, dry itchy scalp, and give you a spa-like treatment that you deserve!

Lavender Face Mist

If you are hooked on that lavender face mist from Sephora, then you will definitely be pumped on this! After the Great Desert Fiasco of 2014, I used my carrier oil and lavender oil in a thick layer before I went to sleep. After I noticed a significant difference, I made a DIY face mist for a midday rejuvenation. Basically, I use a trusty spray bottle, add another antiseptic oil (usually about a few tablespoons of my carrier oil to about one cup of water), and then I added several drops of lavender oil.

PS: Make absolutely sure your skin is protected from the sun after you spritz. The sun and humidity will only dry your skin out more.


Health Checkup: Relax, it's lavender time

By Les Moore

Summertime brings an abundance of lavender in the garden, its lovely fragrance enveloping everything around it.

Lavender has been used since antiquity for all sorts of purposes. Native to the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Africa, it is now cultivated around the world.

In modern times, the fragrant oils of its flowers are used in baked goods, candles, cosmetics, detergents, jellies, massage oils, perfumes, powders, shampoos, soaps, potpourri and teas.

And it’s used a great deal in aromatherapy. In fact, it is the most popular aromatherapy scent in the world.

The name lavender is derived from the Latin "lavare,” meaning “to wash.” It was used as a perfume in baths and laundry and as an antiseptic by the ancient Greeks, Persians and Romans.

Many people find lavender aromatherapy to be relaxing, and the Mayo Clinic and others have cited some studies that have shown it to have anti-anxiety effects, potentially helping with depression as well.

Lavender aromatherapy has been used to decrease anxiety since the 19th century. A 2011 American study showed that lavender aromatherapy provides a decrease in stress levels and reduces the pain intensity of needle insertion.

Research has also demonstrated that dental anxiety can be reduced by lavender aromatherapy. A 2010 study published in the journal Community Dental Oral Epidemiology showed lower anxiety levels in office settings with lavender aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy uses volatile oils that evaporate and are inhaled, stimulating the olfactory nerves in the nasal passages. The result is more than just a pleasant smell — the stimulating effect reaches the brain via nerves, causing stimulation in the limbic system, which is involved with controlling emotions.

The effect is comparable to taking herbal medications by mouth to influence the limbic system. But aromatherapy brings the added benefit of pleasing scents.


What Are the Benefits of Lavender Tea?

By Paul Woods (Demand Media)

Lavender is a Mediterranean shrub that also flourishes in parts of Southern Europe, Australia, Japan and the United States. To prepare lavender tea, steep the dried blossoms in boiling water for seven to 10 minutes, and then strain it. Dried lavender blossoms have more tang than fresh, so use only a third of the amount, says Gloria Hander in “A Taste of Lavender: Delectable Treats with an Exotic Floral Flavor.”

Relieves Indigestion

Indigestion is characterized by nausea, abdominal pain, belching, vomiting and a burning sensation in your stomach, and is usually a sign of an underlying stomach problem, such as peptic ulcers. Drinking lavender tea may help relieve nervous intestinal disorders and indigestion. This is because it contains essential oils that have a soothing effect on the stomach. A study by the University of Parma and published in November 2004 in “Life Sciences” found that lavender oils protected against gastric ulcers and relieved indigestion in rats.

Insomnia Relief

Insomnia is a condition that manifests itself in the inability to fall sleep restively. It is usually caused by anxiety, stress and depression. According to a study published in February 2006 in “Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi” by Keukdong College, Korea, the aroma of lavender relieved depression and insomnia in female college students. The study involved 42 female college participants who were reported to be suffering from insomnia. Drinking lavender tea releases the fragrances which may help relieve this sleep disorder.

May Treat Migraine

Drinking lavender tea releases essential oils that may help relieve migraines. A study by scientists at Mashhad University of Medical Sciences found that inhaling lavender essential oil may help manage acute migraines. The study, which was published in April 2012 in "European Neurology," involved 47 patients who were suffering from migraines. One group was asked to inhale lavender essential oil for fifteen minutes, while the placebo inhaled paraffin for a similar time period. It was found that the percentage of patients who inhaled lavender oil responded better to migraines than the placebo.

Convulsions

Convulsions occur when your body shakes uncontrollably due to rapid contraction and relaxation of muscles. A study by the Aga Khan University Medical College published in July 2000 in the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” found that lavender has antispasmodic and anticonvulsant effects. The study, which was conducted on mice, attributed such properties to the ability of lavender to block calcium channels in the nervous system that are responsible for convulsions and spasms.

Considerations

While lavender tea is beneficial to your health, a study published in the January 2007 issue of the “New England Journal of Medicine” indicates that lavender oils may induce breast growth in boys. This condition is known as prepubertal gynecomastia. According to the MedlinePlus website, ingesting lavender may also lead to constipation, headaches and increased appetite. If you are scheduled for a surgery, avoid drinking lavender tea for about two weeks prior, as drinking it slows down your central nervous system.


The benefits of adding lavender to your garden

By Erica Van Buren (St. Joseph News-Press)

There are a wide variety of options when it comes to the selection of perennials, but why not go with a plant that brings color along with some healing properties?

For gardeners, the month of June offers the chance to see lavender in its full bloom.

“It blooms twice, June and again in September, but the best bloom is in June,” says John Goode of Goode Food Delivered.

Lavender is great for this time of year offering color, fragrance and therapeutic properties. It also is durable against extremely hot temperatures.

Lavender has many benefits, including being used by aromatherapists in inhalation therapy to treat things like headaches, nervous disorders and exhaustion. Many point out that the oil from lavender can be used in treating health conditions such as insomnia, anxiety, stress and post-operative pain. It also is being studied for antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Gardeners grow lavender for its therapeutic benefits and the herb’s ability to withstand the extreme temperatures and pests.

“I started growing lavender in 1993. I read about it and it just had an interesting history,” Goode says. “I was more interested in plants that were more durable to insects. They’re insect-free plants and have so many different benefits. People are attracted to the aroma of lavender and all its relaxing qualities.”

The beauty of lavender is even a beginner gardener can try a hand at adding it to the garden. Goode says the key to maintaining the herb is keeping it weed-free. Before putting the plant into the ground or a container, make sure to loosen the roots. Use an organic soil or add compost.

He says during the winter months the plant will go dormant, but he advises keeping an eye on it throughout the cold season, ensuring the plant doesn’t dry out.

There are a variety of types of lavender. Goode grows English and French lavender in his garden.

“It doesn’t get dry in the summer, it gets enough moisture, it’s really drought resistant,” Goode says. “It’s not real difficult to grow it, it just needs well drained soil and full sun. The southern exposure is the best place to position lavender plants.”

Lavender can be grown in pots, and one of the benefits of doing that is the plant can be brought inside if the weather is too severe.

Lavender can be used as an ingredient in many items.

“They use it for dryer sheets, eye pillows, sachets, neck comforters and back warmers,” Goode says. “Some other benefits are it supports healthy digestion, contributes to normal sleep patterns. One of the biggest benefits is it supports your immunity system. It’s a very sacred plant.”



Coming up lavender: 10 benefits of lavender essential oil

(FMT’s Lifestyle Team)

1. Lavender essential oil helps alleviate restlessness, insomnia, nervousness and depression.

2. It is used to treat a variety of digestive complaints, including meteorism (abdominal swelling from gas in the intestinal or peritoneal cavity), loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, intestinal gas (flatulence), and upset stomach.

3. Some people use lavender oil for painful conditions including migraine headaches, toothaches, sprains, nerve pain, sores, and joint pain.

4. Lavender helps kill hair lice, lice eggs, and nits. The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (NMCB) says that lavender is possibly effective for treating alopecia areata (hair loss), and boosting hair growth by up to 44 per cent after just seven months of treatment.

5. Lavender essential oil restores skin complexion and reduces acne. According to dermatologists and aromatherapists, lavender is one of the most beneficial oils in the treatment of acne.

6. Some people add lavender to bathwater to treat circulation disorders and improve mental well being.

7. By inhalation, lavender is used as aromatherapy for insomnia, pain, and agitation related to dementia.

8. It is well-known that lavender has antibacterial and antiviral qualities that make it perfect for defending the body against rare diseases like TB, typhoid, and diphtheria, according to early research in the 20th century.

9. It stimulates urine production, which helps restore hormonal balance, prevents cystitis (inflammation of the urinary bladder), and relieve cramps and other urinary disorders.

10. Lavender oil can also be used to repel mosquitoes and moths, which is why you will find many mosquito repellents that contain lavender oil as one of the primary ingredients.



Lavender benefits you should be aware about

By Zeenia Baria (TNN)

Lavender has long been associated with good sleep and as a popular ingredient in beauty products. However, this herb, which has antibacterial and antiseptic properties, has several other benefits as well... - Those suffering from fungal infections can apply lavender oil on the affected area. It's healing properties soothe the infected area and provide relief. - The oil is also effective in treating skin abrasions and small wounds, and helps them heal faster. - Continuous application of hair products that comprise lavender is said to help aid hair growth among those who suffer from hair loss. Another benefits includes reducing dandruff.

- Lavender scent is also said to have a soothing effect on people who suffer from anxiety and depression. It is said to lower high blood pressure and stabilise your heart rate.

- Ease bloating by adding some lavender to your food. It ash antioxidant properties that help ease discomfort.

- Struggle to sleep even though you're very tired? Keep some lavender under your pillow and see how easily it helps you doze off.

- Lavender oil is also very effective in reducing skin inflammation. You could also add a few drops to your bath to help relax the body.

- Adding a dash of lavender to your meals is great for your health . Alternatively, you could add it to your tea and see how it relaxes you.



5 ways to use lavender essential oil at home

By Katherine Martinko

Lavender is an incredibly versatile oil that soothes both physically and mentally.

Lavender is the most widely used essential oil in the world. Its calming aroma is easily recognizable, and it is used in many cultures to improve personal health and foster a peaceful state of mind. Lavender is made from the purple flowers of the lavender plant, grown in Mediterranean climates. It takes over 60 pounds of flowers to create just 16 ounces of therapeutic grade lavender oil.

Here are some ways in which to use this incredibly versatile oil. You can do so aromatically (using an essential oil diffuser, available at health food stores or holistic medicine providers) or topically (applying the essential to your body by means of a carrier oil).

Promote better sleep:

Lavender has a deeply calming effect and will relieve insomnia. Apply it to the bottoms of your feet (which have the largest pores on your body), or diffuse in the bedroom. Do so prior to naps and bedtime, both for kids and adults.

Help yourself relax:

Lavender can reduce stress and anxiety and soothe intense emotions. Apply a drop of pure oil to your neck, wrists, and chest, in place of perfume or cologne. Diffuse throughout a room, or put a drop on a clay pendant that hangs around your neck.

Soothe irritated skin:

In the same way that lavender calms emotions, it can also soothe physical irritations, inflammation and redness. Apply via carrier oil to diaper rash, chapped lips, itchy rashes, dandruff, and infant cradle cap. You can use a couple drops when mixing a solution for homemade baby wipes.

Use it to heal:

Lavender oil can be used on burns, scratches, insect bites, bruises, sunburns, and cuts. Use it after a workout to minimize muscle soreness. It is also effective at reducing motion sickness when rubbed into bottom of feet. If you have a newborn, use it to heal the umbilical cord stump (always with a carrier oil).

Reduce allergic reactions:

Lavender has a powerful antihistamine effect, especially when used together with lemon and peppermint. Inhaling lavender oil can relieve symptoms of hay fever and allergies to cats, dogs, dust, etc. Clinical aromatherapist Catherine Garro recommends the following routine:

“Drop a drop in my hand and dab a bit under my nose, with my index finger. Then I rub some in a very large circle around my eyes, keeping the oil above my eyebrow and under my cheekbone to stop it getting into my eye. I find this really effective for when eyes are swollen and itchy. Then I rub my hands together and cup them over my face and take a deep inhalation several times. Repeat as soon as the sneezing starts again. This could be in 20 minutes to several hours.”

Your memory’s new friends: rosemary and lavender

Compiled by Abhijit Ahaskar

Retire late to live longer and stylish hairstyles can be more damaging to hair and scalp —studies and research tips for a healthier you

1 minute of sprinting and 9 minutes of exercise daily can boost aerobic fitness

Sprinting for a minute along with 9 minutes of light exercise can help achieve same aerobic fitness as a 50 minute exercise, a Canadian study claims. Researchers from McMaster University, Ontario enlisted 25 men who previously did no exercise and randomly assigned them to a sprint interval workout or an endurance workout. Sprint workout included warming up for 2 minutes, sprinting for 20 seconds and recovering for 2 minutes. This was done three times until the participant achieved 1 minute of sprinting. The endurance workout consisted of warming up for 2 minutes, sprinting at a moderate pace for 45 minutes and cooling down for 3 minutes. After 12 weeks the two groups showed similar improvements in aerobic fitness. The study was published in journal PLOS ONE.

Extending the date of retirement by a year can improve life expectancy

Delaying the age of retirement by a year after 65 can increase life expectancy in senior citizens by 11%, a US study suggests. Researchers from Oregon State University analysed data accumulated from 1992 to 2010 under the Healthy Retirement Study by Michigan University. Out of the 2,956 people about 12% of the healthy and 25.6% of the unhealthy retirees died. But the retirees who worked a year longer the risk of early mortality was 11% lower while in unhealthy retirees who worked a year longer the risk was 9% lower. The study was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health

Rosemary and lavender smell can boost memory

Fragrance of rosemary or lavender in oil can improve memory and the ability to complete memory tasks faster in older adults, a British study shows. Researchers from Northumbria University enlisted 150 people with an average age of 65 and randomly diffused rosemary or lavender oil in a testing room. Some participants were allocated to the scented room while the rest were sent to the room with no scent. Once in the room the participants were given a memory test. Participants placed in the scented rooms showed enhanced prospective memory compared to participants in the next room. Researchers noted that rosemary increased alertness and lavender improved calmness and contentedness in the participants.

Ponytail and knots can damage your hair and scalp

Hairstyles such as tight ponytails, braids, knots and buns leads to Traction alopecia, a condition where hair follicles are damaged due to prolonged or repeated tension on the hair root, a US study warns. Researchers from John Hopkins University analysed 19 previous studies and found that certain hairstyles meant to improve self-confidence can actually cause more damage to hair and scalp. Researchers found that people who keep loose, low-hanging hair styles or even updos face lower risk of traction alopecia. The study was published in Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Anti-depressants when combined with fish oil supplements can give better results

Nutrients found in fish oil can increase the effectiveness of anti-depressants for people suffering from depression, an Australian study suggests. Researchers from the University of Melbourne examined 40 global clinical trials and found that Omega 3 fish oil supplements when administered with antidepressants produces better results. Previous studies show that Omega 3s are very good for brain health, but this is the first study which establishes its efficacy for treatment of depression. The study was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.


Lavender Improves Sleep Quality for College Students

By Angie Lillehei

As a fellow sleep instigator, I love the fact The Huffington Post is bringing the Sleep Revolution to college campuses to start a cultural conversation around sleep. It is so needed! And bringing products on the tour to help students sleep better makes it a tour de force. I have heard and read about Arianna Huffington’s “wake up call” for better sleep. My interest in sleep began with my daughter’s sleep issues as a college student and has expanded as it became clear that it aligns with my interest in Public Health, as sleep is now identified as a population health issue. Addressing sleep issues with college students can help them be healthy and successful students as well as prevent life long, chronic issues with sleep. I want to join the #SLEEPREVOLUTION.

My interest in college students with sleep issues led me to complete my PhD study with sleep deprived college students. The study was a randomized controlled trial on the effect of inhaled Lavender and good sleep practices on sleep in college students with self-reported sleep issues. One group received one drop of Lavender on an inhalation patch for five nights and the other group received a blank patch. Both groups focused on practicing better sleep habits for the 5 consecutive week day nights. The sleep practices included: not drinking anything right before bed and avoiding food, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine several hours before bed, going to sleep and waking up on a schedule, setting time during the day for planning, keeping up with school work, having a dark, quiet sleep environment, avoiding screen time, and exercising regularly. This study found inhaled Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) plus good sleep practices made a statistically significant difference for improved sleep quality and waking feeling refreshed. This effect remained at two week follow-up. Two weeks after the end of the five night intervention the Lavender group of college students still had significantly improved sleep quality compared to the blank patch group.

These were exciting findings because inhaled Lavandula angustifolia is an easy self-care tool to keep on the nightstand and to use right before going to sleep. Just one or two drops on a pillow for five consecutive nights may help make both your sleep and wake experience better. Of course combining the use of Lavandula angustifolia with good sleep practices as noted above can be helpful. More information on this study can be found at here or visit my website.


Health Benefits Of Lavender Oil

(Asia Net India)

Lavender is the one of the most versatile herbs that has an endless list of benefits to perk up your nerves, health and home. Originally known for its therapeutic effects, lavender oil has many other amazing health benefits it can offer.Here are some health benefits of lavender oil.

Health benefits of lavender oil are:

1.It helps you breathe easy: Therapy is one of the most common areas where lavender oil has proven its mettle. If you are prone to frequent throat infections, sinus congestion, flu and cold, lavender oil helps in treating these problems. Individuals with asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory problems find relief in lavender essential oil.

2.It calms and relaxes your nerves: One of the widely known benefits of lavender essential oil is that it has tremendous ability to calm and relax your nerves. It is a great stress buster, relieves your tension and relaxes your body. Lavender oil helps in treating depression by enhancing your overall mood. Feelings of anxiety are abated and headaches are visibly reduced. Rub a few drops of lavender oil in your palms and take a deep breath to draw from the benefits of the oil.

3.It helps to relieve pain: One of the most important reasons why a small bottle of lavender oil is essential in every household is because the oil serves as an excellent pain reliever from a variety of aches. Many kinds of pain including muscle ache, back pain, sprain, rheumatism, post-surgical pain and migraine headache are controlled effectively with regular application of lavender essential oil.

4.It treats insomnia: Lavender essential oil has been widely used as an alternative form of treatment to cure insomnia. Regularity in sleep pattern has been observed by rubbing a couple of drops of lavender oil on pillows.

5.It helps to fight bacteria: One good reason why you should carry a small bottle of lavender essential oil whenever you step out is because the oil has exceptional abilities to bring down pain from cuts, burns and bruises. Bruises and burns usually heal leaving no scars. Lavender oil cuts down possibilities of bacterial infections on wounds. And hence, the oil works like magic on acne. It cuts down bacteria that produces excess sebum and reduces inflammation because of acne and pimples. Scars are also visibly reduced. Insect bites and bee stings find a fantastic solution in lavender oil.

6.It helps to treat dry eyes: If you suffer from the problem of dry eyes, then lavender oil can weave some magic to help you cry to relief. Simply, put a couple of drops of lavender essential oil on the bridge of your nose to stimulate your lacrimal glands and trigger production of tears. Tears actually help to keep your eyes moist and free of itchiness and dryness.

7.It enhances circulation: Proper blood circulation treats most health disorders. In that order, lavender oil brings down blood pressure and increases blood circulation. Urinary disorders are also treated efficiently by this oil.

8.It helps to treat skin-related disorders: There is a lot lavender essential oil can do in skin care. The oil has been known to treat eczema, dry skin, acne, scabies, sunburns, wrinkles and other skin related disorders because the oil is known to possess anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

9.It aids in digestion: As lavender oil improves intestinal mobility and triggers production of digestive juices, common problems related to your stomach like indigestion, colic, diarrhea, vomiting and flatulence are visibly reduced.

These are the benefits of lavender oil for health.


Lavender is Catching On

By HEIDI B. PERLMAN

A decade ago, when Cynthia Sutphin planted her first 400 lavender plants in a small garden outside her Harwich home, she wasn’t certain why she was doing it.

Somehow, she says, she just knew the plant would catch on someday, and she wanted to be ready when it did.

Demand for Lavender

Today, the owner of the Cape Cod Lavender Farm annually harvests more than 15,000 lavender plants and can barely keep up with the demand for oils, soaps, potpourri and plants fueled by a surge in consumers exploring natural remedies, homeopathy and aromatherapy.

“I knew that eventually lavender would hit it big,” said Sutphin, 48. “And I knew that I would be in the right place at the right time when it happened.”

Some say the ancient plant had its big break just last year when it was named Herb of the Year by the International Herb Organization in Virginia.

But others say its popularity has been steadily building for years with the increase in more health-conscious consumers.

More Than Perfume

“It’s only recently that people started to notice it can be used for so much more than just perfume,” said Peggy McElgunn, director of the herb association. “People are finally waking up to it and becoming smarter.”

To the untrained eye — or nose — lavender is just another flowering plant with deep purple buds and a scent reminiscent of a grandmother’s perfume.

But to Sutphin and other herb enthusiasts, it is a near mystical herb that can be used to cure headaches, induce sleep, season pasta or even sweeten lemonade.

When pressed, the flower buds release an oil that is used for massage oil, soaps, perfume and air freshener. And when dried correctly, the flowers can retain their scent and most of their color for years, Sutphin said.

“It’s something our grandparents knew about,” she said. “Our parents didn’t, but now we’re rediscovering lavender. It skipped a generation.”

And now that people have begun to notice it again, just about anything having to do with lavender is not only popular, but big business.

Sutphin’s farm is beginning to see more competition from smaller farms around the region, including the Franklin County Lavender Growers in western Massachusetts, a cooperative of about 40 farmers with about 3,5000 plants among them.

Farms are flourishing across the country as well, including the Olympic Peninsula, where the North American Lavender Conference is held each year. More than 60 farms and herb nurseries in states from coast to coast are registered members of the International Herb Association.

200 Books on Lavender And where there was once just a handful of books about herbs and their healing qualities, today there are more than 200 books in print on lavender alone.

“I think people have a growing need to get back to nature,” said David Schiller, a spokesman for the International Aromatherapy and Herb Association, based in Phoenix. “Especially in cities with no trees or grass. This lets them get [a taste of] nature again.”

Growers agree.

“I could sit here and make soap all day and I would still run out,” said Denise Schwartz, who is a member of the western Massachusetts cooperative. Demand has doubled since last year, she said.

Sutphin opened her farm to the public just four years ago. Visitors have risen from 2,000 in the first year to 4,000 in the second to 8,000 in the third. This year, business already has quadrupled, she said.

She plans to expand her tiny shop, which is now housed in a shed at the end of the winding driveway that leads to her farm. And next year she says she and her husband, Matthew, may have to hire some full-time help.

“We’re getting too big to run this whole thing ourselves,” Sutphin said. “It’s just no longer possible.”

On her 11 acres of lush fields, she grows eight varieties of lavender. For a few weeks each year, most of the eight varieties are in bloom, painting her landscape with a delicate purple brush.

And when all the flowers are out and the breeze blows just right, there is no sweeter sight or scent in the world, she said.

Aromatic and Beautiful

“It’s beautiful to look at, and pleasing to the eyes and the nose,” she said. “Once you’re hooked, you’re hooked.”

Today, Sutphin and her husband sell their lavender in bulk to home decor doyen Martha Stewart and to individual customers who find the farm.

And even in the dead of winter, when the Cape Cod roads are unplowed and her dirt driveway is nearly impossible to find, there is always someone out there looking for lavender, she said.

“What can I say?” she said. “People love it.



7 Health Benefits Of Lavender Oil

By Dr. Edward F. Group III (Natural Medicine)

Lavender oil is a beneficial nectar extracted from the distinctive purple flowers of the lavender plant. This aromatic shrub, commonly known as English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), originated in the western Mediterranean region and is now cultivated throughout the U.S., Europe, and Australia. A major reason for its popularity is that the oil from this plant boasts many health supporting properties. Let’s take a closer look at seven health benefits of lavender oil.

7 Lavender Oil Benefits

1. Helps Alleviate Anxiety

Lavender oil has traditionally been used as a remedy for relieving anxiety, and there’s substantial evidence suggesting a massage with the oil can be beneficial. To create massage oils, lavender oil can be combined with a carrier oil such as almond or jojoba. One recent study takes that even further, finding that a capsule preparation of the oil can act in much the same way as some anti-anxiety medications!

2. Promotes Restful Sleep

It seems that the same capsule preparation studied for anxiety could also be useful for aiding restlessness and improving sleep quality and duration. Try adding a drop of essential lavender oil to your pillow at bedtime or use a lavender eye pillow to block out light and support restful sleep.

3. Encourages Hair Growth

Another study suggests that daily scalp massage with lavender oil can help avoid the hair loss from the autoimmune condition alopecia areata, a disorder that causes hair to fall out, often in patches. It seems that it might also go a step further than just discouraging hair loss, also encouraging new hair growth.

4. Fights Some Types of Harmful Organisms

Lavender oil even shows potential against common skin and nail conditions. A recent study suggests the oil has strong action against nail fungus and can even attack fungal cells at the cell membrane.

5. Supports Circulation

While the scent of lavender is very popular for its relaxation effects, a recent study also suggests aromatherapy could support normal circulation, while helping balance cortisol (a hormone released during stress) levels. Adding lavender oil to your exercise or meditation routine may go a long way. 6. Promotes Comfort

Some evidence suggests aromatherapy could be useful in pain control, while another study suggests foot massage with the oil could be useful for dealing with symptoms of chronic pain. 7. Assists with Skin-Related Disorders

In addition to being a remedy for skin fungus, lavender also supports overall smoothness and offers a protection because of its natural polyphenol content. One of the ingredients of our all-natural face cream, Parfait Visage®, is organic lavender oil just for this purpose. Parfait Visage is a 100% natural and organic premium skin care product that we’ve created to help keep a fresh, radiant complexion. Additional Benefits of Lavender

Lavender has a lot to offer in terms of health, and it’s not just the oil that’s good for you. The flowers themselves can also be very beneficial. In Germany, they enjoy a tea that uses lavender flowers to remedy “insomnia, restlessness, and nervous stomach irritations.” Not to mention lavender smells wonderful.


Natural Living: Healing powers of lavender

By Maureen Lamerdin (O.M.D.)

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia, or Lavandula officinalis) is an aromatic plant that has glands which exude volatile oils or essential oils. It’s in these oils where we can find the healing powers for so many ailments.

Most people appreciate lavender for its fragrance, used in soaps, shampoos and a myriad of other cosmetics. The name lavender comes from the Latin root lavare, which means “to wash.” It may have earned this name because it was frequently used in baths to help purify the body and spirit. The history of the use of lavender is extensive across the world including Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Arabia where they used it for its many medicinal effects and in cosmetics.

A number of studies have reported lavender essential oil is beneficial for a variety of conditions including insomnia, alopecia, anxiety, stress and postoperative pain. It also has been studied for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. Researchers at Cornell University have found lavender oil can eradicate certain antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including more than one strain of pathogenic Staphylococcus and pathogenic Streptococcus often involved in coughs and colds.

We have found the healing powers of lavender to stimulate and supplement the body’s healing forces is unmatched by most modern pharmaceuticals. Amidst this aromatic plant there seems to be no other plant essence equaling its broad properties. It’s properties include being an Analgesic, Anti-Coagulant, Anti-Convulsive, Anti-Depressant, Anti-Fungal, Antihistamine, Anti-Infectious, Anti-inflammatory, Antiseptic, Anti-Spasmodic, Antitoxic, Cardiotonic, Regenerative and Sedative. It can help heal a cut, a cold sore or shingles (herpes zoster). It can kill pathogens in the air and in nasal sinuses and respiratory airways. It stimulates the immune system, yet it’s also analgesic, soothing muscle aches, taking the pain out of an insect sting and much more and it does this all non-toxically. Lavender is also a nerve tonic and an antidepressant, boosting one’s spirits as well as helping to beat “the blues” that accompany immune stress and illness.

Put 100 percent pure lavender oil to use by trying the following:

Skin-brushing with 7 drops of lavender oil prior to showering will stimulate the immune system, blood circulation and lymphatic drainage.

Soak in a therapeutic bath with 8 drops of lavender for at least 15 minutes. Use this at first sign of illness and during colds, flus, congestion, insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, muscle aches and to induce stress reduction and deep relaxation.

Inhalation of lavender is useful for chest and sinus congestion, cough, hay fever, nervousness, mild depression and insomnia.

Use as a topical antiseptic applying a few drops of lavender oil directly to the skin for burns, insect bites, cuts, rashes, abrasions and symptoms of shingles.

With all these powerful healing qualities in one plant every person should have lavender oil in their kitchen cupboard, make sure you buy pure lavender essential oil that’s meant for home and medicinal use.



The Versatile Herb Lavender Brings Many Benefits

By Luella May

(NaturalNews) Lavender is one of the more versatile and useful of all herbs, with a long history of use in medicinal healing. Essential oils extracted from this herb are used for medicinal purposes for both humans as well as pets and lavender is also a popular fragrance found throughout the cosmetic industry. The scent of lavender is associated with comfort and aromatherapists have long used lavender in the treatment of depression and nervous conditions.

Though mainstream medicine has regarded aromatherapy as an unproven therapy with only placebo effect benefits, a recent study in Japan proved otherwise. The study, which appeared in the American Chemical Society`s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, found that inhaling the fragrant compound linalool made stress-elevated levels of neutrophils and lymphocytes return to near normal levels (both neutrophils and lymphocytes are key parts of the immune system). Lavender was cited as the plant which has the highest concentrations of linalool.

The herb lavender was originally native to Mediterranean countries. Today it can be found in Europe, Australia, and the southern portion of the United States. There are two different types of lavender: Spike lavender has broad spatula-like leaves; French lavender leaves are narrower with small dark flowers. Spike lavender contains a higher content of ceneol and camphor and produces three times as much oil as French lavender. The higher content of these ingredients makes it less pleasing, however, and French lavender is considered the more fragrant of the two.

Numerous studies have reported that lavender essential oils may be beneficial in a number of conditions, including migraines, headaches, depression, anxiety, mood swings, fear, and exhaustion. Lavender can also be used during labor and it has been found to be useful for eczema and dermatitis. In addition, lavender has also been used to treat cancer in the breast, liver, and spleen.

Other conditions lavender has been used for include: heart palpitations, arthritis, joint inflammation, fainting, neuralgia, vertigo, insomnia, epilepsy and other seizures, rheumatism, sore muscles, sprains, flatulence, colic, nausea, vomiting, toothache, acne, wounds, snakebites, hoarseness, loss of voice, allergies, sunburn and sunstroke, abscess, alopecia, asthma, athletes foot, insect bites, boils, burns, colds, colic, coughs, cystitis, earache and respiratory infections.

Lavender lifts spirits, stimulates appetite, and even dispels flatulence. Lavender is a major ingredient in the use of smelling salts. Pets also benefit through lavender's healing properties. It is used not only as a sedative, but also as a flea and tick repellent. Besides health and cosmetics, lavender is also used in flavoring foods such as desserts, gelatins, puddings, candy and tea. In some areas of the world, it is added to salads. Lavender is used in a variety of commercial fragrances, such as perfumes, soaps, and toiletries. It is a scent commonly used in potpourri and sachets. Lavender was once used as an insect repellant in the storing of clothes.

Even though essential oils blend well with each other, lavender oil blends especially well with cedarwood, clary sage, geranium, pine, nutmeg, and all the citrus oils.


3 Surprising Beauty Benefits Of Lavender

By Dana Oliver (The Huffington Post)

Ah, lavender. Just thinking about the plant brings on feelings of relaxation. Sipping on tea made out of its leaves, or smelling its scent will calm your mind or help you sleep better. But did you know that you could also use this purple flowering plant for homemade beauty treatments?

Lavender has been used through the ages for of its cleansing and healing properties. Romans started using it to scent and purifying their baths centuries ago, ancient Egyptians turned its essential oil into a perfume for the mummification process and people burned bundles of lavender during the Great Plague of 1665 in London to try to ward off infectious diseases.

Whether used alone or with other soothing ingredients, there are plenty of reasons why you should keep this herb handy. Here are three surprising uses for lavender.

1. Acne treatment. Most people with acne don't realize that a plant oil such as lavender won't clog pores, according to Marina Peredo, a board certified dermatologist at SkinInfluence NYC. "The antiseptic and antibacterial properties may be a more natural solution to mild acne," she says. To create your own facial toner, Peredo recommends combining a few drops of lavender oil to witch hazel. The lavender works to heal and treat breakouts, while the witch hazel tones your complexion. Dab the solution onto a cotton ball and apply to cleansed skin.

2. Scalp rinse. If you've tried just about every dandruff shampoo to relieve dry, itchy scalp, don't give up hope until you've mixed up the lavender hair rinse by Amy Jirsa, a master herbalist and yoga instructor. In her book "The Herbal Goddess," Jirsa shares a recipe that combines dried lavender steeped in boiled water and apple cider vinegar to make a nourishing rinse that will remove build-up, alleviate irritation and restore the natural pH balance of your scalp. Watch her explain the steps on YouTube.

3. Wound care. Suffering from a bug bite? Gary Goldfaden, a dermatologist and founder of Goldfaden MD skincare, suggests smoothing on a bit of lavender oil to reduce the swelling and minimize itching. Because of its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, it also helps to soothe wounds and improve the development of scar tissue, which can be beneficial to healing the skin.

Goldfaden notes that many people have allergic reactions to lavender, most commonly in the form of skin rashes. If you have more sensitive skin, Peredo recommends mixing it with natural oils or even your regular moisturizer. But you should always perform a patch test or consult with a physician before trying any homemade beauty recipe.

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