13 Apr Lavender and Its Benefits; Just in time for spring time!
Lavender is in the air!
Lavender isn’t just 2018’s “IT” color in the fashion industry, this beautiful purple-colored herb has been a fashion and health staple for over 2,500 years.
We can track the word lavender’s roots to the Latin word “lavare”, which means “to wash”. Native to Northern Africa and the mountainous regions of the Mediterranean, it is no surprise that the Egyptians and Romans developed many of initial uses for this mint-related herb.
Lavender’s wonderful fragrance allowed it to be used in a variety of daily life aspects such as perfumes, wellness, baths, cooking, and air purifying. The Bible even mentions it as being used for anointing and healing. Ancient Greek’s referred to it as nard and considered it a holy herb as they used it to prepare Holy Essence.
Eventually, lavender made its way to France, Spain, and Italy and finally landing in the US in the 1600s by way of English pilgrims who at that point had discovered it to be a wonderful antidote during the Great Plague. Many British monarchs found lavender to be fabulous. Queen Elizabeth the first treated her frequent migraines taking it as a tea leading to an increase in lavender farms. King Charles the first’s wife, Henrietta Maria, was very fond of lavender potpourri and soaps. Lastly, Queen Victoria helped make lavender a very fashionable fragrance by using it to wash floors and furniture as well as making sachets to fragrance linens and cloths.
It is evident that throughout history, lavender has not only been popular but essential to health, sacred rituals and fashion. In today’s world, we still enjoy its many benefits.
Promotes Healthy Digestion: The mineral content of this herb includes calcium, iron, vitamin A, can help improve overall uptake of meals and regulate smooth muscle function. Drinking lavender tea or chewing on its leaves can relieve bloating, cramping, indigestion and gas accumulation halting the accumulation of harmful bacteria through its polyphenols.
Chills You Out: Probably the number one use of lavender is for anxiety and stress management. Both can be relieved by topically placing lavender oil or crushed leaves directly on your temples or ingested as a lavender tea. The trick lies in the marvelous antioxidants found in lavender which can impact the endocrine system thus balancing mood by releasing specific neurotransmitters that offset excess stress hormones.
An Aromatherapy and Meditation Essential: The essential oil is the most popular in the world and goes hand in hand with meditation practices. It’s ultra-soothing and calming fragrance promotes relaxation while balancing the mind. Yoga and grounding incorporate this essential oil into their practices since it helps to release fear response and help with feeling anchored in the “now”. Loves Your Heart: The same relaxing qualities that anxiety, stress and meditation benefit from also helps heart health. Lavender eases blood vessel tension and reduces blood pressure. This, in turn, can prevent many cardiovascular problems.
Improves Sleep: Closely linked to lavender’s impact on the nervous system, steeping tea from lavender flowers can induce sleep and relaxation. Using oil diffusers 30-60 mins prior to bedtime help circulate lavender at home to promote faster, deeper sleep. Some parents find it helpful in improving their child’s sleep by gently misting a diluted water-based lavender spray over their child when they rest.
Health: As a great anti-inflammatory, tea, baths, and foot soaks (which are packed with antioxidants) can counter or nullify arthritic pain, backache, sprains, sore muscles, fevers, headaches, burns, scalds and other skin irritations. Fighting infections, it is very effective. Its antimicrobial activity is even known to consistently inhibit the growth of MRSA and MSSA as well as clearing stuffy sinuses among other respiratory conditions. Wounds and injuries also benefit from lavender’s antiseptic properties evident in the many medicinal products that include it in their ingredients.
Glows Skin & Hair: Hair follicle health and quality increases by using lavender- based shampoos or simply steeping lavender tea and applying it to their hair. Dandruff and hair loss conditions are noticeably reduced. Skin’s appearance improves with lavender’s antioxidants by reducing and neutralizing free radicals (byproducts of cell metabolism) that lead to premature signs of aging wrinkles, inflammation and chronic disease. Acne improves greatly from the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. In order to incorporate lavender into your regular skin regime, adding the essential oil to skin ointments or cream may be the easiest way to not miss out on its benefits.
Finally, though usually not a common allergen, may display some mild side effects such as skin irritation and redness. In excess consumption, toxic levels may be reached. The herb is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women or people on blood thinners or low blood pressure. Frequent use is not recommended on young boys since it may lead to breast development. It is important to always consult a doctor or other healthcare provider prior to consuming or using this or any other herb or supplement.
#Lavender #herbs #wellness #health #stressmanagement #holistikclub