Lavender is one of the most widely used and versatile herbs known today. Lavender flowers have been used for centuries to treat digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness. Until World War I, lavender was used to treat and disinfect wounds. English farmers have placed lavender flowers in their hats in order to prevent headaches and sunstroke for years. In more domestic uses, women still place sachets of lavender in their wardrobes for fragrance, and it is a common element in potpourri.
Today, lavender is most commonly used to help to treat anxiety, depression, mental exhaustion, insomnia, scrapes and wounds, digestive problems, headaches, skin problems and women’s health problems. In addition to this wealth of uses, lavender can be used to help treat exhaustion, heat exposure, fevers, aches and pains, over-exertion, jet lag, rashes, sprains, sunburn, sunstroke, bruises and burns. It is a good mild disinfectant and insect repellent, along with being antiseptic, a natural antibiotic, a mild sedative and a detoxifier.
Lavender essential oil has a calming, sedative and anti-convulsive effect. When used in combination with other relaxants, it can also help to boost their effectiveness.
This is likely the most common use of lavender. Studies conducted at the University of Leicester have shown that using lavender essential oil is just as effective in promoting a healthy sleep pattern as traditional medication, and many hospitals offer lavender pillows in order to help their patients get a good nights’ sleep.
Scrapes and Wounds
Lavender essential oil has antiseptic properties. Applying it to wounds can not only increase cell growth and so help the wound to heal faster, it also helps to decrease the appearance of scars. The oil is anti-microbial, helping to protect scrapes and wounds from becoming infected, while allowing them to heal effectively.
Lavender helps to sooth the lining of the digestive tract and promotes the secretion of bile, which helps the body to digest fats and helps to reduce the instances of heartburn. In addition to this, lavender can also help ease bloating and constipation.
Massaging lavender oil onto the temples, neck and forehead can relieve neck and head tension and promote relaxation, thus helping to relieve a variety of headaches. Those included are gastric headaches, nervous headaches, sinus pain and tension headaches.
Massaging lavender oil into the skin can help to treat a number of skin problems including acne, dry skin, eczema, itchy skin, sunburn and burns.
Lavender is a must-have for all homes, and is an essential part of every herbal medicine cupboard. Few herbs can truly claim to have the sheer number of uses offered by lavender. It is as close to an all-round treatment as there is to be found anywhere.