Lavender is by far one of my favorite herbs. Not only is it beautiful, but it has hundreds of uses. It is a fragrant aromatic, a relaxing herb, and it can be used in baking, lotion making, gourmet cooking, tea making, tinctures and much more.
Benefits of Lavender
According to Mountain Rose Herbs:
“Lavender has been thought for centuries to enflame passions as an aphrodisiac, and is still one of the most recognized scents in the world. The German Commission E commended lavender for treating insomnia, nervous stomach, and anxiety. The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia lists lavender as a treatment for flatulence, colic, and depressive headaches, and many modern herbal practitioners use the herb to treat migraines in menopause. In Spain, lavender is added to teas to treat diabetes and insulin resistance.”
According to this website, lavender has the following properties:
Especially beneficial to the respiratory tract in particular coughs, colds, influenza. Certainly eases breathing when lungs and sinuses are choked with phlegm.
Defends system against airborne viruses.
A refreshing note to a tired mind – lavender has been named as one of the most useful of the essences for the relief of anxiety and stress.
Good for aches and pains and muscle stiffness and may also help with rheumatic discomfort and joint stiffness.”
Uses for Lavender
I use lavender often in many different forms:
- As a dried herb to make a relaxing herbal tea (I often add Chamomile too) by steeping in hot (not boiling water) for a few minutes and adding honey
- In a tincture to help promote relaxation and sleep
- Adding the dried herb to homemade buckwheat pillows or sleep masks to help promote relaxing sleep
- To sooth sunburns or other burns, I add a few drops of the essential oil to a bottle of cool water and spray on burns to offer relief. The dried herb can also be brewed in to a strong tea and sprayed on instead.
- A strong lavender tea can be cooled and used as a scalp rinse to help prevent dandruff
- Adding a few drops of lavender essential oil or a cup of strong brewed lavender tea and a cup of epsom salts to a bath helps relax sore muscles.
- I sew dried lavender flowers into small satchels and use them in place of dryer sheets in the dryer
- For headaches, smelling lavender and peppermint oils or rubbing lavender oil into the temples often helps
- I often infuse lavender into vinegars for use in cooking or as a skin toner (diluted)
- The essential oil or lavender infused oil in homemade lotion bars, lotions, whipped body butter and more
- Lavender essential oil can be used topically to help with acne or skin irritations
- Simmering dried lavender herb in a pot of water with some citrus peels for a natural air freshener
I personally do not use Lavender Essential Oil internally. There is some evidence that long term regular use of concentrated lavender can cause hormone imbalance in males, so I generally avoid it in things I am making for my husband or sons. Due to its relaxing properties, I would not use in conjunction with any medication that also causes relaxation or sleepiness. I don’t use even the dried or fresh herb internally when pregnant.
Do you use lavender? What is your favorite way to use it?