Lavender Herb Profile

Uses and Benefits of Lavender many ways to use this beautiful herb

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:

“It 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 it as a treatment for flatulence, colic, and depressive headaches, and many modern herbal practitioners use the herb to treat migraines in menopause. In Spain, it is added to teas to treat diabetes and insulin resistance.”

Lavender is known for it’s scent but also for its antibacterial, antimicrobial, expectorant, stree-relieving, antiseptic and analgesic properties.

Lavender has a long history of use in natural remedies and as a natural scent and perfume. It’s calming scent makes it soothing to the respiratory system and it is often suggested to be diffused to calm coughs and colds. It’s natural antibacterial properties may also make it useful in protecting against airborne viruses and bacteria when diffused.

 

Many massage and beauty products use lavender for its scent and its supposed ability to promote relaxation and stress relief, though this has not been well studied. In alternative medicine, use of lavender essential oil or lavender salves is sometimes recommended for muscle pain or aches or to promote restful sleep.

Uses for Lavender

I use it 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 tea can be cooled and used as a scalp rinse to remedy dandruff
  • Adding a few drops of the essential oil or a cup of strong brewed tea and a cup of epsom salts to a bath helps relax sore muscles.
  • I sew the dried flowers into small satchels and use them in place of dryer sheets in the dryer
  • For headaches, smelling lavender and peppermint oils or rubbing into into the temples often helps
  • I often infuse the dried flowers 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
  • The 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

Precautions:

I personally do not use Lavender Essential Oil (or any other essential oil) internally (here’s why). 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? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. Lavender EO is one of my favorites! I often blend it into a body oil or into a pillow mist for a good night’s sleep.

  2. Here is something that I heard about lavender… if you are repelled by the scent of lavender, that means that you have abandonment issues. I don’t know if this is true, I learned it at a Women and Spirituality conference about 5 years ago. The thing is, I really did have abandonment issues, and have let go of them — the past 4 years have really been emotionally and spiritually cleansing for me… and now I don’t mind it at ALL. In fact, it is one of my “go-to” EOs for body butter, face cream and homemade shampoo.

    I do not know how accurate this information is, but I thought it was interesting. When I was a baby my mom died and that same year my dad almost died of an infected tumor in his head. Whenever I would be left with a babysitter I would scream and cry hysterically because I was afraid my dad wouldn’t come home. I did this until I was probably 8 or so (I know!!!! But I tell ya, I had extreme abandonment issues). When I was 5, both my grandparents died, within months of each other. And at that point in my life they were the ones I felt most comfortable with.

    So my experience seemed to be right on with what I learned about lavender.

    • Interesting, my husband doesn’t really like the smell and he lost his mother at 5 years old.

  3. I love lavender too. I use it in so much. My husband’s grandmother recently passed away and I couldn’t fly with him but sent him with a bottle of lavender essential oil and EVOO to put on his and his family’s temples to soothe them. (He’s told me it has helped …)

    The precautions you mentioned have piqued my interest. Where can I find more information about this? Is there a certain research article or book you can suggest?

  4. After reading about the benefits of lavender I tried some essential oil on a cystic pimple. The morning after the first application it was significantly smaller, the second morning the pain, redness, and swelling were almost completely gone!

  5. thanks a lot for mentioning so much benefits and also the precautions. i also like lavender but i dont konw enough about it before.

  6. So do you not even add lavender to your husband’s/son’s shampoos, soaps, or deodorant? Or were you meaning the concern is ONLY when taken internally?

    • Mainly internally, but I usually stick to citrus oils for my sons even in skin care…

      • I have heard that citrus oils contribute to photosensitivity and shouldn’t be used in skin care products (especially where we gets lots of sun, like TX, where I live). Do you have any other suggestions for EO’s that would be beneficial for baby products for males?

  7. I adore lavender. Right now I am drinking lavender tea with honey because I woke up with a sore throat. I surround myself with the scent before bedtime. Before retiring at night I scent my unscented hand lotion with a drop of two of essential oil and rub it into my hands and arms. Rebecca, I found your comment about those repelled by the scent of lavender having abandonment issues interesting. One of my nieces who had a largely absent mother does not care for lavender. One of the reasons I love it so is that my mother wore Yardley English Lavender cologne. I was able to find it for awhile, I still have a bottle and a half.

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  9. Lavender is a the best Essential Oil. I am amazed at how many times it can be over used though. Just 5 drops in the bath is enough to help with sleep issues and depression.

  10. I had heard of the use of Lavender before but I thought it was like folklore or something and did not really work. If it does work for sleep and depression I really need to try it. I am sold caregiver to my Mother with dementia and could really use some help for myself and her.

    • Bless you Wendy. I was sole caregiver for my mother also from 2008 until she passed away just last July. She too had Alzheimer’s and was 83 when she passed (5 years). During the first six months of 2008 when I had to fly north to court to get guardianship (“custody”) from my brothers who were NOT caring for her properly, I discovered that her Alzheimer’s was so bad she already didn’t know who us kids were most of the time. My thoughts and payers are with you. You are an angel to her whether she or you or loved ones know it or not! Know that you have done and are doing the right thing by caring for the woman who cared for and raised you! If you ever need to vent or just talk, reply to me here and maybe we can “hook up” online. I KNOW how hard it was and feel for you my dear. The worst thing? SHOWERTIME!!! I did learn some tricks though that I would be more than happy to share with you. Donna

  11. I’m starting my own herb garden and I found out through research that to dry lavender can take 2-4 weeks. So I was wondering if lavender was safe to use in tea without drying it and if not is there a faster way of drying them?

  12. Should I be concerned about the store bought lavender baby wash and lavender lotions we use on our grandson every evening????

    • I would be concerned about almost all bought baby skin products. Nearly all of them have nasty chemicals in them. It is very easy to make your own. Dr Bronners makes a baby soap as well. I use the Dr’s as a main ingredient for shampoo and body wash.

  13. I LOVE lavender. Lavender lemonade is wonderful…also lemon bars with lavender. I just made a batch of pear nectar/lavender kombucha. It’s different….not distasteful. Will I make it again? I think next time I will try a less-aged kombucha with lavender and lemon juice. That combo rocks! Thanks for the info on here. I just wanted confirmation that its safe to consume on a regular basis.

  14. I take Calm Aid which is a lavender based softgel. It causes awful lavender flavored burp.
    Any suggestions on what to do to stop them?

    • Take the lavender with kefir or yogurt this should help.

  15. I have lavender in my garden and have been drying flowers in my kitchen. As I have been shaking the seeds out, my whole house smells incredible and my hands have absorbed the fragrance. If you want a few seeds let me know. Growing lavender is easy and I love the flowers. I too had abandonment issues as a young woman and it is strange that I now have a healthy relationship with my dad and now love lavender. Strange coincidence? I tend to get overly stressed, anxious, and get blue moods. Lavender is my new best friend !

    • Do you think it was the scent without any more interventions/treatments that have helped resolve your abandonment issues?

  16. Personally, I have tried Lavander, its highly soothing and relaxing. Rub it on your forehead, shoulder, back of the Neck, Under your feet, and say bye-bye to stress.

  17. I use the flowers for tea or add them in a tub of hot water with other relaxing bath herbs. For the essential oil i use both spike and Bulgarian lavender. Spike lavender is stimulating while regular lavender is relaxing. I have used lavender oil for burns, cuts, relaxing baths, clay facial scrubs, facial toners, and moisterizers, bed linen sprays, and all purpose cleaners. There are too many things you can do with it. That is why it is considered one of the most used oils.

  18. Lavender is only for ladies or what because though I am man I love lavender

  19. I know you mentioned to not add lavender to my soaps, lotions and shampoos for my boys but to add citrus… Will using citrus make them sun-sensitive? What would be another good oil for boys? Thanks!

  20. I want to add that Lavender (essential oil) is EXCELLENT on bee stings and ant bites. I have no experience using it with other insect bites, but have personally used lavender oil in the aforementioned conditions with amazing relief. With the bee sting, I applied it immediately after the bee stung me. The pain was instantly gone, and the swelling at the site never progressed. Then I shared it with someone who had severe fire ant bites on her legs. Amazingly, she found relief when nothing else had worked for her!!

  21. Where can one get the lavender dry herb? or any others?

  22. How do ou get the lavender oil? I just planted some lavender,but not sure when or how to use it.

  23. I just wanted to mention that lavender is also great for poison ivy! I put a drop on some places that came up on me after gardening, the the duration of the poison ivy was significantly reduced.

  24. I also do not use lavender oil or tea tree oils for products that my husband or sons will be using. But love them both for me

  25. Very interesting items about the Lavender uses and remedies.thanks for share the information and knowledge of Lavender. I will like to know how to use lavender to heal an eczema around the jaw bone area.I have gone to dermatologist and they prescribe lotions that are not help full to heal this condition.if you can help me with some advice I will appreciate it.thanks again.May God bless you always.

  26. Like I said in the previous comment, I just bought some essential lavender oil today 8-31-15. Dr. Oz mentioned, on one of his shows, a while back that it would heal toenail fungus. I will let you guys know if it works. Thanks for all the helpful information.

    • Tea Tree Oil (Melaluca) also kills toenail fungus. My husband had a toenail fungus when we first got married. I suggested he put the tea tree oil on 2-3 times a day until it disappeared. If I remember correctly the fungus disappeared after a couple of weeks. So now if he has a flare up he comes looking for the tea tree oil. I hope this helps.

  27. Great to know all these remedies. Beverley do you notice a difference as yet?

  28. Make sure when buying dried lavender you buy culinary grade lavender.

  29. Is it ok to use lavender in the bath for boys? I have been putting 3 drops lemon, 3 drops lavender and 1 cup of baking soda for my 3 kiddos (2 boys and 1 girl).

  30. I add a drop or two of lavender essential oils to my lemonade. It is supposed to help calm anxiety. DonLt lnow if it works yet. I just started today.

  31. I used lavender essential oil on a GIANT stye on my right eye. Being on of the only oils safe to use undiluted, I applied it directly on my eyelid. I also used breastmilk eyedrops inside the eye. Did both of these things for 24hrs, stye was gone by the next morning 🙂

  32. So I’ve seen a lot of people ask about Lavender’s effects on men. I’ve done some research and from what I can see, there was a study done when 4 boys got Prepubertal Gynecomastia. Prepubertal Gynecomastia is the gain of breast tissue on boys, pre-puberty, and it is VERY RARE.
    All of the sites I’ve found say “may cause this, may cause that” without definitive proof. The study showed that part of the chemical make up of lavender and tea tree oil MAY replicate estrogen, the female hormone when used in any and all related products.

    Take this information as you see fit, but my advice is that if young junior has trouble sleeping, a lavender bath will be absolutely fine. People of all genders have been using lavender for centuries and I don’t see any fit men rocking DD cups.

    This is a wonderful website by the way. very informative, came here to learn about cooking with lavender and I learnt a lot. xxx

  33. Can you help me understand on how exactly I can use lavender dry flower for treating side effects of chemo therapy after colon carcinoma tumor removal surgery

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