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, stress-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
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!