Au Natural Factual: Lavender

I have recently loved using and discovering  more uses for lavender.

Lavender is a flowering herb native to northern Africa and the mountainous regions of the Mediterranean. Its flowers and oil have traditionally been used for medicine. Most commonly found in the form of an essential oil, it’s botanical name is Lavandula angustifolia. Lavender is well known for its aromatic properties, its scent traditionally thought of as an aphrodisiac, but the herb also provides many benefits in skincare and beauty.

Lavender works wonders for curing restlessness, insomnia, nervousness, anxiety and depression. It can also be used for curing certain digestive ailments such as an upset stomach, nausea or vomiting and even for treating influenza, prevent colds and coughing. Lavender is also a great remedy for aching muscles, rheumatic discomfort and joint stiffness. In food and beverages, lavender is used as a flavor component. Some use lavender to prevent hair loss and can also be powerful in repelling insects.

“Lavender is particularly rich in aromatic molecules called esters, which are antispasmodic, pacifying and tonic, while other molecules give it its antiviral, bacterial and anti-inflammatory powers.”

The herb’s anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties provide many benefits for use in skincare. These properties reduce redness, scarring and speeds up healing of the skin. As a circulatory stimulant, lavender essential oil increases blood flow and brings more nutrients and oxygen to skin cells. This property increases healthier skin cells and more frequent cell turnover.

Many people add lavender to bathwater to treat circulation disorders and improve mental well being. It is also believed that lavender essential oil has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties making the herb useful in healing minor cuts and soothing burns or bug bites.

According this website, lavender is “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”.  It is advised to avoid using lavender during pregnancy, if you have epilepsy and fevers.

My favorite use for lavender essential oil is before bed as a relaxing scent that helps me sleep and de-stress.

Have you used lavender before and in what way?

Sources and Images: Bulk Apothecary, Everything Lavender, Medical News Today, Nethefield, Web MD, WikiCommons