Lavender Benefits

Lavender has been used for centuries as a beauty and hygienic product. Lavender benefits were recognized as far back as the Roman Empire; aristocrats and distinguished citizens added the lavender plant to their luxury baths’ water. The name is derived from the Latin word lavare (to wash).

Honey bees also like the lavender plant’s exquisite aroma, and with the nectar of its flowers, they produce exceptionally delicious honey.

lavender benefits
Lavender Benefits

How to use Lavender

Internal use:

  1. Infusion with 30-40 g of flower bouquets and leaves per liter of water. Drink three cups daily, sweetened with honey, after meals.
  2.  Fluid extract. Take 30 drops three times a day.
  3. Essence. The usual dose is 3-5 drops, two or three times a day.

External use:

  1. Lavender essence. A few drops, inhaled, or rubbed on the skin, are enough to produce healthy lavender benefits.
  2. Cleansing, and compresses. The same infusion method for internal use is valid, though it may be prepared with a higher plant concentration. Wash wounds and ulcers directly with this infusion, after which a wet compress may be applied to the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Warm fomentations. These are prepared with a lavender infusion or by adding some drops of lavender essence to water. Apply on the neck, back, and knees.
  4. Lotions and frictions. These may be applied using a few drops of essence, with oil, or with lavender water.

Lavender Scientific Facts

Lavender Benefits 1
  • Scientific synonyms. Lavandula officinalis Chaix. Lavandula vera D. C.
  • Synonyms. English lavender
  • French. Lavande
  • Spanish. Lavanda
  • Habitat. Calcareous soils, in sunny, dry areas, of southern Europe. In Europe and America, this plant is cultivated for the commercial use of its essential oil.
  • Description. Woody-based shrub of the mint family, Labiatae, which grows from 15 to 60 cm high. Gray-greenish narrow and elongated leaves, with little blue flowers which grow in spikes.
  • Parts used. Flower bouquets (spikes) generally, and also leaves.

Lavender Benefits: Healing Properties and Uses

Flower bouquets and lavender leaves contain one to five percent of volatile essential oil of very complex composition, formed by different terpenic alcohols and their esters (organic compounds). The most important of them is linalool. This essence is responsible for the many valuable lavender benefits, which are the following:

  • Lavender benefits (1) Sedative: Lavender helps to balance the central and autonomic nervous systems. It is helpful for people with nervous anxiety, neurasthenia (psychosomatic fatigue and weakness, nausea, blackouts (fainting), heart palpitations, and generally in all psychosomatic diseases.
  • Lavender benefits (2) Digestive: It has a slightly carminative (antiflatulent) and antispasmodic action on the digestive conduct and is also an appetizer and eases digestion. The essence also has antiseptic effects. It thus renders good results in cases of colitis (large intestine inflammation), especially when there is putrid fermentation with rotting feces and foul-smelling gases.
  • Lavender benefits (3) Antirrhrumatic and anti-inflammatory: In external applications, lavender water, oil or essence, are quite effective in easing rheumatic aches, be they of joint or muscular origin, joint aches be they in the neck or back, gout arthritis, stiff neck, lumbago, sciatica, etc. They are also helpful for dislocations, sprains, bruises, and muscular strains (muscle pulls and stiffness).
  • Lavender benefits (4) Antiseptic and cicatrizant: English lavender infusion is used to wash infected wounds and ulcers, and it helps them to heal quickly. Lavender oil eases the pain of minor burns (first degree) and helps to reduce the inflammation of insect bites.
  • Lavender benefits (5) Relaxing and anti-fatigue: After long walks and intense physical exercise or feeling tired, a hot bath with lavender water or lavender essence helps reestablish blood circulation and eliminates the sensation of tiredness. Better results are obtained when a massage is given with a wool cloth soaked in lavender water, oil, or essence after the bath.
  • Lavender benefits (6) Sedative: Merely smelling the aroma of lavender has a soft but effective sedative action on the central nervous system. It is highly recommended for hyperactive children or for those who sleep poorly. In this case, pouring some drops of lavender essence on the pillow or a handkerchief near the face is quite effective.
  • Lavender benefits (7) Balsamic: Lavender essence is used with steam inhalation to help heal laryngitis, tracheitis, bronchitis, bronchial colds, and catarrhs.

How to Make Lavender Oil

lavender essential oils

Dissolve 10 g of the essence in 100 g of olive oil. It may also be prepared by mixing 250 g of the dried plant with one liter of oil, steep in cold extract for two weeks, and filter after this time. It is used as a lotion applied to the painful area for lavender benefits.

How to Make Lavender Water

Dissolve 30 g of the essence in one liter of 90% alcohol; after leaving the mixture to rest for 24 hours, filter with a paper and keep in well-closed recipients. If it is too concentrated, you can dilute it with water.

You can also prepare it by adding 250 g of flower bouquets to one liter of alcohol, steeping it in cold extract for two weeks. After this time, filter through a paper and keep in well-closed containers. You can use it as an antirheumatic, anti-inflammatory and relaxant, applied externally in baths and massages.

Warning: Lavender essence, when used internally, must be employed with caution as in high doses, it may produce nervousness and even convulsions.

References

George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 161,162. Print. [Lavender Benefits]

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