Want to discover the health uses of lavender and how to use lavender as medicine at home? Continue reading and find out.
Lavender is in full bloom in the middle of July adorning courtyards, parks, and the sunny plains on the shores of the Mediterranean. It has gracefully arched stems, and a strong and aromatic scent, which acts as natural calming medicine. The active principles in the leaves and flowering stems of lavender are a very powerful remedy for heart, nervous system, and digestive system problems, but they are also an elixir of beauty. Before we show you the health uses of lavender, let’s look into the main lavender types and the simple natural medicine you can make with lavender.
In This Article You Will Find:
Lavender Main Types for Health Uses
There are no less than 39 known lavender types in the world. Lavender, although originating from the sunny coasts of the Mediterranean, has been cultivated from India to England, from North America to Australia, where it went wild, being considered a mere weed. However, there are two main lavender types used in therapy:
- English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia/officinalis) – it has the narrowest leaves of all the known lavender types, hence its name angustifolia. It was the preferred type of lavender by ancient doctors, being cultivated in large areas. It is not a very productive species, which is why nowadays it is cultivated in smaller areas, but for a long time, English lavender was and still is the benchmark for the therapeutic properties of this flower. Many specialists consider this species to have the finest aroma, and for this reason, it is the preferred lavender type in making luxury perfumes.
- Balkan Lavender (Lavandula latifolia/lapatifolia)– administered internally, it has the strongest effects on the respiratory and nervous system (because it contains an appreciable amount of camphor). It has very wide leaves compared to the rest of the species, hence the name latifolia. Its perfume is the strongest out of all the lavender types, due to a greater richness in various aromatic substances.
How to Use Lavender in Remedies
1. Lavender Powder Uses
It is a rather bitter remedy than we would expect, being a digestive tonic, useful in indigestion, gastrointestinal atony, and metabolic disorders. To make lavender powder medicine, finely grind the dry stems of the plant (with flowers) using an electric coffee grinder, then sift through a sieve. The usual dosage is a flat teaspoon (approx. 3 grams) of lavender powder, 2-3 times a day, on an empty stomach. The powder is held under the tongue for a few seconds, after which it is swallowed with water.
2. Lavender Infusion Uses
This is not a regular infusion, but a combined infusion of cold maceration and a hot infusion, and is used externally in sitz baths and washes. Put two spoons of lavender powder in half a liter of water and let it soak for 6-8 hours, at room temperature, after which it is strained. Set the extract obtained aside, and scald the used lavender powder (after straining) in another liter of boiling water. Allow the hot infusion to cool down, and finally, combine the two extracts in the final lavender combined infusion.
3. Lavender Tincture Uses
Put twenty spoonfuls of lavender powder in a screw-top jar, and add two cups (500 ml) of 60-degree food alcohol. Seal the jar and allow the powder to soak for two weeks in a warm place. Strain and pour the lavender tincture into small, amber bottles. The regular dose of lavender tincture is one teaspoon four to six times a day, diluted in half a cup of water. Externally, the lavender tincture is used to disinfect wounds and insect bites.
4. Lavender Essential Oil Uses
Lavender essential oil is obtained industrially, by distilling the flowering stems of lavender. Over 10 kilograms of fresh plant are distilled, to obtain a small bottle of this oil. This explains the high cost of 100% pure lavender essential oil, but this cost also reflects its valuable therapeutic properties. More than 80% of health uses of lavender refer to this essential oil, which is so strong that it only requires a few drops daily to produce roughly the same therapeutic effects as those of synthetic drugs. For internal treatments, use only food grade lavender essential oil!
7 Amazing Health Uses of Lavender
Lavender has unusually strong sleep-inducing effects, whether it is used internally or topically. According to studies done in hospitals in Germany, South Korea, and Great Britain, taking 3-4 drops of lavender essential oil before bed, can make you fall asleep faster, reduces nervous excitability, thus reducing the times you wake up during sleep, and improves sleep quality.
Moreover, lavender essential oil promotes better rest during sleep, boosts tonus, and even induces optimism upon waking up. Studies show that 50-60% of people suffering from insomnia who tried this remedy slept much better, and experienced no side effects. Interestingly, not only taking lavender essential oil internally has these soporific effects, but also using lavender oil as aromatherapy, or even using a small pillow filled with lavender flowers.
2. Stress & Anxiety
One of the key health uses of lavender is in stress and anxiety. An Austrian study carried out at the University of Vienna by Dr. Siegfried Kasper, showed that a medicine based solely on lavender essential oil has the following effects:
- Reduces the frequency and intensity of feelings of insecurity, and fear, thus improving the quality of patients’ daily life.
- Significantly improves the quality of sleep, which is greatly impacted by most people who experience anxiety.
- Alleviates or even eliminates physical ailments related to anxiety such as irritable bowel syndrome, skin rashes, migraines, appetite, or digestive disorders.
Other research has shown that lavender essential oil used internally reduces emotional and physical reactivity to excess mental stress. Lavender has also been found to prevent and alleviate depression, especially when it is associated with anxiety.
One teaspoon of lavender powder four times a day, over the course of 15 days, can have the following healing properties:
- lowers and stabilizes blood sugar;
- normalizes fat metabolism;
- supports the normal functioning of the kidneys and prevents degradation of the nephrons, thus preventing kidney failure;
- normalizes the liver’s cholesterol production and reduces the layer of fat that surrounds the liver, as diabetes progresses;
- exerts its antioxidant effect throughout the body, including the blood vessels, which are the most affected in diabetics.
Lavender essential oil prevents the oxidation of cholesterol and fats on the arterial walls, preventing the serious complications that come with diabetes, such as arteritis obliterans and cardiac ischemia. This is one of the less known health uses of lavender.
4. Fungal Infections
Whether we are talking about vaginal candidiasis or digestive candidiasis, scalp or toe mycoses, lavender essential oil has proven to be a strong remedy. This is one of the main lavender uses, as it targets and destroys all types and strains of parasitic fungi for which it has been tested. Here is how you can use lavender for various kinds of fungal infections:
- scalp mycoses – combine one part of lavender essential oil with ten parts almond oil, and rub it on the affected areas, 1-2 times a day.
- toenail mycoses – combine one part lavender essential oil and three parts olive oil. Pour over a piece of clean gauze and apply as a compress to the affected area; wrap a piece of cling foil over it to prevent the volatile oils from evaporating.
- vaginal candidiasis – use the combined lavender infusion (you can prepare it as described above) to wash your intimate parts daily for a week (no more than this to give the vaginal flora time to recover afterward).
- digestive candidiasis – 3-4 drops of food-grade lavender essential oil can be administered diluted in a tsp of honey, three times a day, before the main meals.
5. Insect Bites
There are few natural substances in the world that can compare with lavender essential oil when it comes to its insecticide properties. Indeed, this is one of the most important health uses of lavender. Spray some lavender essential oil in your room to repel mosquitoes, fleas, spiders, and even scorpions. When applied to ticks embedded in the skin, it paralyzes their nervous system and makes their extraction easier. There is evidence that, to a certain extent, lavender essential oil reduces the toxicity of insect and animal bites, mainly due to its antibiotic effect, neutralizing the bacteria introduced into the body through the bite.
6. Wounds & Burns
Applied to low and medium-severity wounds, lavender tincture is an excellent disinfectant that promotes healing without scarring. If the wounds are deep, mix 3-4 drops of lavender essential oil with a spoonful of honey, and use this to seal the previously cleaned wound (leaned beforehand with hydrogen peroxide) then cover with sterile gauze.
On light skin burns, you can make a soothing paste with calming and healing effects, by mixing lavender powder and water, and apply as a poultice. In the case of burns of medium severity, combine lavender essential oil in a ratio of 1:5 with coconut oil and apply it to the affected area. These are some of the key health uses of lavender.
7. Natural Skin Care
Of course, one of the most important health uses of lavender is for skin problems. One simple way to use it is to mix the lavender essential oil with coconut or almond oil in a 1:10 ratio. Here are some lavender uses of this simple skin care recipe.
- irritated skin with a tendency to infection – it has an extensive cleansing effect, calming inflammation and destroying the germs that cause superficial and inesthetic skin infections.
- hair loss caused by conditions such as alopecia areata – daily application on very long term (at least 7 months) helps restore 75% of the hair.
- dandruff and hair growth – daily scalp rubs.
- hirsutism in women – essential oil used internally and this solution topically can decrease the rate of hair growth.
- aged skin – hydrates and rejuvenates the skin, which becomes more elastic and bright.
Beware! Most lavender essential oils on the market are fractionated, that is, they are stripped of the most valuable components are often diluted and filled with chemical solvents. These oils are cheap or very cheap (while pure lavender essential oil is expensive), but even more freightening, they are also ineffective or even potentially toxic, causing headaches, and digestive, liver or kidney problems.
Lavender Contraindications & Safety
Lavender and lavender essential oil are not recommended for people who are allergic to it or have a digestive intolerance to it. The allergy is manifested by breathing difficulties or rashes on the skin when we come into contact with it or its vapors. The digestive intolerance to lavender oil is manifested through symptoms such as stomach pain, feeling of vomiting, and abdominal discomfort after ingesting it. Before starting any treatment with lavender or lavender essential oil, test yourself with a very small amount to make sure you do not have an allergy or digestive intolerance to it.
Read Also: 15 Essential Oils for Pain & How to Use Them
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