The benefits of lavender are really incredible… read more to see how lavender might benefit your health medicinally or for general wellbeing.

The benefits of lavender for medicinal use are incredibly varied and versatile. Lavender oil is something you always want to have on hand, find out why here... #lavender #herbalremedies #naturalremedies #realremedies #sciencebased ~ For more healthy living tips, visit TheFamilyApothecary.com

 

Full disclosure… the first time I smelled lavender essential oil I didn't care for it all that much. I used it sparingly for relaxation, skin healing, and the occasional bug bite because I knew it's been widely known and proven to be beneficial… and it was effective for me. It wasn't until sometime after repeated use that I truly fell in love with lavender… and the more I learn, the more I love it! That's why in this installation of “Real Remedies” I'd like to highlight the benefits of Lavender and all the reasons I love it and find it so versatile and useful!

You can use lavender in 3 ways… aromatically, topically, & internally. I'll touch a little on all three so you can see just how versatile lavender really is! (Also, stay tuned for the tasty lavender~peach iced tea recipe I've been working on… a perfect, refreshing and relaxing way to enjoy a warm summer afternoon!)
(Update: Here's my recipe for —> Lavender Peach Iced Tea)

The benefits of lavender have been recorded for over 2500 years in several cultures throughout history, and touted for its various culinary & medicinal uses. The word lavender comes from the latin word “lavare”, meaning “to wash”, likely because the Romans would use it in their public baths and laundry, and would use lavender oil as a fragrant perfume.

Lavender oil has even been referenced in the Bible as a valuable and costly oil. There is debate that the Greek “spikenard”, mentioned first in the Song of Solomon, was possibly a reference to Lavender. We see it noted again in the gospels, in the story of the woman whose unabashed admiration and affection towards Jesus, led her to pour out an entire bottle of expensive oil over his feet as she washed them (a sign of respect & humility in that time).

Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
-The Bible, John 12:3

Thankfully, these days lavender oil is still just as valuable, but much less costly! In fact, you could technically grow & harvest lavender in your own backyard with the right climate & equipment. I prefer, however, for my lavender florets and oil to have been grown in places that have the optimal climate and altitude for producing the best lavender possible… and of course, it's a given that I would want it to be grown responsibly and organically.

The benefits of lavender for medicinal use are incredibly varied and versatile. Lavender oil is something you always want to have on hand, find out why here... #lavender #herbalremedies #naturalremedies #realremedies #sciencebased ~ For more healthy living tips, visit SarahMichalMcLain.com

Commercially, lavender is grown primarily in the Provence region of France. “Lavender is a Mediterranean plant, and requires a similar climate to thrive. The climate in France, with mild winters and warm, sunny summers, is ideal for lavender production. Lavender needs full sun to do well, but not too much summer heat. A cold winter is also necessary to produce the best flower heads.” (source)

My favorite place to purchase lavender florets is Bulk Apothecary, Starwest Botanicals, and Mountain Rose Herbs. I've also purchased these organic lavender flowers through Amazon here.

Benefits of Lavender for Medicinal Use

Recorded benefits of lavender & uses (Are you ready for this?!)

  • helps to calm restlessness & nervousness
  • helps with insomnia (study)
  • decreases depression
  • used for a variety of digestive complaints including meteorism (abdominal swelling)
  • helps to ease nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, intestinal gas, and other digestive disturbances (source)
  • Some people have found relief for migraine headaches (study)
  • toothaches
  • sprains
  • nerve & joint pain
  • relieves muscle pain (source)
  • used to treat acne by decreasing inflammation & redness and working as an antimicrobial agent
  • treats sores, scrapes, and minor abrasions
  • helps to promote menstruation
  • research is still being done on what cancer-fighting benefits lavender may possess
  • when applied to the scalp with thyme, rosemary, and cedarwood oils, can slow hair loss (alopecia)
  • repels mosquitoes & other insects
  • great for treating insect bites, reduces inflammation, redness, and pain (source)
  • some people add lavender to bathwater to treat circulation disorders and improve mental well being
  • calm for agitation related to dementia (source)
  • reduction of anxiety and improved mood (source)
  • use as an expectorant and especially useful in respiratory issues like cough & congestion
  • helps ease symptoms of the flu
  • treatment for burns
  • effective allergy relief when used in conjunction with lemon and peppermint essential oils
  • anti-inflammatory agent
  • seems to have sedating effects and might relax certain muscles
  • use as a potent anti-fungal (source)
  • treats sinus infections (source)
  • helps treat vaginal infection, including candida (source)
  • useful as a treatment for laryngitis and asthma (source)
  • (additional sources: Web MDUniversity of Maryland Medical Center)

Shewww, that's a lot of uses! The benefits of lavender I've listed here aren't even all of them. These are just the main medicinal benefits & uses. If I had to pick only one favorite remedy to have on hand at all times, lavender is a serious contender!

I mentioned earlier that you can use lavender in three ways… aromatically, topically, & internally. Some of these overlap in ways (ie: sipping a cup of steaming hot lavender tea while inhaling between sips results in you taking it internally and aromatically). There are several ways I personally use lavender that I'd like to share with you!

 

The benefits of lavender for medicinal use are incredibly varied and versatile. Lavender oil is something you always want to have on hand, find out why here... #lavender #herbalremedies #naturalremedies #realremedies #sciencebased ~ For more healthy living tips, visit SarahMichalMcLain.com

Benefits of Lavender: Suggestions for using lavender aromatically

  • Diffuse lavender essential oil in family room or at work using a cool mist diffuser
  • Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a steaming hot bowl of water. With a towel draped over your head (as pictured) allow the vapors to rise and inhale slowly
  • Inhale directly from essential oil bottle
  • Brew a cup of hot lavender tea using lavender florets, and while drinking, inhale deeply in between sips
  • Add a few drops of lavender oil or florets to a hot bath along with some epsom salts or magnesium flakes (be sure to use a drain strainer or bath tea bags if using flowers)
  • Make a calming lavender bedtime linen spray to use on pillows for aiding in a better night's sleep (I love this!)
  • Use lavender sachets in the dryer to freshen linens & clothing to smell the benefits throughout the day and night!

 

The benefits of lavender for medicinal use are incredibly varied and versatile. Lavender oil is something you always want to have on hand, find out why here... #lavender #herbalremedies #naturalremedies #realremedies #sciencebased ~ For more healthy living tips, visit SarahMichalMcLain.com

Benefits of Lavender: Suggestions for lavender oil topical use

important note: Lavender essential oil can cause irritation, please use caution and dilute with a carrier oil (like coconut, almond, or jojoba oil) as water will intensify the effects of essential oils. This is especially true for children and those with sensitive skin. When in doubt… dilute!

  • Apply lavender essential oil diluted or neat, to minor abrasions and mild burns for pain relief and as an antibacterial agent
  • Apply to insect bites to take away the sting and reduce inflammation
  • Apply to forehead and sinus areas, along with peppermint & lemon oils for effective allergy relief
  • Consider adding to Tallow Face Balm to use as an acne treatment
  • Apply essential oil to forehead or base of neck for migraine support
  • Apply lavender oil diluted to bottoms of children's feet for calming effect & aid for better sleep

I would like to reiterate the point that I only choose to use essential oils that I am 100% sure of the quality and that they are approved for therapeutic use. Unfortunately because the industry is not well regulated at this time, there are many essential oils on the market that are poor in quality and even synthetic (which means the medicinal benefit definitely won't be there!).

 

The benefits of lavender for medicinal use are incredibly varied and versatile. Lavender oil is something you always want to have on hand, find out why here... #lavender #herbalremedies #naturalremedies #realremedies #sciencebased ~ For more healthy living tips, visit SarahMichalMcLain.com

Benefits of Lavender: Suggestions for internal use of lavender & lavender essential oil

Lavender is in the same family as Mint, so it makes sense to me why lavender could be used as an effective treatment for gastrointestinal issues.

  • Use dried lavender flowers to make an herbal tea (similar to this iced version)
  • Make a lavender tincture (here's how to make a tincture)
  • I hesitate to mention using lavender essential oil internally, because I personally feel that essential oils being used internally at all should be used with extreme caution. With that being said, however, I have experienced benefits of internal use in moderation to alleviate symptoms of cold & flu and congestion. The only oils I would even think to recommend for internal use are those that are 100% pure, organic, certified therapeutic grade oils. If you're interested in learning more, check out my recommendations on essential oils (brand, types, etc) here.

 

 

The benefits of lavender for medicinal use are incredibly varied and versatile. Lavender oil is something you always want to have on hand, find out why here... #lavender #herbalremedies #naturalremedies #realremedies #sciencebased ~ For more healthy living tips, visit SarahMichalMcLain.com

{A word of caution} for those who might want to be cautious with lavender essential oil…

Pregnant women – because lavender is known to be beneficial in the regulation of women's menstrual cycles (meaning, it can affect that area of a woman's body), I would recommend using extra caution with lavender essential oil, particularly in the first trimester. There is so much information out there on whether or not lavender oil is safe for use during pregnancy, and I encourage you to do some good research on the subject should this be of concern to you. I personally found this article to be interesting and reassuring, however, I would suggest being aware of any potential risks, so you can make an educated decision.

People who take other CNS depressants – “There are no known scientific reports of interactions between lavender and conventional medications. However, because lavender promotes relaxation, it may make the effects of central nervous depressants stronger. These drugs include narcotics such as morphine or oxycodone (OxyContin) for pain, and sedative and anti-anxiety agents such as lorazepam (Ativan), diazepam (Valium), and alprazolam (Xanax). Ask your doctor before using lavender with these and other sedatives.” (source)

Males may want to use sparingly – there has been some evidence (source) suggesting that long-term use of lavender essential oil may cause hormonal imbalance in males. Honestly I have not seen any truly conclusive evidence in this regard, so I personally don't put a ton of weight to this… but just so you are aware.

The benefits of lavender are pretty incredible, right?! What's your favorite way to use lavender?


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    1. Oh, I’m going to have to try that the next time one of us has a sore throat… I imagine it works great! Thanks for the tip and for reading Renee 🙂

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