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Lavender

Author: Nathan
April 27, 2011

Healing herbs

Lavender

In aromatherapy, lavender is used for treating depression, amenorrhea, burns, acne, rashes, arthritis, athlete’s foot, carpal tunnel syndrome, psoriasis, vaginitis, insomnia, pain, palpitations, anxiety and nervousness. As massage oil, lavender relaxes muscles and eases tension. Lavender oil is used in diffusers, salves, bath products, and undiluted as a topical essential oil.

If applied to the temples, lavender oil soothes headaches. In pillows, lavender seeds and flowers aid sleep and relaxation. (wikipedia)
Research has confirmed that lavender produces slight calming, soothing, and sedative effects when its scent is inhaled.
Lavender is just a beautiful herb in your garden. It has gray-green, pointing leaves that grow in a bushy, spreading manner. It is crowned with tall spikes of beautiful pale violet flowers during summer. As an ornamental flower, lavender is unique, sporting exotic fragrance, beauty and a rich harvest of sweet smelling blooms. Old English Lavender, a popular inhabitant of a cottage garden, can grow up to two to three feet high, producing fragrant grayish leaves and blue/purple flowers. The more compact variety Hidcote, has darker blue flowers, grows to around a foot high and is very pretty in any flower or herb garden. The easiest way to propagate lavender is to cut softwood cuttings in the spring. However, as lavender benefits from a light pruning in early autumn, these clippings make excellent new plants too, as long as you protect them from frosts and winter bite.
Dried lavender herb can be found in sachets, dream pillows, satin-covered herbal eye masks. Lavender herb is also found in herbal cough and cold preparations.
Lavender eye cover

Lavender eye mask

In folklore, pillows were filled with lavender flowers to help restless people fall sleep. Scientific evidence suggests that aromatherapy with lavender may slow the activity of the nervous system, improve sleep quality, promote relaxation, and lift mood in people suffering from sleep disorders. Studies also suggest that massage with essential oils, particularly lavender, may result in improved sleep quality, more stable mood, better concentration, and reduced anxiety. In one recent study, people who received massage with lavender felt less anxious and more positive than those who received massage alone. Several small studies suggest that lavender aromatherapy may help reduce agitation in patients with dementia.

Lavender flowers have also been approved in Germany as a tea for insomnia, restlessness, and nervous stomach irritations.
Precautions:
The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, contain active components that can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, herbs should be taken with care, under the supervision of a health care provider qualified in the field of botanical medicine.
Some people may develop an allergic reaction to lavender. Nausea, vomiting, headache, and chills have also been reported in some people after inhaling or absorbing lavender through the skin.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using lavender.

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