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I absolutely love the smell of lavender. I love lavender even more because of the many benefits it has as a medicine. Lavender medicinal uses have been around for centuries.
I had the opportunity to go to a lavender festival with my husband this weekend. We learned many new things about lavender that had little to do with its pleasant smell. I would like to share with you what I discovered about the medicinal uses of lavender.
More Than Just One Type of Lavender
I have seen several types of lavender at a variety of stores. This weekend I learned that there are around 100 types of lavender! And this was just what was grown on the farm!
The ones I discovered this weekend have different uses. Some lavender is known for its strong fragrance. Others are used specifically for medicinal purposes.
Today I will be focusing on the types of lavender used for medicine. Dutch and French lavender are common types of lavender used for a variety of purposes, including medicine. Lavandins are a hybrid type of lavender, popular in its oil form.
Most of these types of lavender can also be used for other purposes too, such as being used in recipes for meals.
I have some dried lavender hanging in the hallway and near the bed. We have several satchels of lavender in the bathroom, kitchen and living room. I also have lavender as an essential oil in our medicine cabinet.
Medicinal uses of lavender include lavender being dried or used as an essential oil. Both work great for a variety of uses. Lavender can prevent ailments as well as boost the body against illnesses.
As I mentioned in my About Me page, I’ve struggled with depression off and on for years. Lavender is known to help people who struggle with depression. This is one of the reasons it’s all over our apartment.
Lavender can help boost your mood. This applies to the dried form as well as lavender oil. Ingesting lavender in small doses has also been shown to lower depression.
Bye Bye Anxiety
Depression and anxiety go hand and hand, so it should come to no surprise that lavender can also relieve anxiety. Using lavender essential oil and using dried lavender can help alleviate anxiety.
Using lavender oil and the aroma of lavender in its dried form can calm an otherwise anxious person down.
Since depression and anxiety are related, using lavender to relieve both is like taking two medications in one.
Stressing out about a huge final exam you have coming up? Take a deep breath of lavender and relax. It should come to know surprise that lavender can relieve stress.
Apply some oil or inhale dried lavender before starting a stressful day and enjoy the lavender’s calming effects.
Lavender can also be used to help people who have trouble sleeping. Hang dried lavender near your bed or apply some lavender oil to your temples as a sleep aid. You can also apply a few drops of lavender oil to your pillow to help you sleep.
Taking a bath with lavender salts at night can relax your muscles, which can also help you sleep. Experiment to see what types of lavender help you relax and get a good night’s asleep.
An Alternative to Neosporin
If you were like my family, Neosporin was a staple in your medicine cabinet. I have a small tube in mine right now. Did you know that lavender oil is an alternative to Neosporin?
Lavender can be used as an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. Lavender, in its oil form, can relieve sunburns, heal minor cuts and small insect bites. Did I also mention that lavender smells really good, too?
Antioxidants help stop the deterioration of other molecules in the body. Antioxidants can be found in many fruits and vegetables that we eat and can prevent many diseases. Lavender essential oil can make a great alternative antioxidant.
Although antioxidants can easily be added to our diet, many people do not eat foods essential to this. Using lavender essential oil on regular basis can prevent many illnesses and can be used for those who have trouble keeping other antioxidants in their diet.
Side Effects of Lavender
Just like anything else used as medicine, lavender does have side effects. For women who are pregnant and breastfeeding, it is best to stay away from using lavender since there is not enough research to support using it while pregnant or breastfeeding.
Since lavender is used to calm down the body, it can also affect a person’s central nervous system by slowing it down. This can affect how a person’s body reacts to medications during surgery. Avoid use of lavender before and after any surgery for several weeks.
When ingested, lavender can cause headaches and make you hungry. Just be cautious and start with small amounts when taken by mouth.
Lavender can also cause skin to become irritated. I have noticed this when applying it to my wrists. If you notice your skin becoming irritated, use less or take a break from applying lavender oil to your skin.
There is not a ton of research out there on side effects of lavender on children, so it’s best to use other medicines on children. Adults in general should be able to use lavender with little affects, but just like with any medicine, be aware of how your body reacts after taking lavender.
The side effects of lavender I have found to be minimal. There are a plethora of benefits to lavender, both in its oil and dried forms. Lavender medicinal uses are great and very beneficial.
While at the lavender festival the weekend, I even noticed how calm, relaxed and happy everyone seemed to be. I blame the lavender for the great mood everyone seemed to be in.
Have you found other medicinal uses to lavender? Let me know below.