Is there anything sweeter than the scent of fresh lavender? This beautiful purple flower may make for a wonderful aromatic addition to the home, but it is also useful in treating a wide range of health problems.
The dried flowers of this plant are most often used when it is the aroma that is desired. However, lavender oil is also very popular and has a wider range of uses, though the smell is still very effective.
There are a number of calming scents in the world, but lavender is one that can actually help you sleep better. Over the centuries, it has been used as a treatment for anxiety and stress. It is also helpful in keeping insomnia at bay, as it tends to increase the amount of sleep you get. Interestingly enough, its soporific effects are better for women than for men, who are not affected as much.
As a relaxant, lavender has also been successfully used to ease sadness and mild depression. It can be used in conjunction with an antidepressant to ease depression.
In at least one study, lavender was used to help patients after operations deal with their pain. Mixing the oil into their oxygen supply helped the post-op patients by drastically reducing pain.
The essential oil can be used to treat acne and other skin disorders, as it is a anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial. More and more studies are being done on how to use lavender as a natural treatment for skin issues and even as a treatment for minor injuries. It has proven useful against candida albicans and can be used to treat athleteís foot or other fungal problems since it has anti-fungal properties, as well.
When you have a bruise, rubbing some essential oil of lavender into it can help reduce the appearance of the injury. A massage with this nicely scented oil is also good for arthritis pains and some claim it even gets rid of wrinkles. Lavender can also be used on bug bites or stings to ease the itch or pain and a couple of drops in the ear can give some relief from ear pain.
Just inhaling the pleasant scent of lavender can help reduce cold symptoms. It has a calming effect on the throat, so it can be used as a treatment for laryngitis or even a regular sore throat.
Another great benefit of using lavender oil is the repellent effect. Bugs donít like the smell of the plant and you can use it as a natural way to keep away mosquitoes, gnats and midges. Moths will also stay away from clothing that has lavender sprigs tucked into the drawer.
The oil is for external use only and should not be used full strength. It needs to be diluted in a carrier oil as with many essential oils.
Whether you stuff lavender sachets in your pillow to help you sleep or apply the oil to a patch of eczema, one thing is for sure, lavender is a useful herb. It can treat so many issues and smells wonderful, making it one of the most pleasant natural remedies to keep on hand.