Lavender health benefits and therapeutic value

Health benefits of the various forms of lavender: dried, fresh, oil...

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is native to the mountainous areas of the Mediterranean water basin, and is grown today all around the world for its appealing perfume and for its many plant-based benefits.

Health benefits of lavender

Used by the Roman empire for its delicate fragrance, lavender was already famous in the Middle Ages for its disinfectant properties. It is widely used even today in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

  • Lavender essential oil diffused in the air helps fight anxiety and induces sleep for cases of light insomnia, thanks to its relaxing properties.
  • Thanks to its antispasmodic properties, lavender essential oil helps correct breathing disorders (cold, blocked nose, cough, etc.). It makes breathing easier through relaxing all muscles and regulating the pulmonary system.
  • Lavender can also soothe headaches and reduce vertigo.
  • When taken in the form of an infusion (1 oz (30 g) dried flowers to 1 quart (1 liter) water), lavender is stimulating. It eases digestion, helps eliminate toxins thanks to its diuretic properties, and reduces the severity of diarrhea.
  • Compresses soaked with lavender are also antiseptic. They sooth itchiness and superficial burn wounds, and help treat acne and dermatitis.
  • Slip a small pouch of lavender flowers under your pillow at night to enter a replenishing sleep. If you don’t like sowing, make a lavender wand instead (lavender wand instructions)!

Growing lavender for its benefits

Lavender requires full sun, an exposure that lets it stay warm and dry. It grow best in chalky soil, very dry and even rocky and poor. Planted together with rose trees, it will fend off aphids. Propagate a friend’s lavender through seeds, cuttings, or layering.

Productivity of potted lavender is excellent. It doesn’t require any particular follow-up and only needs to be watered sparingly. Be careful though, because lavender will attract pollinating insects that might get lost in your house!

Lavender against ants works wonders, too. Ant hills will move away if you plant lavender nearby.

Lavender in the kitchen and other benefits

Dried lavender is used to flavor certain pastries, creams, syrups and ice creams. Use only dashes at a time because its taste is very powerful!

Lavender essential oil is an excellent insect repellent. It is famous for repelling mites and can also rid your scalp of lice: one drop of lavender essential oil behind the ears of your infested children will (perhaps) make them pack and leave (the lice, not the children)!

Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Fresh, dried, oil and scents by googlerankfaster under Pixabay license