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Welcome to your comprehensive guide on lavender, an aromatic herb celebrated for its calming properties and myriad health benefits. Known for its distinct scent and beautiful purple blooms, lavender has been used for centuries for its therapeutic properties. In this article, we’ll explore the numerous benefits of lavender. From easing anxiety and promoting restful sleep to supporting skin health, lavender offers a plethora of wellness advantages that make it a staple in any health and wellness routine.
What Is Lavender?
Lavender is a beautiful and aromatic flowering plant that belongs to the mint family, Lamiaceae. The scientific name for lavender is Lavandula, and there are many different species of this plant. Lavender is native to the Mediterranean region, but it is now grown in gardens and farms all around the world.
Lavender plants have long, thin stems with small, needle-like leaves. The flowers grow in clusters at the top of the stems and can range in color from pale lilac to deep purple. Lavender is well-known for its calming and soothing fragrance, which is often used in perfumes, soaps, and candles.
Lavender has many uses and is valued for its potential health benefits. People often use lavender essential oil in aromatherapy to help reduce stress, anxiety, and promote relaxation. Lavender oil can also be applied to the skin to help with minor burns, insect bites, and skin irritation. However, it is important to dilute the oil before applying it to the skin to avoid irritation.
In addition to its health benefits, lavender is also used in cooking. The dried flowers can be added to recipes for a unique and subtle flavor. It is often used in desserts, like cookies and cakes, as well as savory dishes, such as roasted meats or stews. Lavender can also be used to make herbal teas, flavored honey, and even in cocktails.
In summary, lavender is a versatile and fragrant plant with numerous uses in health, beauty, and cooking. Its lovely scent and beautiful flowers make it a popular addition to gardens and homes around the world.
What are the Benefits of Lavender?
- Reduces stress and anxiety: Lavender’s calming scent can help lower stress levels and ease feelings of anxiety, promoting relaxation and a sense of calm. [PMID: 34775136]
- Improves sleep: The soothing aroma of lavender may help you fall asleep faster and enjoy better sleep quality, especially when used in aromatherapy or as a pillow spray. [PMC4505755]
- Eases headaches: Breathing in the scent of lavender or applying diluted lavender oil on the temples can help relieve tension headaches and migraines. [PMID: 22517298]
- Antimicrobial properties: Lavender oil has been found to have antimicrobial effects, which means it can help fight against certain bacteria and fungi. [PMC8470038]
- Supports digestion: Lavender tea can help soothe an upset stomach and promote healthy digestion.
- Pain relief: Lavender oil, when used in massage or applied topically, may help to reduce muscle pain and joint discomfort.[PMID: 27863613]
Is Lavender Safe?
When used appropriately, lavender supplements are safe for most people. They are a popular choice for those looking to enhance relaxation, improve sleep quality, and soothe minor skin irritations. However, it’s important to note that everyone’s body reacts differently to supplements, and some people may experience side effects such as headaches, constipation, or skin irritation. For those with allergies, lavender is part of the same family as mint, so if you have a known allergy to mint.
Medication Interactions with Lavender
- Sedatives or medications that cause sleepiness:
- Examples: Benzodiazepines, barbiturates, some antihistamines
- Reason: Lavender can have a calming effect and may increase drowsiness when taken with these medications, leading to excessive sleepiness or reduced alertness.
- Severity: Mild
- Examples: SSRIs (such as fluoxetine), SNRIs (such as venlafaxine)
- Reason: Lavender may enhance the sedative effects of certain antidepressants, potentially increasing drowsiness. However, more research is needed to understand this interaction fully.
- Blood pressure medications:
- Severity: Unknown
- Examples: Beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers
- Reason: There is limited information available on the potential interactions between lavender and blood pressure medications, so it is best to consult with a healthcare professional before combining them.
Please note that these interactions are not an exhaustive list, and it is always best to speak with a doctor or pharmacist before combining lavender with any medications to ensure safety and avoid potential interactions.
Supplement Interactions with Lavender
- Valerian root: Both lavender and valerian root have calming properties that may help promote relaxation and sleep. Combining the two could lead to increased drowsiness, which might be beneficial for some people but could cause excessive sleepiness in others.
- Melatonin: Reason: Lavender may enhance the sleep-inducing effects of melatonin, potentially leading to increased drowsiness. This could be helpful for those with sleep issues but might cause excessive sleepiness in others.
- St. John’s Wort: Both lavender and St. John’s wort are thought to have mood-boosting properties, but combining them could increase the risk of side effects like drowsiness or changes in mood.
- Other herbs with sedative effects: Passionflower, hops, chamomile, etc. Combining lavender with other herbs that have sedative properties could increase the risk of excessive drowsiness or reduced alertness.
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Lavender SAP by Nutritional Fundamentals for Health
Lavender SAP™ is traditionally used in herbal medicine to help relieve restlessness, * for the relief of mild symptoms of mental stress and exhaustion, * and to aid sleep.* Adults: Take 1 softgel daily with food and a full glass of water or as directed by your health-care practitioner.
Amount Per 1 Softgel Serving
Organic lavender … 80mg
(Lavandula angustifolia) flowering top essential oil
Lavender Oil by NOW/Personal Care
Lavender Oil 100% Pure
Attributes: Soothing, normalizing, balancing
Extraction Method: Steam Distilled from flowering tops.
For aromatherapy use. For all other uses, carefully dilute with a carrier oil such as jojoba, grapeseed, olive, or almond oil prior to use. Please consult an essential oil book or other professional reference source for suggested dilution ratios.
Ingredients: 100% pure lavender oil
Aura Glow Lavender/Massage Formula by Heritage
Rejuvenate your senses and soothe your soul as you smooth on pure Aura Glow scented with this versatile herbaceous flower. Lavender is known to increase the alpha brain waves associated with states of relaxation and meditation. Nourish your skin and relax.
For best results, apply after a bath or shower, and feel it soak into your skin. Aura Glow makes an excellent face and body moisturizer, massage formula, tanning oil, after shave lotion, hair oil and bath oil.
To Sum It Up
Lavender isn’t just a plant with lovely purple blooms and a soothing aroma. The potential health benefits of lavender are extensive and range from easing anxiety and promoting restful sleep to alleviating pain and skin irritations. While research is ongoing, the available studies suggest lavender might be a promising natural supplement for several health conditions. As always, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider before beginning any new health regimen. In the meantime, whether you enjoy lavender in your garden, as an essential oil, or as a supplement, you can appreciate both its beauty and its potential to contribute positively to your well-being.
This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice
Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.