Many people enjoy the pleasant fragrance of lavender in soaps, shampoos and bath oils. Not only is it a beautiful herb, but it has hundreds of uses in addition to being a fragrant aromatic. It can be used in baking, gourmet cooking, teas and making lotions. It also offers medicinal properties that are known to be effective for a wide range of therapeutic uses. Here is a look at just a few of them.
According to the National Institutes of Health , one study found that when applying lavender oil in combination with oils from thyme, rosemary and cedarwood in a base of jojoba and grapeseed oil, the blend may improve hair growth by as much as 44 percent after seven months of treatment.
To make your own, just mix 3 drops of lavender, thyme, cedarwood and rosemary essential oils. Add 1/8 cup of jojoba oil and 1/8 cup of grapeseed oil, which help to deliver the healing properties of the essential oils to the scalp without irritating it.
Mix thoroughly and then use an eyedropper to gather several drops of the tonic and put it onto your scalp. Massage the mixture in for 3 to 5 minutes each night, paying special attention to bald patches while applying it to the entire scalp. Wrap your head in a towel, or place one over your pillow, and leave it on overnight. In the morning, rinse or wash with a very mild shampoo.
You can fight those annoying flakes with lavender oil, too. Just wet your hair with warm water and towel dry. Mix 15 drops of lavender essential oil in 2 tablespoons of olive or almond oil in a bowl or mug. Microwave the mixture for about 10 seconds, or until warm. Massage the oil into your scalp and allow it to set for an hour before shampooing.
A study from the Medical University of Vienna in Austria found that a lavender oil preparation was able to reduce anxiety. In fact, it worked as well as or better than the synthetic medication Ativan. Since lavender oil has no potential for addiction or abuse, in addition to no side effects other than occasional mild gastrointestinal symptoms, it may be an ideal alternative to anti-anxiety drugs.
Lavender has been used for centuries to treat insomnia and help those who are restless when falling asleep. Research has found that using aromatherapy with lavender may help to slow the activity of the nervous system, improve sleep quality and promote relaxation. This herb can actually lower heart rate and blood pressure to put you into a more relaxed state. In Germany, lavender flowers have been approved for use as a tea to treat insomnia and restlessness.
Many herbalists use lavender oil to treat skin ailments including fungal infections, wounds, eczema and even acne. A study published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology found that it could be very effective for combating the incidence of antifungal-resistant infections. Their research revealed that it has a potent antifungal effect against strains of fungi that are responsible for common skin and nail infections.
With so many possible uses, lavender is an essential part of any alternative medicine cabinet!
-The Alternative Daily