Lavender (Lavandula officinalis), with its fragrant stalks and pretty pods of calmingly intoxicating purple flowers, is one of nature’s most beloved herbs. In the world of medicinal and aromatherapy herbs Lavender’s virtues abound. The root word of Lavandula is the Latin word lavare, which means, "to wash." So not surprisingly, Lavender has been the go-to herb for its antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and last but certainly not least - its calming, anti-depressant properties.
Aromatherapists make good use of Lavender’s natural ability to reduce stress, anxiety, exhaustion, irritability, headaches, migraines, insomnia, depression and nervousness. And Lavender oil is one of the safest essential oils, so it can be applied directly to the skin to help speed healing of minor burns, scrapes, bee and wasp stings, cold sores and athlete’s foot. Rubbing a few drops into the temples can bring relief from minor headaches.
The dried flowers can be made into a tea or dream pillow to help reduce anxiety and improve the quality of sleep. Clinical studies have shown Lavender is a useful tool for reducing agitation in patients with dementia, and it can even reduce anxiety during dental procedures. With few to no negative side effects, Lavender is one of the most valuable herbs for everyone’s family first aid kit.*
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