The use of lavender has been noted for more than two thousand years. The word lavender comes from a Latin word ‘Lavare’, which means; to wash. The Egyptians and Greeks being the oldest civilizations of the world have records of using it for its perfumes and medicinal purposes.
It also has been mentioned in the Bible, mentioning Mary using it for baby Jesus and also when preparing him for burial. It is an herb that belongs to the mint family and has over 30 different species. Lavender was an essential ingredient in the mummification process, in ancient Egypt.
History also indicates lavender has powerful antibacterial properties to fight infections and plague related diseases. During the Victorian Era, it is said that the English Queen was particularly fond of the scent lavender gives off. Her use of this herb influenced other women of class to use lavender to perfume themselves. This also prompted an increase in sales of this product throughout that land. They also cultivated lavender and used it as trimmings for their lawns.
The most common type of lavender is the narrow-leaved kind that may grow from 1 ft up to 3 ft. Its stem has a large number of branches and has a grayish-yellow bark. The branches are straight and broom-like. The lavender flower has such beautiful color and has a variety of purple hues. It is said to also grow in yellow and white.
The shape and size of the bloom may vary. They are sometimes found with long spikes and sometimes shorter stems. They are often referred to as fern-leafed. The plant’s leaves and stems are not fully vibrant greens rather have a grayish wooly appearance. The flowers of this plant may be different in appearance depending on the species it is a part of. However, there may be some similar characteristics such as the flowers being bunny eared and pineapple shaped or are loosely spread over the stem.
One type of Lavender, known as Lavandula multifida can have multiple blossoms in one stem. This flower has a beautiful scent when fresh, but some people use it dried to preserve its aroma for days at a time. Lavender can be cultivated in many types of climates. The key is to provide this plant with adequate sunlight. The soil required to grow lavender should have a pH value of 5.8 to 8.3. Once a lavender plant has matured it requires little care and should be left dry between watering.
Lavender is a consumable herb, with multiple benefits for health as well. It is composed of vitamins, calcium, and iron. Here is a little nutritional information:
1. Contains Iron
The required consumption of iron is around 9 to 10 mg per day. One serving of lavender can provide 2mg of iron. Iron is an essential ingredient that helps makes hemoglobin and myoglobin found in human blood. In short, the consumption of lavender can be beneficial to avoid symptoms of anemia, fatigue and other medical issues related to iron deficiency.
The known vitamin found in lavender is vitamin A. One serving of lavender can provide you with approximately 287 IU of vitamin A. Vitamin A has vast benefits like improving eye health and prevent dry eyes, cataracts, and night-blindness. It also helps maintain healthy skin and mucous membranes.
3. Provides Calcium
The human body requires about 100mg to 1200 mg per day of calcium depending on the age of an individual. One portion of lavender will provide you with about 215 mg of calcium. So, if you want strong bones, eat your daily recommended value of lavender. You can also use lavender to keep the symptoms associated with osteoporosis at bay. Lavender can also soothe premenstrual syndromes. Lavender teas are a good remedy for this.
Lavender contains plant compounds that are extremely beneficial for overall health of your body. Opt for a lavender based spice blend, which will enhance the flavor of your meal along with providing you essential phytonutrients.
Other Benefits of Lavender
Lavender is packed full of nutrition, but it also has several other uses and advantages like:
5. Mental Health
In studying the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s, scientists can observe the progression of the disease via brain wave patterns. Lavender has become a point of interest for scientists as it has shown capabilities of changing those brain wave patterns. Lavender is generally consumed in the form of a supplemental capsule to treat anxiety and mental stress.
Many people recommend having a warm cup of lavender tea before bed to help fall asleep. This is a much safer and natural alternative to conventional medications.
6. May Help Ease Migraines
Lavender has analgesic properties that may be helpful in managing acute headaches. The use of a lavender essential oil may be a better alternative to conventional treatments for migraines and is found to be useful most of the time.
7. Treating Acne
Lavender essential oils may be effective in treating acne. Dermatologists explain that lavender essential oil prevents bacterial infection, and also helps in controlling sebum excretion. Lavender essential oil helps heal acne and also fight those nasty acne scars. The essential oil can be applied by adding a few drops to other moisturizers, night creams and such.
8. A Pain Reliever
Sore and tense muscles after a workout or sitting hunched over a keyboard can be extremely painful. Lavender essential oil can help in relieving pain such as lumbago, backaches, sprains, and rheumatism. Using Lavender oil for massaging can help ease joint pain as well. A study conducted on postoperative pain relief suggested that adding a vapor of lavender to the oxygen helped the patient with pain relief more than the regular oxygen given.
9. Beneficial In Fighting Respiration Issues
Lavender oil is used in inhalers and vaporizers used in treating colds and flu. Lavender oil has properties that help in the treatment of respiratory diseases such as Asthma, Sinus congestion, and even Bronchitis. When experiencing chest congestion or flu symptoms, lavender oil can be applied to the neck and chest, and also be added to diffusers. Lavender essential oil is a natural stimulator that will also help eliminate phlegm from the body.
10. Oxygenation in Blood
Aromatherapy with lavender has been known to treat hypertension and control blood pressure. This is due to the stimulating effect that lavender has on coronary circulation. This is also leads to an increase in the level of oxygenation in the body, thus promoting overall brain and body health.
11. A Bug Repellent
Lavender oil can be applied to the skin to fight off bugs like mosquitoes, moths, and midges. Lavenders aroma is considered potent for these bugs and can prevent bites.
12. Healthy Urinary Tract
Due to its stimulating nature, lavender consumption helps with the urinary flow. It also reduces inflammation of the bladder.
13. Natural Source of Antioxidants
Lavender essential oil helped increase the activity of antioxidants in the body such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase (SOD). These help prevent damage that may be caused by free radicals.