LAVENDER FLOWERS - Know your HERBS -

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LAVENDER FLOWERS - Know your HERBS -

Post  Admin on Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:14 am

The botanical names for Lavender are Lavandula spp, Syn. Lavandula angustifolia, and L. officinalis.

The parts of the Lavender flower used are: Flowers, leaves and stems

Lavender is a small perennial shrub that grows 2 to 3 feet high with evergreen leaves and lovely violet-blue spiking flowers. Lavender leaves and flowers are very aromatic and can be used in herbal baths, potpourris, sleep pillows and sachet bags to protect clothes against moths. Fresh lavender makes a wonderful, aromatic bouquet, and discourages insects (like flies, mosquitoes, and fleas) from invading your home. Lavender flowers can be dried, and infused in oil, and made into lavender flower water.

Health Benefits of Lavender

Lavender has some powerful properties for such a gentle, sweet smelling flower. Lavender can lift your spirits, help you sleep, relieve pain, kill germs, heal burns and rashes, and help keep annoying insects at bay.

In the evening lavender comes into its own, a few drops of lavender oil on the pillowcase can make the different between a night spent tossing and turning and one spent in deep, restful sleep. The relaxing and sedative aroma of lavender has an almost immediate effect as soon as it hits the sensitive membranes inside your nose. Soaking in a lavender scented bath relaxes away mild depression and anxiety and may even lower high blood pressure.

Clinical trials confirm the conventional wisdom that lavender relaxes the body in the presence of pain, most likely by reducing anxiety levels. A calm mental state can makes pain more bearable, lessening it's impact by reducing the perception of pain. Massage with lavender oil at tender trigger points is reported reduce the pain and tension of fibromyalgia in long term sufferers. Lavender combines well with the analgesic power of rosemary to relieve all types of pain: arthritis, sore muscles, and nerve pain. Lavender can be also be used in a massage oil to relieve the pain and arthritic stiffness older dogs, (but not cats).

Lavender is well regarded for it's skin healing properties as well. It's effectiveness in treating burns was first discovered by French biochemist René Gattefossé when he cooled his hand in a handy vat of lavender after burning it in a lab accident. This storied burn healed so quickly, and without scarring, that it is often cited as a seminal event in the birth a modern aromatherapy. To make a all purpose remedy for scalds, burns, and sunburns: apply a cloth wet with witch hazel, then apply a few drops of lavender essential oil directly to the burn.


CAUTION:

The volatile oils in lavender can be very hard on the liver and kidneys of cats and dogs so no internal use of the herb is suggested for them.

Preparation Methods & Dosage

  • Lavender tea can be made from the fresh or dried flowers.

  • For restful sleep, sprinkle a few drops of lavender on sheets and pillowcases, and add lavender to a room diffuser before bedtime. Use dried lavender flowers in sleep pillows.

  • Add a few some of true lavender water to unscented laundry and dish soaps, shampoos, and body creams and lotions instead of buying synthetics or expensive commercial lavender products.

  • Swollen feet or ankles benefit from a tepid foot bath with lavender. Lavender can also help restore circulation to cold feet that have lost feeling.

  • Lavender is a necessity in the first-aid chest. Treat minor scrapes, cuts and burns by washing with lavender water.

  • Lavender tea can be applied as a skin wash to relieve itching due to flea bites and rashes.

  • Dab a few drops to the temple and hairline to treat a headache.

  • Use lavender sachets in linen drawers to protect against moths and add a nice scent. People love the aroma of cut lavender flowers in floral displays - and insects hate it. Use lavender oil to get rid of lice and other animal parasites.

  • Wash skin abrasions with warm water with 5 drops of lavender diluted in a bowl.

  • Lavender herb teas should be used in combination with melissa (lemon balm) and skullcap for pain and insomnia, mixed with borage flowers when treating depression, and chamomile and valerian for sleeping aid. Lavender combines well with rosemary to relieve arthritis pain and fibromyalgia.


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