Natural Benefits of Lavender
Natural Benefits of Lavender, Lavender has been used therapeutically since ancient times in Egypt, Greece, and Italy due to its natural benefits.
The most widely cultivated variety, Lavandula angustifolia, contains antioxidants such as linalyl acetate and linalool, which research suggests may reduce pain and promote relaxation, says Jaquel Patterson, a naturopathic doctor in private practice in Fairfield, CT.
She shares her favorite uses here.
TEA FOR GOOD SLEEP
Calm down after a long day with this tea, which supports immunity too.
Combine 2 Tbsp dried lavender buds and 1 Tbsp dried chamomile flower, which also encourage relaxation.
(Use flower buds—available online and in stores such as Whole Foods—instead of tea bag forms, which lose potency during processing.)
Steep buds for 5 minutes, strain them out, add a drizzle of honey, then sip an hour or two before bedtime.
ANTI-ANXIETY BATH SALTS
Soak away stress and ease tense muscles with this aromatic bath; ancient people used lavender for the same purpose!
Add 1 cup Epsom salts, 1 Tbsp baking soda, 5 drops lavender essential oil, and 2 Tbsp fresh lavender buds to a full bathtub of warm water.
Indulge as often as you like.
If your head is itchy due to eczema or dandruff, try this antimicrobial scalp mask:
Mix 3 to 5 drops of lavender essential oil with 3 Tbsp olive oil or melted coconut oil in a small bowl and stir well.
Massage 1 to 2 tsp directly into the scalp, leave on for 15 minutes, then wash and dry hair as usual—store leftover mask in a lidded jar in a cool place. Use once a week.
(If you have sensitive skin, test a small area first.)
Is Lavender Safe For Cats?
(ASPCA),American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals confirms that lavender plants are very bad for cats and may cause vomiting and nausea.
“Lavender involve acetates linalool and linalyl, and cats happen to lack the enzymes required to filter these compounds,” confirms Dr. Barrack of Animal Acupuncture in N.Y. City.
Even more dangerous is the essential oil form of lavender, which Barrack claims have the utmost toxicity grade.
“Oils happen to be the most dominant; hence they can vaporize and inhale or absorb quickly through the skin resulting in acute toxicity.”
According to the ASPCA, cats are susceptible to essential oils, and they can experience gastrointestinal problems, central nervous system depression, and even liver damage when significant quantities are ingested.