LAVENDER FLOWER WHOLE
Lavandula spp. An infusion of lavender is claimed to soothe & heal insect bites. Bunches of lavendar are also said to ward off insects. Applied to the temples, lavendar oil is said to soothe headaches. Frequently used as an aid to sleep and relaxation: Seeds and flowers of the plant are added to pillows. An infusion in a cup of boiling water is recommended as a sooting relaxing bedtime drink. Item No: 1419-50
The scent of lavender has long been enjoyed for its fragrance and mood-balancing properties. From the Latin lavare meaning “to wash” lavender was traditionally used when washing linens, as well as in many bath houses for its purifying effects. In the Bible, lavender is referred to as spikenard and was said to have been brought from the Garden of Eden and to have anointed the feet of Jesus. Those who wore bunches of lavender around their wrists during the Great Plague of London in the 17th century tended to be spared from illness. Today, lavender is enjoying a resurgence in popularity because of its therapeutic, cosmetic and culinary uses.
Lavender is widely cultivated throughout Europe, the Mediterranean, Australia, India, North America and may often be found growing in the wild. Fields of lavender are frequently seen in the perfume producing regions of France and are quite the sight to behold. Biblical and historical references have noted lavender to be a powerful aphrodisiac (Cleopatra allegedly scented herself with lavender to seduce both Julius Casear and Marc Antony, as did Queen Sheba to King Solomon and Judith to the Commander Holofernes). The nursery rhyme “Lavender’s Blue, Lavender’s Green” also hints at these effects.
Often used to address restlessness, insomnia, agitation, depression, nervousness, decreased appetite and gas, there is a growing body of research to support these traditional uses. Lavender is also effective in a tea for relief of upset stomach and nausea, migraines, giddiness, acne, sprain, neuralgia, rheumatic pain, and to promote menstruation. Lavender essential oil (in combination with thyme, rosemary and cedarwood essential oils and a carrier oil) has shown some clinical evidence for increasing hair growth when massaged into the scalp in cases of alopecia areata. Some studies have shown lavender to increase one’s attention during long-term repetitive tasks, while others have shown lavender to be an effective mood-booster. Indeed, studies and anecdotal accounts have found lavender to reduce symptoms of anxiety in stressful situations such as before visiting the dentist or before an exam due to its mild central nervous system depressant effects.
Some clinical evidence – as well as a long history of traditional use – points to lavender as a mild insect repellent (and certainly more pleasant smelling than DEET!) for humans, as well as when planted in the garden among other plants. Components of lavender are also used in some herbicides.
To prepare a relaxing cup of lavender tea, add one cup of hot (but not boiling) water to 1-2 teaspoons of dried lavender flowers. Let steep 5-10 minutes (depending on your taste). The tea can be consumed hot or iced—both are delicious. Dried flowers can also be used in cooking to add a delicate flavor to ice cream, sauces, desserts as well as salt and sugar mixes. Flowers can also be added to bath water for a soothing evening soak (maybe make it a bath for two?).
IN VERY RARE CASES, GYNECOMASTIA HAS BEEN EXPERIENCED IN PREPUBERTAL BOYS COMSUMING LAVENDER IN EXCESS AMOUNTS—THESE EFFECTS ARE TEMPORARY AND REVERSIBLE ONCE CONSUMPTION IS DISCONTINUED. LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL MAY OXIDIZE UPON CONTACT WITH AIR AND MAY CAUSE AN ALLERGIC REACTION IN THOSE SENSITIVE TO CERTAIN HYDROEROXIDES. INCONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE EXISTS TO SUGGEST THAT CAUTION SHOULD BE EXERCISED IF TAKING OTHER CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM DEPRESSANTS AND BARBITUATES SINCE THEIR EFFECTS MAY BE THEORETICALLY AMPLIFIED IF CONSUMED IN CONJUNCTION WITH LAVENDER. CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR A NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Canadian Food & Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. www.distinctlytea.com 519-578-2010 firstname.lastname@example.org
Research compiled and summarized by Keila McCullough BHSc, ND (cand.) Distinctly Tea Inc.
“Essential oil of lavender inhibited the decreased attention during a long-term task in humans”. Shimizu K, Gyokusen M, Kitamura S, Kawabe T, Kozaki T, Ishibashi K, Izumi R, MizunoyaW, Ohnuki K, Kondo R. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2008 Jul;72(7):1944-7.
“Lavender as a source of novel plant compounds for the development of a natural herbicide”. Haig TJ, Haig TJ, Seal AN, Pratley JE, An M,Wu H. J Chem Ecol. 2009 Sep;35(9):1129-36.
“Lavender”. University of Maryland Medical Centre. http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/lavender- 000260.htm
“Lavender” Monograph. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.
“Randomized trial of aromatherapy. Successful treatment for alopecia areata”. Hay IC, Jamieson M, Ormerod AD. Arch Dermatol 1998;134:1349-52.
“Repellent effects of the essential oil of Lavendula angustifolia against adults of Hyalomma marginatum rufipes.”.Mkolo MN, Magano SR. J S Afr Vet Assoc. 2007 Sep;78(3):149-52 University of Maryland Medical Centre. “Lavender”.
“The effects of lavender on dental patient anxiety levels: a cluster randomized control trial”. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2010 Feb;38(1):83-7.
“The History of Lavender”. Lavender Farm.com http://www.lavenderfarm.com/history.htm
Research compiled and summarized by Keila McCullough BHSc, ND (cand.)