Relaxing With Lavender
Posted by Kate W on Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
There are a plethora of herbs that can be ingested in order to promote good health, but there are just as many herbs that can do as much good by treating your outside as well as your inside. The human body is a machine that needs holistic care. You take your car in for oil changes and engine checkups to make sure everything is working as it should in order to prolong its life, but you also take it to the car wash to keep it clean. This obviously has the benefit of making your car look good, but it also contributes to the health of your car. If you live in a place with salt air or lots of snow or any kind of intense environmental exposure, the outside of your car can rust, causing it to not be at its optimum health level. The human body also needs a little TLC on the outside as well as the inside in order to stay healthy.
Lavender is an herb that technically can be ingested. Lavender tea is often recommended as a soothing twilight beverage to help you calm down and prepare for sleep. I also put my mad baking skills to the test and made truly delicious lavender fleur de sel shortbread cookies for a party one time, but they were pretty polarizing; half my guests asked for the recipe, and the other half eyed me suspiciously as though I was trying to poison them. Lavender has a very intense flavor and aroma, so people overwhelmingly prefer to use it outside of the kitchen. In fact, lavender’s scent is so potent that bugs are often repelled by it; thus people often use it as a natural insect repellant. Daphne Oz even has a great recipe for a natural homemade lavender-based bug spray.
Lavender is most popularly used as a sedative or anti-depressant. People just find its aroma soothing and relaxing. People often sleep on pillows packed with dried lavender in order to rest easier and improve insomnia, and massage therapists frequently use lavender essential oils to promote relaxation. The aroma of lavender can reduce anxiety, and has even been used to mitigate agitation in patients with dementia disorders. Lavender oil can also help with cuts, scrapes, abscesses, and burns.
So if you’re like me and you prefer a cup of coffee to some tea, you can still reap the therapeutic effects of lavender. Pour a little lavender oil into a hot bath before bedtime, then slip between the sheets and rest your head on a lavender stuffed pillow. Combine this regimen with some botanical valerian sleep aids, and you’ll sleep better than a baby. And if you need a late-night snack, there are always lavender cookies.
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