You are probably familiar with the aromatic fragrance of lavender used in soaps, shampoos, and perfumes. However, you may not fully appreciate its versatility as an herbal medicine.
Historically, lavender has been highly valued by herbalists for its ability to relieve headaches and calm nervous tension. Modern research has shown lavender oil to be an effective antiseptic, promoting healing of burns, wounds, and sores. It can also reduce the pain and inflammation of
insect bites. The fragrant scent of lavender comes from the oil in the blue-violet flowers that can be used fresh, dried, or steam distilled (to extract the essential oil).
Lavender was recommended in nineteen of Edgar Cayce's readings for a variety of effects. The medical prescriptions of lavender are generally related to its calming and restorative qualities. A combination of lavender and witchhazel was recommended for use in a fume bath in two cases involving excessive muscular tension and nerve exhaustion. Several Cayce readings suggest that
the aroma of lavender can aid with attunement during meditation. Here are some practical tips for using lavender to improve your mental and physical well-being:
- Soak up lavender by placing a few drops of lavender in your bath water.
- Inhale its healing fragrance by putting a drop or two of lavender oil on a lamp or diffuser designed specifically for aromatherapy.
- Absorb lavender oil through your skin when you get a massage. It is best to mix it with another oil such as olive oil. When prescribed by Cayce for massage, it was always mixed with other oils. As with any oil, it is always a good idea to test a small area first to minimize the risk of allergic reaction.
- If you feel a headache coming on, massage lavender oil into the forehead and temples (but away from the eyes).
- For cuts, bruises, and insect bites, drop lavender oil directly onto the skin.
- To reduce insomnia, sprinkle a few drops on a pillow at bedtime.
- For nervous exhaustion or depression, consider lavender tea which can be made from the dried lavender flowers (1 1/ 2 tsp. flowers to 8 oz. water) which can be drunk up to four times a day.